Contemporary Drumset Techniques, by Rick Latham, is an all-time classic drum book that features original, creative, and exciting exercises for the drum set in a very modern stylistic setting.
These exercises will hone the player’s musical as well as technical skills while still allowing sufficient latitude for one to develop his or her own personal styles. By the use of the additional CDs, the learning process is enhanced by hearing all of the exercises played using the proper feel and phrasing.
As drummers, meeting the demands which are placed upon us for “THE RIGHT FEEL” is something we all strive to achieve. In order to meet these demands, certain styles and grooves must be mastered instantly. It is for this reason that a player should always work on new techniques that enable him or her to adapt easily to any situation. The exercises and patterns that follow have been found very effective in bringing about this adaption process.
My entire approach to the drum set stems from exposure to the rudiments at an early age. I realized the importance of the rudiments and learned how basic hand patterns could be used around the drums. It is for this reason that I begin the book with what I call Contemporary Rudiments. These patterns are based on the 26 standard American rudiments but are more contemporary in sound (a modern Stick Control approach). Variations of these patterns will be used throughout the book. For players never exposed to the rudiments, these patterns will serve the purpose of basic hand exercises. To the players who have studied the rudiments, these exercises will initiate new and interesting ideas.
The concepts studied in this book are the things you should walk away with after working with them. Not just hundreds of new licks, the exercises and patterns are merely a few suggestions to show you how the concepts may be used. Most of the instructions will precede the exercises. Be sure to read all of the text carefully. This will give an overview of what should be accomplished from practicing the patterns. Some exercises will have multiple instructions. Read them all first, then choose and tackle one at a time. This way you will see how playing the exercises in one way will help another.
I am sure that you will see how these exercises will open new doors for the development of your own CONTEMPORARY DRUM SET TECHNIQUES.
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 the 11
groove.11 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.
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