Drum Styles Made Easy

Drum Styles Made Easy explores the many different styles required of the modern kit drummer. Explore rock/pop, funk, show, blues, jazz, swing, Latin, reggae and more. Included with each style are rudiments, exercises, pieces and impro that reinforce and support students. Learn with the unique ‘cross-in-a-square’ approach.

These are photos taken from the recording sessions in Leeds and the ICC Studio in Eastbourne for Drum Styles Made Easy

Drum Styles Made Easy is a comprehensive resource for those who want to grasp a basic knowledge of all the main styles that a drummer might be called upon to play at a modern gig. The styles covered include rock, pop, funk, showband, blues, jazz, swing, latin, and reggae .

The styles are explained and made easy to understand by Christine Barron’s ‘cross in a square” approach, which lays the notes in the groove out in a graph form, similar to modern drum tabs. This makes it very easy to grasp for non musicians or beginners. Even experienced drummers who struggle with their sight reading would greatly benefit from this method, as long as it is only used as a learning aid and they don’t come to rely on it. Turning up to a gig expecting this format and finding a proper music chart might present problems.

Backing tracks and full versions of the songs covered are included on the accompanying CD for you to play along and improvise with. They are also a good tool for getting recommended tempos for certain styles ie Bossa Nova or Mozambique.

Although this approach might turn off a few seasoned pros, it’s perfect for people who struggle with sight reading and are looking for a fresh way to try to understand how it’s done.

Ashley Hallinan

As fine a beginner drum book as one will find, dropping the learner (after a brief look at drum tablature) into the simplest of rock and pop styles, and leading on from there to cover funk, jazz, swing, reggae and more. With a performance and backing CD, this book will take the beginner through to a very competent level indeed. Each chapter shows ways of co-ordinating hands and feet, incorporating Barron’s own “cross in a square” tablature”.

MI Pro (Musical Instrument Professional) magazine

The title “Drum Styles Made Easy – Learn How to Play in Different Styles” is to be taken literally: in the first 14 chapters, drum grooves in various styles are introduced, and analysed with detailed instructions on how to play them. Later chapters build on these foundations, while featured in between the exercises in the book are helpful hints and advice on each playing style. The enclosed CD features a Play-along track for each style, so the student can practice their newfound skills. Each track is featured once with drums to demonstrate the groove, and then again with only a click track, so the student can play their own part along with the other instruments. The recordings are beautifully produced, and match the style and feel of each genre.

Drums & Percussion magazine

A comprehensive introduction to alternative styles on the drum kit. The book is designed as a hand to hold through the ever-challenging process of learning new and necessary styles in the demanding world of modern kit drumming. With an onus on four-way co-ordination, Drum Styles Made Easy explores rock/pop, funk, blues, jazz, swing, Latin, reggae and loads more to keep you busy, including genre-specific exercises, rudiments and improvisation tuition to reinforce the lessons. Barron uses the “cross in a square” method to illustrate an easy-to-follow approach to co-ordination, independence and reading drum notation. A CD containing performance and backing tracks, which encourage and enhance students’ musicality as much as possible, accompanies the book.

Drummer Magazine

A Sample of some of the songs you’ll be playing along to: