Terry Bozzio’s Rudiments from Hell Will Murder Your Drum Chops

One of my favorite drummers is Terry Bozzio. From his days as a young gun playing with Frank Zappa through his pop days and his current solo work, he has consistently been a fresh, innovative, and exciting musician to follow. His chops are also absolutely, completely fucking ridiculous. This dude can seriously play – there’s a reason why Zappa hired him after all – and it’s been great to see him hosting so much on clinics and honing in on teaching in recent years.


Lately, he’s been focusing on solo drum set pieces that make full use of his four-limb independence. If you thought Mike Portnoy and Neil Peart were ridiculous, well, check out what Bozzio has been doing with giant drum sets:

One of the ways in which Bozzio has consistently grown and fostered his playing through the years has been by seeking out challenging new rudiments. He’s shared a few variations of practicing regimes through the years, one of which was recently brought to my attention, and which I wanted to share with you all: the Rudiments from Hell, from 1999.

The concept behind these are pretty simple… they’re hard as hell. They’re awkward, they’re complicated, and they are extraordinarily challenging to pull off at fast tempos. But that’s precisely the point, says Bozzio:

The rudiments from hell are “diabolical” evolutions of standard rudiments. They are designed to be awkward, difficult or impossible – (depending on the speed you try to execute them at) – in order to build an awareness of these “holes” in our technique!

Check out a video Bozzio did for Drummerworld about the rudiments, as well as a few transcriptions, below. For fuller information and even more transcriptions, check out Drummerworld’s original writeup on the rudiments. Happy thwacking!


Via Drummerworld, transcriptions by DrumWatch.

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Max is managing editor of Gear Gods.

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