DRUM INSTRUCTION DVD & BOOK REVIEWS

punky_funk

Junior Member
I have recently bought "Advanced Funk Studies" by Rick Latham, the 25th anniversary DVD. It is very inspirational and It has a lot on rudimental application. I suggest getting the book for it too, to use as reference. It is for all skill levels.
Beginner to advanced.
 
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Thinshells

Guest
Tim Alexander live performance and commentary DVD

Tim Alexander live performance and commentary...

This dvd is very cool for Primus/Laundry and Alexander fans.

It is unusual, in that during the performance, you hear no music at all, but he just plays the drum parts to a lot of his music.

There is an audio commentary track that is of some value. I am at a point where I can sort out what he is doing. But: I must warn potential buyers: this really is not a very good educational dvd. It has no step-by-step instruction, and there are only generic explanations of what he is doing. There are no "slow-mo" parts either.

What he does is lay down some very cool grooves and powerful kick work. He showcases himself well as one of the most underrated, and yet powerfully influential drummers out there. He has a very well defined, and deep kick drum sound. I like his octoban fills as well. He does a good job of incorporating Afro-Cuban and funk flavored bits. It's almost like you'd classify Tim as a "Prog-funkster." And he gives the nod to Neil Peart as well in the commentary track.

So really, it's watching a guy play just his drum parts for about 45 minutes. It's $24.95 at www.timalexander.com.

Bottom line: I like it because it isolates his drumming, but it's not what I had expected. It is also not for beginner, or most intermediate level drummers. Tim Alexander fans will really enjoy it. I sure do. But I would like to see a full-blown instructional dvd in the future. Tim obviously has a wealth of knowledge and a host of chops that could be given better elaboration for a wider audience.
 
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candlemass

Member
I don't own many music videos so I'm afraid I lack reference to judge, but let's try.

NAME: Dennis Chambers: Serious Moves


STAR RATING: # # #


WORDED RATING: Average. Everytime I look at this video I remind of guitarists who complain at videos of guys like Malmsteen, who just show off, and don't sound interested on teaching anything.


TARGET AUDIENCE: Everybody who wants to get really frustrated or likes LONG Drumsolos. Seriously: VERY far advanced drummers who need to get some new ideas or everybody else who wants to see "how its done". (Yes I copied this from another review below, it fits so much)

PUBLISHED BY: DCI


DESCRIPTION: It's mostly Dennis showing off. Then after each song they show the bass/drum groove slower, then he's interviewed, and he's asked to make some interesting things he makes on each song. I didn't BECOME Dennis Chambers after watching this video, but I just got a few ideas.

The songs are too much long, so it's like too much information for you to get at once. If I really had to learn something, the songs would be less than 1 minute each, since they're very complex, and I can absorb all the information. They should know that this is an INSTRUCTIONAL VIDEO. This is, by the way, the same comment I want to make on Marco Minemann's Extreme Drumming DVD. I feel like skipping the songs parts of these videos because I really learn nothing watching them. It's just stuff for you to drool on. I want to learn soemthing, so I go straight to the explanation.

Plus, Marco Minemanns' songs are lame. They're mostly: 1 bar of groove, then Marco solos for 1 minute, 1 bar of groove, another drum solo, 1 bar of groove and so on.
 

JOE

Junior Member
Re: Instructional Books

punky_funk said:
hi i've been looking at your posts and was wandering if you had any advice for someone at grade 4/5 standard bored of rockschool. I am hoping to improve my rudiments but I also want to have fun with funk and jazz. Any suggestions?

1.GEORGE LAWERENCE STONES STICK CONTROL

2.JIM CHAPIN MODERN DRUMMER( HIS BOOK ON INDEPENDENCE) BE BOP JAZZ

3.RICK LATHAM ADVANCED FUNK STUDIES.

I WOULD RECOMMEND GOING THROUGH THEM IN THAT ORDER.IT WILL CHANGE YOUR DRUMMING IN THE FIRST MONTH.
 
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Thinshells

Guest
Mckinney said:
should i get Thomas Langs greative control or Neil Pearts Anotomy of a drum solo?
Those are two entirely different things. I have ordered Neil's dvd, but it's content promises to center on his drum solos only.

Thomas Lang's awesome dvd covers a wealth of subjects. IMO, it's invaluable.

They are apples and oranges.
 

brittc89

Pioneer Member
NAME:
Gregg Bissonette
STAR RATING:
# # # # 1/2
WORDED RATING:
Great instruction in a ton of styles, some awesome tracks of Gregg playing, and a fun sort of loose and human vibe to the whole thing
TARGET AUDIENCE:
Mostly intermediate, some pretty advanced topics though
PUBLISHED BY:
Hudson Music, double disk
DESCRIPTION:
Gregg is a fantastic educator throughout the video and makes the learning process smooth and fun. He covers areas such as rock, funk, fusion, bop/big band, latin, and afro-cuban in a very informative and detailed manner specific to that individual style. Another great part of the DVD si that he goes past just drumming and delves into the music industry and the modern studio scene. I could have used a tad-bit more on the instruction for the afro-cuban, but other than that, I was never confused or having to rewind over and over to catch a lick. Hey, its where I learned the blushda. A great DVD all-in-all; Id reccomend it to any drummer.
 

mandion

Pioneer Member
NAME:
Ed Thigpen: The Essence of Brushes
STAR RATING:
# # # 1/2
WORDED RATING:
Relatively basic brush techniques
TARGET AUDIENCE:
Mostly beginner, some intermediate
PUBLISHED BY:
Hudson Music, double disk
DESCRIPTION:
Relatively basic intro to brushes by one of the greatest brush players of all time. Instruction and examples are good, but video is short (60min), and only brushes the surface (pun intended). Thigpen repeatedly refers to his book for more detail, and refers to this DVD as volume one. He covers a couple basic patterns in 4/4 and one in 3/4, plus 2 simple accents. If you want to see a couple intimate performances by a great brush player or have no clue how to use brushes, this would be a great aid. If you're already proficient but wanting to improve, you won't get too much out of this. Maybe consider the book instead.
 

Latin Groover

Pioneer Member
2 people have already done a review on creative control but ill do a quick one aswell. I just got this DVD and its great. Also this is my first drum DVD so my rating may differ from players.

NAME: Thomas Lang: Creative Control

STAR RATING: I give it #### - #####

WORDED RATING: Very well done, interesting topics, strick said that there r alot of thing that rnt any use to 90% of all drummers. I think not. But the DVD does definently lean towards dbl pedal stuff, i have just done some of the exercises on my hihat instead. I can feel my left foot being alot stronger, faster and more comfortable, like i can just use it at more places while playing now. But it is still very iseful to players that dont use dbl pedal, for sure. I think that players that use single pedals will like it and will get alot out of it, but for youse dbl pedal players, woa ud better get this, i see this as a great DVD for those using a dbl kick.

TARGET AUDIENCE: Sticktrick said that it was mainly for advanced players. No its not. But hes damb rite bout the solos. Everyone already knows how good he is...but then for the people that dont they will find out on this DVD. But im not an advanced player, ive been playing for 3 years, so im intermeidate, but i still got alot our of it. I think begginer to advanced really. Because the first disc is good for people who have even just started. He demonstrates some, wait, LOTS of exercises to do to improve hand feet co-ordintaion, which is very important. Most of the first disc is just one singles and doubless, for Gods sake! Thats tons to practise!

Published by: Hudson Music

Ive pretty much already described it so ill just say that there is a really good chapter on sticktricks and showmanship, which like stricktrick said is really great. He breaks them down so you can learn them. But wats great in this chapter i think is that when he demonstrates a trick he tells and shows where some good times to use it. Like theres som tricks he shows that he say mainly use on the hihat and he plays you a demo of how to 'FIT IT INTO YOUR PLAYING". Which is great! Cause its all great to be able to do these tricks but if you cant fit them into playing then wats the point!? I hav trouble fitting stick tricks into my playing. I have no idea when to do them, so i dont do them, also i cant do stick tricks. Although i can sort of do the Blackwell twirl good, thanks 4 that NJ.

But with the songs i quite like the songs, i must admit tho sum i didnt like and also i thought that he would play different styles. But i do like that first song 'Dog'. Great drumming in that, altho the lyrics r little kids singing (only in the chorus tho.) But another great feature is that littlew icon that cums up, u just press play or enter on ur remote and it goes to a sort of side clip for xtra info on wat hes talking bout.

I thinks its a gr8 DVD.
 

NUTHA JASON

Senior Administrator
NAME:
DAVE WECKL - THE NEXT STEP
STAR RATING:
#####
WORDED RATING:
a great dvd that meets most serious drummers with a challenge and a path to greater things.
TARGET AUDIENCE:
intermediate to advanced
PUBLISHED BY:
warner music
DESCRIPTION:
Many of us will be at that level now where we are very good at the obvious stuff but somehow, watching DW videos we seem to be missing that extra bit that seperates us from the legendary drummers. this dvd goes a long way to adressing the gap. dave takes you through the minefeild of beat displacement, odd time, band hits, hand/foot coordination and using a click effectively ...to name just a few of the gems. his calm friendly approach soften the blow that comes when you see this monster of a drummer grooving and soloing...at some points in the dvd i found myself thinking: 'hey i can do thaaat!' but what i found is that i can almost do the stuff on the dvd...which is what i look for in the dvds i buy - possible but not already achieved lessons. dave adresses the drummer who is ready to go pro...he really does give you the next step. if he ever reads this review...thanks dave.

j
 

moosryan

Member
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

OK, so I've gotten 4 books in the past month and I shall do a quick review of them for your viewing pleasure. I should add that my favorite part about every single one of these books is that they can be used for beginners to advanced drummers.

Reed's Syncopation. Really do I need to review this? You all have it and it has 1001 uses. I haven't got around to working out of it that much yet, but it can be used to work on absolutely any aspect of your drumming.

Don Famularo: It's your move. Don ****in' Famularo!!! What a friggin genius. Totally solved most of my technique problems, taught me moeller, etc....This is a great book for technique and it also has a lot of great concepts for creativity on the drumset and stuff. Highly reccomended.

Jon Riley: The Art of Bop. They should have titled this book "How to Play Jazz", because that's what it is. And that's what I was looking for. Teaches you how to comp, solo, use brushes, play odd times, and much more. It works on more musicality than chops. I already consider myself a pretty good jazz drummer, but this book is pushing me up to the next level.

Tommy Igoe: Groove Essentials (book and playalong). The definitive playalong book. Has charts and songs and commentary on each one for many different kinds of music. Teaches you grooves for different styles (almost all of which I already know, but who cares, the playalong is the best part). Then you get to play along with a REAL band, not just some electric crap like turn it up and lay it down. I'm having so much fun with the book. And the hidden gem of this book is how much it helps your chart reading.

I'm really happy with all the books, which I knew I would be because I don't just buy things on a whim, I research them . But each of these books is helping me a lot with my playing, and I would reccomend all of them. Feel free to ask any question..

moos.
 

sublicon

Junior Member
NAME:
Brain's Lessons - Shredding Repis on te Gnar Gnar Rad

STAR RATING:
###

WORDED RATING:
Good DVD to learn about the importance of groove, but very narrowly focused.

TARGET AUDIENCE:
Kids who want to get funkay - fans of Primus?

PUBLISHED BY:
Warner Bros.

DESCRIPTION:

In his debut DVD, Brian goes over some very important concepts such as grooving in a couple different feels, upstroke/downstroke technique, some roll exercises, and some brazilian ostinato patterns and how to get your hands coordinated with them.

Agreed, these are very important concepts. However, it just didn't click for me. The DVD distracts you from the lack of real straight-forward content with various antics and long drawn-out speeches by Brian. I seriously fell asleep half way through this DVD.

It also surprised me, and I hate to say it, but Brian is a very good example of a drummer who has a superior command of feel and groove, but probably plays the networking and the "its who you know" game very well. I was watching some of his clinic/solo clips and thought they were garbage, I honestly don't see what about his skill set sets him apart from a lot of lesser known drummers that I've seen. So I have to deduce that he's an awesome guy and has gotten in good with people in the various bands he's played in. I actually bought a Tim Alexander DVD when I bought this, and thought THAT was going to suck, but I found this far less stimulating that I had anticipated it to be.

For young drummers who need a nice jump start into the game, this DVD will work very well becaue it will start them understanding the importance of having good time and feel, the importance of stroke types, and various other concepts. However, I hope they will be able to pay attention through the endless garage speeches, because I barely did. As I said, though, the DVD is kind of fun to watch at times so maybe that will hold the young attention spans.

If I could take this DVD back to the store, I would. I'll probably sell this thing on eBay. Sorry to be a downer.
 

greg8

Junior Member
are any of the instructional videos worth,,,

just wondering if any of the instructional video's out there are any good? if so, anyone have any suggestions?
 

Bernhard

Founder Drummerworld
Staff member
Re: are any of the instructional videos worth,,,

I would say: it all depends on you and not on the DVD.

On every DVD there are so many big and little things you can work on to improve your drumming. But just watching of course is not enough - some work needed.

Bernhard
 

lowender

Member
Shame on all you brits for not mentioning this one sooner...

NAME:
The Art Of The Drummer - John Savage (Book with CD) (Spiral Bound)

STAR RATING:
#####

WORDED RATING:
The best single drumset (general not specialist) book I've come across. Covers the basics very very well.

TARGET AUDIENCE:
Beginners although some intermediate/advanced players may find it worthwhile if they feel there might be any holes in there playing. I cannot recommend it enough for beginners though.

PUBLISHED BY:
John Savage's Music Books

DESCRIPTION:
I bought this book (after it had been recommended to me by a few local drummers) and have not looked back - it has almost single handedly made me the drummer I am today (whether thats a good thing or not I wouldn't be confident enough to say), I do own quite a few books and DVD's which have all helped me a lot in fairness but as one single book, at least to start off with, this is absolutely the way forward.
It takes the beginner right from square one and introduces drum score from the off (a good thing I say) in a very simple and user friendly manner, I'm fortunate in that I could already read a little music already when I started (18 months ago) as I play a couple of other intruments but I'd recommend this even to the complete layman. Of course the CD helps loads too.
It's broken down into lessons (in the order as the author says he would teach them in a private lesson scenario), here being a very brief overview...

Basic Beats/Rhythms
Snare exercises
Fills using semiquavers
Rock
Swung Rock
Triplets
Jazz Rhythms
Accents
Strengthening the left hand
Rudiments (various rolls, paradiddles, flams etc - plenty here)
Various Time Signatures
Brush Rhythms
Latin American Rhythms
Advanced Rock
Expression markings in music
Tuning
Soloing

I really have only touched on the contents of this book and picked just a few salient points - as a quick look at the index will prove.
It really does seem to cover everything you'd need to touch on in your first year (or years) playing. I have done a lot of research into my drumming, with having had very few lessons and having to rely on myself/books/dvds/web to learn and there is nothing I have come across that isn't already covered in the material.
If you are in your first few months of drumming you SHOULD have this in your collection and be actively working from it IMO, if not I'd recommend you at least give it the time of day and check it out. And when you do and you think bloody hell that lowender's a good lad this is a great book... mine's a pint of the black stuff ;)
 

JetBlack

Junior Member
Has anyone ever tried either Drumming for Dummies or "An Idiots guide to: Drumming"?

Both come with a CD.
 

Garvin

Pioneer Member
Title: Pure Energy (Tony Royster Jr.)

Star Rating: ###

Target Audience: Anyone into superfast chops, and R&B/Gospel style drumming.

Description: This is a great video to watch for entertainment purposes. There are several pieces with his band, a duet section w/ Nisan Stewart. There is a really cool slide show of his trip to the DW shop, and some pretty good exercises. It's not a very in depth learning video, but if you are a good self-taught drummer, you'll probably be able to pull some good ideas out of this. Other than that, it showcases his inhuman speed and agility on a huge drum-set.
 
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