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The Rudimental Drummer

A Conceptual Exploration of the Rudimental Tradition

Jonathan Curtis

Forthcoming 2024

ISBN: 978-1-7385231-1-5

The Rudimental Drummer  offers an in-depth exploration of rudimental drumming, encompassing historical traditions, vocabulary, fundamental concepts, and a diverse repertoire. It includes meticulous analysis of rudimental principles, an exploration of phrasing and compositional elements, and an extensive collection of original compositions, providing drummers with a dynamic platform to engage with these concepts.

The Rudimental Drummer is due for publication in late 2024.

Available as a paperback, deluxe spiralbound edition, or as a digital PDF.

Blue Cover idea.jpg

This cover art is a work in progress 

Conceptual Analysis

The rudiments exist as part of a broader approach to playing the snare drum. Far more than simple, discrete patterns that should be memorised, the rudiments represent entire concepts of sticking and rhythm that form the heart of rudimental composition, and snare drum playing in general.

When seen in this way, the rudiments not only represent categorised collections of patterns and techniques, but an entire paradigm of playing the drums that has been devloped and refined over hundreds of years of drumming history.

History and Tradition

The Swiss, French, Scottish, and American traditions represent the core discipline as it exists today. Though many other regions throughout history have developed their own rudimental approach, none have done more to develop the art of snare drumming as these four traditions.

Part of understanding the rudiments as a musical concept involves understanding their historical function, the traditions that formed them, and the musical applications across the repertoire.

Original Repertoire

The Rudimental Drummer includes cutting-edge original repertoire that puts the conceptual ideas into practice. Six rudimental etudes allow for a simple entry point into the style, while expansive original solos provide an exciting contribution to the rudimental repertoire.


Part I - The Rudimental Language

  • Form and Function

    • Fudimantal Techniques​

    • Accents

  • Single Strokes

    • Accents Patterns​

      • Ornamentation

    • Ruffs

    • Frise

  • Measured Rolls

    • Recognising Rolls Within the Notation​

    • Traditional Rolls

    • Rolls in Different Meters and Subdivisions

    • Measured Rolls as a Sticking Concept

    • Advanced Concepts

  • Paradiddles

    • Paradiddles as a Sticking Concept​

    • ​Functional Paradiddles as Subdivisions

  • Drags

    • Open Drags​

    • Closed Drags

    • Drag Rudiments

  • Flams

    • Flamacues​

    • Swiss Triplets

    • Coup de Charge

    • Further Flam Rudiments

  • Buzz Rolls

    • Concepts and Application​

  • Hybrid Rudiments

    • History​

    • Concept

    • Application

  • Compositional Concepts

    • Motivic Development​

    • Syncopation

    • Polyrhythmics

    • Transitions

Part II - Repertoire

  • Practising the Repertoire

    • Identifying Structure and Vocabulary​

    • Contextual and Non-Contextual Practice

  • Original Pieces

    • Etudes

      • Birdsmouth​

      • Half Lap

      • Tongue and Groove

      • Stevedore

      • Mortise and Tenon

      • Rabbet

    • Extended Solos

      • Bowline

      • Crown Sinnet

      • Double Overhand

      • Constrictor

      • Chain Splice

      • Rolling Hitch

      • Carrick Bend

      • Edge Cross

      • Inside Clinch

      • Clove Hitch

      • The New Revielle

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