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A Reference That Covers The Basics

This DVD contains nine chapters that cover the basics of snare drumming from grips through dynamics, demonstrated by percussion educator, clinician, and performer Bob Breithaupt. It was designed to be used as a "reference for drummers of all ages and experience levels." Is it? Keep reading and I'll tell you what I think.

The first chapter covers the various sticking grips including Matched, Traditional, French, and others. Also covered is a discussion of fulcrum and grip pressure. This chapter gives the beginner a good lesson in holding the sticks and making basic strokes.

Basic Strokes
Bob teaches Single, Double, and Multiple (closed roll) bounces, again insuring that the beginner has a good grasp of each facet of the basic strokes.

Level System
This covers the basics of the faster you play, the lower your sticks should be to the surface of the drum.

In this chapter, Bob covers techniques for playing various dynamic levels, accents, and also covers the basics of the whipping accented stroke used in the Moeller system.

Stroke Combinations
Basic sticking patterns on the snare are demonstated along with brief applications on the drumset.

Bob teaches the basic technique for producing good sounding flams, drags (both open and closed styles), paradiddles, and the five stroke roll.

Specialty Sounds
In this chapter, Bob briefly demonstrates various types of rimshots including crosstick shots, rimclicks, and woodblock effects.

Enhanced Dynamics
Very brief demonstration of using various parts of the drumhead to produce varying dynamics.

Time and Balance
Bob discusses and briefly demos ways to help you develop evenness of sound between sticks.

Tuning and Pitch
Another brief discussion of drumhead tuning.

The Basic Bottom Line
So, do I think "Snare Drum Basics" lives up to its description as a reference for drummers of all ages and experience levels? Well, I agree with the "all ages" part but this is definitely a DVD for the experience level of a beginner. As a basic introduction to the art of drumming, Bob Breithaupt provides clear (if less than thrilling) instruction. Bob's demonstrations are often quite brief and although he discusses some excellent techniques, like the Moeller System (one of my personal favorites), he never demonstrates the techniques at a speed that I could get excited about.

The bottom line is that I give "Snare Drum Basics" the thumbs up as a solid beginner's guide. It retails for $14.95 for 35 minutes of instruction.

Purchase your copy online at:


Until next time: Stay loose.



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