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Andy Sturges - The Power of Practice

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The Power of Practice
Practice routines designed for long-term improvement on the drumset

The-Power-of-Practice Andy-Sturges

The Power of Practice by Andy Sturges provides an intensive series of practice routines designed for long-term improvement on the drumset. The book documents every rhythmical combination possible using the seven quarter- or eighth-note placements within an eighth-note triplet, while keeping the traditional swing ride pattern with the lead hand. Seven different “chunks,” representing the different permutations of the triplet, are presented for practice and memorization, and then applied to other practice approaches.

Several systems are presented for applying the chunks: discipline and unification (playing two or more parts exactly the same time), creativity/ orchestration (a framework for moving rhythms around the drums and creating your own vocabulary), chunking (varying the rhythms through the bar), and paradigm shift (dividing the rhythm among hands and feet). The final section of the book, “threads,” presents a wide variety of snare drum rhythms, stickings and motifs for practice.

Within each of these sections are multiple suggested variations to create endless hours of productive practice.

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Andy-SturgesAndy Sturges
I first started playing drums when I was twelve and have worked as a freelance musician since the age of 14. I’ve played with many different bands over the years including Paul Gilbert, David Hasselhoff, Bucks Fizz, Dave Martone, Archie Bell, Glenn Jones and played many West End Musicals and can be heard on the cast recording of “Cool Rider”. I have also performed across the UK, Europe and America.

I am interested in all types of music but Jazz is my first love. It is what I practice everyday and is a style of music that constantly expands my creativity. When I first started playing I was given a CD of Art Blakey And The Jazz Messenger and that was that. The introduction of Art Blakey was not only an inspirational moment of my life but I quickly realised how many other drummers had a jazz feel to their playing. At that time I was also listening to drummers like John Densmore (The Doors) Jimmy Chamberlin (The Smashing Pumpkins) and Mitch Mitchell (Jimmy Hendrix). I could now see the connection.

Formally studying jazz was a must and after spending three years at music collage, I enrolled onto a Jazz Diploma course. This was an amazing experience. I was like a sponge. At first, the amount of musical theory was a big challenge, but I had the fortune of studying drums with Ron Parry. He was an inspiration and enabled me to value musical theory and its relevance as a drummer. From that moment on I became a musician and I focused on the music as well as my technique. I became increasingly interested in melody, harmony and the relationship between melody and rhythm towards the drum set. Jazz is a style where the drummer compliments, incorporates and respects the melody of the song rather than being an anchor of security for the rest of musicians. And as a young, eager drummer, the concept of melodies on a drum set was an open door to an entirely new concept.

After my studies I decided not to continue at University and proceeded to forge a career as a fulltime musician.

It was at this time where I seriously began teaching. Teaching was an excellent way to earn good money during the day while not on the road and I really enjoyed it. I started working in a number of colleges and I became a qualified teacher in 2005. In 2007 began to teach at London’s prestigious Drumtech School.

I enjoyed many successful years as a teacher, but in late 2013 it was time to focus on playing fulltime. It was during this period I dedicated myself to extensive practice and my fascination of how effective practice becomes progressive, began.

I have studied with many world-class drummers – Ron Parry Darrin Mooney, Mike Dolbear, Geoff Dugmore, Spike Wells, Bobby Worth, Ash Soan, Andy Treacey, Mark Fletcher, Ian Thomas and Ralph Salmins. These have all been a major influence on me and offer a source of inspiration for my book.

Currently I am working on a diverse range of projects and with a number of different bands/ Artists as well as promoting my book, “The Power of Practice”.


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