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Following his graduation from ACM’s BMus (Hons) drum degree in August 2012, Alumnus Claus Thylstrup has proven the value of his efforts by publishing a brand new iBook based on his observations of drummer creativity and time at ACM.

ACM caught up with Claus to find out more about his book titled ‘Creative Development – Patterns & Fills’ and more about his time at ACM.

Where did the concept for the book come from?
The idea for the book originated from often seeing drummers playing the same old fills over and over no matter what the musical setting and genre would be. There’s nothing wrong with that as such if it’s a stylistic choice, but I know from many of my students and from talking to other drummers that it’s often because their drum fills and patterns vocabulary is very limited. I’ve always been very experimental with fills and patterns and whenever I’ve learned a new fill, been driven to developed it further; changing the orchestration, subdivision, dynamics etc, whilst maintaining the original pattern.

I therefore decided to write a book that would give drummers a creative injection and the tools and methods that would strengthen the readers creativity when it comes to developing patterns and fills.

The book was originally going to be printed the traditional way with a DVD included, but my initial research (prior to the actual bachelor project) quickly showed not only positive interest in the book concept, but great interest in the electronic book (e-book) format, which I eventually settled upon.

Further research made me aware of the “new” iBook format which allows interactive content such as video, 3D, galleries, notation etc. all in one single place which to me is the perfect platform for a drum book. Apple had also just released a new program called iBooks Author which is made for creating iBooks so the timing was perfect for me. The program is relatively easy to use so I can only recommend that.

CDPF COVERCreative Development – Patterns & Fills: A Synopsis
Creative Development – Patterns & Fills is a new innovative and interactive iBook intended for drummers who can already play and who are able to read drum notation, but often find themselves playing the same old fills and patterns over and over again. It’s designed to offer you a creative injection allowing you to continue to increase your skill set and expand your drumming vocabulary when it comes to patterns and fills. It’s loaded with inspiration and new innovative ways of developing your own ideas as well as it’s filled with patterns and fills by the author Claus Thylstrup.

One of the tools provided is a new innovative method of developing your own ideas called ‘The Step by Step Method’ which forces you to be creative and to think in new ways by taking your ideas through a series of steps and hereby creating your own fills and patterns.

The iBook also features a new approach on how to reinvent some of the old classic fills and patterns like paradiddles, the Blush-da, the Billy Cobham fill etc. as well as original modern and innovative fills and patterns.

Each chapter conveniently follows the same structure as each chapter starts with what is called a Basic Pattern. The Basic Pattern is then the foundation and will be developed throughout the chapter by altering the subdivisions, dynamics, sticking, orchestration etc. and hereby create new and innovative patterns and fills. As an example one of the chapters takes a simple quintuplet pattern and develop it into a very cool sounding gospel inspired fill.

Buy & Download ‘Creative Development – Patterns & Fills’.

Claus has also created a Facebook page for the iBook called Creative Development – Patterns & Fills, which will feature a number of free video lessons, live clips, notation samples from the book, new fills and patterns.

Your future plans during 2014
Apart from promoting the book and hopefully see it released it in other formats (including in print and Android), 2014 looks very promising. I’ve got at least one tour coming up with the American/Danish gospel artist Steve Cameron as well as a music video shoot with a Danish hip-hop artist with whom I’ll also be doing some touring. I’ve also got a lot of gigs booked later in the year with other different artists as well as regular function work. That combined with all my drum students, looks like a very good year.

Any words of advice for current students with regards to ACM and writing/publishing content?
First of all I’d say make use all of what ACM has got to offer. There are a lot of tutors walking around with the knowledge you need or at least they’re able to help to point you to the right resources. I couldn’t have done my project without the guidance and knowledge of John Smith, Pete Riley and Jo Mckinnon to name but a few.

With regards to publishing don’t give up looking for a publisher – I spent a long time searching before I found a Danish publisher willing to publish my iBook under good conditions. My initial idea was to self-publish the iBook, but I soon discovered that when it comes to Apple, it’s almost impossible for a non US resident to get iBooks on iTunes and iBookstore for some reason. So unless you’re experienced in that field you kind of need a publisher to do the work.

Why did you chose to study at ACM?
A good friend of mine from Denmark, (where I’m from) made me aware of ACM and pretty much straight after having visited the school I applied as it had all the things I was looking for. Great teachers, Great equipment, but most importantly it had a very special and creative vibe going which I felt immediately.

The best parts of studying at ACM was that it gave me two years of time where the only thing I had to do was improve my skills, build my career and just take on all the opportunities the came along. One of these opportunities was given to me by ACM tutor Pete Riley, who gave me the chance to audition for guitar tutor Nicholas Meier’s band Seven7, I got the gig for which I’m very thankful.

Another one was when a drum tutor brought me along to a jazz gig to sit-in behind him after which he turned to me suddenly and said, “Take the drums I’m going to the toilet”. I jumped up and got behind the drums and all of a sudden I was playing standards with some amazing musicians one of them being Eric Clapton’s bassist. Fantastic night and I learned so much from that experience.

The point is that I very soon discovered that if I worked hard and was disciplined, it would pay off. I also found that my tutors became much more than just tutors; they’re musicians and they will help and guide you all they can if you put in the hours and work for it.

ACM is not just an educational facility it is what you want it to be.

ACM would like to thank ACM Drum Alumnus Claus Thylstrup for taking the time to update us on his recent iBook publication ‘Creative Development – Patterns & Fills‘ and wish him well for his forthcoming projects.

For more information about Claus Thylstrup visit his YouTube channel or visit the ‘Creative Development – Patterns and Fills’ Facebook page for more free content and drumming inspiration.