Bring Your Own Style (BYOS) has created a new method for teaching kids rudiments: the BYOS Alphabet. Ralph Nader and Harvey Thompson, the musicians who comprise BYOS, released 26 YouTube videos, one for each letter of the alphabet. Each video teaches a drumming rudiment to correspond with each letter.
“They wanted to get kids excited about practicing and learning rudiments,” says Elijah Navarro, Promark product manager at D’Addario.
Each letter of the BYOS alphabet is a two-beat hybrid rudiment, and every vowel contains a visual trick.
“It’s designed to function like a drummer’s Morse code,” Navarro says. “You can spell your name. You can drum empowering words to stay motivated.”
BYOS members Nader and Thompson are lifelong friends who grew up together in Brooklyn, New York. Nader participated with the Blue Devils Drum and Bugle Corps while Thompson got involved with show style bands, so the pair combined these methods of drumming to create a unique hybrid sound.
BYOS is embarking on a clinic tour, visiting Guitar Center stores in the South and on the West Coast.
“Historically Black Colleges and Universities are focused on the southeast side of the country, and on the western side, more competitive marching is prominent,” says Kyle Thomas, percussion artist and educator relations manager at D’Addario. “This tour really is a hybrid of both styles.”
In collaboration with Promark by D’Addario, BYOS had also recently launched a new drumstick that’s just like them—the perfect combination of show style and traditional marching style. The BYOS Showstyle Marching Hybrid Snare Stick has a medium taper and a large round bead, which allows for the loud volume necessary for marching activities.
It also includes a grip ring to help drummers perform tricks. “When they’re sliding the stick across their hand, it’s a nice dead end to catch the stick at the end of a trick execution,” Navarro says.