Book Reviews
Drummer Cafe 20th Anniversary
  • Subscribe
Pin it

The Total Funk DrummerAlfred Music Publishing, the leader in educational music publishing since 1922, is excited release a brand-new drum method, The Total Funk Drummer.

The Total Funk Drummer is a unique and exciting journey through the diverse world of funk drumming. Starting with basic lessons on keeping time, you end up playing highly syncopated beats and fills using advanced techniques like linear drumming. This drum method features many of the styles that make funk drumming so challenging, yet rewarding, and is perfect for beginners to advanced drummers. Learn everything from New Orleans funk, R&B, and soul to '70s funk, modern alternative funk, drum 'n' bass, and hip-hop. You will also learn drum beats in the styles of famous funk artists like The Meters, Herbie Hancock, James Brown, The Funk Brothers, Booker T. & the MG's, Tower of Power, Sly & the Family Stone, Parliament-Funkadelic, Medeski, Martin & Wood, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and more. The included CD features a full band demonstrating the examples in the book. Features include: lessons on fills and soloing, cool funk techniques like syncopation and linear drumming, exercises for coordination and rhythmic grouping, lots of practice tips, and much more!

REVIEW 

The Total Funk Drummer is a 127-page book, divided into eleven chapters, and comes with supplemental audio CD.

The book starts out with drumming basics; drumset notation key, holding the drumsticks, music terminology and note values, and rhythmic notation. The sections that follow get into eighth-note beats, sixteenth-note beats, sixteenth-note beats with eighth-note HiHat, ghost-notes, triplet grooves, drum fills and embellishments, and advanced funk styles.

I was disappointed with this book. With the words "total" and "comprehensive" in the title and subtitle, I was expecting much more. For a book on funk drumming, too much of the book was spent on divisions of the pulse (ie. eighth-note grooves) and not enough spent on sub-divisions of the pulse (ie. sixteenth-note grooves) and syncopations — what sets funk apart from other styles.

Further disappointments include inaccurate notations (eg. the legendary Amen Break), and the performances on the audio CD which seemed to lack the solid pocket and feel that funk drumming is known for. 

The Total Funk Drummer is really a basic overview of what funk drumming is all about; not a comprehensive study. Beginners and/or someone new to drumming would probably enjoy this book. Serious drummers looking to advance their skills and fully develop an understanding of funk drumming and music styles should probably look elswhere.


Cron Job Starts