DrumBeat News Vol 8 No 7: Jim Chapin Tribute

Tiger Bill Talk

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Tiger Bill in action

I’m sorry to say that we lost Jim Chapin, who passed away on the 4th of July. He would have turned 90 on July 23rd! Jim’s first, and most famous work, was his book Advanced Techniques for the Modern Drummer. When he first published it in 1948, most drummers couldn’t play it and didn’t believe anyone could. So Jim started carrying around a pair of drumsticks everywhere he went to prove it! This now classic book, ahead of its time when first published, is one of the first and most important books any drummer can have to begin their journey into independence. If you’re not familiar with this classic guide to 4-way coordination, I strongly suggest that you pick up a copy.

I first met Jim in 1971 at Joe Morello’s drum studio when he had released the second volume of his classic work Advanced Techniques for the Modern Drummer subtitled The Open End and it truly was! The book contained a unique system of page overlays that you could use to create literally endless variations of exercises for developing 4-way independence. I still have the original copy that Jim signed for me:
Jim wrote this after I played for him:

Jim was the sort of Drumhead who never lost the initial love for drumming that he had as a kid. And he never lost the habit of carrying around a pair of drumsticks and a practice pad. Wherever he went, he could be seen giving an impromptu lesson! Even toward the end of his life whenever he picked up a pair of sticks, the years seemed to fade away and he became young again.

Here’s a clip of Jim that I took backstage at a major drum event showing Jim doing what he loved best:
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I have more video of Jim in my archives and will get it online as soon as I can dig it all out! Jim Chapin was a long time friend, a fine drummer, and an excellent teacher. He will be sorely missed. My sincere condolences go out to his family. God Bless you Jim.

On a happier note, it’s now official – Uriel Jones and The Funk Brothers will be getting their long overdue star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame! Follow this link for more information.

And what have I been up to over the past month? Well, it seems that my long-time search for the ultimate drumhead is finally over! No, I’m not referring to a drummer but an actual drumhead! I’ve just discovered Aquarian Super 2 drumheads! Roy Burns sent a set for me to test out on my kit and I liked them so much that I refused to give them back. So he had no choice but to sign me on as an endorser!

I will soon be posting a comprehensive video review on these incredible sounding drumheads so stay tuned. I also dig their Tru-Bounce practice pads that accurately mimic the same feel and sound you get from playing on the edge and center of a real snare drum! Check them out for yourself at the Aquarian Website. And tell them Tiger Bill sent you!

There’s lots of other stuff happening but I’m keeping it under wraps for a little bit longer. I can tell you this – there are some huge additions to more than one of my websites coming soon!

For now, please enjoy the rest of the newsletter and don’t be shy. Drop me an email or leave a comment on this blog. I’d love to hear from you!

Have fun and stay loose!

What DrumHeads Are Saying…

Love your site and your contributions to drumming technique and inspiration! Thanks so much, Bill!

Darren Fisher

(Note: Above quote used with permission.)

Congrats to the Winners of Last Month’s Contest!

And a Huge THANK YOU! to the following sponsors for donating last month’s prizes:

ALFRED PUBLISHING Pink Floyd Ultimate Drum Play-Along Book and 2 CD Set
HUDSON MUSIC Lessons: Breaking the Code DVD and eBook by David Garibaldi
WEST VIRGINIA WOOD ARTS Custom Engraved DrumSticks Personalized with the Winner’s name and the Tiger Bill Logo

Enter Two July Contests for Your Chance to Win One of These Cool, Valuable Prizes!

CLICK HERE for a chance to win Todd Sucherman Methods & Mechanics DVD, courtesy of Alfred Publishing

CLICK HERE for a chance to win The Best of The Modern Drummer Festival 1997-2006DVD, courtesy of Hudson Music

Note: You must live in the USA or Canada to be eligible to enter these contests.


Here’s your chance to pick up some once in a lifetime special deals on books, CDs, and DVDs for half-price and even less! These are all brand new overstocked items so quantities are limited. One Time Special Sales on DVDs, Books, CDs.

Featured SOLO SPOTS!

Tiger Bill’s Video Drum Lesson: A Buddy Rich Favorite Sticking Pattern: Part 1

Tiger Bill’s Latest Bottom Line Reviews

Todd Sucherman: Methods & Mechanics DVD from Alfred Publishing

Best of Modern Drummer Festival 1997-2006 2 DVD Set

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Until next time:
Take care, have fun, stay loose, and I’ll see you online!
Tiger Bill

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  1. bruce aitken July 12, 2009
  2. Dave Mohn July 12, 2009
  3. Norm July 12, 2009
  4. george neidorf August 20, 2009
  5. Syd July 7, 2012

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