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Tom Tom Magazine Chops TV Drum Lessons on Drum Charting.

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Drum Chart and Song Track Play Along

Love Sneakin Up on You

Bonnie Raitt

Feel R&B, Time Signature 4/4, Tempo 95 BPM, Drum Start with a Pickup


Play this chart!

I wanted to post this chart so you could try reading and playing along with a cool song.

This chart was built using Drum Chart Builder a software program that I designed to go along with my book.
I used Knowledge Rocks software to add the counting motion making it easy for you to understand how to read a one-page chart like this.
Then I used Adobe Captivate to add highlight boxes so you could easily see how to play the correct pattern for each song form
Count and follow the song form as you play. This charting method is simple, fast and easy to build all of your charts so you don't have to memorize anymore.
Give it a try and have fun with the play along.

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Drum Teachers, Teaching Ideas Using Drum Chart Builder

Hi Drum Teachers,

Since the release of Drum Chart Builder, a drum charting software program, I have found more uses for the program beyond just charting a song so I wanted to share my experiences with you.

I use Drum Chart Builder as a teaching tool.

My students have accounts and bring in their iPads or tablets to lessons and we open their accounts and build any type of drum notation the will help them understand how to read music.
You can always open their accounts on your iPad or tablet at their lessons so you are not limited if they don’t bring in their iPad. The program is browser based so anything you do in their account stays there for them to review.

I have found that when I can see how they interpret a song and notation using Drum Chart Builder, I get a better understanding of how they listen and learn.
Your students like technology so they will use the program. It’s fast and easy.
This was truly an interesting find. My students really like using the program and they are used to using iPads all the time and come up with ideas of their own.

Here is a One Drum Chart Builder Quick Tips to using the program to help your students read music better and they can create their own drum music.

Teachers Quick tip on Using Drum Chart Builder as a tool for your students

Thanks for viewing the video and I hope you give Drum Chart Builder a try and see for yourself how your students can benefit.

Liz Ficalora

Pro Drummer and Teacher
CEO and Designer of

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Nashville drum teacher simplifies craft with technology

Liz in Studio 300 pix 2THE TENNESSEAN –  JANUARY 2016

Drum some rhythmic frivolity into 2016 with private or group drumming lessons. Liz Ficalora, a professional drummer and teacher based in Nashville, has created several programs to help drummers learn their craft more easily.

Ficalora’s style of teaching prepares students for all types of musical performances. An individual interested in pursuing drums must only to have a desire to do so. Skills, like hand and foot techniques, ear training and reading music, can be taught. With passion and practice, drumming can be gradually improved in as little as four months.

“The drums are a fantastic instrument that enables one to use all of their limbs to create a beat,” she says.

The first three months of lessons focus on coordinating music theory with physical body motions. If students have previous musical training, Ficalora will review their education and recommend new techniques or skills to help them reach their individual drumming goals.

To help teach students music theory, Ficalora devised a way to create a “musical map” of a song. Drummers need to understand an entire song to form a rhythmic pattern, she says. By visualizing how a song or piece of music is built, they can determine time signatures and find the song’s groove.

“I was taught how to read drum music, but no one taught me how to write out drum music,” Ficalora says. “There were no books available to teach how to write a drum chart, so I decided to write my first how-to book, called ‘How to Write a Fast and Easy Drum Chart.’ ” The book, published by Alfred Music Publishing, is available

Drum charts map out a song’s form: intro, verse, chorus, bridge, solo, tag and ending. Drummers must then count how many musical measures or bars are in each song. Once the song form is devised, drummers will listen and determine what drum patterns flow together successfully with all types of songs.

For example, Ficalora says: “Play a simple rock beat for the intro and a more energetic beat for the verses to choruses. Usually I listen to a beat and notate it on paper for my students to see so they will learn how to recognize the pattern visually. All my students write out their own drum charts using the simple method I developed.”

Ficalora saw a need for a computer program that would create a drum chart on demand wherever a musician might be playing. The web-based software program Drum Chart Builder,, allows drummers to readily access and create their own drum music.

Prospective students or musicians can contact Ficalora about lessons or other drumming-related questions at 615-477-4287 or

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Berklee Today Magazine, Alumni Notes

Berklee Today Alumni Notes

Berklee College of Music Recognizes 78' Alumni 

Liz Ficalora releases new drum charting software program called Drum Chart Builder for building one page drum charts on any device.


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Creating a Demo CD

How To Promote Yourself And Make Money

Let’s say you meet a busy record executive or producer and they need to hear you play right away. A Demo CD is always a good thing to have for that moment. Busy executives and producers will not have time to go to your website and most likely they will just forget anyway. So hand them a CD if they request it. They might just listen to it in their car on the way home.

When you put together a CD, make it a short 3 minute demo. Use small parts of about 6 of your best songs. Editing the songs with audio editing software is very helpful. Use fade in and fade out on all songs and connect them so they fade from one into the next one. It makes a very impressive CD.

Make sure you use songs that work with the style of music they are use to working with. They might hand it to other producers that are doing the same.

Label the CD with:

  1. You name and contact information
  2. Your website address
  3. List of songs and style of each song

Make sure your recordings are great quality wave files. Mp3’s don’t always sound great. I only trust a wave file for my material and I recommend that you do the same.

This month work on the CD project and spend time choosing your songs carefully. Be who you are and use your best stuff that represents your style the best. Edit all the audio tracks and create all the fade in and fade out sequences. Use your computer and design a label and insert for the CD.