Stick Control For the Snare Drummer

(60 customer reviews)


SKU: 1892764040 Category:

Publisher ‏ : ‎

Alfred Music (April 1, 2009)

Language ‏ : ‎


Staple Bound ‏ : ‎

48 pages

ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎


ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎


Item Weight ‏ : ‎

6.4 ounces

Dimensions ‏ : ‎

9.25 x 0.25 x 12 inches


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Best Sellers Rank:

#6 in Music Exercises

Customer Reviews:

2,831 ratings

60 reviews for Stick Control For the Snare Drummer

  1. B. Fotiu

    A necessary resource for any drummer

    Stick Control: For the Snare Drummer should be required reading for any drummer, from the veteran looking to maintain their skills to the beginner looking for a good starting off point in percussion.This book does not teach basic technique, as in holding drumsticks or types of strokes, but it does present a lifelong regimen for establishing and maintaining performance. After receiving my shipment from Amazon I started from page 1 exercise 1 (a simple R L R L beat) playing for 20-30 minutes per day. These exercises, while playing along with my metronome, have already began to improve my sense of time, my internal count (“One and Two and Three and Four and”) and my basic technique.Eventually I will move on to Stick Control: For the Snare Drummer’s companion volume 

    Accents and Rebounds: For the Snare Drummer

     to help round out my skills but for now I have months of exercises and a fine resource in Stick Control.

    3 people found this helpful

  2. R. Powlus

    No accents?

    Great for building skills, but no accents. I think many of these excercises would be greatly improved by accenting some of the notes. I often accent the first beat of each measure, then next time the second, then third… I gave it 4 stars, it would have been 5 with accents.

    9 people found this helpful

  3. Davpis

    A book for all drummers

    If you play drums you need this book

  4. Sunshine

    Stick control from start to finish

    I got this to work on my hands, you will understand why this book is so respected as soon as you start to use it.

  5. G-Lo

    Important book!

    This is an essential book for sticking.30 minutes everyday practicing rudiments is important, and it’s all written out for you. Great way of learning music and sticking patterns. It’s hard to read, small print, but not as small as some individuals complain about.

  6. César

    A classic!

    A classic! Every drummer should have one.

  7. Thomas Owens Jr

    The Ultimate Drummer’s Bible…

    Now available on Kindle, is AWESOME! No worry about faded pages, minimal carbon imprint, etc…PERFECT!

  8. B. Rautio

    The first choice for developing your stick technique!!

    This is THE book on stick-technique! If you’re gonna buy just one book to use for stick-practicing – this is it! Singles, doubles, combinations and even the buzzroll are all covered thoroughly. You don’t have to be a master-reader to understand the exercises. They are short, easy-read and still far from boring. The level of difficulty changes along with the speed you select on your metronome. In other words; you can buy this book and practice meaningfully with it for the rest of your drumming career. And that really says it all.”Stick Control” has been on the market for a very long time but is still hot and recommended by many of the drumming legends like, for example, Peter Erskine.You can use it even if you don’t have a drumset. All you need is a pair of sticks and a metronome (and preferably a practice pad).GREAT BOOK!!!

    3 people found this helpful

  9. jenbrik


    Love this book. It’s easy to follow. My drum teacher loves it too. He remembers using it when he was a kid. Great for practicing, for warm-ups, for hand coordination. It starts with easy exercises then gets more and more complicated. My teacher was able to help with the more difficult parts.The hardest part is discplining yourself to do the exercises. I would highly recommend it to beginners like me.

    13 people found this helpful

  10. Russell

    A Must Have for Learning Percussion

    An old classic. This book teaches the fundamentals of drum technique and stickings and is a must have for working on your technique. This particular book’s quality is quite good as well. It’s a regular finish, too, btw, not the matte finishlike the old copy of the book.

  11. Jeremy Martin

    Excellent drum method

    Highly recommended for serious percussion players looking to improve their stick control.

  12. Mike

    Still the best training book for over 40 years

    My son in law asked for this book for Christmas. He is an accomplished drummer but wanted to get more practice. Ironically, I had this book over 50 years ago when I was taking lessons!

  13. Andrew BaerstAndrew Baerst

    A Classic with a Modern Update

    I’ve owned the paperback version of Stick Control forever. It’s a staple in for many drummers over the years. Recently my copy went missing. After giving up the search I bought the Kindle version and have really enjoyed having Stick Control handy no matter where I am (not that taking the paperback version was too difficult, but that might have led to the misplacement). Classic practice companion. No nonsense. A never ending source of practice and ideas.

    2 people found this helpful

  14. Armando Padilla

    Will Improve Your Technique

    The book really expands your mind in terms of what and how you play drums. Some patterns are trickier that others. After a few days of dedication to the book, my playing improved a lot. Play against a metronome to a comfortable speed – take your time with it to really appreciate the essence of what the book teaches. So much to discover in this little treasure of pages.

    One person found this helpful

  15. Robert

    In my opinion, the gold standard for developing technique

    I own about 7 different drumming books and this one is by far the best I’ve ever owned. The author presents a system for training the muscles that is second to none. Drumming technique is all about muscle memory and comprehensive muscle memory training is all about teaching your brain patterns and mastering them one at a time.This book is immediately accessible for beginners. The exercises are deceptively simple and progress in a perfectly hierarchical manner. Each new exercise builds and expands upon the previous exercise which just enough of a twist to cause your brain to note and learn the distinction. This makes practice easy and progress quick.I don’t know whether it’s good or bad, but you can spend months (as I have) working on just the first page! Not because the exercises are tough, but because even the simplest of exercises takes time and devotion to master.I can think of no more important skills for a drummer to develop than timing accuracy and independence of limbs. If you purchase only one drumming book, and Stick Control is it, you’ll still have an extraordinary tool at your disposal.Follow the directions exactly – how you practice is as important as what you practice

    4 people found this helpful

  16. Brian B


    Hands down the best investment I have ever made. I’ve been playing drums for about 9 years and I have never been able to play so effortlessly. This book has a bunch of simple rudiments with alternate stickings to really build your dexterity and control with both hands. My left hand (I’m right handed) has always been very weak and I could never quite get the grip the same as my dominant hand. I’ve been using a metronome with the first page for about 3 days for a little over an hour each day and I’m already noticing significant improvement. I’ve tried to do excercises on my own to build strength but actually having the notes in front of me helped me to focus more and I am slowly but surely gaining control over my left hand and even more with my right too. I never write reviews on anything I purchase but I had to for this book because it’s amazing. Well worth the money!

    2 people found this helpful

  17. Salvia Plath

    now im just like the guy from whiplash

    great book

  18. reviewer

    Good book but do not buy used

    This book is full of good exercises for stick control. However, the condition of the book was poor. I purchased a “like new” used version that was listed as “small damage on cover.” There are actually numerous areas of damage on the book and the most pronounced on the cover was so deep it went all the way through to the back cover. The pages are still usable, but all have some level of damage. Definitely would not have listed this as “like new” and would not have purchased had I known the extent of the damage.

    One person found this helpful

  19. Luis B.

    This Book is a Classic

    I started playing drums when I was 15 and I’m 76 now. This was the first book my drum teacher gave me. If you want to learn drumming the traditional way than this book will do that for you. The book may seem a little stiff with its exercises, but once you learn the exercise than you can put your own interpretation on it so it can fit you. I see the book as a foundation template for further exploration into the field of drumming as an art form. The book is good for a beginner or advanced student.

    One person found this helpful

  20. oscar ordonez

    Stick Control: For the Snare Drummer

    Great book! Must have!!

  21. Amazon Customer

    I own two

    Probably one of the single most important drum books I’ve owned, and I’ve barely made it past the 3rd page.

  22. owlRnothing

    Will not help you learn to read music, but…

    I like it and it will force me to learn to read music better. That said, don’t think this is going to teach you anything about reading music. Page one just starts in with the measures and notes, assuming you already know how to read music. Still, it is the standard for a reason and I’m glad I got it.

  23. TH

    Excellent Learning book

    The best in stick control

  24. Ken Veto

    Stick Control for the Drummer

    This is one of the essential books for serious drum practice. I do exercises out of it for 20 minutes at each practice session. I didn’t give it 5 stars because there are way too many exercises and little guidance about how to do them. Log on to YouTube, type in the search term ‘stick control’ and you will find videos from a number of drum instructors that show you how to get the best use out of this book.

    3 people found this helpful

  25. Zeke

    Excellent Drummer’s Practice Book

    I bought this for my son. According to all of the drum instructors and Drummer’s I know this book is a must for practicing.

  26. Joe Suarez

    Great learning tool.

    What can I say about this? It has been around since 1932 and has been the staple for snare drummers. I hated it at first but it does teach you stick control and lead hand control. Very repetitive but that’s how you Develop muscle memory. Great book for learning it’s just very repetitive. My instructors been using it for over 20 years.

    3 people found this helpful

  27. shaun wintershaun winter

    Awesome book

    Every drummer should have this book

  28. Catherine Kelso

    Old but very relevant

    There just isn’t any way around the basics. Whether you are playing just a snare or a whole kit this book is where to start to get the chops you need to pull off some really great rhythms and fills.

  29. Eusi Ndugu

    Great book for beginners

    This is one of my beginning drum teaching books.

  30. Amazon Customer

    El mejor libro de ejercicios

    El mejor texto de cabecera para un baterista

  31. Mike Cavanaugh

    Drummers Bible – A MUST HAVE

    As a drummer…please do not make the mistake I made. I knew about this book, but did not use it. Ten years later, I find myself in a situation where I am making a record…..and that my act will consist of being ambidextrous and playing drums both left and right handed. Hence – I have been doing the snare exercises in this fantastic and mystical book, really. You will not believe how good you will get when you go through this guy’s sticking patterns – and fast. My improvement in two months is epic! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED – THIS IS THE DRUMMERS BIBLE – I MEAN THAT. READ IT DEEP – IT WILL UNLEASH MYSTERIES OF DRUMMING THAT YOU WILL LOVE! Every real drummer I have ever met will tell you a story about this book if they have been in the book!

    3 people found this helpful

  32. Lee Brodinsky

    Great for the rudiments but suggest one starts first with a competent and experienced instructor.

    Love the exercises, but as someone who uses just practice pads and basically is learning sticks as a supplement to add another dimension in my drum circle, need to have someone show me closed, short rolls, etc as I can’t figure out a number of exercises and how they are played. However, what I have learned has given me some sound fundamentals, my hands getting faster as I couple this with some videos and other material. In essence get an instructor, and when up to speed, tackle this book and you will find it effective. Legendary writing in drumming as the preface and the quotes from many of one’s idols indicates. Well its now 2 years later since I wrote my review, and am taking half hour lessons via Zoom with an instructor for the last 8 months or so with stick and pad. Would have studio space for a kit but the pandemic has zapped that for now. He has clarified much for me and my technique continues to improve. A reviewer didn’t like that the book does not have accented exercises. For this my instructor has me working with the Ted Reed book one on Syncopation. There are wonderful accented exercises that can be quite challenging. Stick Control is still the core which should be in everyone’s collection.

    8 people found this helpful

  33. Amazon Customer


    OutStanding Book!!!! Always in use!!!

  34. steve o’connor

    Here’s your rudiments, get to work.

    Here are all your drum rudiments in classic form.

  35. Kumar A. Desai

    Best drumming book by far

    You know when you hear an amateur drummer who sounds clunky with bad timing, lacking finesse, and plays with tree trunk arms and stiff wrists? Yes we’ve all heard drummers like that. Well that was me until I got hold of this book.Within a month of solid (1 hour a day) practice of the first page I began to sound so much better. Of all the drumming books this one has had the greatest impact in my playing. Practicing from it is a bit like meditation – no obvious benefits from doing it – but then a couple of days later your drumming has changed in some incomprehensible way (for the better).The book will reveal your weaknesses and the endless pages of potential exercises means that you will have a lifetime of weaknesses to work on.You will get better and you do need to use this book if you take learning this instrument seriously. Definitely the best drumming book by far.

    22 people found this helpful

  36. Steve

    I didn’t want to like this

    I bought this because it was recommended by several of the online drum teachers I follow.I had low expectations – it’s ancient, it’s for snare drumming, there’s a picture of a revolutionary war drummer on the cover for chrissakes.But, I started following the drills as instructed from page 1.Within a few days, my rolls, stick control and coordination had a demonstrable improvement.Within a few weeks, I realized I had gotten much better at reading music – even music for set drumming in other books.I limit myself to 45 minutes of practice with this every other day because I’m 52 and don’t want to create overuse injury since I’m just playing for fun.But it was well worth the price.

    31 people found this helpful

  37. Jay Kim

    … drumming books and this one is by far the best I’ve ever owned

    I own about 7 different drumming books and this one is by far the best I’ve ever owned. The author presents a system for training the muscles that is second to none. Drumming technique is all about muscle memory and comprehensive muscle memory training is all about teaching your brain patterns and mastering them one at a time.This book is immediately accessible for beginners. The exercises are deceptively simple and progress in a perfectly hierarchical manner. Each new exercise builds and expands upon the previous exercise which just enough of a twist to cause your brain to note and learn the distinction. This makes practice easy and progress quick.I don’t know whether it’s good or bad, but you can spend months (as I have) working on just the first page! Not because the exercises are tough, but because even the simplest of exercises takes time and devotion to master.I can think of no more important skills for a drummer to develop than timing accuracy and independence of limbs. If you purchase only one drumming book, and Stick Control is it, you’ll still have an extraordinary tool at your disposal.Follow the directions exactly – how you practice is as important as what you practice

    12 people found this helpful

  38. Mike

    Where Greatness Begins

    Don’t let the Minuteman drummer on the cover throw you. This isn’t just about marching band. This is exactly how you learn the snare. This perfect little book contains just what you need and nothing you don’t. There are no cute “comic book” style panels and no anthropomorphic eighth notes dressed as hip-hoppers, trying to make drumming “cool” to a bunch of iPhone-addled 21st century kids. Frankly, if your kids need that stuff to keep their attention, they either aren’t mentally ready to learn music or just aren’t interested. This is strictly a book of exercises that, if you take it seriously, will teach you more than a thousand amateur youtube videos could. Is it exciting? Not really. Can it get boring? Sure. The list of things that never get boring is awfully small. Is it repetitive? Absolutely, but that’s a good thing. The drum set, maybe more than any other instrument, is about about muscle memory and control. The great ones still practice the fundamentals. This book, an inexpensive metronome and an occasional lesson with someone who can help clean up your technique will get you on the road to drumming excellence. Master this book and you’ll have the foundation to go anywhere you want as a drummer.

    10 people found this helpful

  39. S. Howe

    Excellent book!

    I’m a beginner, unfortunately without hours a day to dedicate to practice. I do like to sit down with my pad and some sticks whenever I get a chance though. That being said, this book is very easy to understand, with no super-technical text or music notation. It’s something anyone can pick up and start using right away.Coupled with my Korg MA-30 metronome, this book has helped me improve so much that I decided to keep a log of metronome speeds over the last few weeks. Every time I sit down to practice, I write down the metronome speed for each exercise that I can play at with no mistakes. I have gone up 10 beats per minute (as high as 14 on some simpler ones) over a few weeks, in just a few minutes a day! Well, it’s a lot for me :)The funny thing is, I haven’t even made it past the first page of exercises yet. For a beginner like me, they are difficult enough for now. When I get good enough at the first page, I’ll move on to the second, and so forth. This further cements the book’s value, there is enough material in here for a lifetime of learning, and if you’re already a pro, enough material to keep you conditioned.I’m still very slow but I can see benefit every day in both speed and timing. If you get this book and stay with it, I bet you will too. I recommend keeping a log so you can track your progress! Positive reinforcement will only make you want to practice more!

    5 people found this helpful

  40. HE

    Great book for learning rudimental drumming

    I used Stick Control when I was a kid learning rudimental snare drum to march drum corps. My instructor used this book and his instructor used this book as well. It is like an etude book for drummers and has the rudiment patterns in different forms to which in the long run if practiced diligently; slow and with pace, will condition the hands to remember rudiment patterns to the point in which one can play the patterns without thought; in the same way that the Arban etude book works for brass instruments and if such exercises are practiced in the same way. This book works as a good supplement to drum lessons, other books, or other things that a person is learning. I recommend this book be used with a teacher for further guidance (otherwise, some things may seem tedious). This is in all an old book, but still a good book and many drummers that I came in contact with from drum corps to professional drum set playing all used the etudes out of this book at some time or another and attest that this book helped with their drumming. Another book many drummers use along side this book would be “Accents and Rebounds” by George Lawrence (the same author of this book); again another book to use with a teacher along side this book.

    2 people found this helpful

  41. Timmytimtim

    Love this book

    I passed on to a friend but will be ordering another one. It’s challenging for me to apply the patterns in this book but that’s the point to be broken and stretched, my skills on ‘steroids” . 😅

  42. David L.Hart

    A classic rudimental book

    This is a classic snare drum/practice pad workout book, there are lots of YouTube videos guiding you through it, there’s a page inside of accolades from everyone from Steve Gadd and Joe morello to Carmine Appice and Cindy Blackman, to give you an idea it’ll the level of player who use this book.

    One person found this helpful

  43. Amazon Customer

    Great book

    Great book

  44. John Leonard


    I took a few brush up lessons in my late 40’s. The teacher was like “let’s go back to basics–let’s see how you do with Stick Control.” After running through the first couple of lines at first I thought, this seems silly, but then after a week I realized this book is great. I can’t believe I’ve had four drum teachers and only the fourth one told me about this. It should have been the first. All drummers need to know about this book.

    One person found this helpful

  45. Dustin


    Recommend for all Skill levels on any instrument.

  46. Drumbeat

    Review For Stick Control

    Back with an old friend! Started playing drums in 1962 at age 8 and started using Stick Control in 1965 at age 11. Turned pro in 1971 at 16 …..thanks in a big part to Stick Control!! My teacher for 8 years who was himself a published author of 15 books on the snare drum at school, was a good friend of George Stone back on the east coast in the 1920s and 30s. He got some first hand advice from Mr. Stone on how to study and use this book the best!! Would like to share the info here. Playing each two bar phrase 20 times each is Very Important!!! Study each exercise carefully BEFORE you even try to play it with sticks. Not only are the notes important but make sure you are playing the sticking (Right hand left hand) correctly. Go through it in your head FIRST….then start with your sticks slowly! Make sure it is right first. You have heard the saying “Practice makes perfect”….but really….”Perfect practice makes Perfect”!!! Slowly start to play each exercise faster. My teacher gave me six exercises each week along with using several other books. We went through one page each month….so it took four years to go through this book!!! I retired in the year 2000 from drumming after almost 40 years…as I had to concentrate on my “Day Gig”. I had loaned out my Stick Control to a student in 1999 and never got it back. I decided to buy a second copy and start practicing on a pad again just recently… this is my second go around with Stick Control after my first go around 55 years ago!!! But….great books only get better with age….you will get a great deal out of this book for years to come. My best wishes to you….and good luck in your practice!!!

    71 people found this helpful

  47. Dawn

    Small font

    Small font. Hard to see at arm’s length.

    2 people found this helpful

  48. Kevin

    The item was delivered on time.

    I like this book because you special information exercisers for the drums.

  49. Shabbyitup

    A drummer for 50+ years and he LOVES IT!

    My husband is a gifted, talented drummer that has been drumming professionally for 50 + years and could not read a NOTE of music! Hence, why I say gifted. He can listen and jump right in and play and not miss a Beat. Grandpa was a professional musician also. It’s in the blood LOL what can I say. now in our golden years he decided he wanted to learn how to read music. This book was a hit. He loves it and is learning a lot from it. Impresses me because a gifted talented drummer can even pick up a few tips. One hint he did give me was that this book would be good for someone who started drumming in a school band. Rudiments are the foundation and very important for drumming. They are a big asset. This book assist with teaching those skills.

    One person found this helpful

  50. Jennifer D. Williams

    Summer fun

    My 14yr son wanted to stay fresh with his drum skills. He really enjoyed this book.

  51. Lucas McAbee

    This is the book you need to buy – jazz, rock, punk, it doesn’t matter

    To a beginners surprise, this book will enhance your drumming skills. Make sure to read the directions because they give good advice, and to continually practice and you will see results. Personally, I typically play rock/punk music which makes it sound like this book wouldn’t be for me. But it’s for any drummer, and the sheets are well written and rise in difficulty at a great pace.There are two drum books that have helped me tremendously – this is one of them.

  52. Joel

    Great Practice Material!

    At the beginning of this year (2014) I started practicing again and typed up my own basic practice routine which did not really work for me. I came across this book with alot of positive reviews and thought I would give it a try. So far I have been practicing for about 1 month for around 2 hours a day with hands and feet with a metronome. Once I get through the book, I am going to practice alternating between feet and hands (replace R hand with foot or L hand with foot etc). I focus on my grip also gripping the sticks with the pad of your fingers instead of a full grip. I can truly say that I can tell a big difference in my technique, control, and with the two combined, speed! Definitely worth the buy for any level of drumming if you use it!

    3 people found this helpful

  53. Nathan Couch


    Holy crap, this book is intense. Right out of the gate this really humbled me. I thought I was halfway decent with my stick control but boy this book expose some weakness. Theres no fat to this thing just exercises to be worked with a metronome. I wish I had started with this.

    2 people found this helpful

  54. Albert B

    Put In The Work

    When I don’t know what to practice or lack motivation I only have to put in some reps with my Stick Control to make gains in stick control and develop tempo.It is as dynamic as you are creative. As with any drumming book, exercises can be expanded across the four limbs and orchestrated around the whole drum set.

  55. Roby E. Gamboa

    Great content, but stored as a series of images

    The content is an excellent set of exercises for both new and experienced drummers. The format, however, is a series of (high-quality) scans of the print edition, which means if you’re viewing it on a tablet or other Kindle reader, you have to treat each page as an image and zoom into the section you want to work on. This makes switching from page to page more than a little bit of a pain. In this case, it’s sheet music, so I can kind of see the need for handling it the way that was provided. Still, there are modern music fonts in Unicode that are up for the task of rendering the content as text. Doing so would also reduce the size of the e-book considerably.

    One person found this helpful

  56. Paul

    It was the best of books, it was the worst of books!

    As anyone who’s used it knows, this book can be somewhat dry and, after many, many hours of practice, it can become an object of hate just like an old High School Chemistry textbook. However, there is a reason that it is the “industry standard” and that is because the exercises within it will make you a better drummer, with the application of perseverance. It is suitable for all levels, including the complete beginner, providing you can understand and follow the notation. This is the third copy of this book that I have purchased as it remains a relevant tool ……….. the other two copies were burnt after graduation!!

    32 people found this helpful

  57. BTA

    Easy to follow but challenging enough. Can pace yourself or speed up also.

    I’m just learning…starting out on drums and this has been the easiest practice book to follow. It helps you be more comfortable and natural with stick control and beats. I don’t read music very good so this is very clear to read. It’s for snare drumming whether loud or soft but the rest of the drums could easily be incorporated with filling in the rhythm. It’s helped me to actually produce drum rolls with timing. Works with metronome or without. Really get a lot out of this for beginning practice. It’s about 60 pages long and is size of say sheet music..regular copy paper dimension. Paper back so easy to prop up on music stand.

    2 people found this helpful

  58. Matthew Kusnohadi

    Classic drumming book

    Every drummer needs this book, whether drum set, marching, band percussion, anything. Gotta practice your rudiments and this is a very comprehensive book that will set up a very solid foundation for any drummer. Pick this book up if you want to improve.

  59. Matias Pfund


    This is a great book!! A lot of information that brings you the best to became a better drummer!

  60. mark

    The Bible of drumming

    I had a copy of this in 1971. It finally fell apart and I replaced it with a new one. This is a serious piece of any drummers arsenal

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