In November 2018 I stumbled over some posts from Sebastian Beresford (aka BID) about using electronic drums with Ableton Live and it didn’t take long for me to get in contact. After having a few video chats via Facebook it was clear that he was working on some great material to be released in a printed book format (yes those still exist!) plus aditional video footage. The book came out in early 2019 and I was able to meet Sebastian in April in Birmingham when I was on a presentation tour in the UK.
We were hanging out in his studio and were nerding a whole day on eDrums and Ableton Live. These meetings with other drummers are so important and precious for me – even if I have started a community on Facebook for drummers who are into using eDrums with Ableton Live and teach those things to people – still most of the time thinking about new ways and concepts for that subject I am spending on my own. That is much different to back in the days where creating music and being creative was happening in a much more ‘social’ environment and was mainly time spend with other people. SO someone popping up out of nowhere who is writing a book on this subject makes an instant connection which goes much deeper then to someone e.g. who is a ‘just’ a drummer as well. (I mean there are millions of drummers out there but compare this to the number of drummers using Ableton Live…) Usually I connect with people who are into this more then only on a ‘subject-level’ and same here with Sebastian.
Who is it from?
Not only is Sebastian one of the go-to people for the subject of using electronic drums – he is a really nice bloke who is passionate about the things he does. This is really important for people who are teaching things – being passionate about the thing you teach and being passionate about giving other people a hand in exploring and expressing their creativity is one of the keys for creating great (learning-)resources. Besides the book he wrote he is releasing video tutorials on a regular base, mainly on his social media channels like the video playlist of his main Facebook page B.I.D. Besides that he is a working drummer and that involves engagement like playing drums for the electronic music group Leftfield.
Who is it for?
Many people already play electronic drums , some say its one of the most sold instruments at the moment. I don’t have any numbers but compared to the 1990’ies or even to 2000 to 2010 the use has gone up radically: I see electronic drum pads on stage minimum on half the gigs I go to and so many drummers I know play this neighbour-friendly alternative to acoustic drums at home as well. So even without knowing the statistics here it is fair to say that e-drumming is on the rise.
BUT – mastering this ‘new’ instrument called eDrums needs some understanding of the terms and technology being used here. You can compare this to being able to tune your acoustic drum heads. Yes it will make a noise when you hit it anyways but how do you make it sound like you want it to? This is what this book is about: Filling the gap of knowledge about this instrument eDrums plus giving you ideas how to use it to a wider potencial.
Of course you can always (and you should) read the manual of your gear but manuals are usually ‘tech-only’ – they are not teaching you about general concepts and ideas of playing. They are using terms and sometimes point out what they mean and what they can be used for but only for one concept – the one they were implemented for. And another very important issue here: reading manuals aren’t fun.
This is different with “The Art of eDrumming”, which reading feels more like a friend is telling you something he/she is excited about and wanting to show you what more you can do with it.
Not only players
This may sound like I’m hype-ing this book because Sebastian is such a nice guy – well he is, but let me tell you this story:
I got asked once at a presentation I did about Ableton Live and drumming how piezzos triggers actually technical work. I wasn’t prepared to give a good answer in english (I m German by the way) plus I’m s*** in physics – well lets say, it didn’t feel I was making things clearer with my way of explainaing this – so the best option I had was to take “The Art of eDrumming” and reading the (short) paragraph about piezzos out loud which helped a lot to make things clearer.
Yes, for me as someone who is performing, teaching and programming with eDrums/hybrid drums for quite a while now, this book didn’t gave me that much new things I didn’t knew about – BUT I never got a sum up of the things, terms, technical and creative approaches about eDrumming (with and without Ableton Live) in one clear structure.
The point I’m trying to make here: this book is a great resource for educators and instructors. (If you are teaching drums: you/your facility should have a copy!)
Need more reasons to buy (or to support)?
Sebastian self-published this book, which for me is another reason to advertise it beside its great content. Even though many drummers already use a combination of eDrums/epads/hybrid-kits and very often in combination with Ableton Live in various ways – The ‘Ableton-Drummer-Scene’ is somehow not mainstream (yet!) and we are somehow squeezed in between the market of software companies like Ableton and eDrum manufactures like Roland, Yamaha and so on. It seems that those companies main targets groups are electronic music producers (Ableton) and drummers who are happy with playing stock preset sounds (e.g. Roland) – (just to give a very simplified summary of the both ends of the spectrum here) – Pushing the content and knowledge for people in between is left to people who are passionate about what else is possible with this gear and software. Sebastian is definately one of those people and if you want to support this: Get the book here or let people know about it!