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I came across Alan Dawson‘s composition of rudiments many years ago and have recently dug it back out for practicing on the pad when I’m not in my studio. This is great stuff! Eighty-six relevant rudiments for drumset players, all phrased in 4-bar segments of 4/4. Dawson intended that the exercise would be memorized and played over a samba foot pattern, which adds the 4-way coordination and limb independence element if you can practice at a full kit. The memorization is a huge task (it takes about 20 minutes to play the whole thing) but it’s totally worth it.

Anyway, the “Rudiment Ritual,” as it is known, can be found in John Ramsay’s book on Dawson, but can also be downloaded digitally here. I used this as a warm-up during my woodshed years. It’s massively helpful and beneficial. DO IT.

PS… To comprehend the gravity of Dawson’s influence as a teacher, check out the list of former students on his wikipedia page linked above. Holy cow.

Wow, what a photo. Love the candid moment, perhaps only seconds before the timeless album cover shot. The Western cultural impact of these guys is unmeasurable.

HT: Billy Hawn

Today’s lesson in deep and infectious pocket brought to you by Tommy Sims’ bass playing…

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