by Kevin Barrett
One of the best drumset books ever written isn’t a drumset book at all. It’s a book designed to develop snare drum technique.Nevertheless it has become a staple of drumset pedagogy. The book I’m speaking of is Stick Control by George Lawrence Stone. George Lawrence Stone was a prominent New England drum instructor during the 1930'through s the 1950’s. Perhaps his most famous student was Joe Morello. Stick Control was first published in 1935. To quote Stone, “It is an advanced book, consisting of a progressive, highlyconcentrated collection of rhythms, arranged in calisthenic form, which, if practised regularly and intelligently, will enable one to acquire control, speed, flexibility, touch, rhythm, lightness, delicacy,power, endurance, preciseness of execution and muscular co-ordination to a degree far in excess of his present ability.” If practiced diligently it meets that goal admirably. The remarkable thing aboutStick Control is that it also meets a similar goal when applied to the drumset. Stick Control has been adapted and used by many teachers and players. Its practical application to the drumset islimited only by the imagination of the player or teacher. What follows is brief overview of some applications I have used. They are meant only as suggestions. Explore the book and come up with your ownvariations. For those of you unfamiliar with Stick Control it is primarily a collection of sticking exercises. For example the first 3 pages go through many of the sticking combinations available witheighth notes in 4/4 (or 2/2) time using singles, doubles, triples, and quadruples. Here are some examples of the types of stickings the book contains. This is exercise 6 on page 5: (Ex 1)
Here isexercise 19 on page 5. (Ex 2)
And here is exercise 43 on page 6. (Ex 3)
These stickings can be applied to the drumset in a variety of ways. One practical application is to play all the R’s on...
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