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Start Playing Drums: A new method book designed for adults to learn to play the Paperback – July 3, 2014

4.3 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

John Lamb has a B.S. in Music, Biology and Psychology and a Masters in Education, with certificates in teaching adults and designing online education. He has also studied drumming with Bernard Purdie (Aretha Franklin, Steely Dan) and Rodney Holmes (Santana, Wayne Shorter). His previous titles include A Matter of Time: The science of rhythm and the groove. He is currently studying somatic education including the Alexander Technique and Andover Education. John teaches privately in Portland, OR and online through Skype. He has been performing the drums professionally around the U.S. and Asia since he was 15 years old. John is also a professional photographer and took most of the photos in this book.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 112 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (July 3, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1500413399
  • ISBN-13: 978-1500413392
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.3 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #389,296 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am a suburban mom brand new to playing drums and stumbled across this great book when doing a search for books about practicing. It's a really great introduction, from the *very* beginning stuff on how to set up your kit, how to hold your sticks, and moving into how to read music. The "pictonotation" is innovative and a great segue for people who can't yet read music.

What I absolutely ADORE about this book is all of the pages with the music for different beats and what songs use those beats. The author has selected a variety of songs across genres and time periods, and it really will appeal to a LOT of different tastes. It's so illuminating to realize how two songs in completely different genres have the same beat and really builds confidence in a new player. It's also fascinating to see how the same beats are used in so many songs.

I'm someone who learns very well from a book and needs to start from first principles before just sitting down and playing, so this was fantastic for me to begin my learning process (even though I also have a weekly lesson).

I deducted one star because this book needed a proofreader - so many typos, missed page references (see p 72... and then the item is not mentioned at all on that page) and sentences that just ended mid-thought. It could be a really fantastic book with just a little editing.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I decided to take up drum playing at age fifty, having never once before held a drumstick. If you would have told me that in five months I'd be reading drum notes (I didn't even know there was such a thing!) and playing along I'd have been dumbstruck. This book does a great job of teaching total novices, in a fun, non-intimidating, step-by-step manner. The "pictonotation" bridged the gap for me.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Great book for an adult beginner drummer! Loved the music examples and had my phone hooked p to speakers and beside me so I could play along. Well written, clear examples and easy to follow and build confidence. Doesn't take long to be jamming with your favorite groups/tunes. Great selection of tunes from Beatles to Stones to Talking Heads to Bob Dylan, etc. Highly recommended.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
My son went off to college and I inherited his drum set. I'm a trained musician and didn't want to bug my professional drummer friends, like Mike Clark, on the basics. So I began looking for some primer drum books to start me off and this book was excellent in providing me with an overview. The best part was there are rhythm patterns of popular rock songs that you can begin playing right away along with them. It was written where non-musicians can understand it as well. There is not one definitive drum book but this one will certainly start you off.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
When my kids were grown and I decided to learn to play drums, I tried a bunch of different books and methods, and John's is the best I've found. The book teaches drumming from all different angles-- learning to play along with music, playing basic rhythms, reading music in both staff notation as well an easy, graphically understandable way-- "here is the drum you should hit"-- and many others. He explains everything clearly and understandably, and each section is full of interesting information and applicable methodology. You can employ the book sequentially, reading and learning from front to back, or dip into it, picking any section that looks interesting and engages you. He points out that learning an instrument should be FUN: that's why it is called PLAYING. He is a very good writer and educator, making learning fun.
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Format: Paperback
I looked around at many other books, but this one really stood out to me because of the clever graphics. Lamb uses what he calls 'pictonotation' next to the regular musical notes. The way he starts with a few songs, then added one small change at a time is great. All the listening examples were really helpful, too!
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Format: Kindle Edition
Author John Lamb explains early on in this well written and well designed (gorgeous visual elements really enhance this book) book on START PLAYING DRUMS - a book designed for adults to learn to play drums, `Many adults worry that it is too late to learn -- the "old dog can't learn new tricks" syndrome. Luckily, there isn't much truth to this in music. Adults can actually learn faster than kids. The reason is simple; As adults, we are able to focus our attention and energy in ways that kids don't yet comprehend. We all do what we think will work. To meet our objectives, we all take the actions that we think will bring about a successful outcome. Nobody fails on purpose, unless the purpose is to fail. If we direct our energy towards a greater understanding then we can make the time you spend learning much more effective. Besides, the real point of playing music is to be yourself and to have fun. It doesn't take endless hours of study to have fun.

In this brief but thorough book he takes us through an exploration of how to use this book, Setting up the drums, Notation, The fundamentals, Getting to the Groove, Basic technique, Variations , Song forms, Fills, Practice method, Practice tips, Playing with a band, and Reading staff notation.

Lamb writes in a way that he wants us to understand his message - a technique sorely missing in other books that attempt to explain the magic of understanding the foundations of music. Lamb comes to this shared experience with a bachelor's degree in Music, Biology and Psychology and a Masters in Education focused on teaching rhythm. He is not only a teacher but he also has studied drumming and performs widely from his home location in Portland, Oregon. And, yes, he is a professional photographer which explains why the many beautiful images in this book are so additive.

Think you can't learn to drum? Think again - and have a LOT of fun in the process! Another really fine book from John Lamb. Grady Harp, July 14
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