Stick Control by George Lawrence Stone – In-Depth Review

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  • Quality
  • Content
  • Usability
  • Clarity
4.6/5Overall Score
  • Content: Comprehensive guide for developing control, speed, and coordination
  • Levels: Suitable for drummers of all levels, from beginners to advanced players
  • Clarity: Clear and concise explanations that are easy to understand
  • Usability: Systematic progression of exercises ensures steady improvement
  • Adaptability: Exercises adaptable to various musical styles and contexts
  • Developmental: Provides valuable resources for rudimental development and improvisation
  • Comprehensive guide for developing control, speed, and coordination.
  • Suitable for drummers of all levels, from beginners to advanced players.
  • Clear and concise explanations that are easy to understand.
  • Systematic progression of exercises ensures steady improvement.
  • Exercises are adaptable to various musical styles and contexts.
  • Provides valuable resources for rudimental development and improvisation.
  • Lack of detailed musical notation for the exercises (e.g., dynamics, phrasing).
  • Limited guidance on incorporating the exercises into musical compositions.
  • Some exercises may feel repetitive to more advanced players.

List of contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Book Summary
  3. Content and Organisation
  4. Exercises and Techniques for the Teaching Approach
  5. Cons and Benefits
  6. Conclusion
  7. FAQs


The field of drumming includes a diverse array of styles, methods, and drumming abilities. Since its initial release in 1935, George Lawrence Stone’s “Stick Control,” has been a vital tool for drummers looking to improve their control, speed, hand-to-hand coordination, and flowing synchronization. In this thorough analysis, we’ll delve into the book’s many facets and examine its ideas, organization, method of instruction, activities, and strategies. We will examine “Stick Control’s” benefits and drawbacks with a constructive mindset approach before giving it a careful evaluation and a final score of 9 out of 10. Although many would say this book deserves a solid 10/10.

So, let’s begin the analysis…

Book synopsis:

The groundbreaking drumming book “Stick Control” has endured the test of time and has been useful and influential for almost a century. This masterwork was written by renowned percussionist and educator George Lawrence Stone as a comprehensive manual for drummers of all skill levels to improve control, technique, and, hand independence. The book is an invaluable tool for any drummer wishing to hone their talents not just because it is appropriate for both beginning and advanced players. But because the facility it provides over the long term is unquestionable. When improvising and reading situations.


Content and Organisation:

The plain and well-organized style of “Stick Control” enables readers to move through the content in an exercise-by-exercise methodical manner. The book is divided into four main parts: Part One concentrates on fundamental stroke methods, Part Two offers accent exercises, Part Three examines diverse combination patterns, and Part Four focuses on more advanced rhythmic applications. Each segment builds on the one before it, gradually raising the level of difficulty of the exercises and encouraging drummers to develop their skills.

However, it must be said that even the exercises on page one can be a challenge in self-discipline for the beginner as well as more advanced players.

Teaching Method:

George Lawrence Stone’s method of instruction is one of the book’s most notable aspects. He puts a lot of attention in the beginning on building a strong foundation in hand technique, making sure that players have the right grip, posture, and stroke execution. Drummers of all ability levels can use the book because Stone’s explanations are simple, succinct, and easy to comprehend. The succession of exercises challenges seasoned drummers to improve their technique and broaden their rhythmic vocabulary while enabling beginners to master fundamental skills.

Techniques and Exercises:

The large library of snare drum exercises in “Stick Control” are known for increasing independence, speed, control, and coordination. Exercises in the book mostly concentrate on accents, what could be called, multiple-bounce rolls due to the sticking, and single-stroke rolls. Stone’s methodical technique pushes participants to meticulously practice each exercise while gradually escalating the pace and level of difficulty. Drummers can improve their dynamic control, independence of their limbs, and sense of timing by including these exercises in their practice regimen.


The book also includes helpful exercises for improvisation and rudiment development. The way that Stone uses a variety of rhythmic and sticking motifs allows drummers to experiment with diverse musical settings and stimulates creativity when it comes to improvising, later. Drummers will be able to apply their newly acquired skills to a variety of playing circumstances thanks to the exercises’ adaptability and suitability for a wide range of musical genres.

Cons and Benefits: Pros:

  • A comprehensive manual for enhancing coordination, speed, and control.
  • It is appropriate for drummers of all skill levels, from beginners to experts.
  • Easy to grasp explanations that are concise and clear.
  • Exercise progression that is methodical almost guarantees constant improvement.
  • Exercises can be adapted to a variety of musical venues and styles.
  • Offers useful materials for improvisation and basic development.


  • The exercises don’t have adequate musical notation for dynamics or phrasing, for example.
  • There isn’t much information on how to incorporate the exercises into musical compositions.
  • For more experienced players, some routines could seem repetitive.

For drummers looking to improve their technique, control, and independence, “Stick Control” by George Lawrence Stone is an outstanding resource. The book has firmly established itself as a must-have for drummers of all levels because of its well-structured content, clear instructional technique, and a wide variety of exercises. The total benefits it offers surpass any minor shortcomings it may have with regard to the integration of musical notation and composition. As a result, “Stick Control” is given a score of 9, which reflects its continued importance and influence on the drumming world.


Q1: Can drummers with little experience benefit from “Stick Control”?

A1: Definitely! Drummers of all ability levels, including beginners, can benefit from the book. Beginner drummers will find George Lawrence Stone to be a valuable resource because of its structured exercises and methodical teaching approach.

Q2: Is “Stick Control” adaptable to various musical genres?

A2: The “Stick Control” exercises are adaptable and can be used with a variety of musical styles. Although the exercises in the book don’t particularly cover genre-specific strategies, the fundamental abilities they teach can be modified and used in a variety of musical contexts.

Q3: How long does it take for “Stick Control” to show results?

A3: Individual practice habits and dedication affect the rate of improvement. However, weeks or months of diligent practice of the exercises from “Stick Control” can result in observable gains in control, speed, and coordination. If or when the beginner spends 2-3 months on the first page alone, massive improvement will be clear.

Q4: Can “Stick Control” be used as a drumming resource on its own?

A4: Although “Stick Control” is a priceless tool, it is advantageous to combine it with other educational resources like method books, instructional videos, and classes. Combining different materials guarantees a well-rounded learning strategy and aids in increasing one’s musical knowledge.

Q5: Is it required to complete the exercises in a particular order?

A5: While it is advised to perform the exercises in order, more seasoned drummers may opt to concentrate on particular exercises or sections that correspond with their own goals and areas for development. However, the systematic progression of workouts will be helpful for beginners and intermediate players.

Q6: Is there anything else that should be used in addition to “Stick Control”?

A6: Several materials are available that can improve the learning process with “Stick Control.” Additional resources, such as metronomes, drumming foundation books, drumming technique manuals, instructional DVDs, and online drumming groups, can offer further direction, inspiration, and development opportunities.

In conclusion,

George Lawrence Stone’s classic work “Stick Control” has influenced the drumming world for many years. Drummers of all skill levels should use it because of its rich material, good training methodology, and a wide variety of exercises. Although it has a few minor drawbacks, the priceless advantages it provides surpass them. Drummers are sure to see gains in their control, technique, and musicality if they adopt the “Stick Control” lessons and include its exercises in their long-term practice routines.

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