Percussive Arts Society's Percussive Notes publication (Credit: PAS)

Percussive Arts Society’s Percussive Notes publication (Credit: PAS)

The Percussive Arts Society (PAS) is a music service organization promoting percussion education, research, performance and appreciation throughout the world. The Percussive Arts Society is the world’s largest percussion organization and is considered the central source for information and networking for percussionists and drummers of all ages.

We would like to thank the Percussive Arts Society for their review which was published in january 2014 in the Percussive Notes journal (Digital version available). Percussive Notes is the journal of the Percussive Arts Society. This journal is written for professional and student percussionists.

Here is what the Percussive Arts Society (PAS) wrote

“PercussionTutor is an iOS application designed to teach traditional world percussion styles and their transfer to drumset. The interactive application is very thorough and includes styles or “rhythms”from Cuba, Dominican Republic, Brazil, Peru, West Africa, and an in-depth collection of traditional Cuban Bata patterns.

As an example of how each style works within the application, the guaguanco page displays an image of each of the instruments that make up this traditional rhythm (clave, maraca, cascara, salidor, tres golpe, and quinto). When the play button is pressed, each of the instruments can be heard and then toggled off or on to mix a composite sound of each voice. This allows a student to isolate and learn each component of the style one voice at a time.

In addition to the mixer feature, sheet music is provided to demonstrate the rhythmic ostinatos of the given style (this is best viewed with your device turned to landscape). An “info” tab displays background and cultural details about each style, and a tempo slider is also provided to slow down or speed up each rhythm. Each style also includes a performance video that demonstrates these patterns by leading percussionists in New York City.

Navigation is simple and the layout is logical and easy to grasp. Toggles, sliders, and buttons are large, and I found no obvious bugs that prevent a solid user experience. Additional features include the ability to “star” frequently used styles so they can be quickly located, and a useful “help” section that includes tips and advice for using the app as well as specific notation guidelines. A companion book or pdf file can also be downloaded for use with the interactive playback.

The application can be purchased through the iOS App Store. The current version (2.5) comes in at 119MB and requires iOS 5 or later. It is compatible with iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad, although it is not optimized for the iPad’s larger screen. Since its introduction in 2012, the application has seen a few updates, one of which included the addition of five new rhythmic styles and a new user interface. This is promising, as the developers will likely continue to contribute more content in the future. There are no in-app purchases, so users receive all features with one purchase.” – Thad Anderson, the Percussive Arts Society

Don’t forget to check out what our endorsers think of the app! Read their thoughts here. If you’d like to support spreading rhythm throughout the world, please help us reach more people by sharing this page with your friends. The buttons just under this line will make it a breeze – and you’ll make us even happier!

App Review from bassist Hugh Richardson

Hugh Richardson is a bass player, arranger and composer currently living in London. During his time in London he has performed among others with musicians such as Ian Matthews (Kasabian), Marc Russo (Tower of Power, Yellow Jackets), John Cowan (The Doobie Brothers), Lara Johnston, Tolis Zavaliaris (Vanessa Mae), Carl Verheyen (Supertramp), Marin Alsop (Baltimore Symphony Orchestra), Nick Mason (Pink Floyd), Chuck Sabo (Chaka Kahn, Elton John, Natalie Imbruglia), Alon Cohen (Passenger), Kimya, Amy Studt, Leon Mitchener (Rolf Hind, London Improvisers Orchestra), Ana Free, Gianluca Corona (Al Di Meola) and Cheryl Alleyne (Courtney Pine).

Here is what he writes about the app:

This is an app that has such a huge amount to offer to any musician. Whether you are a beginner or at a more advanced stage there is so much information here!

The app is incredibly easy to use and having recordings of actual musicians gives the content so much more context. Two things that struck me almost immediately about the app were (A) the level of customisation within each groove and (B) the amount of depth and knowledge packed into each groove. This is not some run of the mill play along app. Every groove has been played flawlessly, comes with a complete score, a video of the recording session, the option to add, solo or mute each individual element of the groove, and last of all, some information regarding things such as the historic origins of the rhythm and notable players from the genre.

What’s so clever about this is that it gives the consumer something beyond the app to explore. This can be anything from the mechanics of each grove to information about expanding on basic principles of each grove (variation and conversation options) and even further listening that comes in the form of historical figures mentioned in the information section on the grooves.

All of this is supplemented by the free E-book that is available to download from the website or through the app. It gives further insight into the programme and also offers the user a chance to engage with the material creatively as it states that you are welcome to ‘distribute and transmit…remix….and even make commercial use of the work’.

All in all this is a very complete programme. Something of great depth that professional musicians, educators or those who are just curious about world music will get a great deal from.

Jérôme teaches a workshop in the french part of Switzerland. Click the link below to see excerpts of the workshop:

http://www.canalalpha.ch/actu/un-percussionniste-new-yorkais-a-saint-imier/

We just uploaded a new video, which is part of the PercussionTutor app, showing a rhythm called Afra. The recording took place in December 2012 at the www.atlanticsoundstudios.com in Brooklyn.

One of the many different ethnic groups in Cuba are the Arará people (found mainly in the provinces of Havana and Matanzas). Originally they came from Dahomey, now Benin.

Jérôme (and his 2 brothers …) play the three traditional drums Caja, Segundo, Bajo on a conga with sticks. The lead drum Caja is played with hand and stick. The Tercero which is not shown on the video can be heard on the backing track. The bell called ogan plays a typical 6/8 rumba clave.

It’s worth noting the subtle interlocking of the four drum parts. The use of the sticks creates a very short attack requiring the performers to be perfectly in sync. Is’s certainly a great rhythm to practice on a table with whatever kitchen utensils are at hand.

The transcription gives just an idea of the melody the four meshing drum parts are creating.

afra_bas_sheet - Full Score

Please visit www.percussiontutor.com/downloads for the free transcription book and the iPhone app.

Workshop in Switzerland

Jérôme and Jonathan are just back from a latin percussion workshop ins Switzerland. There are some clichés you can’t do without.

PercussionTutor-workshop Switzerland2

PercussionTutor-workshop Switzerland 1

Lalubanche applied on drumset and congas

Victor Rendon plays the itotele part with his left hand and the 6/8 clave pattern with his right hand. Jérôme Goldschmidt plays the okonkolo part with his left hand and some improvisations with his right hand. Enjoy!

5 day intensive drum workshop in New York

The goal of the intensive workshop is to give teenagers and young adults the opportunity to work with first-class New York based drummers and percussionists.

Lana Pauly and Pit Romersa with Mario Monaco, Robby Ameen and Jéróme
Lana Pauly and Pit Romersa with Mario Monaco, Robby Ameen and Jéróme
Lana Pauly and Pit Romersa with Frank Belucci
Lana Pauly and Pit Romersa with Frank Belucci
Lana Pauly and Matt Howell with Evan Gregor and Diego Voglino
Lana Pauly and Matt Howell with Evan Gregor and Diego Voglino

This workshop is organized by Jéróme Goldschmidt and Joël Heyard. For more info go to www.nydrumworkshop.com

The perfect 5-minute warm up

Max Senitt, drummer for Alex Cuba, educator and PercussionTutor endorser posted this video online yesterday:

We just tried it out – and we think it’s awesome! Get the chart here: Warm Up Chart

And by the way, a new update (2.50) will be available soon on the App Store. New rhythms, better design, improvements… and perhaps new warm ups!

New app version launched!


Thanks to all of you for the great launch we had with PercussionTutor back in July! We updated the app with new content, improved features and a complete User Interface redesign. The new companion book is also available as a free download on our website (www.percussiontutor.com/downloads).

As you’re working on the new rhythms (I suppose…), we’re working hard on our side: expect new updates in the next months with even more rhythms, updated audio and bug fixes. There are still a lot of rhythms to be released soon – this is just the very beginning!

With the launch of PercussionTutor, two amazing musicians joined our existing endorsers (http://percussiontutor.com/endorsements/):

Thanks again for your great support.

For any questions, email us, tweet, message us on Facebook – we’re listening (and we love to hear from you)!

Jonathan, the PercussionTutor team

First review on notreble.com

The version 2 of the app was only launched a few days ago and we already got our first review by Damian Erskine. Here is in a nutshell what he has to say on a site dedicated to the bass(!):

“PercussionTutor is truly fantastic and a blast to play along with. I even found myself just reading the ebook for my own reference and education. Money well spent for anyone who wants to explore these rhythms or “the original funk music,” as Lincoln Goines put it. Check it out!”

“In other words, this will help you – as a bassist – to better understand how your bass lines should fit into the context of the groove.”

Go here for the full review on notreble.com.