Origin – Why on earth write a book this size?
The need for a complete method became more and more apparent to me as I grew progressively tired of the incomplete methods for modern drumset playing as a teacher. Sure there are a few books out there which do the trick by keeping it playful and simple but not only playful 7-year olds start to learn about rhythm..
Initially the idea was to make a small book with a maximum of a hundred pages. But as I was gathering information I realized it would be quite arrogant to push my way of teaching upon others who may have other approaches which might even work better. I soon realized gathering as much information as I possibly could and presenting it in an encyclopedia would be the only way to leave room for other teachers to employ their own methods. The division of the book into eight distinctive but linked parts was already quite obvious since it would otherwise become much too clogged up with information. And we already have an internet, right? Soon after the encyclopedia idea was born I realized I could never do this right the first time, so it would need to be updated and therefore it needed to be in a digital format. Which was a relief actually, because I knew this thing would grow into 2000+ pages in no time and how on earth was I gonna sell a $600 book?
Now I knew I could ask everyone to participate in making this the complete encyclopedia it should be, and update it annually. But I had to make a decent start to motivate others to participate. So I did. I began to write down all information I had gathered in teaching drums for 21 years which took me almost two years, worked out the artwork and a basic template for each page of the book with one of my dearest friends Bart who also happens to be a brilliant graphic designer. It appeared too much work to write the text, notate everything in music notation software, write MIDI tracks and put all 2000+ pages and all the links in a designated program. Luckily there was Jelle, the younger brother of one of our teachers at Skillz Drum Academy Niels Janssen, who happened to be a student of graphic design and every bit as nice and decent a person as his brother Niels. And the best part was he was willing to help me with the production of Level 1! So now I could fully concentrate on the writing and lay out of the book while the book slowly came together in the background.
I’m especially proud of the parts CORE and S which can be used in conjunction. I’m certain this will benefit anyone who has questions about rhythm. It will probably even clarify things a little more for those who seem to have a very good understanding of rhythm. It does so because it teaches us to break everything up into main categories. We learn to look at everything both as a whole and as a sum of its parts so we can use any of these parts and alter them creating new wholes. This is basically what creativity comes down to so I see it as the definitive, cognitive part of creativity. And the beauty of it is, you don’t have to think about this while you’re playing, you really shouldn’t when really playing, but you always have these to go back to, to get more ideas or to gain a better understanding what it is that makes you play, think or feel a certain way.
This book is far from perfect, and it will never be perfect, hence the need for updates. But, a lot of the groundwork has been done, so when given a fair chance anyone interested in learning and further understanding rhythm will gain a good perspective from it.