This book “Creative coordination & advanced foot technique” by Thomas Lang is intended to be used independently from the triple DVD of the same name or as a complement to it. The book is divided in two parts: one includes 200 exercises that have been methodically selected to achieve 4-way coordination skills with emphasis on equalizing both hands and feet abilities. The second half offers seven songs written by Thomas Lang from the DVD as a way of working the same exercises learned previously in a real musical situation.
I – The method
As in the triple DVD, we start with a bunch of exercises for the feet to achieve almost the same skills of our hands, with many different patterns and much emphasis on dynamics and accenting.
- Coordination, independence & interdependence
Here we find the core of Lang’s method: a series of progressive exercises that consist in combining all kinds of ostinatos in measures of 2 to 8 notes with all their permutations between hands and feet, with both single and double strokes. The goal is being able to play fluently any combination in any measure or time signature, with independence of what any hand or foot is playing. Yes, it’s as difficult as it sounds. And this is Thomas Lang’s great technical achievement.
- Modern playing concepts
In the third section of the first part of the book we find some ideas on coordinations between different ostinatos, rudiments and note groupings. We also have blast beat patterns, one of the new paradigms in extreme drumming.
II – The music
One of the best things included in the original “Creative coordination & advanced foot technique” DVD’s were the songs at the end of every chapter. They featured many of the patterns studied in those chapters, something usually missing in other instructional products, specially bearing in mind that some of the pattern seemed more a technical challenge than a practical exercise for real life. In the CD that comes with the book we find 7 of those songs in two formats: with all the tracks included or without the drumming parts. Then the student has the freedom to be creative and add his own ideas to the music.
The method invented by Thomas Lang is probably the most rational and complete when approaching the idea of being able to “play anything”, specially in this age where there are all kinds of styles and fusions. It makes a strong emphasis on equalizing both hands and feet skills to be able to play any possible combination between them, with independence of the time signature. This provides a new chance for students or even professional drummers to improve their abilities. Thomas Lang brings a new set of innovative tools for the next generation of drummers.
Hudson Music has published a pack that includes both DVD’s and the book with the CD at a very good price. I think it’s really worth to watch Thomas Lang performing all of his exercises and songs.
This post is also available in Versión en Español.