Advanced Drumming Coordination


Coordination behind the drum set is one of the biggest challenges that we face as drummers. After all, coordination is the foundation of everything that we do behind the instrument. This book presents a comprehensive method that helps you to develop a high level of coordination. Each chapter guides you through a systematic process that you can utilize to develop any idea – from beginning to advanced – and gain control over it behind the kit. Once you understand the process, you will be able to apply it to your own ideas and open the door to the endless world of possibilities.

Beginners should keep walking, but advanced players will find much to challenge themselves with here.

Los Angeles–based educator Ray Rojo’s new book on four-way independence isn’t the first tome to tackle the subject, but in his introduction, he writes about his intention to shift students’ perspective from “independent limbs” to “limbs playing different rhythms together.” This is key, because unlike many other texts, Advanced Drumming Coordination simplifies the examples by primarily using a two-line staff that cleans up the relationship between your hands and feet and is generally easier to read.

Here, though, “easier” is relative, and you’re thrust early on into 15/8 and 21/8 time signatures and breaking up limbs into different patterns. The book continues into polyrhythms and moves into chapters on improvising over ostinatos, and single-limbed and two-limbed soloing. So it’s simultaneously a coordination book and a book that’s good for sight-reading practice. And with chapters like “Different Subdivisions of Nested Tuplets,” this is certainly not for beginners, and you can spend years on just a couple of its pages.

As always with books covering complex drumming concepts, the object is for students to use the material as a springboard, develop their own voice, and be musical on the kit. Rojo’s book should prove a welcome and challenging addition to any advanced player’s library. ( ~ Ilya Stemkovsky

When it comes to drum set coordination and four-limb independence, the possibilities are almost endless. This makes it hard to get a grip and start improving on that topic. In this book Ray provides a great method, which leads you through different concepts and aspects of four-way independence. This book is about building a solid and strong foundation that enables you to explore and master more progressive territories, as there are tons of progressive concepts throughout the book. It also motivates and trains your creative side as you can use the given framework to work on your personal ideas and develop your own voice as an artist. In the end this is the most important part to me – “developing a musical voice” on the instrument and NOT playing exercises while playing music. However, it will take time, focus and patience to reach this ultimate goal. Take your time and go slowly through all of these exercises. Keep in mind that it is the quality and articulation of the execution that matters the most. With careful and ongoing application, results will follow.