Steve Fitch: Fantastic Feet - Stepping Outside The Box

A revolutionary new approach designed to help your feet rival your hands with regard to speed, control and dexterity through the use of the "F2F Foot Control System"-allowing you access to the NEXT BIG THING in drumming. This book is not JUST for double bass drummers. It is for ALL drummers who wish to improve their foot technique and their hand/foot equality. It should help every drummer regardless of style direction or musical genre. Double bass drummers, including those who want to develop skills like those of today's top double pedal gurus, will directly benefit from these studies, but single bass drum/hi-hat players will also derive great benefit from this book.


Unfortunately I have to start out with a negative observations about this book, simply because it affects my entire review and how I examine the book. The biggest issue I have is with the "Table of Contents" which is a complete and utter mess! Not one entry in the table is correctly referenced; not one! The font size used on the text throughout the book, in my opinion, is too large. It clouds and overshadows the titles and exercise headings, as well as upstages the music notation. All of this made it difficult to find what I was looking for, as well as actual comprehend, read and stay focused. There are also several places in the book where the text just simply ends, like someone didn't fully copy/paste everything like they should have (eg. Section Two, Chapter One, first paragraph).

While this may just be another hapless situation for the publisher, it saddens me to say that this has become all too common for Mel Bay. The company needs to step-up their quality control and break out of the unflattering and unfavorable stereotype that the publisher seems to continue to feed.

Now ... on to what's good about this book.

Fantastic Feet: Stepping Outside The Box starts out with an extensive 'foot only' section which covers all the major aspects of hand technique and rudiments, but for your feet. The five rudiment types are explored, singles, doubles, paradiddles, drags and flams, as well as accents and subdivision studies.

The second section of the book contains a sizable amount of parallel 4-way coordination exercises; foot-to-foot (F2F0) and hand-to-hand (H2H). Singles, doubles, odd note-groupings, and sub-divisional shifts (aka syncopations) are designed to help one achieve equality between the hands and feet, as well as challenge and encourage creativity.

The third and final section is Groove Studies which makes use of common rhythmic subdivisions such as eighth-notes, sixteenth-notes and 32-notes, foot ostinati, odd meter, etc.

The book's focus is mainly on the double pedal or two Bass drum set-up, but can be applied to the HiHat pedal as well, giving the drummer the potential to further broaden his/her rhythmic vocabulary.

Although I don't agree that this book is "a revolutionary new approach", laying aside the publisher's print issues, I do think it has value.

While there is something for every level player in the book, I would not recommend Fantastic Feet: Stepping Outside The Box to beginners or to anyone who has yet to master rhythmic notation reading skills and basic music theory. While there is useful practice tips and "how to use the book" suggestions, the vast majority of this book would require that the student study with a qualified drum/percussion instructor, or if used in a self-taught situatioin, an advanced player and reader.