The collection of literature for percussion is continually growing and improving in quality. Here are a few methods and reference texts that I use in my private studio and personal study.


... Snare Drum Studies by Mitchell Peters
Available in Elementary, Intermediate, and Advanced levels, these snare drum methods are proven classics in percussion education.

Portraits in Rhythm by Anthony J. Cirone
Fifty intermediate to advanced etudes for solo snare drum. Standard literature for advanced high school and early college percussion students.

The Regimen by Shaun Tilberg
A hybrid collection of exercises adapted from both the rudimental and concert schools of snare drumming.

The Rudimental Cookbook by Edward Freytag
A collection of 25 rudimental snare drum solos and developmental exercises from easy to extremely advanced.

The Snare Drum Plays the Zoo by Brian J. Harris
Outstanding book for younger percussionists. Focuses students on standard rhythmic groupings by associating an animal with each pattern.

Stick Control by George Lawrence Stone
The technique book for snare drum. A must have for all percussionists!


Anthology of Lute & Guitar Music for Marimba by Rebecca Kite
A collection of beginning to intermediate four-mallet adaptations of classical guitar and lute music for 4.3-octave marimba. Beneficial for performance and theory study.

The Art of Vibraphone Playing by Paul Buyer and Josh Gottry
Fundamental techniques, musical concepts, and performance practices necessary to excel as a vibraphonist. Includes extensive instructional material as well as exercises, studies, and solos for both two and four mallets.

forFOUR by Josh Gottry
A collection of seven original solos for developing 4-mallet technique. For each solo, there is a full page of exercises meant for technical development and piece preparation.

Funny Mallets by Nebojsa Jovan Zivkovic
Several outstanding etude collections including My First Book for Xylophone (easy 2-mallets), Funny Xylophone (intermediate 2-mallets), Funny Vibraphone (2- and 4-mallets), and Funny Marimba Book 1 (4-mallets). Enjoyable pieces at progressing difficulty levels.

Mallets for Drummers by Lynn Glassock
A rhythmic approach to learning melodic percussion that is particularly beneficial for those coming to keyboard percussion from a drumming background.

Method of Movement by Leigh Howard Stevens
An extensive book of information and exercises for 4-mallet marimba performance.

Modern School for Xylophone by Morris Goldenberg
A thorough and complete method for beginning to advanced 2-mallet keyboard percussion. Includes orchestral excerpts.

Two Steps Forward by Josh Gottry
A logical and systematic approach designed to aid beginning keyboard percussionists in developing strong reading skills.


Alfred's Kid's Drumset Course by Dave Black & Steve Houghton
An engaging method for younger kids that includes grooves, fills, and performance tips. Includes play-a-long CD.

Drum Set Etudes Bk. 1 by Joe Holmquist
Thirty-seven etudes for the beginning to intermediate drumset player utilizing a variety of styles, time signatures, and technical demands. Excellent reading material for drumset students. Books 2 and 3 also available.

Essential Styles Bk. 1 by Steve Houghton & Tom Warrington
Thirty drumset styles ranging from 7/4 Vamp to the Mambo. Includes a play along CD, written charts for every track, and performance and listening suggestions. Book 2 contains twenty more styles.

A Fresh Approach to the Drumset by Mark Wessels with Stanton Moore
A drumset book for early to intermediate levels that successfully combines fundamentals of drumming with the process of learning to play a variety of styles. Includes mp3 CD.

Groove Essentials Bk. 1 by Tommy Igoe
Nearly fifty different drumset styles (plus variations) along with 88 play-a-long tracks and "real world" charts. All tracks are minus drums, so you really are the drummer.

Guide to Standardized Drumset Notation by Norman Weinberg
"After much research, Norm Weinberg has carefully refined and clarified the current, most common methods of drumset notation. If everyone who writes for drumset adopts these guidelines, the ambiguities inherent in much current drumset notation can be alleviated." - Ron Spagnardi, Modern Drummer

Killer Grooves from Carl Fischer Publications
Favorite grooves from over thirty of the world's greatest drummers. A great anthology of drumset patterns from a variety of drummers and styles.


Fundamental Studies for . . . by Garwood Whaley
Available for Snare Drum, Timpani, or Mallets, these method books are easy to understand, well laid out, and extremely useful for beginning percussionists.

The Music Lesson by Victor L. Wooten
An inspiring parable of music, life, and the difference between playing all the right notes ... and feeling them.

Percussion Instruments and their History by James Blades
A complete account of the use of percussion instruments through the ages, as well as their purpose and mode of employment in the orchestra.

Practicing With Purpose by David Kish
In indispensable resource to increase musical proficiency, featuring 50 practice techniques and approaches.

Working Toward Excellence by Paul Buyer
Eight values for achieving uncommon success in work and life.