Best Resources for Learning the Brushes: A Helpful Guide




1. The Complete Guide to Playing Brushes (Florian Alexandru-Zorn)

This book and DVD kit is ideal for drummers ready for an in-depth study of playing with brushes. The Complete Guide to Playing Brushes uses detailed illustrations and video demonstrations to eliminate the guesswork of brush movements and clearly show all the facets of playing. Beginning to advanced players will equally benefit from this course. Topics include rudiments, the details of sweeping motions, tap sounds, and grooves.

Purchase: The Complete Guide to Playing Brushes (Book & DVD)


2. The Sound of Brushes (Ed Thigpen)

A step-by-step guide that develops total mastery of the art of brush playing. This new edition is updated and revised with a section on rock applications plus additional brush-stroke techniques. Ed Thigpen's thorough approach includes all patterns shown with full-size diagrams and accompanying CDs containing every beat, pattern, and play-along track.

Purchase: The Sound of Brushes (Book & CD)


3. Mastering the Art of Brushes (Jon Hazilla)

If you want to become a serious brush player - and any jazz musician MUST be a great brush player - then this is the book to get. Also check out his accompanying DVD "Brush Control" as a great supplement to the book. Seeing the patterns played visually is very important, as sometimes brush playing can be somewhat abstract to pick-up simply from a book.

Purchase: Master the Art of Brushes (Book)

4. Brushworks: The New Language for Playing Brushes (Clayton Cameron)

Legendary drummer Clayton Cameron reveals the secrets of good brushwork in this must have book that should be on every drummer’s shelf. 

Noted as one of the world’s most innovative drummers, Cameron gives the reader an encyclopedic survey of brushstrokes in a step-by-step process that is clear and precise. 

Also included in the book is a CD detailing sounds and patterns. This book will surely become the benchmark of brush technique for years to come!

Purchase: Brushworks (Book & CD)


5. Brush Fire (Kirk Willis)

Brushes have been used since the early part of this century, yet there is very little written to help drummers develop their brush technique. This book covers hand positions, the snare drum head, brush patterns & exercises in many different time signatures, combination brush and stick playing, blues brushes, the techniques of famous players, and lots more. Author Willis Kirk has 30 years of experience playing brushes with literally hundreds of musicians.

Purchase: Brush Fire


6. Brush Artistry (Philly Joe Jones)

A great book from one of the great jazz masters, has been out of print for over 30 years.

Free Download: Brush Artistry


7. The Art of Bop Drumming (John Riley)

Although not specifically a brush book, there is an entire chapter dedicated to the topic, and because the book is written by one of the world's greatest jazz drumming educators, there are lots of excellent bits of information about the topic of brushes.

Purchase: The Art of Bop Drumming (Book & CD)





8. The Brush Secret: How to Apply Your Own Voice to the Brushes (Florian Alexandru-Zorn) 

In this new DVD, Florian Alexandru-Zorn has compiled the clearest and most comprehensive concepts for brush technique ever. This DVD will provide the underlying secrets of playing drumset with brushes---not just mindless and endless patterns, but concepts for every playing style and genre, from jazz and Latin to funk and reggae. The Brush Secret is suitable for both beginners and advanced players. It'll give you the freedom you need to apply your own voice to the brushes. 

Purchase: The Brush Secret (DVD)


9. The Brush Revolution: How to Evolve Your Language to Musicianship (Florian Alexandru-Zorn) 

Florian Alexandru-Zorn has developed fundamental new concepts for the drummer in order to allow expression in a completely new way. 

Purchase: The Brush Revolution (DVD)

10. Brush Control: The Key to Mastering Brushes (Jon Hazilla)

This comprehensive method gives creative drummers of all levels the technical tools and musical insights they'll need to master the art of playing brushes. Jon presents a progressive series of techniques and exercises, and then his cookin' trio demonstrat

Purchase: The Key to Mastering Brushes (DVD)


11. The Art of Playing with Brushes (Steve Smith & Adam Nussbaum) 

The Art of Playing with Brushes – Presented by Adam Nussbaum and Steve Smith – brilliantly conceived and meticulously documented, The Art of Playing with Brushes is the most comprehensive, definitive and unprecedented volume on the topic ever produced.Living legends Billy Hart, Eddie Locke, Joe Morello, Charli Persip and Ben Riley along with modern brush masters Adam Nussbaum and Steve Smith demonstrate and discuss their distinctive drumming styles then all perform the same set of medium to up-tempo swing, ballads and Latin tunes to compare and contrast their unique approaches and interpretations. 

Purchase: The Art of Playing with Brushes (DVD)


12. Brushworks (Clayton Cameron)

In this extraordinary double DVD set, Clayton Cameron brings to life the methods and concepts presented in his award winning book/CD Brushworks. The DVD set features Cameron performing all of the unique brushstrokes and styles and his codification of brush playing technique – Brush stroke rudiments. Other remarkable highlights include a special section with tap dancing legend, Chester Williams, exceptional solo presentations by Clayton Cameron and bonus performances by The Clayton Cameron Trio with Billy Childs, Piano and Joe Sanders, Bass.

Purchase: Brushworks (DVD)




Online Resources


13. The Essence of the Brushes by Ed Thigpen (Youtube Link)

14. Peter Erskine: Playing Brushes with all Styles of Music (1hr Lesson)

15. Mel Brown Demonstrating Philly Joe Jones' Brush Techniques

Clayton Cameron

16. Tedx Talk

17. 1hr Masterclass

18. The Brush Rudiments


Florian Alexandru-Zorn

19. Brushes In Modern Drumming (1hr Lesson)

20. Blast Beat on Brushes

21. The Brush Secrets

22. The Drag

23. Double Stroke Roll






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