Drummers Guide to Big Band

Written to help drummers and educators understand how to interpret and play big band charts

A book/Audio package written by Garey Williams to help drummers understand how to interpret and play big band charts. Included are discussions, audio and video demonstrations on:

  • Chart reading checklist: style, road map, ink.
  • Playing big band set-ups that will clearly and affectively support the band.
  • Ride cymbal techniques for slow, medium and fast tempos.
  • Hi-hat techniques for 2-beat, “rocking the foot” and “heel up.”
  • Bass drum techniques on how to “feather” and “drop bombs.”
  • Snare drum techniques for cross-stick, rim shots and stick shots.
  • Jazz shuffles, 3/4, ballads, Latin, R&B, funk and rock play-along tracks.
  • Five complete big band play-along charts: with and without drums.
  • Discography of recommended big band recordings.

Every example in the book is demonstrated on both audio and video, along with 9 videos explaining how to get a big band drum sound, for a total of 99 videos. Here’s what some notable pros have to say about the book:

“Playing in a big band is one of the most complex and nuanced jobs that a drummer can face. Garey Williams’ new book The Drummer’s Guide to Big Band sets out a highly-organized game plan for tackling the demands of the big band drum chair. In addition to a thorough explanation of charts, grooves, song forms, set ups and other figures, the book includes a multimedia disc with both video and audio examples. Great stuff. I look forward to using this book with my own students!”
-Daniel Glass (Royal Crown Revue, Brian Setzer, author of The Century Project, The Roots of Rock Drumming, and The Commandments of Early R&B Drumming)

“I’ve listened to a lot of drummers and you have something few drummers have. You hear the subtleties in music. You sound great!”
-Jeff Hamilton (Jeff Hamilton Trio, Ray Brown, Oscar Peterson, Diana Krall, Ella Fitzgerald)

“Garey has put together a wealth of great material in a very effective, logical manner.
His practice tips, musical philosophies, and performance suggestions are right on the money.
The play-along tracks are fresh and musical with Garey really getting “inside” the music. This will help many aspiring players for years to come. Congratulations!”
-Steve Houghton (Professor of Jazz and Percussion – Indiana University, PAS Past President)

“This book, along with the accompanying tracks, videos, and charts, provides a concise, informative and fun introduction to the world of big band drumming.”
-Tommy Igoe (Birdland Big Band, Tommy Igoe Groove Conspiracy, author of Groove Essentials series)





  • Garey Williams


  • Drums


  • Big Band
  • Jazz

Skill Level

  • Advanced
  • Intermediate
Hudson Music Insider - Lessons, Deals & More - Sign Up Today!