Thursday, May 23, 2019

Eric Binder: "An Introduction to Bebop Drumming"

On the heels of his other recent book release "10 Snare Drum Etudes for Improvisation" Eric Binder has recently self-published another excellent book, this time specifically addressing the genre of Bebop drumming.

Eric was nice enough to take time out of his busy schedule to answer a few questions about his latest offering.

Eric Binder - The Four on the Floor Interview
"An Introduction to Bebop Drumming: A Concise Historical Overview and Practical Exercises"

1) Tell us all about your book! What is it all about and what are the goals of your text?

This is a traditional 6x9 paperback book (which is unlike most drum methods); it is easy to carry around and reference. It combines historical material with exercises intended to introduce readers to Bebop. The main objective with this project is to clearly demonstrate that Bebop is a very specific style and genre that is separate from Hard Bop. Far too often the years between the Swing era and the Post-Bop years (1960 and later) get called “Bop”. It worries me when Tony Williams and Elvin Jones are called Bebop drummers. The truth of it is, most drummers (and musicians) don’t know the difference. I aim to identify what is special about Bebop and the drumming style.

2) What was the motivation and inspiration for putting together this method?

My motivation for this book was the term “Bop” being used to categorize all music that wasn’t Swing and wasn’t Post-Bop. Those folks calling Tony and Elvin Bebop drummers really motivated me (haha).

3) How does your book differ from other method books that deal with Jazz (or bebop) drumming? What makes it unique?

Truthfully, I don’t think there are any TRUE Bebop drumming books on the market today. There are books that touch on the drumming style, but don’t identify it as an entity of its own; it’s always “Bop” drumming. My book also provides background on where Bebop came from which is so important to understand. This book is unique in that there is a good amount of history, but also relevant playing exercises and a discography. In my opinion, it is a wonderful reference for all drummers, musicians, and educators.

4) How is your subject matter organized and presented?

The book starts with a concise but informative history on Swing and Bebop music, and drumming. The reader will learn where and how Bebop started and how the drumming evolved. After the history section, there is a large portion of exercises that cover everything from technique, rudiments, comping, melody, and more. The last section is a discography section of Swing and Bebop drummers, and other musicians.

5) Why is it important for drummers to study bebop drumming?

Bebop music created a whole new vocabulary that is still relevant today.The drumming style that was developed through the innovations of Bebop was the beginning of what we know as modern drumming. The way we play “time” on the ride cymbal, the way we play ideas between our 4 limbs, this all started because of Bebop.

6) Do you have any plans for any further books, dealing with other specific styles of Jazz drumming

The next book I am going to release is something I’ve been working on for a while. It is a technique book that is meant for students to use to gain the facility and technique necessary improvise freely. I’m a huge believer in practicing to gain the facility to play freely, rather than work on ideas that you place randomly. What you play should be based off of what is going on in the music, not what you planned on playing (but that’s a whole other discussion). As for books on specific styles, I would eventually like to do Hard Bop and Post-Bop versions. 


To purchase Eric's book visit his website: https://ericbinder.bigcartel.com

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