Firstly, sorry for the long delay, been super-busy but here’s the promised blog entry about G.L Stone’s Stick Control…
The first thing to day about the book is that I recognize a lot of the exercises from my lessons I took as a teenager. My teacher however was very wise to have used pages from the book (transcribed by himself) rather than give me the whole book. If he had done this, he could well have put me off as, how can I put this politely..? The book is dryer than the proverbial dry thing!
George Lawrence Stone first published Stick Control nearly 80 years ago in 1935, around the time of the invention of the drum kit as we know it! Despite it’s age and the fact it was initially aimed and marching and orchestral snare drummers, it remains as relevant today as it always has been. The reviews on the inside covers read like a who’s-who of the world’s best drummers.
I recently heard a podcast interview with the “Worldside ambassador of drumming” Dom Famularo. One of the may stories Dom regales his interviewers with a great story about an old friend of his, Jim Marshall , the inventor of the infamous Marshall amp . A little known fact is that Jim was actually a drummer. Not only that, he was also a very respected teacher and had amongst his students such legends as Mitch Mitchell (Jimi Hendrix), Keith Moon (The Who) and, one of my favourites, John Bonham (Led Zeppelin)!
One of the main books that these 3 luminaries studied with Jim Marshall was, you guessed it, Stick Control! Bonham, who started out as a jazz drummer (another blog for another time!), apparently was very good at the exercises and used the results as a large part of his playing style.
So…teachers, the next time a student comes in and says “I just want to learn some Bonham licks” or similar, just crack open a copy of Stick Control and be safe in the knowledge that this book helped form the legendary Bonham style!