Book Name: Pegada Drum Method
Author: Claudio Reis
Claudio, a Brazilian drummer born in 1974, started teaching drums when he was 19 years old. A few years later he started working on the idea of combining everything he had learned into a single book that would help teachers and students during lessons and home practice.
Today, Pegada Drum Method is composed of four 50-page books named Fundamentals, Intermediate I, Intermediate II and Advanced.
More about the history of Pegada Drum Method at the end of this article.
So, what’s in the books?
The massive and powerful content of Pegada was carefully organised in the four books in order to create a better learning experience for the students.
All 40 Essential Rudiments – defined by the Percussive Arts Society – are spread in the books.
The most useful rudiments are in the Fundamentals book. At the end of each book you find Rudiment Application sections, which are exercises involving rudiments previously learned.
Coordination Exercises and Limb Independence
Described as Fundamental Exercises in the beginning, they consist of variations played on the hi-hat, snare drum and bass drum that prepare the student for what comes next, be it grooves or fills. At the intermediate level, Limb Independence exercises help open up a series of possibilities.
Stick Control and Technique
Drumming technique can’t normally be learned from a book, so the stick control exercises are a guide to teachers and students. Teachers show the students how to play stick control exercises based on what rudiment is being applied and what pace the exercise is being played.
Many of the 100+ grooves you find in Pegada books are related to their respective song names.
Variations of rock, pop, funk, disco, indie, hip hop, blues, soul, reggae, metal, jazz, Latin and fusion grooves are carefully organised in their many forms: quarter, eight and sixteenth hi-hat beats; sixteenth snare or bass beats; hi-hat triplets, and so on.
From basic fills, through snare exercises later transformed in fills, to more complex snare, toms and bass drum variations, students will learn how to incorporate flam, drags, fast doubles and other rudiments to their new fills. The fills content of Pegada end with rhythmic patterns transformed into very exciting variations.
The first two Pegada books include lists of suggested songs. Those are songs that students asked and were capable of playing at certain stages of their course. They are all at least relatively famous hits, and were carefully listed in an order that makes it possible to progress from basic to advanced grooves, fills, techniques and speed.
It’s always important to remind the students that “basic” or “advanced” is not always related to what, or how much you know, but also to how you play.
Maybe you have asked yourself how someone can put all this content in only about 200 pages.
One of the most interesting features of Pegada Drum Method is the short paragraphs of instructions on how to multiply almost all previously learned content. Those simple notes will guide teachers and students on a journey of how to transform basic pop/rock drum beats into shuffle/blues, reggae, incremented funky grooves and complex exercises on how to use cymbals, hi-hat foot, double kick and percussion accessories creatively.
The many different styles of music are also explained in Pegada in simple paragraphs, therefore easily multiplying previous learned grooves. The clearest example is how easy it is to transform a simple rock beat into a blues beat.
Jazz, Latin and Brazilian rhythms are different tough. They have their own exclusive pages.
History of Pegada Drum Method – where did it all come from?
Claudio had private lessons for many years in Sao Paulo (the cultural capital of Brazil). If samba is the only thing that comes to mind when you think of Brazilian music then you need to know that the rock and funk scenes are huge in Brazil. Some Brazilian drummers that are world famous in rock music are, for example: Igor Cavalera (Sepultura, Cavalera Consipiracy), Aquiles Priester, Eloy Casagrande (Sepultura), and Ricardo Confessori (Angra).
Claudio also learned from videos or books written by Carmine Appice (who literally wrote the book on rock drumming, and influenced John Bonham); Joe Morello, Gary Chafee (former teacher of some big names), Duda Neves (a Brazilian rhythms master), Kiko Freitas, and some other less famous but awesome drummers.
At the end of about a decade, content from books, DVDs, notes and videos were already organised in a way that Claudio could wisely study all material he had accumulated.
That’s how Pegada Drum Method was born. With the use of some specific computer software Claudio rewrote everything, beat by beat, fill by fill, exercise by exercise, and by the end of 2015 hundreds of his students had already benefited from Pegada.
Almost every year a new edition is released, although since 2016’s edition 7 not much changed in the first two books; and basically only new content is added to the more advanced ones.
Teachers and students interested in buying a printed or PDF copy of the book should write to claudio@DrumLessonsSydney.com.au.
Claudio is keen to working on videos showing and explaining contents of the book as questions arise.
Note: “pegada” is a Portuguese word that means “grip” or “feeling” (in regards to music).
Claudio Reis is the founder and Head Teacher at DrumLessonsSydney.com.au in Sydney, Australia.