These images show how Level 1 is constructed and can be used: all parts correspond in a way that a matrix of grooves is linked to matrices of fills, tips and suggestions, exercises, audio en MIDI. They’re also linked to theory in the parts CORE and Systems and formulas. These are set up a little differently however as they are currently made up of twenty four chapters in a linear fashion.
Level 1 should be thought of as a cube. so we have three ways to navigate:
- Horizontally – Chapters – we move from Left to Right from one chapter to another. The chapters are based on subdivision and the different types of grooves we play.
- Vertically – Paragraphs – we move from top to bottom from one paragraph to another. These paragraphs are based on the different subjects (CORE elements) we can use to alter our grooves and/or fills.
- Laterally – Parts – we move in and out from one part to another. The different parts are illustrated below.
Level 1 is made up of 8 linked parts
is illustrated by a locomotive. We don’t have to always feel like we have to be the locomotive though. If the groove is happening it will actualy feel more like being on the train which is cruising along.
is represented as a bridge because fills function primarily as a way to go from one section to the next.
T(ips and Suggestions)
gets a light bulb as an icon because you’ll be illuminated by this part. Ideal to use with students who feel like they’re stuck in a rut.
is the muscle part of the book, hence the biceps. If you come across anything in parts G, F, A or M which doesn’t work for you, or you want to prepare yourself for things to come you turn to E.
stands for Categories Of Rhythmic Elements and is represented by the core of an apple. This is the theoretical part of Level 1 which is based on 24 main categories on which everything we play is based. I like the analogy of having to know nothing about the apple to enjoy one, but having and wanting to know more and more as we become interested in growing them.
S(ystems and Formulas)
is exactly what it says: a set of systems and formulas, hence the most well known formula by Einstein. This corresponds with CORE so it also is comprised of 24 categories.
has an 8th note to indicate this is about music. This part will grow immensely during the next detions of Level 1. The goal is to have a vast array of options for every exercise in the book some day.
is the last part of the book which contains loops, hence the icon. This is a more sterile way to practice which can be really helpful because we can alter so many variables so easily with MIDI. This is where Level 1 can still grow a lot as well.
These eight parts are to be used in conjunction. As grooving will always be the main focal point of any drummer, G is considered to be the starting point. But the student is advised to use the icons on the right side of the page which navigate to the corresponding pages of the other parts, so all parts get a fair amount of attention. Having said that, one could easily work on F for a couple of sessions to expand his or her vocabulary. Or spend a lot of time on C and S to focus more on the theoretical side, along with gaining practical facility on the drums using the systems. One could also mostly play to Audio and MIDI for a while if it’s felt that it’s best to concentrate on implementing the learned material to a backing track of some sorts.
Level 1 will be an excellent traveling guide on anyone's rhythmic journey
But not the annoying kind who likes to hear himself talk and ruin the experience as well as every possible surprise when you should be enjoying the discovery of new territory. This guide will be there to provide answers, every now and then even to questions you didn’t know you had. When you’re concentrating on doing the legwork or the technical side of things, it will keep things in perspective by making sure you don’t forget the conceptual side and you enjoy the view. But like any good guide it doesn’t do the work for you so you feel a true sense of accomplishment after reaching another nice viewpoint. And it won’t ruin the mysteries involved in any journey worth embarking on. It only tells you which way you might go next, shows you the pitfalls so you can avoid falling down, and gives ou as much additional information about anything you see as you wish to hear. But you determine the pace, the intensity and ultimately the goals you want to reach.