"Your ability to learn is increased in an immeasurable way by learning to read and write rhythmic notation."

Pillar #2: Reading – Mastering Drum Notation: The Key to Reading Rhythms in Drumming

Reading is the written language of music and of drumming. It’s critical for understanding and learning efficiently. Using the analogy of spoken languages, when you hear someone play the drums, you can think of what you hear as that person “speaking” through the drum set. Anything that you hear that person play can be written down on paper and read by someone who knows this language. Having the knowledge to read and write “drumming” in this way is immensely powerful. Your ability to learn is increased in an immeasurable way by learning to read and write rhythmic notation. As an example, a quick search on Amazon.com brought up more than 9,000 books of music for drumming. That’s a lot of knowledge you’ll have access to if you can read rhythmic notation.

Consider this. Some people will point to reading and argue against it as vital to drumming success because there are a few great drummers who are known to have no reading ability. Two of those are Buddy Rich and Dennis Chambers. To those people I say, “These are extraordinary drummers; two of the best of all time. Are you going to justify not learning to read by comparing yourself to these two drummers?” That’s a deeply flawed argument. I think reading is so important that I refuse to teach anyone unwilling to learn it. Imagine if you wanted to learn English and attended a class but refused to learn how to read or write.

Firstly, there is no logical reason to avoid learning it. It doesn’t make any sense. Secondly, your English teacher would kick you out of class! Much like improvisation, learning how to read music has a reputation for being difficult but it really isn’t. In the world of drumming, reading music is easier than reading music for melodic instruments. That’s because the lines and spaces on the staff relate to actual, physical drums and cymbals that you can touch. When learning to read music for melodic instruments, you have an additional association to deal with: tones and keys like A, B, C, etc. 

That’s the good news. Reading music for drums isn’t that hard. It just takes the proper guidance and some practice and study on your part. And, if you’re looking for that guidance… The Pro-Sounding Drum Fills for Beginners course you now own includes a bonus reading mini course: Reading Rhythmic Notation. This course will teach you, from the very beginning, how to read drum music. You’ll go from learning the very basics all the way up to 16th notes. And we go deep with 16th notes. You’ll learn every possible figure that exists within the 16th note grid. If you already own the course, go to the section called: Reading Rhythmic Notation. If you got this book from a friend, you can sign up to get access to the full ProSounding Drum Fills for Beginners course which will give you access to the reading bonus course too. 

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