Here’s a confession, I love books.

Sure, drumming is an active hobby that requires actual hours clocked on the drum kit to improve efficiently.

But hey, as the saying goes; “you don’t know what you don’t know“.

You could be practicing on the drums for years without ever realizing that you’re missing a key technique that’s been limiting your growth as a drummer!

Hence in my opinion, books (on top of YouTube and Reddit) are a good avenue to discover what I don’t know.

Drum Books for Beginners

Here are some of the drumming books that I’ve found useful. And hopefully you’ll find them useful as well.

A Fresh Approach to the Snare drum by Mark Wessels

Fresh Approach to Snare Drum

This is a widely recommended book for drummers.

The content structure is well thought out, so a drummer of any level can pick it up and still learn something new.

In my opinion, it is THE resource that every beginner self-taught drummer must own. If you are totally new to music and drumming, you will find this especially useful because you’ll probably find the answer to any question you have about the fundamentals of drumming in here.

In fact it may prove to be even more useful than the popular drumming book; “Stick Control for Snare Drummers“.

I love that the lessons are crafted in a way that allow any beginner to learn to drum in a systematic manner. Lessons start off by focusing on the fundamentals and build off each other as you move through the book.

If you are an intermediate or even advanced drummer, you might want to look through the contents and skip to lessons designed to help you improve on different aspects of your drumming.

What to expect in the book

  • Fundamentals of music

You can expect to master the key fundamentals of music such as time signatures, music chord reading and more with this book.

If you are new to music and drumming, you’ll find the section on the fundamentals of music very useful.

  • In-depth introduction to the Snare drum

The first issue you’ll face when you get your own drums is, tuning.

Mark Wessels explains how you should be tuning your snare drum properly.


Video by Vic Firth

  • How to hold your drumsticks

With your drum set good to go, your next question would be “how do I hold my drum sticks?”.

There are 3 common drumsticks gripping techniques.

You’ll find everything you need in this book to start drum efficiently with the different types of grip.

  • Strong Focus on Rudiments

Through the lessons outlined by Mark in the book, you’ll get intimate and familiar with the drum rudiments.

You’ll definitely find the accompanying videos he produced with Vic Firth very useful in clarifying each of the lesson in the book.


Video by Vic Firth

  • Practical drum exercises

Mark breaks down the rudiments and how they work very clearly. He also provides effective drum exercises that will help you master them.

On top of those, he provides warm up drum exercises into his syllabus.

I also love that he has thoughtfully inserted exercises that will help improve your timing, just when you’re ready.

As the book focuses on drum exercises for the snare drum, you’ll find that you can use the very same exercises on your practice pad at home as well.

On top of the instructional content in the book, you also get:

  • 1 instructional CD with MP3 that accompany the lessons
  • Vic Firth’s rudiment poster
  • Useful video lessons that complement the book

Bonus

The book is so popular that Vic Firth has worked with the author, Mark Wessels to come up with a series of video tutorials. So now, you get video bonuses when you purchase the book too~

You can find ‘A Fresh Approach to the Snare Drum’ at:

If you’re not sure if it’s suitable for you, Mark Wessels Publications provides a PDF sampler that you can download too!

 

Stick Control for Snare Drummers by George Lawrence Stone

stick-control-for-drummers

If you had asked any drummer for learning resources and recommendations, you would definitely have heard of this book.

It was written in 1985 and remains highly sought after today.

What to expect in the book

  • Stick Exercises

What you’ll find in ‘Stick Control for Snare Drummers’ are tons of no frills drum practice.

There are only 2 pages of introduction before it jumps straight into 50+ pages of stick exercises listed to help you build the muscle memory that every drummer needs.


Video by Matt Patella

Regardless of your music genre, practicing the exercises in this book will give you a strong foundation to drumming.

You’ll find that the muscle memory you build up over time will come in useful especially when you need to perform riffs or solos.

All these exercises can also be practiced on a drum practice pad, which is great for aspiring drummers who have yet to purchase their own snare drum or drum set.

If you ever feel like you’ve reached a plateau in your drumming journey, refer to this book.

You’ll definitely find a practice set that will help you improve.

You can a copy of ‘Stick Control for the Snare Drummer’ at:

 

The Drum Rudiment Bible by D. Mark Agostinelli

The Drum Rudiment Bible

In 2010, Agostinelli decided to compile a go-to book for drummers and this became what he calls the ‘drum rudiment bible’.

And well, it’s been adequately named the ‘bible’ in my opinion.

What to expect in the book

  • Drum Rudiment Exercises

You’ll find over 500 drum rudiments in this gigantic book.

If you ever find yourself bored with your practice and need something to spice up your drumming sessions, just flip through the Drum Rudiment Bible for some inspiration.

Exploring and practicing these rudiments will ensure that you’ll develop your repertoire of drum fills as well.

You can find The Drum Rudiment Bible on:

 

4 Way Coordination by Marvin Dahlgren and Elliot Fine

4way coordination

The books listed above are highly focused on stick control. They will help you to develop your hand skills.

Once you’ve developed competent stick control, its time to start working the next essential skill set that every drummer needs to develop; ‘limb independence’.

Dahlgren and Fine developed a training system that aims to help you develop complete independence on the drum set, giving you the confidence and skills to play faster and with more creativity.

What to expect in the book

  • Structured training system

Broken down into 8 major segments, drummers who struggle with hand and leg coordination on the drum kit will find the exercises in this book very useful.

Each segment builds on the previous allowing you to develop coordination and independence across your limbs, and at different time signatures.

Personally, I’ve found the complete independence training at different time signature very useful.

You’ll build muscle memory along with the ability to keep time.

On top of that, as you progress along these exercises, you’ll start to notice that odd time signatures are not as intimidating as they use to be.

If you jam with a band, they’ll definitely notice the improvement in your timing and confidence.

  • Practical exercises

It isn’t all talk and no practice.

Afterall, you’ll need to spend time on the drum kit to develop your drumming skills.

You’ll find practical drumming exercises at each stage of the training system in the 4-way coordination book.

You can grab a copy of ‘4-Way Coordination’ at:

Tradition of Excellence Book 1 – Percussion by Bruce Pearson and Ryan Nowlin

tradition of excellence

This book is rather advanced.

Although there are useful tidbits inside, it may not be suitable for most hobby drummers.

The ‘Tradition of Excellence’ series by Person and Nowlin is a full curriculum created for music educators to impart the skills of playing in a orchestra band.

There are five books in the series, one of them focuses on Percussion.

You will find useful information for drummers who want to transition from a hobbyist to a gigging drummer.

What to expect in the book


Video by Kjos Music Publishing

In it, you can expect to pick up advance music theory as well as specific lessons on sight reading, rhythm studies, playing chops, and more.

As a reminder, this book is really for advanced drummers.

It focuses (a tad too much) on music theory as well as essential skills to playing in an orchestral.

However, if you’ve hit a plateau and can’t seem to break the barrier, this might come in handy.

Along with the book, you will also get:

  • 1 DVD with complementary video lessons, accompaniment audio tracks, downloadable lessons and forms

You can probably still get a copy of the ‘Tradition of Excellence Book 1 – Percussion’ at:

 

Conclusion

There you have it!

The drum books that I think every drum beginner should own, and most importantly put to practice.

Let me know if there are drum books that you think should be on this list 🙂

By the way, these are affiliate links so I get a little tip if you buy using these links. You will not be charged extra.

Book depository provides free shipping on books, so I prefer to shop for book there.

However, some classics are just not available there.

You’ll probably find used ones on Amazon instead:


 

Free Resources

And oh before you go, we have shared our drumming practices previously, you can read and bookmark them here:

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