Podemski's Standard Snare Drum Method
Table of Contents
Part I: Basic Drumming
-Elementary beat Exercise Studies
-Studies in Flams
-Exercise with Scotch snap and the Reverse
Part II: Advanced Exercise Studies
Part III: Modern Rhythms as Employed by Contemporary Composers
-A Study in Syncopated Rhythm
Part IV: Double Drumming
Part V: Famous Drum Solos
Part VI: An Introduction To Tympani
I found this book to be outstanding. It gives good details about playing snare and the meaning of notes or what’s on the measures from the different tempos to note values. I would suggest this for a first year college student or maybe a junior or senior high school student. This book starts out very easy but gets very difficult the farther you get into it. However, towards the end it switches to teaching a student on how to play the timpani or tympani as its stated in the book. At the very end there is a music vocab at the end that seems very useful to a student.
Review by Sage Thurston
Organization: After a foreword from the publishers and a large picture of the author, the Table of Contents is listed, organized by six parts and followed by a few pages of musical vocabulary. First, only traditional grip is shown as matched grip was apparently not established in 1940, with basics in snare drumming listed after. Interestingly, the roll is mentioned very early in the book, before any rudiments or strokes, which seems counterintuitive since rolls require a proper understanding of strokes to be implemented. Several exercises focusing on different elements of snare drumming are provided after note values are discussed, with more advanced studies listed in Part II. Part III includes rhythms found in ‘contemporary’ composers’ music and syncopated rhythms. Part IV covers double drumming, Part V covers popular drum solos found in orchestral literature, and Part VI briefly introduces timpani, with some photos of playing positions and playing examples. The list of musical vocabulary is quite advanced and thorough compared to those found in even method books.
Content: Notation is discussed quite a bit in Part I, with the first non-notation subject being presented in page 12. The roll is described as being of “utmost importance”, but there is only a half-page of initial information about the roll which seems slim to introduce a complex concept such as a roll, but there are other pages covering rolls such as the five-stroke and crush roll so there is a fair amount of attention given towards this concept. Almost each playing exercise has a brief inscription, ranging from pointing out a tricky spot to telling the reader to count aloud. In the initial “Elementary Beat Exercise Studies,” each beat value is written in underneath the notes, assisting with counting for younger or beginner students. Rudiments seem to be valued over other concepts such as dynamics and use of agogic accents, with most subsections covering rudiments such as flams and ruffs.
Uses: I would say this book would be used by a student, with an instructor possibly guiding the student through the book although it seems accessible enough for students to work their own way through it. It is hard to say what skill level this book would be optimal for, as very basic concepts are covered in enough detail for a beginner percussionist to understand but some playing examples seem a bit too advanced for younger players. Generally speaking, perhaps this book would work well for high school students, with some exceptions being given for advanced middle school students or beginner college students.
Rating: In some ways, this book seems a little aged with only one snare drum grip being presented and no pedal tuning to be found for the short timpani section which did not provide much insight to playing the timpani. It introduced concepts and issues a student will run into while playing timpani, but there was not much practical information to take away from that section, apart from playing position perhaps. In any case, this book would be good use for its playing examples and thorough musical vocabulary section. 3/5. User: Hondogracias
Additional Study Materials
Books for Percussion by this Author
Podemski, Benjamin. Podemski's Standard Snare Drum Method. Warner Brothers; Alfred Publishing & Belwin Mills; 1968, 1985.