Mastering the Tables of Time

Mastering the Tables of Time uniquely combines the foundations of rhythm and the foundations of trapset drumming using a common system to assimilate the disciplines of timekeeping, coordination, rudiments, polyrhythms, and musical phrasing.

The table of time provides an inclusive framework for combining these exclusive areas of study to benefit players of any skill level, be it beginner, intermediate, or advanced, with an interest in developing a musical foundation with crystal-clear focus for complete freedom of expression in any direction.

A free online audio and video companion is available which features demonstrations of, and perspective on, many examples within the book. It incorporates sticking, voicing, and ostinato variations (as recommended in the Practice Tips section of each chapter) for "getting off the page" and into greater musical expression of the studies.


Before I get into the book itself, it might be prudent to first tell you a little bit about the author. David Stanoch attended the University of Wisconsin - Madison and has studied with the likes of Max Roach, Alan Dawson, Richard Davis, Elliot Fine, Jeff Hamilton, Ignacio Berroa, and Chad Wackerman. He's been a faculty member of McNally Smith College of Music since 1990. Suffice to say that with over 30 years of experience in the music industry, as a drummer, producer, clinician, teacher, and now author, Stanoch has a wealth of information to share!

Now about the book. Mastering the Tables of Time is a self-published (©2008 Rhythmelodic) , 139 page book that, upon first glance, can seem very intimidating. There's so much in depth information and material here that Stanoch clearly intended his book (Volume 1) to be used for long-term study. Typically I wait till the end of my review to give any recommendations, but this book is so killer that I've got to say it now. YOU NEED THIS BOOK! Mark my words, this is THE book to have, dare I say the next Stick Control or Syncopation book for drummers. With an encyclopedia such as this, taking Stanoch some 10 years to complete, in addition to free online audio/video companion to the book, Mastering the Tables of Time is a must have!

Contents include:

  • Chapter 1 - Music Phrasing (accent and dynamic control studies; song form applications)
  • Chapter 2 - 4-Way Coordination (harmonic/melodic coordination, hand & feet ostinato)
  • Chapter 3 - Selected Rudimental Variations (Long Roll, Paradiddle, Six-Stroke Roll, Flam, Drag)
  • Chapter 4 - Abstract Timetable Studies
  • Chapter 5 - Basic Polyrhythms & Hemiola (primer, phrasing, combinations/coordinations, metric modulation)
  • Chapter 6 - Contemporary Backbeat Grooves (ostinatos, modulations studies)
  • Chapter 7 - Modern Jazz Grooves (ostinato, modulation studies)
  • Chapter 8 - Soloing Applications (interpreting rudimental studies, melodic linear motive studies)


On October 9, 2009, Alfred Music Publishing announced that they would be distributing Mastering the Tables of Time and making it available online through the Drummer Cafe.

In November 2010, David Stanoch gave a drum master class on Mastering the Tables of Time at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention in Indianapolis, IN. David's entire one-hour clinic, entitled "Improve Your Groove," was captured and documented on video by Bart Elliott, and is now available as a Premium Resource (subscription required) at the Drummer Cafe.