Regardless of style, this book can help your set playing. New Breed provides a novel approach to developing four way coordination on the drum set, and it includes exercises that will improve your reading, execution and creativity. It is not meant to be breezed through, and unless you're remarkably coordinated, you won't breeze through it. It definitely breaks the direct "here are some beats for you to practice" approach. New Breed is a good tool for developing technique---especially limb independence, but it is also an excellent resource for developing creativity. Even though I am still in the early stages of using this book my bass drum creativity has taken off. I am also convinced this book also will help you to improve your time, if used correctly. Gary also provides great suggestions on how to approach playing, and practicing that I've not found anywhere else. Because I am totally self-taught, this part has been very helpful to me personally. If you are a beginner, it will probably be a bit too much for you, but intermediates and advanced drummers will be pleasantly challenged. If you don't read music, you'll need to learn in order to work this program.
This book makes you become a sight reader on the drumset. It's one of the hardest drum books out there. It was voted one of 25 best drum books by Modern Drummer Magazine. The author of this book spent fifty years playing drums for many recording studios before he published it. If you're a drummer at any level, but haven't have the chance to check out this book, try to check it out soon.
When I am through with this book, my brain will be a little bit larger. Yeah, this book makes you think. It's hard but the challenges make you into a better drummer. I've only worked on the first of 39 sections in this book and everything I do around the drumset just become easier. It's my favorite drum book.
I once heard great advice from one of the most talented drummers I met at a Guitar Center one day. After watching him move effortlessly around the kit with full control and fluidity I nagged him for tips. He asked me "Do you practice your rudiments?", which I quickly responded "Yes, I practice my rudiments for 30 mins every single day -" he interrupted and said "Instead of doing that - play your freakin' drums!". He showed me his average-at-best paradiddle skill, which I could match myself, however there is no way I could match his ability on the actual kit. He told me that although it's important to practice rudiments - especially to develop hand technique initially - it's more important to practice creativity. This advice eventually lead me to this book.
My practice routine has changed dramatically because of this advice and this book. Instead of spending hours treating drumming as set of drills I am almost completely focused on applying myself creatively. I try to treat my drumming now as an artistic expression rather then an exercise in speed. There are roadblocks though - you can't really express your own creativity to its full potential if you don't have the limb independence and creative spark. That's where this book comes in. Not only is this book great for finding your inner-artist, it's great for helping you develop the required techniques to express yourself. This new attitude towards drumming has helped me improve by leaps and bounds.
No, I'm not saying to never practice rudiments or basic hand-exercises like those found in Stick Control - they will help you develop and maintain the required hand techniques. I'm just saying that you shouldn't make this your primary focus. This book helps you learn to explore yourself, buy it.
This book is loaded with excercises that will dramatically improve limb independence - it's not easy stuff! Also, it's not really a play-along kind of book where you'll immediately apply the patterns to your playing - so if you're just looking to pick up some cool beats and fills, you should look elsewhere. Now, if you're into buckling down and honing your chops, then this is definitely a book you should consider!
This book does indeed assist drummers to building their own creativity. Take heed, this book can be difficult and one will need patience, persistence, and passion in order to get through it. The use of "Book with CD" can be misinterpretted as a CD with sampled grooves; the CD is an interview with Gary Chester, the author of the book. It is a raw cut, so the volumes aren't equalized.
If you're serious about drums, or seriously need to grow as a drummer, this book is for you.
You pick a repeating pattern (an ostinato) and then go through the melodic lines sections (I, IA, II, IIA, etc). This has you playing the ostinato while reading the melodic line with the other "free" limb (the one NOT being used - either R/L FOOT, or R/L Hand). This builds up your independence between your four limbs, and give you ALOT of ideas to use with that ostinato at the same time.
It is a great book for working on your 4-way coordination / limb independence. Its also great for your reading skills, and musical vocabulary.
Id also like to say / mention: the "ostinatos" this book gives you to use while working on your independence against them / while using them I havent found very useful. But I am NOT saying they couldnt be useful to other people, it is just that most of them I havent worked on because I dont see a "musical" application for them. That isnt the fault of the author. I use this book with my own ostinatos instead. The entire CONCEPT of this book is great, and Im sure the "ostinatos" given in it are useful as well. For example, I might play a samba with my three limbs and "read" the melodic lines sections with my left hand and work on my independence that way. And other ways as well, but I dont generally use the ostinatos given in this book because I dont "hear" them in a musical application. That IS NOT to say they arent musical or applicable musically. IT IS a great book.
Buy it and check it out - decide for yourself. But be prepared to WORK.