On the Beat With Josh Groban’s Dave DiCenso: Discussing His New Book, “Rhythm and Drumming Demystified???

Drummer Dave DiCenso

Hello fans of music, drumming, and Modern Drummer! My name is Dave DiCenso. I currently play drums for singer Josh Groban, and I am a professor at Berklee College of Music. I want to let you all know I have published a new book called Rhythm and Drumming Demystified. My goal was to offer a comprehensive method for expanding your vocabulary while improving your reading, timing, coordination, phrasing, and polyrhythmic skills.

The method I use to achieve this goal involves adapting the rudiments—and the myriad variations and grooves they spawn—to five systems of common figures, referred to as “rhythm codes.” A rhythm code is derived from permutating a “mother” figure to create related, or “sibling,” figures. This process manifests a rhythmic context that we can use as a means to increase the fluency and flexibility of any sticking or groove applied to it. By simply fitting pieces of drumset vocabulary to these rhythmic templates, we are rewarded with immediate phrasing options, as our vocabulary is forced to conform to different meters, grids, accent patterns, and/or different positions within the time.

In addition to listening to and playing music, the concepts and disciplines in RADD are ones that have best helped me in my pilgrimage of adopting my own version of the drumming vocabulary, making it second-nature, and adapting its content effortlessly within the context of music. My hope is that you will have the same experience! Advertisement

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