Life,Billy and the Pursuit Of
For thirty years, Liberty DeVitto was the driving force behind one of the biggest pop artists of all time. With his intense drive, endless creativity, and New York swagger, Liberty created the grooves for 13 platinum Billy Joel albums that have sold over 150 million copies, and wrote and performed the drum parts on 22 of Billy’s 23 top-40 hits and all of his 6 Grammy-winning recordings. He toured the world multiple times as one of the most well-known drummers of his era.
The amazing success did not come without a price. This is Liberty’s story: a tale of an Italian-American kid who followed his dream and attained unimaginable success, only to see it crumble before his eyes, and ultimately experience a rebirth after passing through the fire of broken relationships, divorce, substance abuse, the death of a brother and a bandmate—and the pain of losing the persona the world knew as “Billy Joel’s drummer.”
In this compelling memoir, Liberty takes you back to his immigrant roots and ultimate settling on Long Island, a place he recounts in warm detail. He then traces a musician’s journey: early childhood bands, a rise through the local club scene, wedding bands, building a career, his first tours, and then a juggernaut of success, excess, and stardom with Billy Joel.
The making of each of Billy’s albums is recounted in detail, with specific memories from the recording sessions of every song on every album from Turnstiles through Storm Front. Liberty then shares stories from the production and tour for River of Dreams and the end of his tenure with Billy.
Liberty is a tale of following and fulfilling your dream, a love story of a drummer and his drum, and an inside look at the music and career of Billy Joel.
The Art of eDrumming
The Art of eDrumming – Sebastian ‘Bid’ Beresford
In July of this year I came across this book and prior to this, I had carried out some research on electronic drumming and Sebastian’s name kept popping up so it was obvious, he was the one to contact about this subject.
I think I’m not alone but many drummers today are still a little sceptical about eDrums and understanding the terms and technology involved, this is where The Art of eDrumming comes in and the way Sebastian breaks down the myth and at times complex technology.
On the one had the ‘ tech guy ‘ will state always read the manual that’s fine but most manuals I have read are at times complicated and don’t take into consideration not everyone is a wiz at this plus the time factor, round the houses and back!
The book consists of 41 well-described chapters from the very beginnings of eDrums, understanding your module, using samples, computers, Ableton Live that is a software musical sequencer and DAW’s to subjects like: side-chaining live and EboSuite.
As mentioned where this book really comes into it’s own is the way Sebastian EXPLAINS EACH SUBJECT clearly and with authority. Each chapter has it’s own QR code for each subject, just hold your camera app over the QR and the web link for a video to appear.
This book is indispensable to the drummer who is soul searching as to how electronic drums and sampling interact without spending hours understanding one subject and then having to Google for more information, it is a very interesting book on how to combine technology with an acoustic kit, I would go so far as to say any serious teacher or student should has this book in his/her library.
The Progressive Rhythm Method
This book by Dean Stevens contains six advanced play-along tracks for drummers. It is an exercise in reading charts in multiple time signatures, with complex tempo changes, involving superimposed rhythmic changes.
The Book: The Progressive Rhythm Method contains six original, play-along tracks for advanced drummers. It is an exercise in reading transcriptions in multiple time signatures, with complex tempo changes and superimposed rhythmic patterns.
The Music: All of the original compositions found in this book (totalling 45 minutes running time) have been specifically written for post-graduate standard drummers and have been approved for qualifications such as the Trinity College London FTCL Masters diploma.
Each track features a note by note transcription, full track with drums, play-along with click track and many supporting exercise pages. Many styles of music can be found in each track from Rock to Jazz and a great deal in-between.
Tempo and Feel Change Preparation: A common technique used in progressive music, which facilitates tempo and feel changes, involves superimposing one rhythm over another during the bars leading up to the required change. This concept is used throughout this book.
Timeless Drum Books
I have compiled a short list with the assistance of information gathered from several sources, internet research, drum teachers, drummers and music colleges. I have had the pleasure to interview some of the author’s to explain how their books began and the concepts behind them.
Stick Control for the Modern Drummer – George Lawrence Stone
Master Studies – Joe Morello
Progressive Steps to Syncopation for the Modern Drummer – Ted Reed
New Breed – Gary Chester
Future Sounds - David Garibaldi
I always wanted to be a teacher as well as a player, and I’ve idolized my favorite teachers in the same way I’ve idolized my favorite drummers.
The original manuscript for Future Sounds was much larger and encompasses everything I thought about the drums. When I took it to Sandy Feldstein at Alfred Publishing, he loved the ideas but said I needed a subject. I’m thinking, “what!? The subject is the drums!”...he went on to explain that a great drum book has a focused subject and that I can save the rest for another book or books. He gave me a couple weeks to come up with something. I went home and racked my brain for something and finally it hit me that the whole focus of my playing was beats, HH, SD and BD. To me those are basic drum set components that I was trying to master, so there was my subject. I went back to him and from there we started working. The book was never designed to be any progression from A to Z, but more a presentation of the basic concepts I use in beat making and a presentation of ideas. of ideas
Advanced Funk Studies – Rick Latham
Art of Bop Drumming – John Riley
The Art of Bop Drumming was written at the suggestion of a student named Dan Thress. At that time Dan was working at the Drummer’s Collective and they has just begun making videos and books from those videos. I assisted with about 20 for those books by proofreading or transcribing.
Dan liked our lessons and suggested that there wasn’t a book like my teaching and he suggested that if I wrote a book he would propose it the Rob Wallis and Paul Seigel, the principals at the Collective.
My original manuscript included all of the Art of Bop and all of Beyond Bop Drumming plus a large section on chart reading but Dan and I soon realized that the book needed to be pared down so I focus on the Art of Bop first. Needless to say, the chart reading book never came out because of the expense of recording an entire big band.
The Art of Bop Drumming has been embraced by drummers around the world in a way that is much more than I could ever anticipate. It’s currently in print in Japanese, Korean, French and Italian. Beyond Bop is also in print in several languages. I am so honoured and flattered that so many players, of all levels and not just drummers, have found the books of value to them. Thank you all and keep swinging.
Bass Drum Control – Colin Bailey
Bass Drum Control is a kind of good story. While I was still in SF in 1962, I came up with my BD Technique by accident when I was practicing one day. I moved to LA in Jan of 1963 and I was playing with Victor Feldman in Hollywood, and some of the LA Drummers were coming to hear me play with Victor, and by then I had my BD technique down to where I could use in soloing on the gig, and they were going to Pro Drum (Hollywood Drum Shop) and saying to Bob Yeager the owner, and saying have you heard the new kid in town he’s got a great BD technique. So Bob said to me, why don’t you write a book for the Hands and the right foot, so I did, and that’s how that happened. That simple It didn’t take me long to do it.
I have made some changes in it a couple of times to make it better. It was published in 1964, and on the 50th anniversary I got a new cover to celebrate. It’s all over the World, even Russia. It’s still selling well. I have two other good Drum books out. I don’t know if you’ve seen my website: www.colinbailey.com there are some tracks from my BD technique DVD. It’s hard to get anymore, but there is quite a lot of me playing, with Trio and exercises from the DVD.
Realistic Rock – Carmine Appice
Steve Gadd Up Close – Bob Cleall
It was around 1978 when I was playing in the Empire, Leicester Square that we all started noticing Gadd.
I put together a little booklet of some of his playing that got noticed around that time.
On the off chance I sent it to the then DCI (Drummers Collective) to see if they fancied printing it.
Nothing came of it but awhile later they got in touch to see if I wanted to transcribe Up Close the video! This was around the mid eighties, I think, and the first drum instructional video.
How did I do it well before any of the computer wizardry of today?
Nobody believes this!
I bought a cassette player that could run at up to 30% slower and held it up to the speaker of the TV and recorded it. Trouble was it didn't keep the pitch, unlike today's stuff, so it sounded like mud!
So most of it was done, at speed, with the sound off and I just watched his hands to pick out the sticking. It took ages, of course, and a couple of years went by (probably more)) before Gadd had a chance to edit it! He only corrected one or two things, as I recall.
The book didn't come out until 1992, I can't remember who put me in touch, it might have been the Zildjian representative, but Steve invited me to his hotel in London around this time while he was on tour with Paul Simon. I was there a good couple of hours, chatting, and he signed some books.
Just to finish, he said how grateful he was and that without my efforts, it would not have happened.
That was the first of an avalanche of books along the same lines.
So we started something there.
That's the story. Anybody who would like to get in touch can do so at www.bobbycleall.co.uk.
Groove Alchemy – Stanton Moore
Messin Wid Da Bull - Jeff Salem
The concept behind writing this book was to show students of all levels different grooves and fills that can be applied to the tracks on the CD. On each tune there is a written rhythm chart with all the horn shots and bass guitar rhythms as well as a short form road map of each tune. Three different levels of grooves are written so beginners can enjoy playing along with the tracks. In the intro of the book I explain the different concepts I used to create the various grooves throughout the book using linear ideas, paradiddle concepts plus much more. This book is more like an encyclopedia for funk drumming.
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DVD's that assisted you in sharpening your drumming skills.
Rhythmic Imagination: Brazilian Rhythms Coordination Studies, by Ramon Montagner, seeks to help students develop the aptitude for the execution of rhythms, and ascend some steps further in the sense of rhythmic independence.
The method is based on his extensive use and experimentation of his own material with students for over a decade, inspired by the systems used by Gary Chester, Alan Dawson, and John Ramsay, as well as Marvin Dahlgren, Elliot Fine, and Norman Grossman.
With these ideas in mind, Ramon created systems and rhythmic interpretation when reading two or three-voice reading, and combined them with the concept of harmonic coordination. This new system exposes drum students new concepts beyond standard coordination practice.
What People Are Saying
Rhythmic Imagination brings a fresh, systematized approach to learning how to improvise on traditional Brazilian Rhythms. Borrowing from study methods used by jazz drummers, Montagner’s exercises present a platform of possibilities, assisting the development of a drummer’s unique creative voice. Thorough study of the exercises presented in this book will improve 4 way coordination, improvisational vocabulary and reading skills while building an awareness of drum set sound balance. I highly recommend Rhythmic Imagination for any drummer serious about playing modern Brazilian Music.
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