Zildjian Workout with John Mapes, Level 1: Improving Your Fundamental Skills

In this ZILDJIAN WORKOUT episode, John Mapes covers several key exercises necessary to build the foundation of great technique, including: 8s, Taps, Double/Triple Beat, Paradiddles, 16th Grid Diddles and Rolls. Whether you’re a level one player or not, the concepts that John covers in his video are the basis for improving your drumming skills. Grab your sticks & practice pad – and get ready for a workout!

Grab your sticks and get ready for a workout!


John Mapes is a full-time percussion educator and visual designer based out of Southern California. He received his Bachelor of Arts in percussion from California State University, Long Beach, in the spring of 2000. His marching experience includes Velvet Knights and Pacific Crest Drum Corps organizations. He currently has 15 years of drum corps teaching/design experience and an unprecedented 38 WGI medals since 2005.

He started with Pulse Percussion behind the scenes in 2008 as an arranger, and within 3 short years helped take the ensemble to it’s first PIW Gold Medal in 2010 as the program coordinator, battery arranger and visual designer. Since then the ensemble has medaled 7 more times and obtained two more championships titles in 2014 and 2016! He was also heavily involved in starting the 2nd ensemble under the Pulse Inc umbrella, POW Percussion, which medaled it’s first year out in 2011 PIO and has been a PIW finalist 7 times since. John joined the design team as the battery arranger for the Blue Stars Drum & Bugle Corps and worked there from 2013-2016. He worked with the Blue Devil B Corps as the percussion arranger from 2007 to 2012. After two years the corps became the Open class champions from 2009 to 2011 and received the high percussion award from 2009 to 2012 at the DCI championships. He was the Battery Arranger/ Percussion Caption Head for the Esperanza Drum & Bugle Corps from San Diego, CA from 2002-2006, taking the corps to nationals for the first time, winning the Div II title and moving up to Div I in 2004.

From the fall of 2000 to the winter of 2011, John built and taught the Pacifica High School percussion program with 9 consecutive PSO WGI finals appearances and seven consecutive PSO WGI medals from 2005-2011. In the fall of 2005 he started teaching Chino Hills HS, WGI Scholastic World Class finalist’s from 2008-2019. Chino Hills is currently a 9 time medalist and won the championship in 2012, 2013, 2015 and 2017 through 2019! He started working at Los Alamitos HS in the fall of 2005 becoming the WGI A Class Bronze medalist in 2007, WGI A class gold medalist in 2009 and a WGI World class finalist in 2010/2011. He worked at Fountain Valley HS from the fall of 2006 until the winter of 2009, winning multiple percussion titles in the indoor and outdoor programs, including a two time WGI finalist in WGI Open class and an Open class medal in 2008.

Along with fellow designer and instructor Ian Grom, John co-founded box-six.com in August of 2008, which is the exclusive seller of their original indoor percussion and marching band shows.

John is an official Yamaha Artist, a Vic Firth signature artist, a Remo artist and a Zildjian artist. He became a member of the WGI Advisory Board in 2007 and has been a member of the WGI Percussion Steering Committee since 2010.

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