The Complete Idiot's Guide to
Corrections and Clarifications
As happens with any printed work, a few errors slipped
into the initial printings of The Complete Idiot's Guide to
Playing Drums. The
errors in the first edition have
all been corrected in the second edition. The errors in the second
edition will be corrected in subsequent printings.
This page lists all the mistakes or confusing passages
I know about. If you happen to come across any other
errors or confusing sections, please feel free to email me
I appreciate your feedback!
the Second Edition
Chapter 9, p. 97, Exercise
9.14: On the third downbeat of each measure, the count (wording above
the notes) incorrectly defines the beat as silent. This is wrong; the third
beat should be counted (and played) in both measures of the exercise.
George Lawrence (www.drumguru.com)
informs me that my old 1970s Polaris drumset was actually made by
Pearl--back in their "pre-quality" days. I didn't know
Chapter 2, p. 18 & p.
41: Ludwig's Rocker Pro series has been renamed the Classic
Birch series. The same specs and prices apply.
Chapter 5, p. 58: Some
manufacturers recommend against using Comet and other cleansers on
your cymbals, as the chemicals can be so abrasive as to actually
damage the ridges on the cymbal.
Chapter 5, p. 61: Different
types of drumheads from different manufacturers can be very
confusing. (In fact, I was so confused that I said that Remo
Emperors were single-ply heads; they're not, they're double-ply.)
So here's a slightly different way to categorize the various head
types, that hopefully is a little more useful:
Single-ply thin. With a single-ply
head, there is only one layer of Mylar. The very thinnest heads, such as
Remo Diplomats, are best suited for bottom-only use--they're extra resonant,
but not very durable.
heads have a sharp attack and a good amount of ring, but they aren't as
durable as double-play heads if you're playing really loud and hard.
Single-ply heads, such as Remo Ambassadors and Evans G1s, are good all-around
heads, and are preferred for most recording and close-miked situations.
Double-ply. Double-ply heads,
such as Remo Emperors and Evans G2s, have two layers of Mylar. This thicker construction
makes them dryer (less ring), diminishes the attack, and also makes them
more durable--which is important to hard rock drummers.
Muffled. These are heavier heads that produce a more mellow sound with less
sustain, typically due to some sort of muffling device
built-into the head. These
heads, such as Remo Pinstripes or Evans Genera HD snare batters,
are very dry sounding, with very little--if any--ring.
Hydraulic. These heads,
which place a
thin layer of oil between two layers of plastic, are the fattest, "thumpiest"
heads available, and they're also extremely durable. If you like this sound,
check out Evans Hydraulic models; this company made its reputation
manufacturing high-quality hydraulic heads.
I also have a much greater
appreciation for coated heads, and how they can take the
"edge" off a very harsh or ringy tom. Coated heads give
a slightly "rounder" sound that can really make a big
difference in a lot of playing situations. (I recently switched
from clear Remo Ambassadors on my toms to coated Evans G1s--and
the difference in warmth and "roundness" is
Chapter 5, p. 67: The use of
felt strips for muffling is dismissed as outdated by some modern
drummers. It was a popular method in the 60s and 70s, and many of
today's drummers feel that the felt strip interferes with the
seating of the head to the drum's bearing edge, and thus makes the
drum slightly more difficult to tune. I don't necessarily agree
with this, although I no longer use felt strips, myself. (I find
that muffling can be better controlled by a careful head choice.)
Note, however, that some drum manufacturers still ship bass drums
with either felt-strip muffling or a small hole in the resonant
head. So, as with all things drumming--you be the judge!
Chapter 6, p. 77: Another
great studio drummer who should be mentioned is the late Gary
Chester. Gary was kind of the New York version of Hal
Blaine, playing on tons and tons of classic pop tracks,
including hits by the Angels ("My Boyfriend's Back"),
the Archies ("Sugar, Sugar"), Burt Bacharach
("Promises, Promises"), the Chiffons ("He's So
Fine"), Petula Clark ("Downtown"), the Cookies
("Chains"), Jim Croce ("Time in a Bottle"),
Jackie DeShannon ("What the World Needs Now"), the
Drifters ("Up on the Roof," "Under the
Boardwalk"), the Exciters ("Tell Him"), the Isley
Brothers ("Twist and Shout"), Ben E. King ("Spanish
Harlem"), Curtis Lee ("Angel Eyes"), Little Eva
("Locomotion"), Laura Nyro (New York Tendaberry),
Neil Sedaka ("Calendar Girl," "Breaking Up is Hard
to Do"), the Shirelles ("Will You Still Love Me
Tomorrow"), Bobby Vinton ("Blue Velvet,"
"Roses Are Red"), and the great Dionne Warwick
("Walk On By," "Do You Know the Way to San
Jose," "I'll Never Fall in Love Again," "Say a
Little Prayer," and many, many more). Gary was also a master
educator, and his book The New Breed is a must-have
instruction book for any serious drummer. When talking about the
great studio drummers, Gary Chester deserves a place near the top
of the list.
Chapter 7, p. 83: It's Roger
Hawkins, not Richard.
Chapter 13, p. 145 (plus
the tear-out card in the front of the book): Traditional sticking
for the single drag alternates between LLRL and RRLR.
The LLRL LLRL sticking in the book is an alternative
Chapter 23, p. 224: The
"uncredited drummer" on Petula Clark's
"Downtown" is none other than the late, great, New York
session ace, Gary Chester.
Appendix D, p. 254: As can be expected when
dealing with Web sites, several links have changed since the original printing
of the book.
If you happen to come across any other
errors or confusing sections in the book, please feel free to email me
I appreciate your feedback!