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Tiger Bill Reviews

The R.I.T.T.E.R. Method

Book

Inspiration for Everyone

The Ritter Method

What is the R.I.T.T.E.R. Method? Let me answer that question by first telling you what it is not. It is not your usual drum book. There are absolutely no written exercises in it. So what is it? The subtitle says "A self-improvement method for drummers." I would call it "An Inspirational self-improvement method for drummers." The book was written by Chip Ritter who is, by his own admission, a full time professional drummer who is not famous and not rich but who plays drums because he loves music.

Introduction
In the book's intro Chip explains, "This is a book about my overall approach to drumming. I am not trying to convince anyone that my book is the only way. My goal is to share with you what I have learned."

Throughout the book Chip quotes famous people from all walks of life (including multiple quotes from Bruce Lee) to accentuate the points he is trying to make throughout the text. In fact, the book is based on Bruce Lee's concept that advised is students to absorb what is useful, disregard what is useless, and add what is specifically your own. Or, as Chip puts it, "This is simply my current experience and my personal truth. Please take what you can use and leave the rest."

Chip also says, "I honestly believe that I have found a way to improve EVERY ASPECT of a drummer's performance". That's a big claim. How close does Chip come to his goal? Read on.

Rhythm
Chip's last name (Ritter) creates the acronym for the book's title. Each letter stands for a specific drumming related term and each term makes up a chapter.

In the Rhythm chapter (as with all the chapters), Chip first gives us the standard dictionary definition of the term and then tells us what it means to him, as a drummer. In this chapter Chip also describes the problems with what he calls "paint by number" drummers and he defines "groove" and "pulse" and their importance to drummers.

Inspiration
In this chapter, Chip stresses the importance of staying inspired and I couldn't agree more. Also covered is the importance of listening to both master drummers and "bad" drummers and the effect both can have on your inspiration.

Technique
Chip covers a range of things that can affect your technique from the importance of a proper drum throne to the problems associated with drummers who constantly play with one dynamic level: LOUD! He also offers his opinion on Traditional versus Matched grips, which I don't totally agree with but, hey, that's the whole point of this book: Take what you like and leave the rest! Also covered are methods of using mirrors and metronomes to improve your chops, along with the key to learning how to play fast, which I absolutely agree with!

Training
These are Chips personal training tips, which have helped him have more productive training sessions. Included is the importance of following the proper order when warming up and stretching before training along with some valid points about quality versus quantity in training. Chip also explains his ON and OFF training mode.

Energy
This chapter is very interesting in that it covers a common problem, not just among drummers, but among people in all professions. This is resentment and how it drains your energy. Again, Chip makes valid points about some very real problems while including his take on product endorsements, modern misconceptions, cymbal and rim shot techniques, and what he calls "Effortless Mastery."

Recording
In this, the final of the major chapters, Chip covers the importance of recording, documenting, and evaluating oneself for ongoing self-improvement. He also has some interesting thoughts on drummer jokes and egos.

The Deacon Principle
This single-page chapter expands on some words of wisdom from a drummer friend of Chip's known as The Deacon.

Final Thoughts
Chip leaves us with some parting words of inspiration.

R.I.T.T.E.R. Method Bottom Line
Although I felt that the text could, at times, use a copyeditor's touch and the layout of book itself could be improved upon, these minor cosmetics do not detract from the overall message of the book.

The bottom line is that I believe Chip has done what he set out to do, and that is to write down the tips and techniques that have helped him improve every aspect of his drumming over the years. As he says in the closing of his book, "My hope is that this method will inspire you."

The book is available online directly from Chip Ritter (see the sidebar on this page). The price is $15.00 for a printed copy, which includes snail-mail shipping, or $9.95 for a downloaded e-book version.

If you're feeling like you need a little inspiration, check it out.

Stay loose!

 

 

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