Jojo Mayer: Secret Weapons for the Modern DrummerOne of the most comprehensive and detailed volumes on hand technique ever produced, Jojo Mayer’s Secret Weapons for the Modern Drummer is recommended for drummers of every age, style and skill level. The double-DVD, 3-hour set is available from the Limited division of Hudson Music and covers a wide range of information on drumming technique, from the most fundamental to the most advanced. Yet, Secret Weapons is more than just the ultimate instructional method and reference guide, it also showcases the inspiring artistry, musical philosophy and groundbreaking technical abilities of one of today’s most progressive performers and educators.

Filmed in crystal clear digital video and audio and shot at a variety of locations in and around Manhattan, Secret Weapons explains closely guarded and never before published secrets of the great masters as well as Jojo’s own approaches with special features like animated graphics, practice exercises and troubleshooting tips that will allow drummers to unlock the inner workings and mysteries of even the most challenging hand movements and guide them through easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions on how to understand and master them.

Among Jojo’s flawless demonstrations and in-depth explanations, Secret Weapons’ various chapters feature topics such as:

  • A basic approach to technique and the physics of drumming.
  • Analysis of hand positions, matched and traditional grips, rebound and the fulcrum and the Gladstone, Moeller and finger techniques.
  • Highly-evolved, hybrid techniques such as the push-pull, drop-bounce, reverse stroke and one-handed roll.
  • Exercises to build Speed, Accuracy, Endurance, Power and Dexterity.
  • Concepts to troubleshoot and overcome technical barriers.
  • Warm-Up and Practice tips.

Jojo Mayer is an internationally-renowned drum artist whose reputation as a master-drummer continues to grow. He was born in Zurich, Switzerland and spent much of his childhood traveling throughout Europe and the Far East with his father who was a professional musician. This constant exposure to music influenced the youngster to take up the drums at a very early age and, by the time he was 18, Jojo had begun his professional career by joining jazz pianist Monty Alexander's group— touring extensively in Europe and playing all the major jazz festivals, including the North-Sea Jazz Festival, Montreux and many others, while backing up jazz greats such as Dizzy Gillespie and Nina Simone which introduced him to an international audience.

Since 1991 Jojo has resided in New York City and has remained busy with both live and studio work while continuing to travel the world; performing and recording as a sideman with a variety of artists covering a wide range of musical styles. Over the past decade, in addition to gaining acclaim in the international drumming community through his collaborations with the Screaming Headless Torsos and Meshell N’dege Ochello, Jojo has also developed a very successful career as a leader, producer and clinician. He has toured and performed at the world’s biggest drum festivals and events on numerous occasions, including the Modern Drummer Festival and PASIC (US), the Montreal Drum Fest (Canada), the International Drummer Meeting Koblenz (Germany), Drummer: Live (UK), the Singapore Drum festival and the Ultimate Drum Weekend (Australia).

Most recently, Jojo has been at the epicenter of New York's club/electronic scene with his solo project, NERVE, as well as his significant contributions to the development of “Drum ‘n’ Bass” and “Break Beat” drumming styles based on the city’s fast-paced, energetic DJ culture.


My review of Jojo Mayer's DVD, Secret Weapons for the Modern Drummer, is going to be short and sweet. Why? Because the DVD is absolutley a MUST HAVE for every drummer on planet earth ... and there's not much I can add to what has already been stated in the DVD's description. Excellent!

Over half of the 3 hour DVD is spent with Jojo behind a practice pad, showing invaluable techniques and insights into the art of drumming. The main emphasis of the DVD is on hand techniques ... not foot techniques, grooves, fills, rhythms, etc. It's important information; something that every percussionist and drummer needs to know in order to develop themselves to their fullest potential.

The video footage quality, camera angles, diagrams and animation is first-class. The DVD is well organized and very thorough. The only thing that suprised me is Jojo's lack of explaining or even mentioning the American grip during the segment where he goes over the German and French grips. American grip is a valid, well-known grip; very different than the other two. In fact the American grip is literally in between German grip (palms flat, parallel with the floor) and French grip (thumbs up, palms perpendicular to the floor). When we fully relax our arms and hands, the position is the American grip, not German or French.

This comprehensive DVD is for beginners to advanced players. No matter if you've been playiing for ten days or ten years, Secret Weapons for the Modern Drummer will be a lifelong resource and reference guide for you to come back to again and again. If you have to only pick one DVD to purchase this year, this should be the one! Buy it today!!!

In November 2014, Jojo Mayer released a follow-up DVD — Secret Weapons for the Modern Drummer: A Guide to Foot Technique.