Dive Deeper into the 20th Note with New Rich Stitzel Book

by | May 2, 2023

Drummer Rich Stitzel
Low Boy artist and educator Rich Stitzel has released an extraordinary new drum book called Groove Studies with the 20th Note: The Exploration of an Emerging Subdivision. The book, which recently hit the Amazon best-seller list, is the second in a trilogy of offerings delving into this underappreciated musical concept. The exercises focus on coordination between the hands and feet and can be used as warmups or “rhythmic meditations” when played for extended amounts of time (which is a core philosophy of Stitzel’s popular DrumMantra practice system).

As he explains, “I am introducing the ‘20th note’ terminology because, to me, the words ‘quintuplets’ or ‘fives’ imply smaller, more concise instances rather than complete musical passages or even songs. Twenty subdivisions per measure of 4/4 have a unique feel and sound, mainly because it is foreign to most ears. The exercises in this book will help demystify the 20th note subdivision and push your coordination and time placement/awareness.”

Stitzel, who resides in the Chicago area, used a pair of Standard Leather Daddy beaters emblazoned with the DrumMantra logo for all the book’s play-along tracks. “When I’m playing for 5 hours, I love looking down and seeing the shape of it and knowing it’s a Low Boy. I’ve been using their beaters from the very beginning. I’m a huge believer that it’s all about the people who make the products. I want to play stuff made by people I really like. There’s something artistic and special about it.”

The final book in this series (and Stitzel’s 6th overall), entitled Linear Phrasing with the 20th Note is scheduled to be released in summer of 2023. He also offers a course called the “The DrumMantra 3030” which is a 30-day guided practice journey to deepen students’ understanding of time, reading, coordination, phrasing and groove.

As the great Keith Carlock puts it, “Rich is an incredible musician and a thoughtful, insightful teacher – always pushing the envelope and boundaries forward. Groove Studies does just that and more. It will add depth to your rhythmic vocabulary that can be used in a very musical way. Check this book out!”

To read more about Stitzel’s live shows and gear preferences, check out this feature article.

Rich Stitzel Standard Felt and Leather Beaters

Rich Stitzel’s Custom “DrumMantra” Bass Drum Beaters