"His enthusiasm is contagious; He's good! "
 -  William F. Ludwig II 


CD Reviews

Drums! Bass! Guitar!
Ben Hans Trio
(Coffee Road)

"Ben Hans has not only taken his share of local praise as an exceptional jazz drummer, but has also given back by instructing the West Bend drum line, teaching at MATC and penning instructional books for Hal Leonard.  His first solo album, Drums! Bass! Guitar!, teaches less about the rigidity of technique, although it is a testament to individual skill and pooled orchestration, and more about the ebb and flow of properly employed improvisation.  Unlike those solo artists that bare haughtily gluttonous bellies from an all-you-can-play ego buffet, Hans has humbled himself to the remainder of his trio.  Both guitarist Jeff Schroedl and bassist Mark Solveson conduct a piece from their individual albums and are given plenty of breathing room.  In addition to Hans' inspired originals, there are two covers of songs by the pre-Hammerstein duo of Rogers and Hart, as well as a horn-less and lyric-stripped interpretation of Coltrane's bittersweet poem to his wife, Naima. "
- Graham Fons, from the Shepherd Express, February 17, 2005

A Trio of Indie-Jazz Trios
"The debut from the drummer-led BEN HANS Trio, Drums! Bass! Guitar!, shows taste, technique, and a flair for the classic.  Hans swings with assured economy, buoying the equally talented Jeff Schroedl (guitar) and Mark Solveson (bass)."
- Jeff Potter From Modern Drummer, December, 2004

"Drummer Ben Hans leads his traditionally-oriented jazz trio, which includes Jeff Schroedl on guitar and Mark Solveson on bass, through ten original and jazz standards on Drums Bass Guitar.  Hans comes from a straight-ahead jazz background and has a nice swing feel, good jazz cymbol sound and plays will-constructed solos.  He covers the jazz spectrum with such tunes as the swinging "Dear Old Stockholm," Latin/swing "Light Sleeper" and "Apache Pass."  "Tides" and "Falling In Love With Love" are elegant waltzes that showcase Hans' brush playing.  Hans solos on most of the tunes, including his original compositions "Judicious Blues" and "Madeline's Tune."  John Coltrane's classic "Naima" is given a straight-eighth-note interpretation, and "Ben's Hands" shows off Hans' mallet work on drumset.  The only distracting aspect of the recording is an incessant tambourine track on "Madeline's Tune" that really put a damper on a good tune."
- Terry O'Mahoney, From Percussive Notes, October, 2004

"What can I say about the Ben Hans Trio?  For starters, I can say that I love them.  They're not the jazz-lite you hear so much on conglomerate radio these days.  Drummer Hans, bassist Mark Solveson and guitarist Jeff Schroedl have put out a wonderful CD with 'Drums! Bass! Guitar!'  The 10-track CD, which features a mix on originals and covers, deserves the exclamation marks.  Each of the trio are gifted players knowing how to expand on an idea without getting too note-y.  This is a CD that features great ensemble playing along with tasteful well-executed solos."
- Patrick Fineran, From the Racine Journal Times, February 19, 2004

"For years now, those in search of solid percussion have tuned to Milwaukee's Ben Hans.  His musical career includes stints with Jack Grassel, Chuck Hedges, Swing Nouveau and many others.  The release of his first solo CD, Drums! Bass! Guitar! has Hans teaming up with Mark Solveson on bass and guitarist Jeff Schroedl as the Ben Hans Trio.  The disc is a solid mix of jazz standards and original compositions."
- Brian Barney, From the Shepherd Express, April 29, 2004


BOOK Reviews

Rudimental Drum Solos For The Marching Snare Drummer
Ben Hans

"Hans, a Milwaukee-based teacher and performer, has added another snare solo book to the repertoire.  Rudimental Snare Drum Solos is not only a collection of twenty-six etudes, it is, more important, a “progressive teaching aid.”  Groups of five rudiments include warm-up exercises with stickings, followed by on to three page solos.  The first eight groups cover the forty PAS international drum rudiments, while the last three address hybrid rudiments.  The pieces allow players to work on the basic building blocks of drumming with a variety of musical examples, complete with stickings, dynamics, and musical interpretations.  Excellent notation and an informative bibliography complete this noteworthy publication. "
- Lauren Vogel Weiss – Modern Drummer Magazine, November 2009

40 Intermediate Snare Drum Solos
Ben Hans

"40 Intermediate Snare Drum Solos is a delightful new addition to the snare drum repertoire.  Hans, a Milwaukee- based teacher and performer, has written these solos in a variety of styles, from marches to Latin (including one in memory of Tito Puente).  These concert-style solos can be used for competitions, recitals, or even sight-reading.  The solos cover many different tempos, dynamics, and meters, including multi-meters in several (reflecting more contemporary types of music).  Most are one page long, a few are shorter or longer.  The author suggests that rolls and drags be performed 'closed', but some could be practiced in the 'open' rudimental style.  The notation (rim, edge, etc.) is clearly explained, and stickings are marked in a few pieces.  Lacking the benefit of text, these solos work better as supplemental material to a teacher's lessons.  The 47-page book ends with a thorough glossary and a complete list of the 40 Percussive Arts Society International Drum Rudiments.  So get out that metronome and start playing!  An 8 out of 10 stars."
- Lauren Vogel Weiss, Modern Drummer Magazine, September 2003         

"Concert & Orchestral performance is a different animal than drum set or hand percussion.  It takes finesse and attention to detail to execute a masterful solo. Snare Drum Solos, published by Hal Leonard, is a well written book encompassing the various aspects of concert performance that you might encounter.  I've found that most students cannot read very well.  This book is written in the intermediate-advanced range.  Sticking, dynamics, and varied articulation make this a good study.  Too bad it doesn't come with a CD!"
- Drum Pro Corps Magazine, Summer 2003

"These 40 short, concert-style solos for snare drum cover a variety of styles, and will be of value as reading material for student percussionists. The first few solos employ just single-stroke patterns, but the author introduces flams, drags, and rolls on page 10, and it is fair game after that. The solos are scored well with phrasing, dynamic contrasts, and tempi. Utilization of syncopation and accents provide excellent experience for players of all backgrounds and abilities.  Even though the solos are short, many will be of use for studio recitals or solo contests. "
- George Frock, Percussive Notes, April 2003


Workin' Drums
50 Solos For Drumset
Ben Hans

"Workin Drums" by Ben Hans, is featured in the May, 2003 edition of Modern Drummer's Reference Shelf Recommendations Article.  One of 26 new works picked by the magazine. "....while most are familiar with the classic method books......the following list shows some of the more recent highly recommended works..."

"Workin Drums is the perfect supplemental book for the intermediate drummer who needs to spice up his or her everyday workout.  Chuck-full of fun yet challenging grooves and solos, each of the 63 pages is concise, easy to read, and extremely inspirational.  Starting out with a solo featuring a simple kick, snare, and cymbal beat, Workin' Drums progresses smoothly to solos featuring sixteenth notes, flams, and triplets.  Dynamics are always used to help create a sense of musicality, and the author has included numbered measures and forgiving tempo markings.  Most lessons are based on a 4/4 rock 'n' roll feel, yet Hans does not forget to include jazz, odd time signatures, and even a reggae solo.  Workin' Drums is the kind of book any drummer would love to work through. An 8 out of 10 stars.
- Fran Azzarto, Modern Drummer, March 2003

"Resource material for the young drumset student is difficult to find, but Ben Hans' book fits neatly into this niche.  The solos in the collection are written for standard five piece kit, making it accessible to most young drumset players.  Written in a variety of styles, from simple two-beat rock 'n' roll to more involved Latin rhythms, these pieces will challenge the player's time and independence.  Students will find these solos a nice change from pediatric pattern-based drumset instruction books.  These solos would be a good resource for the private teacher and would be appropriate for solo and ensemble performances as well as juried exams."
- Scott Herring, Percussive Notes, December 2002