My Favorite Rudimental Books and Solos


1.) Playing by Patterns - James E. Bell, copyright 1971. 37 pages

My first rudimental book, given to me by the man who taught me how to play, Mr.  Frank J. Adams. This is an excellent book for beginners, it starts off by explaining stick grip, then moves into quarter/eighth  note exercises played from wrist tap and arm stroke positions. The first 14 pages of exercises are dedicated to singles, doubles, and paradiddles. Flams begins on page 15. Most of the 26 NARD rudiments are covered, and a few swiss rudiments are thrown in for good measure. I've yet to see a better book for beginners, and it's a shame this book is no longer in print.

2.) Stick Control - George Lawrence Stone, copyright 1935. 46 Pages

A perfect book to continue from Playing by Patterns, this world renown book has hundreds of exercises written to develop coordination. Various sticking patterns are combined using both right and left hand lead. The flam section will help young drummers develop better grace note control, and the roll section covers slow and fast rolls. The last part of the book mixes duple, triple, quadruple, quintuple, sextuple and septuple rhythms.

3.) America's NARD Drum Solos - Various Authors, copyright 1962. 64 Pages

This book has 150 short solos written by members of the National Association of Rudimental Drummers (NARD), including rudimental greats Frank Arsenault, William F. Ludwig, J. Burns Moore, George L. Stone, and Earl Sturtze. Several duets are thrown in, as well as a page of six 8 bar beats written by Dr.  F.R. Berger using the Basle notation. This book should be part of every rudimental drummer's library, in part for the historical value, but mostly for improving one's style and technique.

4.) The All-American Drummer - Charley Wilcoxon, Copyright 1945. 91 Pages

This was probably my favorite intermediate book. This book has 150 rudimental solos, 120 are short half page solos , the last 30 are full page solos. The half pagers are excellent for developing one or two rudiments each, the full pagers try to squeeze in as many rudiments as possible. The solos are phrased extremely well.

5.) Modern Rudimental Swing Solos for the Advanced Drummer - Charley Wilcoxon, copyright 1941. 47 Pages

This is another very popular book, a classic This book starts with 11 pages of rudimental variations, then follows with 32 challenging rudimental solos, most of which swing. Mr. Wilcoxon broke the mold with this book; this book is fun to play.

6.) 14 Modern Contest Solos for Snare Drum - John S. Pratt, Copyright 1959. 31 Pages

John S. Pratt's first book is still a bestseller almost 40 years after it was written. Each solo is two pages long and chock full of rudiments.

7.) 17 Plus 1 Percussion Pieces for Contests and Try-outs - William J. Schinstine, Copyright 1957. 31 Pages

Some very nice solos, nicely phrased, and challenging for young rudimentalists.

8.) Adventures in Solo Drumming - William J. Schinstine, Copyright 1961. 23 Pages

Twenty solos, each dedicated to a famous drummer, each written in the style of the person to whom it's dedicated. My favorites were Pratt's Taps (ded. to John S. Pratt), Charlie's Horse (ded. to Charley Wilcoxon), and Control Contortions (ded. to George L. Stone). Some of the solos are written in odd time signatures, 5/8 and 7/8.

9.) The Techniques and Mechanics of Competitive Rudimental Snare Drumming - Ken Mazur, Copyright 1979. 371 Pages

The ultimate snare book, this is the only book from which I still practice. Approximately 5,000 exercises, all difficult, covering just about every sticking variation under the sun, with sections on singles, rolls, paradiddles, flams, drags, buzzed rudiments, backward flams, fake notes, backsticking, and back stick-clicks. The exercises are truly at the advanced level, and not for wusses. Ken also includes endurance charts, competition solos, and excellent text on how to train and prepare for a rudimental contest.


1.) Three Camps
2.) The Downfall of Paris
3.) The Connecticut Halftime
Three Camps, Downfall of Paris, and The Connecticut Halftime are excellent muscle building solos no matter what level you're at. See my Training Tips article.

4.) Hi-Ho Simpson - Alan Abel
5.) 2040's Sortie - Alan Abel, Copyright 1950.
6.) The Bomb - Marty Hurley
7.) The Charger - Art Cappio, Copyright 1976, 1993.
8.) Primo - Art Cappio, Copyright 1966.
9.) Lu-Lu - Art Cappio, Copyright 1970.
10.) His Lordship - Art Cappio, Copyright 1985.
11.) Billy - Art Cappio, Copyright 1985.
12.) The Winner - Mitch Markovich, Copyright 1966.
13.) Stamina - Mitch Markovich, Copyright 1966.
14.) Tornado - Mitch Markovich, Copyright 1966.

The Winner, Stamina, and Tornado are excellent chop builders.