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on 26 December 2014
Rockschool Hot Rocks is a very good series.

The ordinary Rockschool grade books are great for learning to play the drums. The pieces are constructed to introduce new things slowly and are very good. However it is brilliant to be able to play a well known song, even a simplified version to match the relevant grade.

I would definitely recommend these books but there is something that could easily catch you out, especially if you've used the "look inside" feature.

There are two versions of the Hot Rocks books. The one shown in the picture, with 'Drums' in white is the more modern version and doesn't have CD's but has a card with a download code. It also only has the shortened simplified versions of the tracks and does not have the full versions as played by the original artists.

If you click on the 'look inside' button you'll notice that the book that you're looking inside has 'Drums' in green and in the table of contents lists the simplified exam versions and also the full versions. This is the older version of this book, that comes with the 2 cd's,

I actually got caught out by this when getting the Hot Rocks grade 1. When getting the grade 2 I made sure I'd got the cd version not the download version.

The full versions give you something to work towards and aim for and the even book tells you how difficult each song is for a foundation, intermediate or advanced drummer. For example, in grade 2 the full version of "Should I stay or should I go" is only slightly harder than the grade 2 version and in the notes for the song it states that foundation players should be able to manage it with practice. The full version of "Iron Man" however is noted as extremely challenging for a foundation player, even though the simplified grade 2 version is easier to play than "Should I stay or should I go".

Having the full versions means that the book will remain relevant even after you've moved on from that grade, as some of the full versions will probably be mastered after you've reached higher grades. The book that only has the simplified grade versions though will be less useful as when you get better you're not going to want to play simplified, one minute versions of the songs. You'll want to be playing the whole song correctly.

If you're not bothered about eventually learning the full versions of the songs then this will be fine for you but if you want to properly learn these songs then make sure you get the book with the CD's.

I've given the book three stars because it is a great way to learn songs but this isn't the full version, which would get five stars easily.
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on 20 January 2011
Originally a piano player, I have picked up a skepticism when it comes to buying drum books. With the piano, song books consist of music which are songs in and of themselves. I have always been wary of "play along" books and videos. However, having taken up the drums, I have accepted that this style of playing is by far the most common, the most fun, and the most motivating.

This book consists of around 8 tracks; initially it doesn't seem like much, but the book is structured in a very clever way. Each song is split up into two versions; the full version and a condensed version. The condensed version has subtle variations on some of the tracks, in order to incorporate a wider variety of techniques. Furthermore, the condensed version is suitable for the 'free choice' selection of most drum exams. There is, of course, a CD to play along to with the condensed versions. Each condensed song has another 3 varieties on the CD; a version with no drums, a version with live drums, and a version with a click track. There is a second CD containing the full tracks; for each song on this CD, there is a version with live drums and a version with a click track.

The book is great for playing along to rock tunes without having to resort to tab; the music is laid out on a stave and uses the expected notation. 8 songs might not seem like much on paper, but to a player of the correct level, it will take some time to master and then plenty more time to enjoy. I would actually recommend this book to players of skill grades 1 - 3; there's nothing wrong with overreaching a little bit, and the concepts taught at level 3 are not particularly difficult to pick up whether formally taught or not.
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on 1 July 2010
this is a awesome book which is easy to follow nicely laid out and has good songs in it. The CD is also perfect with count ins. BUY THIS BOOK if your looking for good songs and easy to read notations!!!!
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on 24 May 2012
My son has been playing drums for a number of years and has been following a series of rock drums grade books. These grade books have been a good start for him, but use "made up" songs. This series combines good technical challenges but with well known songs - helps to encourage practice.
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on 27 August 2016
The product is great, and with the link to the music on line, that is an added bonus.
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on 10 November 2015
This book was for my sons exam it came very quickly and was exactly what he needed
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on 15 June 2016
very good
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on 9 November 2015
Excellent
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