I can’t tell you how many times I have been asked the question “if you had to recommend one drum book for beginners, which would that be?”. I’ve never been able to answer this question. There are so many books available that, first of all, I haven’t read them all. Secondly, I did read many books on drumming, aimed at beginners, and almost all of them either have untrue or wrong information in them about at least one subject, or are based on the opinion of the author, rather than facts. Lastly, there are very few books that cover everything a beginning drummer should know. So up until now, I’ve been recommending sections from different books, but haven’t been able to recommend just one single book.
Last week, a (Puerto Rican) student of mine brought a book to his lesson which he had found at his local library. It was called “La Biblia Del Baterista“. He’s having trouble reading music and he told me he really loved how it was compact and had everything in it that he wanted to know and he could use it to look up any problems he had while doing the homework I gave him. He brought it in because, although very helpful, he was a little confused about the different terminologies in Spanish and English. I browsed through the book and, though not able to read much of it, the photos and graphics pretty much looked exactly like how I always draw things for my students to help explain notation. I had a feeling this book might be pretty cool, so I looked up the author (who happens to be British) and found the book in English on eBay for the shocking price of $3.
The book came in today and I am simply ecstatic about it. It features invaluable information (based on facts, not opinion) about how to set up your drums, tune your drums, choose the right gear, and take care of your gear, as well as an incredibly easy to understand way of explaining basic notation and rhythmic music theory. Additionally, it offers some great excersizes and information about different genres of music and the corresponding drumming styles, and short biographies of some of the must-know drummer of the past and the present.
I HIGHLY recommend this book to any beginner, but even to advanced drummers who want to brush up on their theory and sight reading skills. Every teacher should own this book and will find it to be a tremendous resource for his/her lessons!