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Mastering the Tables of Time

Mastering the Tables of Time provides an inclusive framework combining studies in timekeeping, coordination, rudiments, polyrhythms and dynamic control into musical applications to benefit any player interested in developing a stronger foundation, greater confidence and freedom of expression in any musical direction.

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Chapter Studies

Introducing the Standard Timetable

The Standard Timetable focuses on duple and triple subdivisions most commonly used in popular music that expand or contract rhythmic phrases into half, double, and triple-time feels. One timetable provides several tempo applications.

Musical Phrasing

Once you can play the basic subdivisions of the Standard Timetable comfortably, musical phrasing is the logical next step. Musical styles are defined by how the subdivisions within their rhythms are phrased to give the proper feeling to the music.

4-Way Coordination

To develop coordination the drumset, think of it in the collective sense, like our body, as one instrument. Coordination is a tool for developing the freedom to spontaneously play what you hear in your head, staying focused on musical expression and not mechanics when performing.

Selected Rudimental Variations

Rudimental stickings were designed to give the snare drummer a rhythmic vocabulary and foundation for executing military cadences with consistent precision and a bit of flair. Their incorporation into classical and jazz music elevated rudimental use to a greater art form today in many styles of music.

Abstract Timetable Studies

The concept of the Abstract Timetable allows for the exploration of syncopated rhythms that vary from the common flow of subdivisions of the Standard or World Timetables, but are effectively applicable to the timetable format and musical expression.

Basic Polyrhythms & Hemiola

"Poly" means many. The use of two or more metric frameworks played simultaneously is what we define as a polyrhythm. Hemiola is a rhythmic form of counterpoint that introduces a new type of meter on top of a previously existing one, creating a polyrhythm.

Contemporary Backbeat Grooves

Syncopation is our occupation. A backbeat is synonymous with the definition of syncopation. The balance of the downbeat/backbeat continuum is less regimented in feel with an emphasis on the backbeat, instilling the urge to dance rather than march.

Modern Jazz Grooves

Jazz is built around freedom of improvisation and social democracy in its practice. As the music has evolved, freedom for the drummer has expanded as well. The influence of world culture introduced new rhythms, odd meters, and advanced polyrhythmic concepts into the language of jazz.

Soloing Applicatons

A message telegraphed across quiet African plains; the melody of tympani in a concert hall; slapping skins on a Cuban street corner; blisteringly fast logic and form in a hot NYC nightclub; an explosion of sound, lights and smoke in an arena. The song of the drum solo has been sung in many ways over the centuries.

Introducing the World Timetable

The World Timetable employs a rhythm scale that shifts its value groupings gradually, like the gears on a bike, from 1 to 9 notes (or more) per beat as follows: quarter-notes, 8th-notes, 8th-note triplets, 16th-notes, quintuplets, sextuplets, octuplets, and nontuplets, etc.

Voted Modern Drummer Readers Poll Winner 2009

Mastering the Tables of Time

Community Reviews


What users say!

A REALLY good book. Buy it if you don't have it yet! Been working on it for four years!
Sergio Ponti
Torina, Italy
Rudiments, accents, rock and jazz and Latin rhythms, independence, polyrhythms and dynamics are addressed thoroughly and it’s also packed with many of the “secrets” found in the finest drummers of yesterday and today.
Bill Steiger
St. Paul, MN
For me your book has become an instant classic. I worked on it a little since I got it, and it has influenced my playing for the best already.
Alain Rieder
Geneva, Switzerland
The buzz is strong inside drum circles that this book is the "Stick Control" of the future, so I took the plunge and indeed, it was a revelation!
Karl Slom
Winnipeg, Ontario
I love your practical (and rare approach) this is how it applies to MUSIC. That is after all why we work on anything technical.
Jon Berger
New York, NY
David's book is great. I think the real power in it is that it opens up a world of possibilities using a very simple, but very powerful method.
Todd Knapp
Bedfordshire, UK
It is an amazingly in-depth work and is a very useful resource which approaches the basis of rhythmic structure in a detailed and systematic way.
Pete Lockett
London, UK
It is an amazingly in-depth work and is a very useful resource which approaches the basis of rhythmic structure in a detailed and systematic way.
Anthony Amodeo
New York, NY
Fantastic logical approach, endless musical ideas... it makes everything you ever heard your favorite drummer do seem accessible
Drummerworld Forums
I received the book and fell in love with it immediately. Coming up with and developing a novel approach to teach drums at all levels is a mind-boggling accomplishment.
Andy Ziker
San Francisco, CA
I highly recommend David's book! His quote from Tony Williams in the preface says it all. Another great addition to our percussive library!
Rick Gratton
Mississauga, Ontario
The application of the table of time to the drumset using all four limbs makes this material a formidable challenge for drummers of all levels.
John Ramsay
Boston, MA

David Stanoch

David played his first professional gig at age 12, launching an eclectic career performing with artists in jazz, rock, R&B, Broadway, motion pictures and television. He’s written for MODERN DRUMMER, contributed to Jim Berkenstadt’s book, The Beatle Who Vanished, co-authored The 2 in 1 Drummer, and wrote Mastering the Tables of Time––voted “#1 Edu Book,” MODERN DRUMMER 2009 Readers Poll.

David studied with many of drumming’s greatest masters and now serves on the PAS Drumset Committee, the MODERN DRUMMER, Remo, and Vic Firth Educational Teams.