A Fresh Approach to the Drumset
      by Mark Wessels


Mark's Vic Firth stick of choice:

American Classic® 5A
Tear drop tip for rich cymbal sounds. Light and fast for jazz orchestral and pit work.
L = 16" | Dia. = .565"
  click here to download a larger image of the 5A


A Drummer's Guide to:
Rock Beats and Fills • Hand & Foot Technique • Coordination and Independence • Reading Music Understanding Song Construction • R&B, Jazz, Latin Styles and more!

Including: MP3 CD packed with 41 Play-Along Tunes (with and without drums) and over 400 Demonstration Tracks!

Whether you're a beginner, intermediate or advanced drummer, you'll benefit from the simple step-by-step approach for learning technique, independence, music reading and grooves.

A FRESH APPROACH to the DRUMSET will give you a solid foundation to take your drumming to the next level!


For more information, visit:

What others are saying about the book:

Many teachers have attempted to write a one stop book for drummers of all levels which can be given to the beginner and still be a useful tool to the advanced player. So many good teachers have failed at this difficult task and I can only think of a few books that do this well. Most of the books that fail spread themselves too thin by covering several areas in a rushed manner while others include far too much detail that can put off a beginner and frustrate the advanced player who has to trawl pages of information they already know.

Mark Wessels has managed to create one of the few successful books.

The book is split into 34 lessons covering the basics like grip and sticking patterns all the way to more complex challenges like syncopated 16th notes grooves, Rhumba and Jazz . The CD contains play along tracks in almost every genre that a drummer may encounter in their musical life. In addition to this, there are reading exercises, rudiment charts and a musical glossary. I’d say it has it all in one book. Did I mention it works on your fills as well?

This is definitely one of the most comprehensive and detailed book I have seen in a very long time. The information is vast, yet it seems to break down its content into small bite size pieces. As a teacher, I welcome this book and would recommend as a book for students to buy as it covers so many areas that teachers teach over the years.

This is simply a great book that every drummer should have whether you’re starting up or are professional looking for a reference book. It’s informative, interesting and straight to the point.

     – Adrian Graham,


Mark Wessels
is the Director of Internet Activities for Vic Firth. In addition to his daily gig of updating the VF website with video interviews, features and educational content, he is the owner of Mark Wessels Publications, the publisher of "A Fresh Approach to the Snare Drum" and "A Fresh Approach to Mallet Percussion" - two best selling books for the school band market. You can check out Mark's video lesson series for beginning snare drum here - and view his popular video game for learning to read keyboard music here. Currently, Mark has printed (and sold) over 250,000 books.

Mark received his Bachelor's Degree in Music Education at the University of Texas at Arlington. He marched the Madison Scouts Drum & Bugle Corps and was the Percussion Caption Head/Arranger for the Sky Ryders Drum and Bugle Corps (1985-1991). In addition to spending an agonizing year instructing the University of North Texas Drumline (which presented an exhibition at PASIC in San Antonio, TX – a year BEFORE the famed "FOGAR" incident, which he happily wasn't a part of), Mark had an exciting 12 year public school experience teaching band in DeSoto and Plano, TX. Mark was hired by Vic in 2001 to construct the VF website from scratch, building it from nothing to the behemoth you see today. VICFIRTH.COM is widely considered a leading music industry website, and currently attracts over 30,000 unique visitors per day.

Currently, Mark works at home in his pajamas and also writes and practices. Mark lives with his wife of 25 years (Lynn), daughter (Kaitlyn, 10), and son (Drew, 6) in Prosper, TX – and will never have the time to be on Facebook. Watch for his ground-breaking video lesson series based on "A Fresh Approach to the Drumset" on - coming soon!