George Lawrence Stone – Stick Control
Oct 19 2014
George Lawrence Stone’s Stick Control is the original classic, often called the bible of drumming. In 1993, Modern Drummer magazine named it one of the top 25 drumming books of all-time. In the words of the author, this is the ideal book for improving “control, speed, flexibility, touch, rhythm, lightness, delicacy, power, endurance, preciseness of execution, and muscular coordination,” with extra attention given to the development of the weak hand. This indispensable book for drummers of all types includes hundreds of basic to advanced rhythms and moves through categories of single-beat combinations, triplets, short roll combinations, flam beats, flam triplets and dotted notes, and short roll progressions.
This book reads as though it has hardly been changed from its original publication (suppose in the 1930s); nonetheless it remains an invaluable tool for the drummer of any style and skill level. The exercises are isolated into short (four or eight measure) patterns so that each may be repeated to perfection. There are no ungainly “etudes”, no corny written solos, and the exercises focus solely on control and sticking, not on style; therefore they may be applied to anything from orchestral percussion to jazz to rock.
Furthermore, the introduction is a dryly wonderful piece of writing; pragmatic, no-nonsense, economical prose imparting essential advice on practice. This book makes an ideal “workout” (emphasizing that “control” is the gateway to strength, endurance, coordination, and all else that drummers crave). Practice Stick Control daily, and meditate on the craft of drumming.
Stick Control is one of the must have fundamental texts for the acquisition of superior drumming technique. All of the exercises are simple in concept, but very challenging in terms of speed and control. No drummer with aspirations to superior control and excellence of musical expression should be with out Stone’s Stick Control.
Using a metronome as the author suggests is very helpful in building coordination and learning the timing of the rhythms. The author also suggests that each exercise should be repeated 20 times before moving on. The exercises increase in complexity and give an equal workout to both hands (which builds skill in your weaker hand).
Note to beginners – this book is not an overview of how to begin playing the snare drum. There are no diagrams, or detailed information about the snare or drumming style. It is mainly an exercise book reminiscent of those used by school bands to increase skill and technique. To get the most benefit, a basic understanding of how to read music (rhythmically) is needed. But it truly is geared toward students as well as the professional drummer. The theme of this book is practice makes perfect.
This book is very good for the beginner and for the advanced player. It makes you gain stamina. Also it gives you better stick control which means it makes your hands more independent when playing(which is essential for playing the drums). It does not teach how to play the drums but improves your technique. Use this book for daily exercise and you’ll see the effects. No matter what kind of music you like to play (jazz, rock, classical) this book is a must. Also helps A LOT in managing to play open and closed rolls.
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