We're all secretly rock stars... As a nearly-lifelong drummer, teacher of music, and observer of people, I've come to believe that a fascination with rhythm, drums, and drumming is hardwired into the human brain. There's a drummer inside of everyone, ready to lay down a beat.
I've had the good fortune to be the gateway into the world of drumming for a lot of people, but I can only reach so many face to face. I've also found out through years of teaching and through talking to not-yet-drummers, that the lack of ability (or interest) in reading traditional music notation is holding a lot of potential drummers back from diving into the activity, and that many budding drummers are (understandably) reluctant to buy drums before trying their hand(s) at playing the instrument. I set out to solve all of those issues...
...and solve them, I did - almost. Over the past several years of teaching drum lessons, I developed and tweaked a graphic system that lets drummers of all ages easily understand and play 3 and 4-limb drumset patterns without knowing how to read music [notation solution: check!]. I've also reduced the patterns into coordination exercises that are easy to do without a drumset or even a pair of sticks, though something to sit on is recommended. The coordination is the hardest part about playing the drums, and once mastered, these exercises are relatively easy to play on a drumkit [drums solution: check!]. So I took those patterns and exercises and combined them with a ton of useful information for a beginning drummer into an easy to use drum instructional book called Armchair Drummer. I'm also adding a CD of play-along tracks for each pattern, and some that combine the patterns, so the armchair drummers have something to play along with right away [bigger reach solution: ...just about solved - that's where you come in!].
While I was able to create and test out the system, methods, and information for the book myself, as well as commit all of the content to paper (Word document, actually), there is a lot more that goes into a book like this than just the words on the page. For help with the other elements, I went right to my network of talented, professional creator friends to cover all of the bases:
Guitarist/Composer Jun Ibasco is a fellow music teacher and is my collaborator on the play-along music tracks. Check him out here: soundcloud.com/junibasco
Photographer Rob English will be shooting all of the photos for the book. You've likely already seen his work if you've shopped at Spencer's or Spirit Halloween, and you can see more here: robenglish.com
Artist Camilo Nascimento and I have been creating, performing, and hanging together for more than half of our lives. He'll be handling all of the design work, illustration, layout, and creating the Armchair Drummer website that will be the heart of a new community of burgeoning drummers. You can see his work here: camilographics.com
Since Armchair Drummer is being self-published, all of the costs of bringing the book to life are out-of-pocket. There are no publisher advances, in-house services, or pre-sale marketing team. The costs include:
- book cover design & professional layout
- CD disc art design
- professional photography
- composing, recording, and mixing of play-along music tracks
- website design and creation
- printing of the books
- replication of the CDs
- publishing & legal fees
- website registration & hosting
The funding goal I've set is based on months of research of what it will realistically cost to turn The Vision, The Mission, years of experience, hundreds of hours of work, and a bunch of computer files into a copy of Armchair Drummer in your hands, and those of aspiring drummers everywhere.
Please join with me in bringing this book to life. It's the last step in accomplishing my mission, and I can only do it with your help. Every contribution will get Armchair Drummer closer to its funding goal.
There really isn't any way I can fully express how much I appreciate your contribution to this project, but I've done my best to put together some really cool rewards as a token of my appreciation and in hope of bringing more music into your life.
Here's the catch: Kickstarter funding is all-or-nothing, so if I reach (or surpass) my funding goal by July 11th 2014 at 11:59pm, everything's a go, and Armchair Drummer comes to life in 2014. But if we're even $1 short of the goal, all of the pledged money goes back, and I'm left with an incomplete mission and some occupied hard drive space.
And what if I surpass my goal? Well, that would be absolutely amazing, and would open up a whole new set of opportunities for Armchair Drummer.
- An eBook version of Armchair Drummer is on the horizon, but extra money from this campaign would mean it could happen at the same time as the print version, greatly expanding the book's audience.
- We're already planning a basic website to promote and sell the book, but it'd be great to have a multifaceted website for drummers, with articles about drumming, links to drum resources around the web, and an online forum where drummers can meet and "talk shop." It would cost more to have a site like that, but if we raise enough money, it will happen.
- I'd love to be able to create online video content to accompany the patterns and topics covered in the book, so additional money above the goal would also go toward acquiring the tools and equipment to create professional-quality instructional videos.
- Any other money that comes from this campaign will go toward marketing efforts, including printing more promotional copies of the book, to get it into as many influential hands as possible - and, ultimately, to armchair drummers far and wide.
One more thing...
If you think this project is worthwhile, or you know anyone who might be interested or willing to contribute, please share the link below. The more people that know about this book and this campaign, the better the chances of reaching the goal.
Thank you, thank you... and thank you again!!
Risks and challenges
There aren't many risks involved with this project. The initial run of books will be just enough to fulfill the Kickstarter rewards, send out some promotional copies, and start selling online. In the meantime, I'm working to secure an arrangement for future printing and distribution of Armchair Drummer, so that I won't have to keep a large inventory on hand.
There will be challenges related to the marketing and distribution of Armchair Drummer into retail channels, but those are further down the line, and I've structured the Kickstarter campaign so that it covers all of the initial book needs, including fulfillment of the rewards.
Most of the content and design work will be done in the summer and early fall, and release is set for late fall, in time to have the book to backers (and on the market) before the holidays.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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