The Foundational Series
Align your mind and body in this experiential drumming journey with a series of exercises that are sure to challenge, inform, and inspire the way you think and play.
Rich Stitzel, Creator of the DrumMantra Practice System, shares his method for sharpening your concept of time, fine-tuning your accuracy, improving your pulse awareness, enhancing your knowledge of time signatures, deepening your coordination, and informing your understanding of polymeters. The DrumMantra Practice System utilizes rhythmic repetition as a means of developing muscle memory, which allows for a more connected and expressive playing experience.
The Foundational Series exercises are focused on strengthening the practitioner in 6 key areas:
- Polymetric Awareness
The Foundational Series exercises also help to improve various mental elements of drumming:
The exercises in The Foundational Series are experiential, meaning the rewards come from actually doing the practice. This is the only way to truly gain the benefits from these exercises.
The book has three different sections (4/4, 3/4, and 5/4), and each section has three features: warm-ups, meditations, and rhythmic melodies.
- The Warm-Ups include various “moving click” audio tracks designed to challenge your attention and awareness as much as your stickings and technique. There are 13 warm-ups—5 in the 4/4 section, 4 in the 3/4 section, and 4 in the 5/4 section.
- The “Meditations” are exercises that begin to explore the relationship between accent permutations and pulse displacements in the 16th note field. There are six pages of meditations in each section, and each meditation is 6-8min long.
- The Rhythmic Melodies will challenge your reading, coordination, and concentration as you play melodies with the feet while playing various accent structures and stickings with the hands. There are eight 4-bar melodies in each section.
The Foundational Series was created for all drummers, regardless of genre, who want to play with more accuracy, depth, creativity, and confidence.
“One can perform The Foundational Series in its entirety in twenty-four 1-hour sessions. But first, you have to be able to play every exercise in the book! But, just because you can play it correctly today doesn’t mean it will be perfect the next time because it’ all about concentration. This book makes you focus on your mind and thoughts every bit as much as your coordination and time.”
Creator of DrumMantra
“If you’re seeking a serious practice, Rich Stitzel’s DrumMantra courses and books is for you. What you’ll gain from it is the focus and concentration needed for any gig, and for any other area of life. You’ll also gain a greater command of reading, technique, coordination, relaxation and breathing. Rich’s method is a literal drum meditation practice, and teaches you the importance of the journey, not just the destination. I’ve practiced his method and can’t recommend it enough.”
Author, World Jazz Drumming
6x Grammy Winner, drummer, educator
“A couple of years ago I came across a video of Rich playing an incredible groove on just a kick and a snare. His playing demonstrated the highest level of coordination, control, musicality and groove. So I went deeper. After seeing some examples of the Foundational Series book, I instantly bought a copy. And oh boy, was I in for a treat!
Put aside the fact that the exercises in the book will help you attain control of your coordination, control of complex rhythms, reading and so on; the backing tracks are where it’s at. Every exercise in the book is accompanied with a track that pushes you to practice more.
I cannot recommend Rich’s book (and Drummantra method) highly enough.”
Author, Phrasing & Freedom with Brushes
Beginner’s Guide to Big Band Drumming
“The material from the Foundational Series really shines a light on my weaknesses. When you look at the page, it seems simple, but when you do it – oh man…”
pro drummer & educator
“Been a fan of Rich’s for many years. I’m so glad there is something like this on the market that offers a glimpse into how he has prepared his craft for years. I’ve had it for a few weeks already, and it’s been a huge help (both as a personal development tool and a teaching aid for my students). You should get this book. Period.”
pro drummer & educator
“All about focus and mindset with this exercise. The great Rich Stitzel has two GREAT books, called The Foundational Series and the Primary Series. I have added the moving click exercises into my daily practice every morning.”
pro drummer & educator
“Another night. Another solid 2+ hours in with The Foundational Series by Rich Stitzel. I can feel my overall sense of timing, interdependence, reading skills, and ability to focus all skyrocketing more and more every single day, and I’m only on the 4/4 section! Haha. There’s a whole 3/4 and 5/4 section after this.
The play-along tracks make practicing all of it so much more fun. The last 3-4 days that I went back to practice on the kit, my mind and whole body feel so relaxed and much more in control. This book really is something special. SO happy I stumbled upon it.”
“I played a gig last night, and as I was packing up, the lead guitarist came over to me and said, “Man. You were on fire tonight. You played really tight.” I thanked him, and I started to think, “I’ve only practiced the Foundational Series all week, nothing else.”
“I felt a better understanding of myself and where I am after the first pass of the book. It is exactly what I need. The method is very simple, but it takes intense focus. It really pulls your mind right into every beat. It pulls philosophy from around the world right into the drummer’s mind. It’s a relaxing yet exciting experience.”
pro audio engineer
“Great book for developing your groove, endurance, focus, and timing. Thanks to the very creative and detailed play-along tracks, the exercises feel interactive and musical (something missing from most drum books). This book is a huge breath of fresh air, and I am really enjoying practicing out of it. Highly recommended!”
– Peter Manheim