The Master Drummer, by John Riley, follows up on his previous works, The Art of Bop Drumming and Beyond Bop Drumming (both of which are considered standards of drum pedagogy) with conceptual, technical, and musical material that is not covered in the other books.
The Master Drummer is based on the premise that all the greats excel in four areas: technique, groove, creativity, and musicianship. Each of these areas is explored in detail with extensive video content, exercises, and transcriptions. While the main sections of video were previously released on DVD, the extensive additional text, notation and analysis in this book create a much more complete, effective course of study. In addition, expert transcriber Terry Branam has notated each of John’s drum solos, and John breaks these down and explains the musical concepts he is using in each solo. Whether working on your technique, timekeeping, soloing, rhythmic vocabulary, or your overall understanding and execution of jazz drumming, The Master Drummer is a must-have.
The book comes with online video that is clearly marked with icons throughout the text. In the digital version, as with all Hudson Music digital books, simply tap the video icon within the book on your device, and the video will pop up and begin to play.
“John Riley has done it again. Two of his books, The Art of Bop Drumming and Beyond Bop Drumming, have permanent places of honor on the bookshelf of my teaching studio at the Thornton School of Music at USC. John’s insight into pedagogy and his ability to artfully explain both simple truths as well as complex polyrhythms have made him a sought-after teacher. His jazz drumming voice is authoritative, expert and encouraging. The Master Drummer is a book that can be utilized in a student/teacher dynamic or by a curious drummer on their own. His written language is clear, and his exercises will bear fruit for any drummer wanting to put in the work. Above all, The Master Drummer is as fun as it is informative. I’ll say it again: John Riley has done it again.”
- Peter Erskine
“In The Master Drummer, John Riley once again proves he is a ‘master teacher.’ Packed with invaluable knowledge and insight, John generously presents the drumming DNA required to cultivate your most creative, confident, and musical self.”
- Mark Guiliana
“John Riley has packed a lifetime of playing and teaching experience into his book The Master Drummer. The book is full of clear instruction and helpful ideas to gain mastery of the drum set. The section on creativity is especially engaging with myriad examples for increasing one’s drum set vocabulary. I particularly love the control room analysis section, a unique blow-by-blow description of the lightning-fast musical reflexes that occur inside of a musical conversation between high-level players. I’m digging into this book now to expand my knowledge and abilities!
- Steve Smith
“John Riley’s The Master Drummer shows numerous unique ways of reverse engineering musical concepts. He does it in a way that people can grasp, learn efficiently and then gain ownership for themselves.”
- Kendrick Scott
“John is a great player and great teacher who brings his wealth of experience and is able to pass that on through this terrific book, which includes very clear and well-organized materials on many aspects of drumming.”
- Bill Stewart
John Riley is the drummer for the legendary Vanguard Jazz Orchestra in New York City, and has performed/recorded with Stan Getz, Milt Jackson, Dizzy Gillespie, John Scofield, Bob Mintzer, Gary Peacock, Mike Stern, Joe Lovano, and many others. He is on the faculty of the Manhattan School of Music and Kutztown University, and he is the author of The Art of Bop Drumming, Beyond Bop Drumming, and The Jazz Drummer’s Workshop.