D Mark Agostinelli, the author of the bestseller, “The Drum Rudiment Bible” explains what the biggest catastrophe is when it comes to new drummers learning how to play the drums. He explains how learning how to read is one of the most often overlooked aspects of playing the drums. He also offers a list of some great books for learning how to read and becoming a better drummer. The Drum Rudiment bible has over 460 Hybrid Rudiments. Some which are very rare. The book is the largest of its kind and contains the largest collection of drum rudiments to date. His book can be found at most book stores including Amazon
Why Every Drummer Should learn how to read and why it is a catastrophe.
There is a problem that exists in the world of drumming and percussion, which does not exist as extensively in other music instrument disciplines. That is, that drummers do not learn how to read! Additionally, there are a limited number of drum teachers that can even teach a student how to read, which just ads to the progression of future drummers never learning how to read.
Learning to Read Drum Music is Just as Important as Learning English
The value of learning how to read music is there. It just seems as though drummers themselves are unaware of valuable this skill really is. When you are a child and you learn how to read English, you are taught at a young age that you need to learn how to read so you can get around society. Imagine for a moment that you did not know how to read. You would not be able to read signs or be able to read contracts and sign into any kind of agreement.
Additionally, you woulc not be able to read the directions on things that you buy. even more so, you would not even be able to read the TV guide or on-demand video titles. Life would be incredibly difficult to live. You would essentially have to find somebody to follow you around and help you with nearly everything. Creating a serious handicap for yourself.
Not learning how to read drum music is very much similar in a lot of ways. When you learn English, you start out small. Then eventually if you wanted to learn “anything” you can easily pick up a book and read about it. If it is very technical, then you can easily find another book and read that instead. Then when you gain the vocabulary in that subject you can pass into something more advanced.
Take it slow, then build up
This is also the approach when learning the drums. You start out small; learning things like how to read the different types of notes, then you later stack it until you are reading pretty advanced drum music. After you develop the knowledge on how to read drum music, you can then pick up a different book and learn a completely different style. A drummer that knows how to read, would be able to pick up a book that was written in the early 1900s in Northern Russia and be able to play it. While someone that does not know how to read would have to track down a person that knows the style of drumming and ask him to show him how to play it.
Learning how to read will open doors! Learning how to read, will open the largest door that can ever possibly be opened. Because then, you can learn anything or everything that has been written down before your time.
Some Statistics about drummers knowing how to read.
The scary part is that out of 100 drummers, 9 of them know how to read at a beginner level. Additionally, out of 100 drummers, 2 of them can read intermediate and out of 1000 drummers about 2 of them can read at an expert level. This is even worse when it comes to drum teachers, where out of 100 drum teachers, only about 15 of them can read at an expert level. So imagine doing a search on Google for a drum teacher and you got 100 results of drum teachers nearby. Only 15 of those will actually know how to read at an expert level. This should be the most important question that you should ask a new drum teacher, that you are planning on hiring.
So in conclusion, don’t take it lightly when it comes to learning how to play the drums. It is one of the most important aspects of learning how to play. It is the biggest catastrophe in the world of drumming and every drummer should learn how to read.