MIAMI, Fla. Frank Zappa once said, "If you compare rhythm to mathematics, most people never go beyond plus, minus, multiply, and divide." Rhythmic Perspectives, a new music book / CD from Warner Bros. Publications, is the essential source for drummers wanting to take their technique far beyond rhythm basics.
Written by the internationally acclaimed drummer Gavin Harrison, Rhythmic Perspectives is intended for the experienced percussionist. The book is truly a multi-dimensional study of rhythm, and is a follow-up to his best-selling first book Rhythmic Illusions, best drum book of the year in the 2000 Modern Drummer Reader Poll. Both books' challenging and well-organized exercises are intended to push the experienced drummer into new ways of looking at the very concepts of rhythmic structure and composition.
"Some books are meant to be accepted quickly and then cast aside for the next book. In this case, I think I would want to read and absorb what I could and then go back and check out that chapter because of the richness of the information it harbors," the legendary drummer Billy Cobham writes of Rhythmic Perspectives in the book's preface.
This is not a "chops-building" book. Very few stickings or dynamic markings can be found on its pages. There is no advice on subjects like how to sit at drums and hold sticks. Instead, this is a serious theory book, intended to encourage drummers to push the boundaries of rhythmic composition.
"Gavin increases the creative options open to drummers by expanding their rhythmic perspective," said Ray Brych, percussion manager at Warner Bros. Publications. "This book takes you places where most methods fear to tread. For example, Gavin will put together four polyrhythmic groupings at the same time, then look at them from up to four different angles. His exercises will have you approach the same rhythm from a different perspective by changing the focus of your attention from one element such as the hi-hat to another like the snare drum."
In many respects, the lessons and exercises in Rhythmic Perspectives seem designed to open new circuits in the central nervous system, awakening dormant brain cells so the drummer is able to do things rhythmically that he or she never thought of before.
The book also includes exercises in "rhythmic fragmentation," an advanced displacement idea that can lead to an almost limitless tool for generating and recycling grooves. Ultimately, the exercise shows drummers that they can "edit" rhythmic fragments to create new patterns. Other exercises in the book include: "Modulating Inside Formulas and Spacings," "Polyrhythmic Theory," "Multi Dimensional Perspectives," as well as enlightening discussions on "Playing with Clicks," "Methods of Judging Yourself," and "Suggested Practicing Methods."
Expanding their rhythmic horizons should help drummers approach their instrument with greater confidence. This in turn should give them better grooves, improved timing, more inspired fills, and a stronger ability to focus on the placement of syncopation.
Gavin Harrison has toured with artists like Lisa Stansfield, Paul Young, Level 42, Incognito, Iggy Pop, Dave Stewart, Claudio Baglioni and more. His writings on drumming and percussive techniques are widely read in Europe and the United States.
Rhythmic Perspectives, book and CD, retails for a suggested $24.95.
For more information visit the company’s website at: www.warnerbrospublications.com.
Warner Bros. Publications is a Warner Music Group Company, a division of Time Warner.