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Tips that will lead to better musicianship

Experience Drums loves talking to Andy Ziker! Who wouldn't? His expert communication skills have helped him author books for major music publishers such as Hal Leonard, Cherry Lane, Alfred Music, and Try Publishing. His insightful articles have appeared in Modern Drummer, Drum! Magazine, Percussive Notes, and on the Internet sites Drum Café and Online Drummer. In addition, Andy creates curricula for music programs, performs clinics, presents workshops, invents stuff (a music stand just for drummers!) and is a sought-after teacher, performer and studio drummer in the San Jose, California area.

Here are four of Andy's books that have helped drummers around the world
* The Jazz Waltz 
(published by Alfred Music)

As drummers, we've counted up to four beats per measure at least a billion times. But counting up to three in every measure? Now that's something new and different. The Jazz Waltz contains written grooves, coordination exercises, polyrhythms, a chapter on brush work (written by world-renowned brush artist Florian Alexandru-Zorn), drum transcriptions, and killer mp3 files that cover all examples and play-alongs. If you're looking for a book that will help you achieve fluidity, confidence and capability in ¾ and beyond, you will find it in The Jazz Waltz.

Daily Drum Warm-Ups (published by Hal Leonard)


Scientists, drum teachers and Andy Ziker all agree. The act of warming up on the kit produces terrific results. In this book/CD package, Mr. Z gives you a whole year of exercises that are devised to improve endurance, dexterity, sense of touch, and technique. The in-depth analysis about how to warm up is worth the price of the book. If you follow his weekly warm-up plan, you will keep your body and mind active as you work towards becoming a better drummer over the next 365 days. 

Drumcraft - A Beginner's Guide To The Drum Kit (published by Cherry Lane Music Publishing)

Don't let the title fool you. Drumcraft aims to help drummers learn the basic fundamentals of drumset playing, such as technique, reading, coordination and beat studies. However it offers so much more. Within its pages, you'll find great information on how to practice, how to set goals, and how to create your own music. There's nothing basic about that! Thanks, Andy, for creating a primer that assists drummers in building a great foundation.

Drumset for Preschoolers (published by Try Publishing)


Wow! Andy has written a stunning book that helps parents and teachers show two to six-year-olds how to get the most out of their mini drumsets.  This is such an important book for several reasons. First, it's designed to keep kids interested with its big and colorful graphics. Second, it's edited so that moms and dads with absolutely no musical background can use it. Third, and perhaps the most important reason of all, this book fosters a true bonding experience between adult and child. Experience Drums has never seen a book quite like this. If you're interested in passing on the love of music to the little ones of the next generation, this will be your "go-to" book."

Special Deal!

Purchase Drumset for Preschoolers directly from Andy on and you'll receive an autographed copy of the book!
Just click the link:, press the "See All Buying Options" button and choose "aziker" when it comes up in the Seller Information. Once you do, you'll save a buck and receive that autographed copy in your hands in no time!

Andy Ziker. Writer. Innovator. Mentor. Check out his work at a music store near you or at We're sure you'll see that every page Andy has ever written has been written for you.

For more information on Andy Ziker (rhymes with Biker!), visit his site at




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Evan on Drums

"It's beginning to look a lot like ____________." No matter what you filled the empty space with - Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or the Winter Solstice - it's here! The lights, the songs, and the customary giving and receiving of gifts all seem to collide during this loud and frenzied season. It's good to do this, to collectively gather with people in order to joyously celebrate this time of year. However, as the days and years pass, I wonder if we'll remember the toasts we gave at those big parties we attended. I kind of doubt it. What I think we'll remember are the quiet moments we had, like the one I'm about to share with you.

This past October was tough for me. Health issues were plaguing my family and the workload was heavier than I had ever imagined it could be. I was fatigued. And it showed. Promises that I had made to people remained unfulfilled. Deadlines were missed, reset, and missed again. Eventually I reached a point where I would wake up, count the hours till the day was over, and then crawl under the covers to escape the demands on my life.

In the beginning of November, my pal Matt emailed me to say that he was thinking of me. He asked if I would like to grab some coffee. Normally I would have jumped at the opportunity, but I was feeling so tired that I didn't answer the email. Two days later I received another message from him saying, "Hey, I'm really thinking of you. Here's my schedule. Do any of these dates work so we can get together?" This time I thought about it and decided that anybody who would take the time to email me twice about just hanging out deserved a free cup of joe. So, I went.

I talked. He listened. He talked. I listened. All of this was personal, soulful and very cathartic. I had so desperately needed to share with someone how I was feeling and Matt was there for me, in all the ways a friend could possibly be there. At the end of our time together he laughed and said to me, "Man, I really want to meet with you on a regular basis. You've  got a story to tell and I would love to continue to hear it." I was surprised. This guy is so busy that he needs a day planner for his day planner! But there he was, ready to set up another time to get together - just he and I. Needless to say, I'll be seeing Matt a whole lot more.

By the time you read this, you might be making big plans for the holidays. Please do.  Get out there and have a great time waving "goodbye" to the old year and saying "hi" to the new one. Make a lot of noise! I would just like to leave you with one thought that I think will hold up for all the rest of your days: Any year's best moments will most likely be quiet and personal ones.

Happy Holidays, Happy New Year, and peace to all!



 Evan's sig
Evan Pollack


Photography credit: © Roan Matthews/
Do you want to meet someone who understands how a life can change through hand drumming? Look no further than Mae Stoll of Come Drum For Fun, who leads West African drumming classes and percussion events in Austin,Texas.

Mae's own transformation through West African drumming has been nothing short of amazing. She's gone from seeker to adventurer; student to teacher; individual to a member of a community. Best of all, Mae shows others how to transform as well!


Come join us for a great interview with Mae Stoll... and become inspired!

For more information about Mae and Come Drum For Fun, visit her site at  




Photo by  John Posada

My goodness! Philadelphia's Eddie Everett gives us one heck of a grove to close out 2014! Mr. Everett is one of Pennsylvania's hippest drummers. He also owns the drum throne for the Retro-Swing band, Gas House Gorillas.   


Eddie understands the music styles that make Retro-Swing such a sight to see and sound to hear. He commands jazz, funk and delivers those styles wrapped in punk!


In the cut, "Black Juju" off of the Gas House Gorillas' 2013 release Punk Americana, Mr. Everett struts his stuff with an amazingly laid back feel. To nail his slow and simmering linear intro, here's what you do.


1. Set your metronome to click quarter notes at 132 beats per minute. (You'll be treating  the clicks like eighth notes.)

2. Accent the hi-hats

3. Pay close attention to Eddie's dynamics. The ghost notes should really be like a whisper and the snare hits on two and four should really pop!

4. Slightly swing the sixteenth note groupings. (Think really slow go-go music!

5. Try to play the last snare hits of each measure as a one-handed press roll. 

6. And of course, have fun!


Click here to view


Experience Drums will be featuring this song in their January's "Song of the Week" feature on FB so you'll be ever to catch the beat the way Eddie really plays it!


Ya know, come to think of it, there are other ways to catch this beat.  See Eddie Everett on tour with the Gorillas or better yet, study with him!!


For more information about Eddie Everett and his lessons, visit his Facebook Page atLike us on Facebook


For more information about Gas House Gorillas and their touring schedule, visit their website:


Thanks again Eddie and Band for providing us with some great music to look forward to in The New Year!





Did you know that Evan Pollack writes for the national publication Drumhead?  Under the leadership of Jonathan Mover (GTR, Alice Cooper, Fuel, The Tubes, Joe Satriani), Drumhead contains cutting edge articles, interviews and exercises that push the reader toward greater potential on the drumset. 

Open up an issue of Drumhead and:

  • Take a look at Evan's articles on improving life for both student and teacher in his "Lessons on Lessons" column. 
  • Check out Kent Aberle writings and get a greater understanding of what really goes on in the working world of musicians in his "Weekend Warrior" column.
  • Turn the pages to see the thought-provoking works of writers and players such as John King, Art Bernstein, Steve Rucker and of course, editor-in-chief Jonathon Mover!

There's no filler material here. There's only real articles, real interviews and real exercises (with free audio downloads available) that are written from the contributors' yours. 

Look for Drumhead wherever books are sold. 

For print subscriptions, use this link.

For digital subscriptions, use this link.