The View from the Back of the Band - The Life and Music of Mel Lewis

While history holds a seemingly endless list of great drummers, any person interested in the history of jazz drumming will appreciate the life story of Mel Lewis. Having performed on a whopping 630 recordings, it's almost impossible that you've never heard his playing.

This fantastic book by Chris Smith is a heartfelt look at the life and career of the great Mel Lewis. In fact, the book itself is as wide in scope as Lewis's career; and it traverses depth comparable to Lewis's playing. It is an extremely extensive Mel Lewis biography which will leave no reader unsatisfied.

Chris Smith

Announcing Drummer List: The World's Drum Database. Are You On It?

I'm very excited to announce a new website, which I have developed with my friend Johnny Rabb.

Drummer List is the one-stop database for drummers worldwide. Register your free account and let the world know of your passion for drums! Your profile will be part of the world's ultimate list of drummers.

Drummer List isn't just for individuals. You can also register your drum company to be listed for free on the site.

Contrasting Styles of Pop Drumming

One of my favorite styles of drumming is played for pop music. While I think most pop music is very boring - and I don't listen to much of it - I love how the quality of the drumming is dictated by what would seem to be minor details. Even small variations in a drummer's playing will have a big impact on the feel they produce in the studio.


For example, we can visit the classic problem of 'ahead' 'on' and 'behind' the beat. While any professional drummer can play on any space, they each have an explicit preference in which one they use. John JR Robinson, a very prolific pop drummer over the last few decades, is adamant about playing directly on the beat. While I agree with him, personally, many drummers like QuestLove play behind the beat, and it sounds great. It's simply a matter of personal preference. Note that every professional pop drummer always plays with perfect time - regardless of where they fall in relation to the click.

Ray Luzier's Double Bass Drum Techniques: Private Lessons with Video Access Included

If you're a double bass drummer who is excited by the playing of Ray Luzier, then his new book Double Bass Drum Techniques is the book for you. Released by Hal Leonard and Musicians Institute, this book includes video access to the material online.

Ray Luzier

Independent Cymbal Rhythms

Independent Cymbal Rhythms is a new release from Hal Leonard. Written by drummer Bobby Williams, this instructional drum book will fill a gap in drum book libraries of any size.

The first thing to note is that this book isn't about patterns that a drummer would play just on the cymbals. Rather, the topic at hand is variations which can be played on the hi-hat or ride cymbal, in the context of modern grooves.

Bobby Williams

Resonant Snare Drum Head Tuning

I'm using a 6.5 x 14 Ludwig Supraphonic on my kit, and lately it's been feeling a bit flat. I can't get it to resonate the way I want it to. I can get a good 'crack' out of it. However, I don't get any of those whirling high's that I love.

After experimenting with tuning the batter snare drum head WAY up, I had almost given up. I blamed it on old heads. However, it turns out that all I needed to do was tune the resonant head higher. It was like magic!