Eight Essentials of Drumming

Grooves, Fundamentals, and Musicianship

"Buy Now" to view and securely purchase the available paperback / digital editions at our publishing partner Hal Leonard LLC.
  • Suggested Retail Price: $19.99
  • Format: Book/CD
  • Pages: 40
  • Dimensions: 9 x 12
  • ISBN: 0-87639-051-3
  • SKU: 50448048
  • Publication Date: January 27, 2009

Related Online Courses & Programs

Drum Set Fundamentals

Improve your overall coordination, touch, and dynamics, and gain a solid foundation in drum set performance and musicianship.

Afro-Cuban Drums

Strengthen your overall versatility as a drummer by learning the rich grooves and rhythmic concepts of Afro-Cuban music.

Funk/R&B Drums

Learn to play songs and improvise rhythms in the style of funk and R&B.

Specialist Drums Certificate Program

Successful modern drummers are versatile, creative players with a keen sense of touch, dynamics, and coordination. Focusing on rock, funk, and R&B settings, this program will advance your skills in these areas, starting with the basics of musicianship and technique and concluding with forays into advanced improvisation. Whether you aim for a smooth “in the pocket” sound like John “Jabo” Starks of the J.B.’s or a rough rock sound like Jose Pasillas of Incubus, you'll further your development as an excellent and expressive drummer who can effectively bring multiple styles to the table.

Become a well-rounded drummer with sound technique, solid time, and expressive musicianship by mastering these eight essentials: (1) ergonomics, (2) pop/rock grooves, (3) shuffles, (4) slow grooves, (5) African-based grooves, (6) jazz/swing grooves, (7) musicianship skills, and (8) rudiments.

Master drummer and educator Ron Savage presents this time-tested approach to developing core drumming technique—efficiently and completely. By mastering these eight essentials, you will be able to play in any type of rhythm section—rock, funk, jazz, swing, hip-hop, and others. These exercises and explanations will help you to fulfill the essential roles of timekeeper, backbone, and heartbeat, with rock-solid beats and sound technique.

You will learn:

  • Correct posture and hand position to maximize your endurance, flexibility, and technical facility on the drum set
  • The essential beats at the root of all styles: four-on-the-floor, shuffles, world styles, and jazz
  • To read drum notation
  • To develop your speed, power, flexibility, and overall musicality by understanding and properly applying the rudiments

“Now more than ever, we drummers are expected to possess a working knowledge of many different styles—and to play them with a killer sound and feel. Ron Savage’s book will help you achieve this goal by strengthening your fundamentals and preparing you to function in a variety of musical settings.”

—Mark Walker, Multi-GRAMMY®-winning Drummer, Composer, and Educator; Author of World Jazz Drumming (Oregon, Paquito D’Rivera, Michel Camilo and Caribbean Jazz Project)

“This book is tremendously thorough yet tremendously simple. I feel many will be able to use it to pursue a confident professional level of achievement. The original and updated approach in this book makes it relevant for just jamming with musical buddies as well. Mr. Savage’s philosophy and sincerity are also evident and should prove inspiring to new drummers wishing to start off correctly from the beginning. Can’t wait to get this book into my teaching studio. DRUMMERS UNITE!”

—Kenwood Dennard, Drummer (Jaco Pastorius, Wayne Shorter, Sting, Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, Charles Mingus, Maceo Parker)

“The incredible amount of information, knowledge, and skill required of drummers today is always expanding. 8 Essentials of Drumming is a great book for learning the fundamental things that all drummers need to know to build the necessary foundation to work in today’s music industry. The play-along material will provide you with invaluable playing experience that will make you ready to work professionally. Thank you Ron!”

—John Ramsay, Chair of the Percussion Department, Berklee College of Music


Ron Savage

Ron Savage is the chair of the Ensemble Department at Berklee College of Music. He has performed with many jazz…