Inner Drumming

Drumset Exercises for Developing Body/Mind Awareness

by George Marsh


George, in one lesson, opened up a flow I never knew existed up to that point. His concepts allowed me to connect with myself and to music at a deeper level. I am forever grateful for his inspiration.”
— Matt Wilson


The Value of “Inner Drumming”

All drummers need to practice their rudiments and the various styles of music in which they are involved. But there is another crucial aspect of music not covered by those efforts. George Marsh's landmark book, “Inner Drumming” gives you the missing ingredient: internal awareness of your body as you are playing.

  • Develop a greater sense of mastery of your body and the drumset at the same time by learning to feel the energy flowing through all four of your limbs as you play.
  • Beautifully-produced DVD inside the book clearly shows you how to practice each set of exercises in Inner Drumming.
  • Increase relaxation and remove energy blockages to your personal musical expression by learning the process of “scanning” your four limbs as you play.
  • Inspired by Tai Chi, yoga, and meditation, Inner Drumming guides you in the process of listening with your arms and legs. This allows both your body and your mind to be involved in the act of making music. You won't regret having discovered this unique approach to musical drumming!

This is a very deep study of movement — paths of energy from one limb to the other and how to make that work for you. I'm a huge fan of his work and approach.”
— David Garibaldi

It was a door opener for me.”
— Joey Baron

George has been an important early influence on my growth as a semi-classical & jazz improviser. He continues to show me the path in his book 'Inner Drumming.' To me, the Zen of this book is as important as the deep sense of coordination possibilities it reveals. And please listen to him play with another giant in classically-trained jazz improvisation & composition: Denny Zeitlin, on their new collaboration on Sunnyside Records called 'Expedition'.”
— Terry Bozzio

George is one of the most organic and natural musicians I've ever had the pleasure to know and make music with. His book is a natural and free way of preparing yourself to be in the moment.”
— John Abercrombie

You will begin to experience a new freedom — you are learning to ‘dance on the drums.’”
— Jim Chapin

Thank you, George Marsh, for this deep and amazing book! You've been a huge influence and I hope to introduce your method to students at Berklee. I enjoyed practicing this book in the 1980's, and I'm looking forward to checking out the audio and video supplements. Thanks to Chuck Sher for publishing this book!”
— Mark Walker

George, in one lesson, opened up a flow I never knew existed up to that point. His concepts allowed me to connect with myself and to music at a deeper level. I am forever grateful for his inspiration.”
— Matt Wilson

It was a door opener for me.”
— Joey Baron

What master musician George Marsh has shown me during our half—century collaboration has revealed more to me about playing the piano than any piano teacher ever has. His method makes conscious what has been unconscious in the way daylight brightens a dim room. Inner Drumming articulates his teaching with clarity and high generosity.”
— W.A. Mathieu, composer, pianist, author

George has devised a system of practicing so that your hands and feet can more easily perform the musical ideas you are thinking. Inner Drumming breaks down those tendencies that have been programmed into the subconscious, and helps the drummer develop a freer, more relaxed approach to the instrument. Result — more relaxed movement around the drums and more musical drumming.”
— Roy Burns, big band drummer, co-owner, Aquarian Drumheads

Inner Drumming is the result of a life's work in rhythm by my friend and colleague George Marsh, a true master of space and time. All musicians, not just drummers and percussionists, will find much to learn and absorb within its pages.”
— David “Dawg” Grisman, mandolin innovator, composer, creator, Dawg Music

Inner Drumming deals directly with a central problem of drumming: how to connect what you are thinking, hearing and feeling with what your body is doing on the instrument. The diagrams are merely permutations of a basic drumming technique: how to get from limb to limb. My experience with Inner Drumming is that of clearing the way for a direct expression of impulse, thought and feeling, right through the sticks to the cymbals and drums to the audience. It unites feeling and action. My recommendation is to slowly, patiently work through George's exercises until they start to kick in. Stick with it. It's worth it.”
— Elliot Humbert Kavee, Henry Threadgill-Zooid

George is one of the most organic and natural musicians I've ever had the pleasure to know and make music with. His book, Inner Drumming, is just that. A natural and free way of preparing yourself to be in the moment, and let the music be your guide.”
— John Abercrombie

Drummers: this study deserves your time. George goes to the basics: grip, posture, independence, flow.... Get it to swing. That's when it gets fun.”
— Michael Vatcher, Amsterdam, Marsh student since 1985

George Marsh is an extraordinary drummer and composer whose musical mastery transcends all boundaries. An equally gifted teacher, working privately, at universities, and internationally via Skype, he has developed over the past 35 years an extremely natural, innovative approach to drumming that has enabled hundreds of students to find their musical identities. He has distilled these groundbreaking insights in his book and companion DVD, Inner Drumming.”
— Denny Zeitlin, jazz pianist, composer

Inner Drumming will challenge you to a deep exploration of your practice. What's inside can make the difference that is often overlooked.”
— Pauline Oliveros, composer, Professor of Practice, RPI

It's a rare thing amongst drummers today to consider HOW we move as being important. I've known George since 1973 and have been a huge fan of his work and approach. He's always had a “loose,” relaxed feel and his book explains to us why. This is a very deep study of movement — paths of energy from one limb to the other and how to make that work for you. Thank you!”
— David Garibaldi

The book constantly stresses virtues which are necessary for playing the drumset musically in any style: listening/concentration, a sense of form and structure, melodic development, physical and mental relaxation, and freedom with benign discipline. Get this book and live with it for a while. The only limitations of Mr. Marsh's book are the imagination and patience of the person studying it.”
— Ed Soph, Modern Drummer, Vol. 8, No. 7

As a beginning, he proposes that we open up a channel between one hand and one foot, perceived not just as a single stroke but “experienced” as a power flow. To emphasize this transfer, he uses directional lines between points. As the concept snowballs to include three, and then all four limbs, the diagrams increase in complexity and sophistication... The pictorial representation puts it all on a new and different plane and soon one will begin to experience a new freedom — you are learning to ‘dance on the drums.’”
— Jim Chapin

Thank you, George Marsh, for this deep and amazing book! You've been a huge influence and I hope to introduce your method to students at Berklee. I enjoyed practicing this book in the 1980's, and I'm looking forward to checking out the audio and video supplements. Thanks to Chuck Sher for publishing this book!”
— Mark Walker

So glad to see that George Marsh's well-known book is now with Sher Music. That's the perfect combination.”
— Pete Magadini

A remarkable book that can help you improve your overall technique while expanding your horizons as a musician.”
— Modern Drummer

World-class drummer and Modern Drummer columnist George Marsh has played and/or recorded with many of the great improvisors of the last fifty years including John Abercrombie, Joe Henderson, Jerry Garcia, Pauline Oliveros, Denny Zeitlin, Mose Allison, David Grisman, Andrew Hill, John Handy and many more.