Eight years in the making, this "prequel" to The Commandments of R&B Drumming delves into the rhythm and blues of the 1940s and '50s, an incredible musical era when shuffles ruled the airwaves and modern groove playing was in its infancy. Loaded with in-depth historical information, photos, graphics, exercises, and transcriptions, it also includes the most comprehensive, step-by-step guide to shuffle playing ever written.

The Commandments of Early Rhythm and Blues Drumming was written by Zoro, voted "No. 1 R&B Drummer" in Modern Drummer's Annual Reader's Poll, and Daniel Glass, drummer for the Royal Crown Revue and one of the foremost authorities on classic rhythm and blues drumming. In addition to the comprehensive book, you'll also enjoy a demonstration CD with more than 100 authentic groove and fill examples, as well as 11 play-along tracks. Featuring styles including swing, boogie-woogie, jump blues, Chicago blues, New Orleans R&B, Texas blues, "faux" Latin, gospel, and early rock & roll, this long-awaited prequel is the most comprehensive and influential book on R&B drumming ever written.

The Rock Upon Which We Stand

By: Zoro

There is no way to understand where we currently are, musically, unless we understand where we came from. Let me give you an analogy that will help put things in perspective: in order to reign as the newly appointed leader of a nation, one must first understand the history of that nation. It would be impossible to do a good job without a deep comprehension of the key events, political figures, and policies that have shaped the country.

Drumming with authenticity in the language of rhythm and blues is no different. In order to reign and rule over the groove and play it convincingly, you must first understand how it got there in the first place and how it evolved into what it is today. There are a multitude of people in our drumming community who have little or no knowledge of the importance of the drumming and music presented in this book. With this book, revelation is now at hand – once a man’s mind is changed by new thought, it takes on a whole new dimension.

Inevitably, understanding and digging into this book will unlock amazing possibilities. It will give you a better appreciation for the legacy of the drummers who preceded us from this monumental period of early rhythm and blues.

Knowingly or unknowingly, it is this period of music history we have built upon. It is the tock upon which we stand and a language that is inseparable from our contemporary vernacular.

It would be impossible to play any groove today without the grooves of the past. When we clearly understand the foundation upon which we stand, then, and only then, can we give it the respect it deserves. Then, and only then, can we move toward the future with full understanding of who we are and where we came from.

So move forward into your own musical future by reaching back in time.

Early R&B Hits You May Already Know: Remade in the '50s

Song Title Original Artist Popular Remake

That’s Alright Mama

Arthur “Big Boy” Crudup

Elvis Presley

Good Rockin’ Tonight

Roy Brown/Wynonie Harris

Elvis Presley

Hound Dog

Big Mama Thornton

Elvis Presley

Shake, Rattle and Roll

Big Joe Turner

Bill Haley and the Comets

See You Later Alligator

Bobby Charles

Bill Haley and the Comets

Keep a Knockin’

Louis Jordan

Little Richard


  In this two part clip the authors teach the art of using brushes in R&B shuffles.

Now, here is the same groove with the sweep added.

Also included (but not in the audio clip above) are snare drum exercises for learning the shuffle. These are to be played along to various swung ride cymbal patterns.


A native of Los Angeles, Zoro is one of the funkiest drummers on the contemporary music scene today. His stellar playing has led to an impressive range of worldwide musical adventures including performing with such artists as: Lenny Kravitz, Bobby Brown, The New Edition, Philip Bailey, Jody Watley, Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons, Vanessa Paradis and many others. He is respected by both the R&B and Rock N’ Roll community and his musicianship has kept him one of the busiest drummers today. Zoro’s enthusiasm for music is contagious, but he is perhaps best known as the tenacious groove drummer, that one-named guy with the hat.

Daniel Glass has played drums with the pioneering "retro-swing" group Royal Crown Revue since 1994. He has also recorded and performed with many top artists, such as Bette Midler, Gene Simmons, Mike Ness, and Freddy Cole. In addition to his work as a musician, Daniel is an award-winning author, historian, clinician and producer. He has published three books, including The Commandments of Early Rhythm and Blues Drumming and The Ultimate History of Rock'n'Roll Drumming: 1948-2000. His writings on drum history have appeared in The Encyclopedia of Percussion, The MusicHound Swing Essential Album Guide, and countless publications such as Modern Drummer, DRUM!, Classic Drummer and Percussive Notes.


To learn more about this book, or to place an order...