What is the Foundational Series Group Class?


A recent Foundational Series Class at Vic's Drum Shop in Chicago
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The Foundational Series Class is an opportunity to work through the exercises from the book in a group setting, which I have found to be an extremely effective way to really go deep with the material.

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The Foundational Series Book is a companion guide to developing a deeper understanding of time, phrasing, coordination, polymetric relationships, time-signatures, accents, and pulse movement. Because the DrumMantra transcends any music style or genre, it will allow whatever music we are playing to be more fluid, solid, and creative. 

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The material in the DrumMantra was developed over a 10-year deep-dive into some rhythmic concepts I became fascinated with. The culmination of literally hundreds of hours of work found its way to the world as a nine book series, the first of which is the Foundational Series. 

Register for Foundational Series Group Class

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The material in the Foundational Series Book is organized in a way that makes it experiential. Each piece of each section is created to be a playing experience as well as a training experience. 

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Every single exercise in the Foundational Series has a play-along that goes with it and in fact, every piece of music was composed specifically to support every single note the hands or foot plays. The purpose of the music is to breathe life into the exercises as musical experiences rather than just cut and dry sticking and coordination patterns. 

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Every page in the Foundational Series is intended to be played a certain way. The "system" helps develop aspects beyond hand & foot movement or coordination. The development of concentration, mental endurance, and awareness are vital to playing music successfully with confidence and authority. This is a major focus of the exercises in the book. For instance, a page with 8 measures of music on it will take seven minutes to "perform" because of how it is supposed to be played. 

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At times you will be pushing your endurance, at other times your patience, at other times your coordination, at other times your concentration. Its a major cross-training experience without a doubt.

The Foundational Series Book, released in Fall 2016. 

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Is this class only for advanced players?

Class of high schoolers at UWGB Summer Music Camp in Green Bay, WI
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There is definitely a level of challenge to the exercises that require the practitioner to have some things together, but the material is certainly accessible to players who are less experienced but very serious. That being said, some of the material has challenged has challenged some of the most advanced players that I know. 

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Whether you're a seasoned pro or an intermediate-level player these classes can be modified to keep you challenged but not overwhelmed. 

Foundational Series Class at Elmhurst College in Elmhurst, IL

 

Class with 8BB Creative Lab Percussionists (professional players)

Register for Foundational Series Group Class

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The Foundational Series Book covers three different time signatures. The class focuses on coordination, polymetric relationships, phrasing, technique, timing, rhythmic reading, and more. 

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In the group class, we play through the various parts of each section in the book:

  • Warm-Ups (8 to 10min each)
  • 1-page Workouts (7min each)
  • Full Performance Pieces (32 to 37min)
  • Rhythmic Melodies (2 to14min each)

Here is a 1-page Workout. This is from Page One, Section I:

  

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There are three sections in the book, each in a different time signature -  4/4, 3/4, and 5/4 time. The introduction of the polymetric relationships occurs in Section II and III.

Here's a clip from a recent class working on the 5:4 polymetric relationship:

 

Foundational Series Focus:

  • Accuracy
  • Awareness
  • Coordination
  • Consistency
  • Endurance
  • Patience
  • Precision
  • Relaxation

 

Demonstrations at the Chicago Drum Show, 2018
Foundational Series Online Lessons at the Chicago Drum Show, 2018

 

Group Class at Vic's Drum Shop, 2017

 

With Brad Schleuter from Drum! Magazine at the 2018 Chicago Drum Show!

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DATE & TIME:
Sundays 2:00pm - 3:15pm

(please pre-register or check the schedule before dropping in)

 Register for Foundational Series Group Class

Single class price is $20 (cash drop-in)

10 class pack $190

20 class pack $360

*class packages are also redeemable for yoga classes at Central Street Yoga 

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