- Perfect Paperback: 96 pages
- Publisher: Hal Leonard Corporation; Pap/MP3 edition (1 January 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1458422291
- ISBN-13: 978-1458422293
- Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 0.8 x 30.5 cm
- Average Customer Review: 1 customer review
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #3,66,255 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Benny Greb - The Language of Drumming: A System for Musical Expression Perfect Paperback – Import, 1 Jan 2012
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Top customer reviews
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Benny sub-titled the book "A System for Musical Expression" and that's exactly what it delivers. This is an extremely well thought out system and is presented very clearly.
One of the features I really like is the visual representation of the "Rhythmic Alphabet" found on page 9 (the DVD, which I also own, has a reference poster that is extremely handy for us visual thinkers!!!). The Rhythmic Alphabet is a great mental model that helps you start playing right away rather than getting hung up on the notes (i.e easier to hear what your playing rather than thinking about the notes). Although there is plenty of standard notation for the exercises it is supported by the Rhythmic Alphabet - so don't fret if your readings skills aren't superior/ uber stong, you will be able to function in this system.
I found that this method (of permutation) is much more approachable than something like "New Breed." I think this is due to the fact that you will go through exercises that really help you to understand note values and placement - then the permutation allows you to musically place the notes any where, any place, any time - because it is easier to focus on the listening or sound results you are producing rather than struggling with Ex. #24 or #78 (that is not likely to be very useful to you in a real playing situation). Let me just restate/emphasize that I think this system really encourages better self-listening that is ultimately more musical than mathmatical.
The book comes with a compendium CD that is helpful as well. There is one section that has a call and response based on the "Rhythmic Alphabet" that is a nice little challenge (can help develop your musical ears and thus repond in a live muscal settings).
The system is worth exploring, Benny presents multiple ways to use the system, which can easily be expanded upon - just fire-up your imagination (Benny certainly helps jumpstart it). Also worth noting the DVD - I bought the DVD first, then the book. I don't feel I wasted my money with both products and the book really pushed me to really start "formally" using the system. The DVD goes through the system and has performance clips to show how the system is applied in the real world (great for the visual and audio learners). Link for DVD: Benny Greb The Language of Drumming
This book is VERY "technique" oriented. By that I do not mean it tells you "how to hold your drum sticks", I mean that it has you working on ALOT of technically / theoretically minded exercises.
Triplets: play them alternating (hand to hand), then play them using double strokes (doubling their note value), then picking ONE of the three individual triplets and play that one as an accent, then go through all three that way, then that one accented triplet play as a single noted accent and all others doubles, etc... these are only a FEW of MANY MANY MANY ways to approach triplets. This approach is applied to grooves (drum beats), and fills through out the book.
When working on "grooves" (briefly stated here) they are approached as ostinatos, and independence is achieved through dif exercises using those ostinatos. Benny Greb goes very in depth with this concept / approach. Again, very useful, to the point, and musical way of practicing. Alot of "cool" and useful ideas. It will definitely open up your creativity as well.
Benny Greb gives you a logical, practical, USEFUL system for playing the drum set in any style... the styles of music YOU chose to play is up to you and is based on your musical listening choices (my analogy not Benny Grebs). But if you dont listen to Jazz for example, youll NEVER play Jazz (authentically) like a Jazz musician. So what you chose to play stylistically is up to you, but this book will gives you an arsenal of useful tools to apply to ANY musical situation.
This book goes on and on with useful and musical ways to practice. The goal being to have enough technique to play whatever YOU hear internally and then execute YOUR IDEAS at will (spontaneously).
My "Examples" above were a VERY BRIEF synopsis of how this book works, and Im not really doing Benny Greb justice here, just giving you an IDEA of what it is all about. Again, my review is only giving you an idea of how this book/cd package works.
One thing NOT covered in this book is double bass... but then again I havent worked through it entirely (yet) so perhaps that might be covered, but I dont think Benny is a double basser off hand.
I hope my review gives you an idea and helps you decide. Please feel free to leave questions and Ill try to answer as best I can.
good luck and happy practicing!
There is a mountain of info to go through which if done correctly could take years to get a handle on.
An excellent book & DVD.