While it was always a quirky addition to pedagogic literature, this hugely expanded 2020 volume retains the handmade charms of the original ’zine and leverages the author’s years of teaching experience to deliver an approachable, delightful roadmap for beginners and their teachers.
Almost twenty years ago, the Portland, Oregon–based drummer/educator Lisa Schonberg realized that there was a large swath of people interested in learning drums but intimidated by the culture surrounding the instrument. She decided to create a book that served up essential information in her signature casual style. The first editions of The D.I.Y Guide to Drums were scrappy, hand-lettered, and seasoned with her original drawings, but she found that after ten years of teaching experience, the original edition no longer reflected her voice. After receiving a grant from the local Regional Arts & Culture Council last year, Schonberg recreated the book from top to bottom, substituting a new font based on her handwriting, recording all new examples for the audio companion, and improving the pace and flow of the text. Teachers will find The D.I.Y. Guide to Drums (available at lisaschonberg.com) to be a great resource for beginning students of all ages.
The spiral-bound, small-format book is just over a hundred pages, contains thirty pages of introductory material and a detailed section on rudiments, and ends with a comprehensive look at the basics of beat making. We spoke with Lisa from her home in Portland.