Buddy Rich's Modern Interpretation of the Snare Drum Rudiments, apart from having a reaaaally long title, has been written by the great drumming legend Buddy Rich himself in collaboration with Henry Adler.
The book covers the standard snare drum rudiments, but there are some variations and others that you may not of heard of. Buddy Rich was one hell of a player, so it's interesting to see what he used himself in this book. Right, let's get started...
Each mini chapter of the book has been dedicated to a particular rudiment, and it includes everything from some basic single strokes to triple ratamacues and double drag paradiddles.
There are also some pages at the beginning that cover holding the drums sticks, hand action, and the basics of music notation. They're ok, and there are some old school pictures too, but they don't go into a huge amount of detail.
What's really important is the rudiments and how they are taught. Each rudiment starts with a basic example for you to learn, then adds in some variations with accents on different notes, and also progresses to slightly more complex versions and combinations of the rudiment.
Throught the book there are exercises that help develop your, wrist and hand action, speed, dynamics, and grace notes. So, there aren't just examples of the rudiments - you get a plenty of seperate exercises that help you to play the rudiments properly as well.
In the last few pages of the book are sections including reading exercises, exercises employing the rudiments, and advanced rhythmic studies. These are nice additions, but there are other books soley dedicated to these kind of topics that do a more thorough job. They're definately still worth your time though.
After spending a while using the book, I found that playing through the exercises did increase the quality, speed, and precision of my rudiments. And everything is covered in detail as far as the notated examples go. Very good indeed.
However, the written text for the examples is quite short and to the point - which is fine, but a little more detail wouldn't have gone a miss. Then again, this is really just a book full of exercises, so it just tells you what you need to know to play them well.
It is page after page of notation, so if you find it hard to stay focused, this could be a little mind-numbing for you. In my experience, the best way to use a book like this is to practice in short 20-30 minute sessions, then work on something else for 10 minutes and come back to it.
Does Buddy Rich's Modern Interpretation of the Snare Drum Rudiments live up to expectations? It certainly does. There are loads of great exercises to get your hands and fingers working the sticks, which leads to you improving the way you play the rudimnents themselves, and your playing in general.
There are 90+ pages in the book, which is quite a lot considering that rudiments are the only topic. But, that's because of all the detailed examples the book has - not a bad thing!
Any downsides? your gonna need to have at least a fair understanding of drum notation to use the book, but if you're studying rudiments you probably won't have any trouble with that. My only other issue is that it can get a bit stale working through page after page of exercises. But, simply working at it in short sessions will easily solve that.
If you are new to rudiments or want to study them in depth, this is a quality book that will definately develop your skills if you apply it properly. Your snare drum and general drum set playing will thank you. Best place to buy? Amazon are generally the cheapest, so I'd try looking there for the best price.
The Final Word: a great book to use if you're new to rudiments or want to really master them. It'll keep you on track, and you'll be suprised how quickly your playing improves. And that's exactly what you want from a book like this...