by danny

May 10, 2021

In a world filled with free youtube instructional videos, it might seem stupid to spend money buying a drumming book!

books for drummers

However, books will give you insights and instructions that you will never gain from watching videos. Books are simply a treasure trove of knowledge that cannot be replaced.

They enable you to learn from masters who are no longer alive. Youtube doesn’t have lessons from the 1950s, but you can learn from masters of those ancient pre-internet periods with books.

List of 11 Drum Books That will Set you apart

While there are many drumming books, not all are amazing. We have compiled the list of the best drumming books either to learn drums as a beginner or rock drumming, maybe you like jazz too or you want to read about rudiments, we have it all you can get your hands on. With these books, you will be able to grow as a drummer.

Best Drum Books for Beginners


Drumeo Best Beginner Drum Book

The Best Beginner Drum Book
  • Hardcover Book
  • Jared Falk (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 212 Pages - 12/01/2019 (Publication Date) - Drumeo...

The name says it all; this is simply one of the best, if not the best, beginner drum books. It will help you get a jump start on your drumming journey! 

This book will lay down a solid foundation for you to build upon. It will teach you about drumming notations, various playing styles, genres and enable you to create beats. It will even teach you how to set up your kit.

You also get one month free access to drumeo Edge! Drumeo Edge gives you access to excellent online drumming lessons from amazing drummer.

This book was only recently published in 2018, but it has since found its place as a fantastic asset for beginners. At $30( Kindle version costs $6, though), it’s not cheap, and at 210 pages, it’s not tiny, but it will ensure that your learning journey will be much smoother and more straightforward than it was for most beginners.

A Fresh Approach to the Snare drum by Mark Wessels

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A Fresh Approach to the Snare Drum
330 Reviews
A Fresh Approach to the Snare Drum
  • Mark Wessels Publishing Model#FATTSNCD
  • Mark Wessels (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 83 Pages - 07/01/2002 (Publication Date) - Mark...

This is one of the more innovative drum manuals out there. It has sections to teach you many fundamentals of drumming like rhythm reading, coordination, essential rudiments, technical fundamentals, and musicianship you need to become a well-rounded drummer!

This book used to be accompanied by a play-along CD, but nowadays you have to download them from a website. The downside is that you have to pay for these downloads! You get terrific grooves and percussion instruments from across the world with these audio files!

If you are someone who takes Mark Wessels online video classes, this book is a must-get! He constantly refers to the book in his videos, and you will be able to speed up your learning process with the book vastly. Do note that only the first few videos are free, and you will have to pay for the rest.

This book is excellent for any beginner who wants to learn the fundamentals. Along with the audio and videos, this immersive experience will give you a feel of hands-on learning. You would feel like Mark Wessel is personally teaching you.

4 Way Coordination by Marvin Dahlgren and Elliot Fine 

4-Way Coordination: A Method Book for the Development of Complete Independence on the Drum Set
  • 4-Way Coordination Book
  • This method book by Marvin Dahlgren and Elliot...
  • The drum exercises focus on hi-hat, bass and snare...
  • 56 pages
  • This method book by Marvin Dahlgren and Elliot...

Coordination between your four limbs is one of the most critical things of drumming. Your feet must be in complete sync with your hands if you are ever to be a good drummer. 

This book, as the name suggests, precisely focuses on that. It is filled with rhythmic practices, from simple drumming patterns to complex patterns that can take weeks, if not months, to master correctly. 

When you have adequately grasped everything in this book, you will be able to have complete control over your arms, legs, fingers, and toes!

Best Drum rudiments book


Rudimental Primer by Mitchell Peters

Rudimental Primer for Snare Drummer
  • Mitchell Peters (Author)
  • 09/18/1990 (Publication Date) - Mitchell Peters...

This is an excellent book from the twentieth century that dwells on the world of rudiments. Written by Mitchell Peters, a widely renowned American author and composer, this book will help you get a good grasp on many traditional rudiments.

This book is mainly filled with basic patterns and studies that will help you develop a strong foundation. Every rudiment in the book is first shown in its basic form and then followed by exercises that will help you develop and apply it.

The only gripe with this book is that there isn’t much explanation given for the various exercises. So unless you have some basic knowledge about drum notations and such, you will have a hard time following this book.

It is a book packed with information; it should easily keep you busy for quite a while. Once you have mastered all the rudiments in the book, you will be able to tackle songs with ease.

Stick Control For The Snare Drummer

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Stick Control: For the Snare Drummer
  • George Lawrence Stone's Stick Control is the...
  • It is the ideal book for improving control, speed,...
  • Includes hundreds of basic to advanced-level...
  • George Lawrence Stone's Stick Control is the...
  • In 1993, Modern Drummer magazine named the book...

Stick Control for the snare drummer is to drumming what the Iliad is to literature! It is simply one of the few books that form classic drumming literature. The most amazing part is that this 48-page masterpiece by George Lawrence Stone is relevant and valuable till now!

Written all the way back in 1935, it is still one of the most popular and most recommended books for drummers. It was, in fact, part of Modern Drummer Magazine’s 1993 list of the 25 best drumming books.

As you might have been able to infer from the name, this book focuses primarily on various snare techniques. From basic snare techniques to more advanced rolling methods, this book covers everything. You will be able to improve your precision, rhythm, touch, feel, and even your posture with this.

All you need is a practice pad and this book; you will be able to improve your snare technique rapidly! And at just about $10, this book is possibly the best investment you can make in your drumming. 

Master Studies by Joe Morello

Master Studies
  • Three Sections -
  • Section One - The theory, mechanics, and...
  • Section Two - Freehand snare drum solos and hybrid...
  • Section Three - Play-along grooves and loops for...
  • Morello, Joe (Author)

Master studies is, in essence, a collection of Joe Morello’s most favorite rudiments and exercises, compiled by none other than the legendary drummer himself. It discusses everything from accents, stroke rolls, and buzz rolls to dynamic development and endurance exercises.

This is an excellent book for anyone who wants to improve on his snare technique, be it a beginner or a seasoned professional. You will be able to vastly improve your stick technique and hone your hand coordination with it.

The only thing with this book is that it is not a complete drumming book. It focuses predominantly on hand techniques, and footwork is wholly ignored.

If you want to improve your rudiments, you cannot go wrong with Master studies. Funnily, this is also an excellent jazz drum book as many of the rudiments are incorporated in the context of playing time. 

This book is also relatively cheap, so you do not have many excuses as a drummer not to get this book!

The Drum Rudiment Bible by D. Mark Agostinelli

The Drum Rudiment Bible: 500 Rudiments Beginner to Advanced
  • Agostinelli, D. Mark (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 72 Pages - 04/07/2010 (Publication Date) -...

This book contains the most extensive collection of drum rudiments that have even been printed in a single book. It has over 500 rudiments, so even advanced players will be able to learn something new with this.

What are the various rudiments?!

This book contains the 26 original NARD rudiments along with 14 PAD rudiments and well over 460 hybrid drum rudiments. The hybrid rudiments are particularly interesting, and many are just pure fun to play.

If you feel like you are just learning the same things over and over again and aren’t growing as a drummer, this book can be your antidote for it. It has many uncommon and rare rudiments that you might have never heard of before. It will give new life to your drumming experience.

The book is neatly laid out and easy to read. Everyone, including beginners, will be able to comprehend and play along with it entirely. It doesn’t matter what genres you play or percussion instruments you use; this book will boost your creativity and coordination.

Best Jazz Drumming Books


The Art Of Bop Drumming

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The Art of Bop Drumming: Book & Online Audio (Manhattan Music Publications)
  • The definitive book on bop drumming by John Riley...
  • The Art Of Bop Drumming Book & CD Comprehensive...
  • The Art Of Bop Drumming Book & CDComprehensiveThis...
  • Riley, John (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

John Riley has delivered an absolute treasure for jazz drummers with this book. It helps you understand jazz drumming in its entirety and dives deeply into the depths of bop drumming.

This book covers all the critical elements of bop drumming, including unusual beats, brushing, time playing, comping, ultra-fast solos, and irregular patterns. 

The book initially used to come with an audio CD with songs to play along with. However, since we have moved to the 21st century, the audio files are available online instead of on a CD.

This book is slightly different from all the other ones on this list. While it does have many excellent exercises, it emphasizes more on the feel of the music. It doesn’t want you to robotically improve as a drummer but rather become more developed as a creative musician.

If you are interested in learning to PLAY jazz and bop on the drums, this book takes you from a level assuming some knowledge of the jazz drum set.

Beyond Bop Drumming by John Riley

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Beyond Bop Drumming: Book & CD (Manhattan Music Publications)
  • Beyond Bop Drumming is John Riley's exciting...
  • Based on the drumming advancements of the post-bop...
  • Riley, John (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 78 Pages - 02/01/1997 (Publication Date) - Alfred...

This is the follow-up to the aforementioned Art of Bop Drumming book. This book focuses more on the advancements in drumming in the post-bop time period.

Similar to the Art of Bop Drumming, this also comes with audio. The book and audio together explore topics like solo ideas, ride-cymbal variations, solo analysis, play-along tunes, complete transcriptions, up-tempo unison ideas, implied time metric modulation, and broken time playing. The book also has some fantastic artists and album recommendations for you to check out.

Do I have to read Art of Bop Drumming before this?

It would be best if you read this book only after you have already read and understood the Art of Bop Drumming. By understanding, we mean that you should have fully grasped all the concepts of the book! You will be a little lost if you haven’t read the first book.

Beyond Bop Drumming is fun and builds up extensively on the foundation set by the first book. You will come out as a much better jazz drummer at the end of it!

Jazz Drumming: Step By Step

Jazz Drumming: Step By Step
  • Morton, James (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 212 Pages - 01/01/2017 (Publication Date) - Morton...

James Morton has managed to write one of the most comprehensive books ever written on jazz drumming. While it doesn’t cover everything, it comes very close!

It begins with a section on the history of jazz drumming and the jazz drum set that is filled with iconic photos. There are even a couple of rare pictures of jazz drumming legends like Buddy Rich and Krupa.

This must-have book for jazz drummers will help you improve your coordination, soloing, and sticking. It is an excellent asset for any drummer, irrespective of experience. The coordination and independence exercises are especially great, and even veterans will benefit from those. 

It is not limited to purely jazz drumming; you also learn about keyboard basics, vocalizing, ear training, and musical insight! These are critical skills a jazz drummer must know if he needs to be successful in the genre.

Jazz Drumming: Step By Step is one of the best books any jazz drummer can get. It will inform you of its glorious history and help you improve your hearing capability. At the end of the day, you will be a better musical drummer with this book.

Best Rock Drumming Book


Mini-Monster Book

JRP02 - Mini-Monster Book of Rock Drumming (BATTERIE)
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JRP02 - Mini-Monster Book of Rock Drumming (BATTERIE)
  • Joel Rothman (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 97 Pages - 01/01/1981 (Publication Date) - JR Drum...

Imagine a book that has almost everything that you ever wanted to know about rock drumming! This is that book!

It covers every topic you can think of, from funky disco beats and rock breaks to coordination exercises. Joel Rothman published this book way back in 1981, and it has remained a staple in rock drummers’ arsenals till now.

This book covers a significant number of beats and techniques that you would be able to recognize from many legendary rock songs! While it is meant for rock drumming, it covers various techniques that are going to be very usual to a drummer, irrespective of the genre.

Beginners and intermediate drummers should definitely get this book. The exercises and beats start out simple and get more and more complex as you flip through the 90 odd pages of this book. The beats are also very clearly written with hands-on online and feet on the other, making it much easier for beginners to grasp.

If you want to build your foundations as a rock drummer, this is the book for it!

Conclusion

Drumming books are still relevant and valuable for all drummers, from beginners to advanced players. You will be losing out on a lot if you do not use books as part of your learning journey. 

For beginners, Drumeo Best Beginner Drum Book would be the best book! It has comprehensively discussed all the fundamentals you need to get started.

For people looking to improve their rudiments, stick control for the snare drummer would be ideal. It is a classic book that helps you develop a solid foundation using traditional rudiments.

For jazz, I would recommend the Art of Bop Drumming by John Riley, while for rock drumming, you cannot go wrong with the Mini-Monster Book. Both of them provide a deep insight into their respective genres.

About the author 

Danny

I am Danny. A Father, Hubby, Full-Time Drummer, and Part-time teacher. I have been drumming for 10 years and on average gigs 150 times a year. Drums are my passion. I play for local and some regional bands too. Aside from that, I started this blog to share my knowledge about musical instruments.

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