New Percussion Literature and Recordings – July Reviews

July 2018 Percussive Notes, Vol. 56, No. 3

The goal of this method book is to develop greater control over all four limbs. This is obtained through practicing the “limb matrix,” a progressive ordering of all possible limb motions. The author addresses three versions of the matrix. The first version utilizes four-limb motions. The other two versions utilize ostinatos (three-limb motions with a one-limb ostinato, and two limb motions with twolimb ostinatos).

The book uses upper case “R” and “L” to specify the hand motions and lower case “r” and “l” for the feet. The direction of the patterns is notated using arrows. For example, an arrow preceded by an “R” and followed by an “L” means that the right hand will initiate the motion, while the left hand follows. Limbs played in unison are notated with two letters. For example, “Rr” indicates the right hand and right foot played in unison.

The limb matrix is applied to the “control workouts,” which are written using a one-line staff (with notes written above and below the staff). Each note could be assigned to a specific limb (or set of limbs when practicing unison strokes). The control workouts are notated using both duple- and triple- based rhythms. The control workouts are followed by “groove melodies” that are written using both the one-line and five-line staff. The one-line staff creates the foundation for the groove pattern, while the five-line staff allows the pattern to be orchestrated around the drumset.

This is an extensive study of four-limb coordination. Those who are looking for an analytical, methodical approach to independence will find this book especially interesting.

—Jeff W. Johnson