Jake is a permanent tutor at Bang Drum Lessons (bangdrumlessons.com) in London Fields, East London. Please see the Bang Drum Lessons website for more details. Alongside regular teaching, Jake is also working on a brand new & exciting teaching method and drumming concept, entitled The Alphabet Of Drums.
Jake is currently working on a teaching method and drumming concept entitled The Alphabet of Drums. His drum videos on YouTube (youtube.com/jakebradfordsharp) demonstrate what the method can do.
The Alphabet of Drums method focuses on the foundation of drumming: the rudiments, and applying them around the kit as musically as possible. The main idea of the method and concept is to learn an instrument how you would learn a language. The letters of the alphabet make up words, phrases, sentences just like drum rudiments create rhythms, patterns, grooves and so on. By assigning different rudiments to letters of the alphabet, you create 'words' and 'sentences'.
Jake takes you from the very first steps of learning the rudiments, through to how to practice and improve timing, speed, precision, and then onto more complex exercises such as adding different grooves, changing the groove and feel, different time signatures, metric modulation and polyrhythmic studies, all the while exploring the world that is musically and appropriately applying rudiments around the kit.
The method is still in development but Jake is continually working on it, building it up and using elements of the method in his lessons.
The Alphabet of Drums is due to be complete by the end of 2018, and will be publicly available worldwide. It is not yet clear if it will be made available as a physical product, but digital copies will be available via this website. Be sure to sign up to Jake's mailing list for all updates! Please see below for some short excerpts from the method. More excerpts coming soon. Be sure to sign up to the mailing list to stay updated with the progress of The Alphabet of Drums.
"Rudiments, for all intensive purposes, are the fundamental basis of all drumming. Players of all levels, styles and abilities use a wide variety of rudiments in every-day drumming. You may not even realise you’re using them. A good example of this is the single stroke roll, the most common rudiment..."
"Timing is a crucial element to any musician’s ability to play. It is so important to practice your timing. It’s what every musician uses to jam, connect and play together. The best example of timing is between the drummer and the bass player. If one of the performers in this rhythm section are out of time with one another, it becomes very sloppy and can sound very disorientating to the listener."
Creating a 'word'
"It’s time to start putting them [rudiments] together to create a 'word'. This is where the Alphabet of Drums method comes into its own. Just like the letters of the English alphabet make up all the known words and phrases of the English language, any and all rudiments can make up any groove or fill imaginable. If we take a look back to the introduction of this method, we already introduced the use of phrasing."
Some topics covered:
Rudiments & Application
- A look at some different rudiments, how to practice them, "The Power of The Snare" (taken from Jake's Alphabet of Drums method), applying them as grooves and beats, applying them around the kit as fills & more.
Groove & Feel
- Adding or removing feel, thought processes and technical aspects "Manipulating Moeller" (taken from Jake's Alphabet of Drums method), timing, moving the click & more.
- Applying the covered topics to everything from improvisational pieces, prepared tracks, general practices & practice regimes & more.