How to read drum sheet music

The 10 Best Drumming Books for Learning and Practice

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It’s no secret that one of the best ways to improve your drumming is by learning and playing through instructional books. Many professional percussionists credit their success to using these resources.

So whether you’re a beginner drummer or an experienced player looking to expand your knowledge, there’s a book out there that can help you take your playing to the next level. With that in mind, we’ve put together a list of 10 of the best drumming books available today. Check it out and find the perfect one for you!

1) Stick Control

Stick Control: For the Snare Drummer
$10.79

George Lawrence Stone's Stick Control is the original classic, bible of drumming.

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08/11/2022 12:09 am GMT

Stick Control is one of the most classic instructional books and is often referred to as the bible of drumming. First published in 1935, it remains one of the best drumming books of all time and is essential reading for any percussionist. 

The book is divided into four sections, each focusing on a different aspect of Stick Control. In the first section, Stone introduces the reader to the basic principles of Stick Control. In the second section, he explores more advanced concepts such as dynamics and phrasing. 

The third section consists of exercises designed to help the reader develop their technique. Finally, Stone provides training designed to improve coordination and speed in the fourth section. Stick Control is an essential book for any drummer who wants to improve their skills. In addition, it is a must-read for anyone serious about learning drums.

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2) Ultimate Realistic Rock Drum Method

Ultimate Realistic Rock: Book & 2 CDs

Ultimate Realistic Rock is one of the best-selling drum method books of all time.

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Carmine Appice’s Ultimate Realistic Rock Drum Method is one of the best-selling drumset books of all time. Appice is a master of rock drumming, and his book covers everything from basic rock rhythms to complex polyrhythms and double bass drum exercises. 

So if you’re serious about learning drums, this is the book you need. Ultimate Realistic Rock is the gold standard for rock drumming, and it will help you take your playing to the next level. So don’t be without it – pick up a copy today!

3) Progressive Steps to Syncopation for the Modern Drummer

Progressive Steps to Syncopation for the Modern Drummer

Voted second on Modern Drummer's list of 25 Greatest Drum Books in 1993.

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Any drummer worth their salt knows that Ted Reed’s Progressive Steps to Syncopation is essential reading. This classic drum book was voted second on Modern Drummer’s list of 25 Greatest Drum Books in 1993, and for a good reason. 

Syncopation is a foundational element of drumming, and this book provides a clear and concise path for learning how to syncopate. It’s perfect for learning jazz comping and can also help strengthen your reading skills. If you’re serious about learning drums, Progressive Steps to Syncopation is a must-have.

4) Master Studies

Master Studies by Joe Morello

Master Studies is one of the most iconic drum method books of all time that develops you hands for application in everything from classical, jazz, rock, to even rudiemental playing.

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Master Studies is an iconic drum method book by legendary drummer Joe Morello. This workbook of material is perfect for use in practice for jazz, rock, or even rudimental playing. 

Master Studies provides concise explanations of accents, buzz rolls, stroke combinations, fills, ostinatos, flams, and more. This book is perfect for learning drums with clear diagrams and plenty of exercises. Master Studies is a must-have for any drummer looking to improve their skills.

5) Advanced Techniques for the Modern Drummer

Advanced Techniques for the Modern Drummer

This classic jazz independence book is now new and improved with two CDs, written by Jim Chapin.

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Advanced Techniques for the Modern Drummer is one of the most popular drum books. It was written by Jim Chapin, the father of jazz drumming, and it has helped countless drummers improve their skills. 

The book covers many topics, from basic sticking and coordination to more advanced concepts like power and speed. It is an essential resource for any drummer who wants to take their playing to the next level. 

Even if you are not a jazz drummer, the concepts in this book can be applied to any style of music. Advanced Techniques for the Modern Drummer is a must-have if you are serious about learning drums.

6) Portraits in Rhythm

Portraits in Rhythm: 50 Studies for Snare Drum

This book is full of challenging snare drum solos for the intermediate to advanced percussion student.

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Portraits in Rhythm is a drum book by Anthony Cirone designed to help drummers of all levels improve their skills. The book contains a series of Portraits, or exercises, gradually becoming more difficult as the reader advances. 

Each Portrait is accompanied by a detailed description of the intended rhythm and tips on how to execute it. In addition, the book includes a section on learning drums, which provides essential information on posture, hand positioning, and other important concepts. 

So whether you’re a beginner looking to learn the basics or an experienced drummer looking to take your playing to the next level, Portraits in Rhythm is an excellent resource.

7) Afro-Cuban Rhythms for Drumset

Afro-Cuban Rhythms for Drumset

This book teaches Afro-Cuban rhythms for drumset, with an accompanying CD.

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Afro-Cuban Rhythms for Drumset is a drum book by Frank Malabe and Bob Weiner. The book is designed to help drummers learn Afro-Cuban rhythms. It includes exercises, transcriptions, and tips on how to play Afro-Cuban rhythms. 

The book is divided into three sections: Afro-Cuban 6/8 rhythms, Afro-Cuban 12/8 rhythms, and Afro-Cuban 16/8 rhythms. Afro-Cuban Rhythms for Drumset is a great resource for drummers who want to learn Afro-Cuban rhythms.

8) The Sound of Brushes

The Sound of Brushes: Book & 2 CDs

This new edition of Ed Thigpen's book on brush playing includes a section on rock applications and additional brush techniques.

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The Sound of Brushes is a classic drum book by Ed Thigpen. The book covers a wide range of topics related to brushes, from choosing the right brush for your playing style to proper brush technique. 

The book also includes transcribed solos and grooves from some of the world’s greatest brush masters, making The Sound of Brushes an essential read for any drummer serious about learning how to play with brushes. 

The Sound of Brushes is not only an excellent resource for learning about brushes, but it’s also a lot of fun to read. Ed Thigpen’s wit and humor shine through on every page, making The Sound of Brushes a must-have for any drummer’s library.

9) Bass Drum Control

Bass Drum Control: Best Seller for More Than 50 Years!

This book is a favorite among drummers for developing bass drum technique and increasing flexibility.

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Bass Drum Control by Colin Bailey is a well-known drum book. It is often used by beginners who are learning drums, providing helpful information on how to control the bass drum. However, some experienced drummers also use Bass Drum Control to improve their skills. 

The book covers various topics, including proper grip, stroke technique, and footwork. Bass Drum Control is an essential resource for anyone who wants to improve their drumming skills. 

Thanks to Colin Bailey’s clear and concise instructions, it is easy to learn the basics of bass drum control. So whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro, Bass Drum Control is a great way to improve your drumming skills.

10) Gaddiments

Gaddiments: with Online Video

Steve Gadd presents a series of rudimental passages that are based on classic and contemporary rudiments.

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Gaddiments is the first book written by legendary session player Steve Gadd, and it’s a must-read for any drummer who wants to improve their skills. Gadd draws on his decades of experience to share his insights on everything from hand technique to rudiments to drumming with feel. 

And if that wasn’t enough, Gadd has also released an accompanying online video course that provides even more guidance on applying the concepts in the book. 

So whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro, Gaddiments will undoubtedly provide valuable insights on becoming a better drummer.

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Wrapping Up

It’s been a long journey, but we’ve finally reached our list’s end. We hope you enjoyed it and maybe even found a new book to add to your practice routine. If you did, leave us a comment below and let us know which one is your favorite.

Maybe you don’t like reading music. In that case, don’t miss my roundup of the best online drum lessons available. If we missed your go-to instructional method book, let us know so we can check it out for ourselves. Thanks for reading!

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