All items on this page have directly enhanced my musical life, and have earned my highest recommendation.
Many of these will have video reviews in future, so stay tuned!
SNARE DRUM TECHNIQUE
•Accent on Accents, Book 1 (Fine/Dahlgren): http://amzn.to/2rABOtT
•Accent on Accents, Book 2 (Fine/Dahlgren): http://amzn.to/2rhQv5A
KEV'S COMMENTS: I had the great privilege of studying with both of these authors--Elliot Fine and Marv Dahlgren. The books require above-average patience and attention to detail, but deliver tremendous results.
SNARE DRUM METHODS
•Elementary Drum Method (Roy Burns): http://amzn.to/2rhZH9J
•Intermediate Drum Method (Roy Burns): http://amzn.to/2qheo8S
KEV'S COMMENTS: The Burns books are great for the student who's new to drumming, and new to music. They assume no prior knowledge, and progress at a very reasonable rate.
•Fundamental Studies for Snare Drum (Garwood Whaley): http://amzn.to/2rhRfaC
KEV'S COMMENTS: The Whaley book is perfect for a person with some music background (a couple years of piano, perhaps), who is new to drumming. It dives into odd meters quite early in the book, which is daunting for the total newbie. It is full of duets, which are well-conceived and really fun to play. My only disappointment with the book is that it does not treat 6/8 time in the way a marching band drummer would be expected to play in 6/8 time.
XYLOPHONE AND MARIMBA
•Fundamental Studies for Mallets (Garwood Whaley): http://amzn.to/2qQbafn
KEV'S COMMENTS: Another exceedingly well-conceived method by Mr. Whaley. Interestingly, he includes many super-familiar melodies which have a couple of notes here and there which are not what we would expect. It could be that he did that specifically to ensure that the student is not just playing the melody by ear, but I can't say for sure. I do find it a bit annoying.
•Ultimate Realistic Rock (Carmine Appice): http://amzn.to/2qkMvfE
KEV'S COMMENTS: Carmine's book progresses at quite a brisk rate. It is full of 8-bar and 12-bar and 16-bar etudes which utilize all the grooves learned in the previous section. These are challenging and fun. He does have the student learn some techniques for which--for the life of me--I can't see the value. I have my own method of teaching these sections, which make them instantly applicable to the real world of the gigging drummer. Two CDs are included, and I have a hard time getting my students to listen to them.
•Studio/Jazz Drum Cookbook (John Pickering): http://amzn.to/2ri0OGB
KEV'S COMMENTS: This is perhaps the best-conceived and best-executed book in my drum library. It is full of extended etudes that combine everything previously learned in ways that are fun and challenging and completely applicable to the needs of the gigging jazz drummer. One note of warning--a drummer who tries to learn to play jazz without immersing himself in recordings of the great jazz drummers will always sound like a poser.
•Future Sounds (David Garibaldi): http://amzn.to/2rAK1ON
KEV'S COMMENTS: This book will bend your mind! David Garibaldi approaches funk drumming like a mathematician, and achieves grooves that you would never just stumble upon through experimentation. Five stars! If I ever get a prolonged chance to practice drums again, this will be the first book I reach for.
•Vic Firth Stereo Isolation Headphones: http://amzn.to/2qX2HYo
KEV'S COMMENTS: For the drummer who practices with recordings (and ALL of us must!) or needs monitors in the recording studio, these are essential. Before these hit the market, I bought a pair of headphones based on the same principle, and paid $170 for them. In a recent recording session, I did an A/B test between my phones and these Vic Firth ones. Vic Firth blew mine out of the water, at less than 1/3 the price.