June 29

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Epic! 33+ BEST DRUM BOOKS FOR BEGINNERS & PROS 2022

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If you are new to playing drums, it can be quite difficult to find the best drum books for beginners which help you improve your drumming-skills from absolute newbie to intermediate and finally to pro.

Right?

If you are an experienced drummer, the following list of my top 25 all-time favorites might help you find some inspiration on what to buy next or what books to use when teaching your students.

The best drum books and a lot more are available here

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In case there are any books missing, please let me know in the comments. I'd like to add more in the following weeks and months. 

Let's start with the contents:

the Best Drum Books for beginners (EVER!)

Here's a list of my favorite beginner drum books. It is constantly growing, and probably it will never be complete. 

4 beginner drum books and drumsticks

Beginner drum books and drumsticks

Let's start!

#1

5/5

Stick Control

Stick Control for the Snare Drummer is one of the all-time bestsellers worldwide.

It contains hundreds of exercises for your hands (and feet) and to improve your strength, endurance, and technique.
This book is a must-have for any drummer and percussionist. Beginners to pro-drummers will have a lot of fun practicing with Stick Control.

#2

4/5

New Breed I

Many years ago, Gary Chester wrote New Breed I to help drummers improve their independence between limbs & voice and do gain more control over the click. This book is also a great introduction to open-handed playing, which means that hands won't cross while playing the hi-hat.
Because there are several ways to approach this book, I'd recommend letting an experienced drum teacher help you.

#3

3.5/5

New Breed II

New Breed II by Gary Chester is definitely a book for the very advanced (at least) drummer and for musicians who have a high frustration tolerance. If you think your limbs can play independently, buy this book and rethink.

#4

3.5/5

Technique Patterns

Technique Patterns by Gary Chaffee is another very good book for the ambitious beginner, intermediate and professional drummers. 
It contains technique exercises which help the drummer improve hand-foot coordination and technique in general. This book is very recommendable for any skill-level so long as it is approached with patience and perseverance.

#5

3.5/5

Time functioning patterns

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#6

3.5/5

Rhythm & meter patterns

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#7

3.5/5

Sticking patterns

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#8

3.5/5

Odd time stickings

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#9

4.5/5

Linear time playing

"Linear Time Playing" is another book by Gary Chaffee and contains awesome exercises to improve your skills in linear time playing. 
What does linear time play mean?
Linear time play means, that every note (instrument) is being played alone. That leads to pretty interesting grooves and great drum-fills.

#10

4.5/5

The Art of bop drumming

If you are into Jazz drumming, "The Art of Bop Drumming" is your book! John Riley wrote a book for the intermediate to pro-drummer who wants to refresh his basic Jazz drumming skills and go further into the jungle of bop drumming.

#11

4.0/5

Syncopation

Syncopation is the standard book for learning - well - syncopation. It was voted as one of the best drum books in 1993 and is written for the intermediate to advanced drummer. 
With Syncopation you will also increase your reading ability.

#12

3.5/5

Open handed Playing 1

If you like to find out, what open-handed playing really is about, you should buy this drumming book from the German world-class drummer and educator Claus Hessler. Learn to play drums like Simon Phillips and many other heroes of modern drumming do.

Open-handed playing vol. 1 is a great starting point for intermediate and advanced drummers.

#13

3.5/5

Open handed Playing 2

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#14

5/5

Daily Drumset workout

"Daily drumset workout" is written for intermediate, advanced and professional drummers who like to work on essential exercises daily and improve as a drummer.
The book contains structured exercises in binary and ternary time.

#15

4.5/5

Rhythmic illusions

"Rhythmic Illusions" by Gavin Harrison is one of the toughest drumming books I have ever worked with. This book helps the pro-drummer to interpret the click in several and very challenging ways.

#16

3.5/5

The all-american Drummer

This book is a collection of 150 rudimental solos for the advanced and pro-drummers. It's not easy mastering the exercises. Even the first solo can be tough, if you need to work on your flam rudiments.
I'd recommend "The All-American Drummer" to advanced ambitious drummers who want to improve their skills in drum rudiments.

#17

3.5/5

Funkifying the clave

"Funkifying the clave” is another drum book for advanced drummers who like to learn more about afro-cuban grooves.
I'd recommend working with this book with an experienced drum teacher, who can help you master the exercises.

#18

4.5/5

Accents and rebounds

"Accents and rebounds" is a follow-up of Stick Control, which I mentioned at the top of my list.

#20

3.5/5

Studio & Big Band Drumming

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#25

4.0/5

The official Freehand Technique

Have you ever dreamed of playing lightning fast single stroke rolls with only one hand? Then this is the book you must spend some time with.
Learning the basics of "The official freehand technique" is really doable, but not meant for beginners. I'd recommend this book to advanced and pro-drummers who want to spice up their repertoire with cool "party tricks".

Great Beginner drum set books

In case you are looking for beginner drum set books, there are several books I can recommend:

#26

4.0/5

Hal Leonard drumset method by Greg Bissonette

For drum students who like to improve their drum set skills, this book written by Greg Bissonette is a great choice. This beginner drum set book contains hundreds of exercises plus video and audio material to play along to.

#27

4.0/5

Songs for beginners - Drum play-along vol. 32

This drum book for beginners contains several popular songs by artists like Michael Jackson, Green Day and other famous musicians. There are tracks to play along to, which you can download with the included dowload-code.

#28

4.5/5

Shape beats for kids - A simple and fun approach to learning drums

This drum book for kids is a unique approach to learning drums.
It includes a compact disk and a notation technique which everybody, even the youngsters, understand.

The best drum rudiments books

If you are into playing drum rudiments and want to improve your single stroke roll and single paradiddle, the following books will help:

stick control for the snare drummer

Stick Control

Again, Stick Control is one of the best books to start practicing many of the 40 drum rudiments.

The all american drummer

This book is another great drum rudiment book. It's not for beginners, but for ambitious intermediate and professional drummers.

Drum lessons with George Lawrence Stone

I am pretty sure, that this drum rudiments book will become a classic! 
It's written by Barry James – one of the last living students of the legendary George Lawrence Stone.

Best Jazz drum books

If you are more into Swing and Jazz, then these Jazz drum books might be interesting for you!

Advanced techniques for the modern drummer

This is a book for Jazz and Bebop drummers who want to improve their drumset independence. It's an all-time classic, written by Jim Chapin.

The art of bop drumming

This was my 1st Jazz drum book and I still love it. It helps the beginner Jazz drummer to improve his or hers coordinating and independence skills on the drumset.

Great books about famous drummers

If you love reading biographies, the following books about famous drummers might be what you were looking for:

Not dead yet: The memoir

Phil Collins is one of the most famous drummers in the world. He started his career as a musician as a drummer for Genesis. 
His book “Not dead yet” leads you to his career as a drummer, songwriter, and frontman.

Drumming in The Police and beyond

Stewart Copeland is another famous drummer. Most people know him as a drummer for The Police, but – of course – that's not all he has to tell in his book.

The best drum books of all time

Now it's time to ask you for help.

What's your favorite drum book? 

Moderndrummer.com made a list about 25 timeless drum books, and I think that their picks are really great.

Here are some of the best drum books of all time:

stick control for the snare drummer

Stick Control

I know, it's the 3rd time I mention this book. 
But needless to say:

IT'S THE BOOK! 

Master Studies 

“Master Studies” by Joe Morello is another drum rudiments classic.
When you finished Stick Control, you are ready for this masterpiece of drumming history. 

Advanced Funk Studies 

If you are into Funk drumming, this book by Rick Latham is a great pick.

Which drum books are still missing?

Please let me know if there are any drum books still missing.
I am happy to add them as time goes by.

Enjoy playing drums and talk soon!

Keno Hellmann

Keno is a professional drummer & blogger from Hamburg, Germany.
In his career, he played drums for prominent artists like Elton John and popular German bands like Rosenstolz, Big Soul and others.
Since 2004 he's also teaching drums to students of all age-groups from beginners to advanced and semi-professional drummers.

He loves kitesurfing in Germany's North Sea & Egypt's Red Sea, cooking, and he is a big supporter of the HSV football team.

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