New Book from James Hester

March 7, 2011 12:27 pm in Endorser & Company News by Artist Relations

Vic Firth artist James Hester has authored a book entitled “Mind over Meter”.

“I began writing the book a long time ago, although initially the ideas were just for me to work on – stickings to help me play certain subdivisions. Then I started mixing them up and incorporating the bass drum. I found I was able to improvise fills and linear grooves more easily and play tricky phrasings and rhythms with ease. I also realized whilst teaching at BIMM (Bristol Institute of Modern Music) that I was using the same basic ideas that are in the book to teach in class and also for the tutorials we have – you name it: Polyrhythms, jazz comping, latin, four way co-ordination, fills, linear grooves, odd time signatures… everything! More recently in the studio whilst recording with Cars On Fire, producer Jason Wilcocks was putting me through my paces and was really making me think about left and right side ideas from the perspective of the microphones and panning. I adapted the same sticking ideas to help me develop my right side/left side, hands/foot and diagonal co-ordination. Finally my years of studying drummers and stripping back their ideas has led me to the essential seven options we have as drummers. The last chapter of the book is a study of these options and how other people have put them into practice do sound completely individual but with the same basic idea with a view to you doing the same.

I know that working through the ideas in this book will increase your ability to play whatever ideas come into your head and that by developing your coordination and control over meter, your level of creativity will be boosted”

‘Mind Over Meter’ is available at costing £15 (UK P&P + £1.30).

Facebook page with audio and video related to the video – search ‘Mind Over Meter’ on Facebook


‘Mind Over Meter’ is an important sticking tool every drummer, at every level should have, to broaden their creative horizons – Jason Bowld

James’ book provides a fresh outlook on subdivisions and stickings (a subject quite close to my heart!). There are endless possibilities and these ideas will keep you busy for a long time. I look forward to digging deeper into this one! – Stanton Moore

This book, for me, defines what James is as a person and a musician. Its precise, its out there, its passionate, its effective, its fun, its infectious… – Craig Blundell

I have known James for many years and watched him grow from a keen and eager student to become a top professional drummer and a fine, dedicated educator and tutor. In his debut publication, James gives valuable insight to an interesting and varied collection of techniques that are both musical and totally relevant to today’s eager student and tomorrows top pro. A must have addition to any drummers library – Steve White

What an excellent book! James has managed to present this hip and challenging material in a unique and clear format that makes the path from essential building blocks to serious four way co-ordination appear achievable by anyone. Great stuff! - Pete Riley


From working with mystery Bristol trip hop duo Malakai (Island/ Universal Records, Domino Records) and Portishead honcho Geoff Barrow through to the heavier sound of Gunslinger Black (with Pitchshifters Mark Clayden and Matt Grundy), via Men From Mars which featured members of Robert Plants band The Strange Sensation, Massive Attack, Portishead and Cast – James knows how important it is to have the right tools to deliver whatever job is next, whether it’s playing Brixton Academy or a BBC session at Maida Vale. His current regular gig with post hardcore band Cars On Fire (Undergroove Records) has seen a new album written and recorded as a follow up to the KKKK (Kerrang) mini album ‘Dig Your Own Grave’, sessions for Red Bull, a UK tour, an album launch in Dublin and festival appearances at Sonisphere, Hevy, Guilfest and Relentless/Vans Boardmasters all in the first 3 months. James also balances this with his role as Head Of Drums at the Bristol Institute of Modern Music (BIMM) where he completed his PG Cert (Ed), is the Technical Editor for Drummer Magazine and is currently writing and recording at his own studio with bass player Damon Minchella.