Posts tagged books
Five Things #56

Every Wednesday I share five things I've liked and think you might like too. Here are this week’s Five Things…

  1. Channel 4 has a new series called The Trial. The idea behind the show is rather clever: "In a pioneering series that reveals the inner workings of the legal system, a fictional murder case is tried in a real court, by eminent legal professionals and a jury of 12 members of the public". I really liked the first episode so will most probably watch the rest of the series.
  2. Drummer's have their quirks, and so it appears do drum books. Drumset = You is an entertaining look at the eccentricities contained within the pages of drum method books. This quote was the highlight for me: "A tree has an organic shape, and I can play that shape on the drums. I can play like a bear moving, like a bird flying, or like children rolling in the grass " — erm what?!
  3. This is pretty cool: "The Autocanonizer ... takes any song and tries to make a canon out of it". Some songs work better than others, but my favourite is the autocanonized version of Over The Rainbow by Israel Kamakawiwo'ole
  4. I'm currently reading Creating Freedom by Raoul Martinez. It's a powerful, thought provoking book that explores the notion of freedom and how "We are far less free than we like to think." It's currently free on Kindle, I recommend you download a copy.
  5. This week's musical recommendation is Disparate Youth by Santigold and it's a teensy bit different from previous week's picks. I'm not really sure how best to describe the song, except that it has a great drum beat and that it's a good song to listen to now the sun is out! Have a listen and see what you think.

That's all for this week. If you enjoyed it, subscribe and you'll get the next one delivered to your inbox.

Five Things #42

Every Wednesday I share five things I liked and think you might like too. Here are this week’s Five Things…

  1. I just finished reading John Seabrook's fantastic book The Song Machine. It explores the evolution of popular music, how chart-topping songs are written (or manufactured…) and how the music industry tries its very best to guarantee hits. A pretty mind blowing book, essential reading for musicians and music fans.
  2. I’ve recently been enjoying The Guardian’s Audio Long Reads podcast (I prefer to read long-reads with my ears wherever possible). A recent episode, The Spy Who Couldn’t Spell (an extract from a book of the same name), tells the true story of Brian Regan and how his plot to sell American secrets was foiled by the FBI. It’s a fascinating story. (Here’s the non-audio version of the piece).
  3. Here’s a video of Bruce Springsteen working out (with help from his band) how best to play You Never Can Tell live on stage. Great musicianship and great to watch!

  4. “When you can’t create you can work” — Henry Miller’s 11 Commandments of Writing and His Daily Creative Routine

  5. On Monday evening I saw the film Lion. It featured one of my favourite pieces of music, Atomos VII by A Winged Victory For The Sullen. The whole soundtrack was great but I love that song! If you get a chance to see Lion, I’d recommend it, just be ready to shed a few tears…

That's all for this week. If you enjoyed it, sign up to receive future posts or check out my previous Five Things posts.

Five Things #40

Every Wednesday I share five things I liked and think you might like too. Here are this week’s Five Things…

  1. Nobel winning physicist Richard Feynman's simple formula for learning anything. (If you haven't read it, I highly recommend his book "Surely You're Joking Mr Feynman". It's one of my favourite books. He was a fascinating, brilliant and hilarious guy.)

  2. Our brains are weird and have the unfortunate habit of playing tricks on us. This is a particular problem when it comes to being unbiased and impartial. Our brains are great at highlighting evidence that confirms our beliefs whilst ignoring the evidence that contradicts it. This is called confirmation bias — How to get people to overcome their bias

  3. This is such a clever idea! "Rogue One editor Colin Goudie shares how he made a full-length story reel for director Gareth Edwards from similar scenes from 100s of other movies so that Edwards could work out the pacing for the action and dialogue." — Rogue One’s unique storyboard, remixed from 100s of films

  4. I'm sharing this for no other reason than it made me smile. Even though this Useless Box is clearly useless, part of me wants one...

  5. One of my favourite musical discoveries of 2016 — Nocturne 4 by Ben Lukas Boysen

That’s all for this week. If you enjoyed it, sign up to receive the next Five Things in your inbox.

Five things #22

Every Wednesday I share five things I liked and think you might like too. Here are this week’s five things…

  1. "If you can learn it, it's a skill. If it's important, but innate, it's a talent." The difference between what is a skill and what is a talent is often lost or confused. As Seth Godin succinctly explains here, there is a difference and it's an important one.
  2. The idea of being too inspired, isn't one you probably entertain too often. But seeking out inspiration versus actually doing original work is a fine balance. This is a great post on the topic by Jason Fried — "Don’t be influenced too much. Be aware of what’s great, but don’t get other people’s work too deep in your head or you’ll be doing their work, not yours."
  3. Much to the annoyance of my brother I've watched this several times. — Monty Python’s Argument Sketch performed by two vintage speech synthesizers.
  4. This year I've really embraced the idea of sharing more of my work and ideas for free (here's one example of that). There are obviously pros and cons associate with this, but for me, I think the upsides far outweigh the downsides. Using photography as an example, these articles both make a great case for sharing more, rather than less.
  5. Earlier this week I finished reading Sam Harris' book Free Will. It's a mind blowing book and I highly recommend it. The audiobook read by Sam is particularly good.

That's all for this week. If you liked this, check out my previous Five Things posts or sign up to receive future posts in your inbox.

Drum Book Recommendations (2016 edition)

I recently bought Jost Nickel's Groove Book. It's a really great drum book that I'd not heard of before. And as I wanted to share this recommendation with you, I decided to compile a list of my other favourite drum books. 

So here are my top five. In no particular order.

  1. Jost Nickel's Groove Book — Jost Nickel
    Full of great ideas for developing new grooves. I'll be using this one a lot in my own practice and teaching. I can't recommend it enough.
  2. Stick Control For The Snare Drummer - George Lawrence Stone
    The classic. It's in pretty much every list of top drum books and for good reason. Useful for beginners through to advanced players, its application on the drum kit is endless.
  3. The Language Of Drumming Book - Benny Greb
    Benny Greb is one of my favourite drummers and I use his book a lot in my teaching. An excellent book for beginner to intermediate drummers who are trying to up their game.
  4. Odd Time Sticking - Gary Chaffee
    This book isn't going to be much use to a beginner, but for intermediate and advanced drummers it's a source of great ideas, especially when it comes to soloing. Gary Chaffee has a number of other books which are all equally good.
  5. Future Sounds - David Garibaldi
    Another recommendation for more advanced players. Full of intricate linear grooves, with a focus on developing dynamics and control in groove playing.

I hope you find the recommendations useful. If you have any recommendations for me, let me know in the comments!

UPDATE: Since writing this post I've bought a lot more drum books so I've written a more comprehensive and updated list here.