John Ramsay – Percussion Chair at Berklee School of Music, Boston, MA
There is so much I could say about Roy Burns’ new book. Let me start by saying that in this “age of information” and with the sheer number of drum books available to students on the market today there is very little that you cannot find, whether it be Jazz, Rock, Funk, Brazilian Afro-Cuban or a whole host of other topics and styles. And many of them are pretty darn good! With all of this available one could ask, what possibly could there be written that hasn’t already been written about? And this is what’s remarkable about Roy’s book. Roy has really added something special to the whole world of percussion library that to my knowledge hasn’t existed until now. All drummers have dealt with the age old challenge of developing “the weaker hand.”
(If you are right handed of course that would be the left hand) and the weaker bass drum foot (at least for some of us) we spend countless hours and even a lifetime on trying to get the left hand to do the things that we can do with the right! And getting the bass drum to do what the hands can do!
Roy’s book is the first book that I have found that almost scientifically addresses this development of the left (weaker) hand. By challenging the left to play 3,4,5,6 and 7 or more consecutive strokes to every one right stroke, the left hand is challenged in a way that I have never seen or felt before. After going through the first 3 sections of the book without stopping the left hand has had a serious intense and very athletic workout. It brings to mind the old adage of “no pain, no gain.”
Don’t get me wrong these exercises are very musical, especially when you add the left hand/bass drum exercises. After a few days or weeks of using the book I can feel a definite difference in the power and dexterity on my left hand! I would also say that Roy’s book preserves an era drumming vocabulary that was potentially lost with the passing of people like Buddy Rich, Louie Bellson, Rufus “Speedy Jones and others.
So in short, thank you Roy and Murray for this amazing contribution to the drumming community. I’m gonna go soak my arm in ice now!
Ron Vaughn – Manufacturer, Percussionist. Baldwin City, KS
Roy Burns’ latest book, ‘Solo Secrets of the Left Hand and Bass Drum’, once again faithfully reflects Roy’s continuing lifetime commitment and dedication to excellence in drumming performance. From his earliest beginnings in Emporia, Kansas, Roy has understood what it takes to become a world-class musician: to become a musician who can sit down and truly deliver time after time, year after year. Live playing, studio recording, television work, jazz festivals, clinics and more are all places Roy has been and succeeded at the highest level throughout the world. In the pages of this latest book Roy shares even more of his hand-won, straightforward fundamentals that only a true journeyman/artisan of rhythm would know. Don’t be fooled by the seeming simplicity of this book, and don’t when you really get into it. Any drummer who absorbs Roy’s guiding rhythms and gets them down deeply into their hands, feet, and reflexes will have taken another major step along their personal path to performance excellence.
Matt Johnson – Freelance Artist and Drum Set Instructor, Fullerton College,
“Admit it; we’re all weaker on our left side. Solo Secrets is a book that will not only improve the speed, power and control of your left hand, you can also use the notated sticking to improve your double-bass chops. Thank you, Roy!”
“My Students love it and so will you.”
Rick “Boom” Steel – Professional Drummer, Author and Teacher. Santa Monica, CA.
“…Roy Burns is the Einstein of Drumming. With his new book, Solo Secrets, Roy has hit it out of the park. Since starting the book, I’m in section #3, my chops have increased and my shredding tempos are faster. The warm-ups are amazing. Here’s one gem of many in the book: Page 10, Line 4, Bar 3. You can do an entire solo just with this one bar. Roy really dishes out the past Drumming secrets many Drummers have craved. If you’re serious about Drums and Drumming, it is crucial you check out his book. You must get this book…”
Butch Miles – Former Count BasieDrummer, Lecturer/Instructor Drum Set
Studies. Texas State University School of Music. San Marcos, TX.
I’ve been reading and practicing out of Roy’s new book and it’s a KILLER. Played slow to medium the exercises are great warm ups and fantastic chop builders. Played fast and they’re dazzling. Roy has answered many questions I’ve had over the years like “How’d he do that?” and breaks it down into good solid musical information that is so useful. It’s not just razzle-dazzle. It actually makes sense. And don’t even get me started on the DVD. Wow. Thanks Roy and thank you Murray. Wonderful.!
Roger Gillispie – Professional Drummer and Teacher, Hesperia, CA
Roy’s new book is just great for developing coordination and control on the drumset. The best book for the left hand that I have seen.
The DVD of Roy’s last clinic is a winner, especially for my young students who never saw Roy live.
Incredible drumming plus good information. Be sure to check out Roy’s solo at the end of the clinic.
Mike Chilton – Professional Drummer and Teacher, Tampa Bay, FL.
This is a “must have” book for any serious drummer and or drum teacher. Every drummer knows how frustrating the left hand can be!! This book WILL help to develop the left hand while at the same time gives very musical and practical exercises (just watch Roy play on the DVD that comes with the book!!) I have been using one of Roy’s other books “ One Suface learning” for many years and now this will be another “Go To” Book for myself and my students!!
Mike Henry – Professional Drummer, Teacher and Owner of the Percussion
Center, Houston, Texas.
I woodshed Roy’s book over the last several days and I am thrilled how great the information is. The book, like Roy, gets right to the matter. SOLO SECRETS will get you on path to developing the left hand and bass drum in a very musical way.
SOLO SECRETS is a must have for any drummer or teacher. I recommend you “play it forward” and tell the drumming community about the book. An instant Classic!
Jon Mattox - Owner, Bright Orange Studios, Drummer and Teacher.
I was fortunate to study with Roy during my early formative years, and his teachings, ideas, and ways of thinking continue to inspire me.
This book contains many powerful sticking exercises and coordination studies for developing the left hand and bass drum. I especially liked Roy’s method of interpreting these studies around the drum set in musical ways. The book becomes wider in scope, and can be applied to all styles of music. A well crafted book that I’ll be using for years to come!
Larry Salzman – Drummer/Percussionist, Teacher. Fullerton, CA.
“Solo Secrets of the Left Hand and Bass Drum” is a user friendly, easy to follow and practical method book. I feel it is a must have for any drummer looking to improve the communication between the left hand and right foot.
Jim Petercsak – Head of Percussion, SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor,
Crane School of Music, SUNY – Potsdam, NY,
Past President PAS.
Roy is amazing! He just keeps going in the tradition of great drumming. His new book is very original and can be practiced in many ways.
The material is musical and the warm up exercises are very effective.
Plus, for those of you who never say Roy live, the DVD is entertaining and instructive; Roy is simply the best!
Joe Roma – Professional Drummer and Teacher. Johnstown, NY.
I heard Roy do a clinic at the NYSMMA convention in Rochester in 1972. It was an excellent first exposure to his musical playing in person as he was also featured with the percussion ensemble, Nexus. Later I would get into his great “Concepts” articles in MD. I started a drum shop about the same time he started Aquarian Accessories and we have become friends over the years. He is truly an “artist” at the drums and one of the fastest and cleanest drummers ever to grace a kit.
His new book can be practiced many different ways.
The hand-to-hand warm-ups alone are worth the purchase of the book. Roy offers a keen and articulate insight into a little understood approach to musical drumset playing and soloing.
The DVD, which I filmed, gives today’s drummers the chance to see Roy live. His single strokes still amaze me and his clinics were the best.
George Marsh – Professional Drummer, Author, Instructor at UC Santa Cruz and
Sonoma State College, CA
I’ve been having a great deal of fun working with Roy’s new book Solo Secrets. Right off the bat I found myself enjoying the music hidden in the exercises and solos. They are simple enough to get you going right away with a logic to the sticking that allows for endless variation and discovery. The first time I checked out the book I found myself playing for a couple of hours, having fun the whole time. This book can be challenging, but the challenge is worth it … it opens you up for improvisational drumset music! Thanks Roy!