Birth of a Book

Last week’s appearance on Around the Kit gave me an opportunity to talk about subjects that rarely come up. One of the questions Joe Gansas asked was in regards to the origin of “FUNdamentals of Drumming for Kids.” For a project that has been so successful, the story behind it is surprisingly simple. Five years ago my son Jackson (left) showed a casual interest in playing my drums. Seeing an opportunity to pass on my interest I began looking for teaching aids in print and online. As Jackson was going on five at the time I was hoping to find something for his age group. I did not. In fact I was unable to find anything even close to a five year-olds comprehension level.

During my research I came upon a YouTube video of a drum clinic. In it, an intense looking guy in black was playing along to “She’s Country.” At the time I had absolutely no idea who Rich Redmond was but the song was vaguely familiar. Seeing that Rich was an educator I decided to reach out to him. I was able to find Rich’s email address on his website. I sent him a short message that described my dilemma and asked if he was aware of any teaching tools for younger kids. He was not. During our conversation it came up that I was a writer. Ever the entrepreneur Rich saw an opportunity.

After a short discussion and meeting the two of us decided to write our own book dedicated to the 5-10 year-old range. The result was “FUNdamentals of Drumming for Kids.” After shopping the draft around to several publishers the manuscript landed on the desk of Mike Dawson, managing editor of Modern Drummer magazine. Mike saw the value of the book and decided to publish it. The book would then be distributed by Hal Leonard. After winning a Best in Show award at NAMM, reaching the Best-Seller list on Amazon and currently in its second printing FUNdamentals continues to thrive. Rich and I are grateful for the continued interest in what started out as a whim. Ironically my son lost interest in the drums in favor of playing baseball.

Bass drum head design courtesy of Woodshed Stage Art: http://woodshedstageart.com

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