November 18, 2023

J. Reid Maxwell’s “Taking No Shortcuts” already in second printing

He’ll go down in history as one of the greatest pipe band drummers of all time, and J. Reid Maxwell’s recently released 118-page Taking No Shortcuts collection of 900 carefully honed exercises is already in its second printing.

“The book is designed for any level of drummer,” Maxwell’s protégé pipe band drumming son, Grant, said about the collection. “Beginners will go through all of the elements that make up pipe band drumming. Intermediate and advanced drummers can work through exercises to keep their skills sharp by challenging them to play phrases on both hands effectively building and strengthening their foundation of drumming skill and ability.”

The book compiles the successful instruction techniques the older Maxwell developed through more than 40 years of nonstop teaching. His hard-work ethic – hence the collection’s name – has resulted in a remarkably consistent drum section with the leading-drummer’s Grade 1 Simon Fraser University Pipe Band, winners of the last two World Pipe Band Drumming titles.

Reid Maxwell walking up to accept the 2022 World Pipe Band Drumming prize at the Glasgow Green.

The younger Maxwell, himself a leading snare drumming light, said they expect the second printing to be delivered early next week.

While some collections of printed pipe- and drum-score music languish on shelves, Maxwell’s Taking No Shortcuts is an exception, along the lines of Jim McGillivray’s Rhythmic Fingerwork, a collection of instructional exercises for pipers released in 1992, which has had numerous reprints over the years, making it a staple in most pipers’ library.

The collection’s orange cover reflects Maxwell’s ubiquitous orange baseball cap that has become part of his personal brand.

The book can be ordered from the Taking No Shortcuts website for $75 plus shipping.

Reid Maxwell’s fame as a drummer comes with his leading Grade 1 drum corps to no fewer than six World titles, and he remains the only leading-drummer in history to win the World Pipe Band Drumming award with two bands, having achieved it in 1987 with the 78th Fraser Highlanders.





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