Spatial Studies for Hitting Things

"Spatial Studies" is a book series covering the techniques of snare drum, two mallet xylophone, accessories and more. The main themes covered are relaxation, efficiency in movement, and turning all the techniques learned into second nature, or merely a reaction. My hope is that this series helps people gain more physical awareness in their playing, and find ease in technical execution and acquisition. Below is a preview of what's to come. Hope you enjoy!

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Picture “Stick Control,” combined with the in-depth detail of a violin or piano technique book, on steroids.

who is it for?

This series is for all levels and genres of players, as well as educators. I wanted this book to be accessible to beginners, as well as to challenge and intrigue more experienced players, from the first exercise to the last. The exercises and musical examples are organized by difficulty as well, so that the user can gauge their progress fairly easily. It also reads like a type of workbook that an educator can use, with text explaining the different sections of music in great detail, picture examples, and a recommended method of dissecting or assigning each musical section's exercise. I wanted everyone to be able to use this series, particularly these snare drum methods.

 

What's included in the series?

The current plan that I have laid out begins with four snare drum method books, covering basic technique, rebounds and roll, timing and rhythmic integrity, and Moeller technique applications. In between two of those methods will be two books. The first will explain how I expanded my physical awareness, and will have the exercises I did to experiment and explore. The second will be a xylophone method book focusing mainly on getting around the instrument technically, and learning to control timbres at will. After that comes the French-American etude book, the complimentary/accessory percussion method book, timpani method book and one book on concert snare drum that I honestly don't know where to put in the series yet. 

 

why is it called "spatial studies"? 

In college I became very interested in exploring the physical and movement aspects of percussion playing. This was mainly because of three things: discovering and watching Jojo Mayer, taking lessons with Marc Damoulakis, and participating in a Feldenkrais class. However, I seemed to hit a "wall" around that time, and thought that I had gone as far as I could go technically. It wasn't until I sat in to play with a modern dance class that I heard the instructor, Lin Batsheva Khan, say, "Take Space." For some reason, this helped me think of movement in a more natural, organic way, instead of trying to achieve it through a rigid technical regimen like I was trying to do previously. Now I think of everything I do as a form of space and how I can utilize that space.