Advanced Funk Studies, by Rick Latham, is a classic, best-selling drum method book. While focused on the concepts of funk and fusion music, the patterns of this book have wide ranging applications to virtually ALL genre of modern music!
The purpose of this book is to give the advanced drummer some insight into the techniques Involved in playing today’s Funk and Fusion Music. The patterns in this text are to provide the player with a working knowledge of style and feel to develop his own ideas. The Information within is merely a means to an end.
I have used a “stems up” notation which I think will be helpful in interpreting the patterns, since traditional notation sometimes tends to be confusing. The cassette tape that accompanies this book will serve as an invaluable aid in the realization of the patterns set forth.
Many of the patterns are styled after some of today’s leading funk drummers such as Steve Gadd, Harvey Mason, and David Garibaldi. Others are direct transcriptions from recordings as indicated.
The first section of this book contains exercises which employ various techniques necessary to master the patterns that follow. These exercises will be divided into three types; those dealing with (1) the Hi Hat, (2) the Snare Drum, and (3) the Bass Drum.
Many of these patterns will not be mastered in mere minutes. Begin them at a slow tempo, paying close attention to accents and sticking. Remember to always maintain the eveness and flow of the pattern at any tempo.
The success of his best-selling drum text, Advanced Funk Studies, launched Rick Latham into the international percussion spotlight. However, it has been his expertise as a versatile performer that has made him one of contemporary drumming’s most respected players.
Rick started drumming at the age of twelve. Initially self-taught, his ears led him to such powerful rhythm and blues influences as the hit Motown and Atlantic label recording artists of the day.
Playing club dates during his high school years in North and South Carolina, Rick attended to the technical aspects of drumming, but his primary focus was playing. Later, while earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Percussion Performance at East Carolina University, he expanded his rhythmic and percussion related vocabulary, studying mallets and timpani under Harold Jones. It was during this period that he performed with such jazz greats as Bill Watrous, David Samuels, Jerry Coker and David Friedman.
In 1977, he was granted a teaching assistantship at North Texas State University, where he taught mallets and snare while working on his Masters Degree in Percussion with Robert Schietroma and Ron Fink,. and studying drumset with Jim Hall. The inspiration and knowledge Rick gained from these instructors prompted him to create Advanced Funk Studies. A text of original concepts, transcriptions of recorded works by his favorite drummers, and accompanied by audio cassettes, Advanced Funk Studies was an immediate hit, establishing itself as a leading source of reference with drummers and educators the world over. After his years at NTSU, he began realizing his dream of becoming a professional touring musician in 1979 and toured extensively throughout the United States and Canada. He returned to Texas in the early 80s. In Dallas, he became a member of R&B “Bass Legend” Chuck Rainey’s band .R,ainey Man and continued his career as a session player and sought-after sideman with such greats as bluesman B.B. King.
In 1984, Rick relocated to Los Angeles, where he has since enjoyed the opportunity of performing with a long list of leading figures including rockers Edgar Winter, Rick Derringer and Pat Travers, as well as jazz guitarist Howard Roberts. His versatility has also been highlighted with such top entertainers as Rita Moreno, Ben Vereen and Redd Foxx, in addition to his contributions on the theme for television’s 119 to 511 series, “Fame, 11 the Quincy Jones produced soundtrack Fast Forward and more recently the DVD release of Gone in 60 Seconds. In 1990, he released his second successful book Contemporary Drumset Techniques and soon afterwards the much anticipated instructional videos that parallel these works.
He has firmly established himself as a world-class artist. Appearances at such major gatherings as Germany’s Koblenz International Drummer’s Meeting and the Frankfurt Music Messe, the United States NAMM shows, Switzerland’s Montreux Jazz Festival and numerous performances throughout Europe and Asia have provided the uninitiated with the opportunity to witness one of the new masters of contemporary drumming.
In addition to maintaining a full playing schedule in Los Angeles along with doing sessions and teaching, Rick involves himself with producing and leading his own jazz group Rick Latham and The Groove Doctors. For more information please visit his web site at http://www.ricklatham.com.