From the December 2016 issue of DRUM!  |  By Andy Ziker

A World Of Rhythmic Possibilities

By Dafnis Prieto  |  Dafnison Music

Dafnis Prieto wrote one of the most ambitious educational products (275 pages long) of the past decade or more, and it’s a must-have in your percussion library. Seven in-depth chapters cover topics such as clave/cascara, stick control, the songo, Max Roach, developing hand technique, and creating rhythmic illusions (such as displacements). Shorter chapters provide Prieto’s philosophy on tradition, spirituality, and playing what you hear. He not only offers step-by-step, detailed instruction, but also makes you feel at ease with storytelling, humorous anecdotes, and a conversational tone. As you read and play along, you truly feel like you’re taking a private lesson from this Latin jazz icon. By the way, don’t forget about the well-produced audio and video examples, available free on via supplied access code.

Exercises In African-American Funk: Mangambe, Bikutsi, And The Shuffle

By Jonathan Joseph & Steve Rucker  |  Modern Drummer Publications


If you want to jump-start your coordination, feel, and rhythmic knowledge, this book is for you. Jonathan Joseph (Jeff Beck, Joe Zawinul) and Steve Rucker (Bee Gees) create an extremely well-sequenced method — succinct enough to not intimidate (at only 56 pages long), but loaded with material that can used on the gig. Joseph/Rucker first lay the groundwork with exercises/explanations on 3:4 and 6:4 polyrhythms, the American shuffle, and half-time shuffle-funk. They then get into the quintessence of the book: two African grooves (the mangambe and the bikutsi), which attach themselves seamlessly to previously established concepts. To accompany the book, four versions of four playalongs are available for a reasonable price on

Pathways Of Motion

By Steve Smith  |  Hudson Music

An issue with the CMC joint in his left hand — caused by years of using mostly traditional grip — forced Steve Smith to implement matched grip. By examining what his right hand was already doing successfully, Smith arrived at four grip types (variations on French and German grip), which form the foundation of this book/DVD. Smith introduces concepts on the snare drum, such as accent patterns and rudiments, which are then applied to the drum set in the form of fun solo exercises that develop phrasing, vocabulary, finesse, and relaxation. Hudson Music and Smith have come up with a winning formula: succinct video segments featuring Smith’s on-point teaching style, calm demeanor, and fantastic playing, matched with the practical information found in the book.