Universal Rhythms for Drumset

Universal Rhythms for Drumset: The Keys to Unlock a World of Creativity is designed to demystify the drummers creative process, this workbook-style guide shows how hundreds of variations can be interpreted from five simple, foundational rhythms. These universal rhythms are the basis we use to speak many different rhythmic languages and demonstrate how all styles of music are related. As you work through the lessons in this book, youll develop a stronger pulse and a deeper pocket, gain better technical and creative flow, and attain a higher level of musicality in grooves, fills, embellishments, and solos.

There are over 500 exercises in this book, covering 28 styles of drumming, and ALL are performed by Dave DiCenso on the included MP3 CD.


Universal Rhythms for Drumset: The Keys to Unlock a World of Creativity is a 100-page book, divided into five parts, with a supplemental MP3 audio disc, written by Dave DiCenso.

The book starts out with an introduction, explaining the purpose of the book as well as addressing the drummer's creative process. Dave goes on to introduce the "Five Universal Rhythms" (One-Bar Clave, Son Clave, Rumba Clave, 6/8 Feel Clave and Partido Alto), cites numerous recorded music examples to support his findings, and provides numerous tools and steps on how to use the book.

As you may have guessed already, with five sections or parts to the book, there's one section for each of the five Universal Rhythms; 41 lessons in all.

Part One: Lessons Based on Universal Rhythm 1, which occupies roughly one-fourth of the book, contains 15 Lessons with a total of 232 notated examples, ranging from Rudimental uses in straight sixteenths plus eighth-note and sixteenth-note triplets, to the who's who of music styles including Baiao, Calypso/Soca, Second-Line Funk, Rock/Pop/Country/Gospel, R&B, Blues, Jazz, Metal/Punk, Jungle/Drum 'n' Bass, and Reggae.

Part Two (Universal Rhythm 2) has 11 Lessons, Part Three (Universal Rhythm 3) has 5 Lessons, Part Four (Universal Rhythm 4) has 6 Lessons, and Part Five (Universal Rhythm 5) has 4 Lessons. Like the lessons in Part One, each of these lessons contain a sizable number of exercises applied to many of the music styles already mentioned (and more), although not as exhaustive as Part One. This isn't a short-coming, rather it demonstrates just how "universal" the first rhythm is!

The book comes with an MP3 audio CD which contains each and every exercise found in the book. Not only does Dave DiCenso count out-loud as he performs several times through each exercise, but his performance and feel on each groove exercise is fantastic; first-class all the way. Having an audio example of each exercise, played precisely with an incredible pocket, is priceless to the student.

One of the big reasons why I love this book so much is that it embodies many of the same teaching principles that I employee with my students, and in my own playing. Having an understanding of how these five simple rhythms encompass much of what we as drummers play is paramount. Being able to then take these rhythms and use them in so many different ways — it's like alphabet soup — the Five Universal Rhythms are our vowels — with words (grooves) being formed through creative combinations and organization.

Chef's Choice AwardUniversal Rhythms for Drumset: The Keys to Unlock a World of Creativity is a MUST HAVE book for every drummer, beginner to advanced, regardless of your music style preferences. Versatility is king — not only describes this book, but also the type of player you'll be if you choose to add this book to your library... and work out of it!