Senior Member
An awesome Latin book with all sorts of other styles is Afro Cuban Rhythms for Drumset by Frank Malabe and Bob Weiner. This is an awesome book and Frank Malabe is one of Rodny Holmes"teachers that he idolizes.


Platinum Member

Oh yeah man... Post a video drumming and jamming like Steve Gadd, I would believe a comment like that from Vinnie colaiuta or Dave Weckl... but Jeez.. no one can drum like Steve Gadd, and he does not do anything basic on that video, I guess is a intermediate-advanced level, post a video of his samba or his bebop, and do the soloing like he does..
Just cause he's a great drummer doesnt mean he cant make a below average dvd.

This thread is to rate instructional dvds, regardless of the reviewer's skills.



Steve Gadd: In Session

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Boring, lame and a waste of $$$$$

Beginner players may (and I stress MAY) get something from this DVD, but definately NOT for seasoned drummers.

Warner Bros

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ........................................................................................Gadd playing/jamming in the studio with some buddies, and some occasional voice-overs. The dude literally looks like he's totally stoned on some smack or something. Not reccomended. He may be a really great drummer to many, but this DVD suxass!
Oh yeah man... Post a video drumming and jamming like Steve Gadd, I would believe a comment like that from Vinnie colaiuta or Dave Weckl... but Jeez.. no one can drum like Steve Gadd, and he does not do anything basic on that video, I guess is a intermediate-advanced level, post a video of his samba or his bebop, and do the soloing like he does..


Senior Member
kenny arnoffs power work out 1 and 2

if there is a book get it instead of the dvd

the dvd is good but the pdf files are better than the dvd as the dvd is just a repetitive list of exercise which need promting with the pdf files.

the dvd is a set of exercise making up 2 workouts each of which would take about 20 mins to complete. the 1 st work out will get your double bass going and the 2nd work out focuses on right left hand independence.

kind of uses exercises comprised of stick control stickings. with off beats filled in with bass drum or double bass drum ostinato underneath. and single double and triplet and polyrytham hand ostinatos over the top.

the exercises look like they will drasticly improve your power and indurance and independence if you say did each workout for 1 month.by the way you will have to be pretty fit to play the workouts! hard work

the dvd is ok but the information contained within is a very good

p.s. if you have not seen kenny arnoff play before he hits unbeliveably hardand if you did the power work outs you might be as powerful as kenny.


Junior Member
Has anyone picked up the new Brain DVD from DW. I really enjoyed the first one, and I was thinking of picking up his new one. Any reviews?


Senior Member

Thank you so much. You may not know how much your post, and others like it, have meant to me. Making that DVD turned out to be much more expensive, time consuming, and mentally taxing than I ever dreamed when I first began it. I can honestly say that it was the biggest challenge of my entire life so far. Now that it's finished, marketing it and getting the word out is a whole challenge of its own. This DVD has really been quite a journey! When I get feedback like yours, it makes me feel that it has all been worthwhile. Your comments are sincerely appreciated. Thank you.

Matt Ritter
Bass Drum Techniques For Today's Drummer


Senior Administrator

nicely detailed thought out with good production.excellent camera angles, clear instructions. Probably the best bass technique DVd out there.
All drummers
unburying the beater productions & Hal Leonard
As jojo's new DVD is to hand technique this DVD is to foot technique. Matt has a good way of explaining things and has obviously thoroughly studied his ideas and is really passionate about them. He is brilliant at selling the idea but, unlike some DVDs that spend a lot of time selling and idea and then barely giving it to you he really lays it out well with perfectly constructed exercises, practice advice and even tempo and time advice. To boot he really is a nice guy. i wish more DVDs were this thorough. there is a great troubleshooting section and a frequently asked questions section as well. why can't more instruction DVDs follow this format?
i'm afraid my bass technique is all about burying the beater at the moment.i even using it as a stabiliser between strokes. I know that this DVD plus 6 months of regular work with it will change my drumming totally and push me through the ceiling my current technique has put over my progress. There is even a wordof encouragement for me from matt in the FAQ section.
Matt Ritter may not have the fame of Jojo or Steve smith but his DVD speaks volumes for itself and is as precious in my collection of DVDs now as any big name drummer's. All that's left to say is thanks Matt you deserve any and every success from this DVD.

Drummer Karl

Nice review Karl,
I'll look into it. Sounds like a winner.

Yes, take a look at it. Don`t expect as many comping excercices as in Jack DeJohnette`s book, not as many grooves as in some Funk schools but it`s a damn nice tool you can work with.
As I mentioned, the personal touch makes it so good in my opinion.

PS: And the DVD is simply fun to watch, the play-alongs are a blast to play with!


Drummer Karl

Okay, so my birthday was on the twenty-first...and except that I was ill I just got....


THE ERSKINE METHOD - for drumset (Book and DVD)


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Target Level:

Every Drummer - from beginner to advanced

Great book and great DVD!! This book covers some pages with basic techniques, some important rudiments, tips for playing with hands a feet, warming up. This is the minority though.
Since we know that Peter is a versatile drummer who has worked with a lot of musicians and styles over the years the book is more than a "Jazz school". It`s divided into straight and swung. It deals with a lot of straight grooves and even more with the swing, somping excercices, coordination excercices, fill-in ideas, solo ideas, there`s an easy to understand brush part and being dedicated to Elvin Jones there will be some Elvin-ish ideas, too.
There are practice ideas, transcriptions of the play-alongs, not just of the drums, also of the other instruments which I find very nice. It makes the tune clearer and easier to understand this way.
Okay okay, you may think that it`s a drum school like anything else but the truly nice thing about it is the educational value, the tips, experiments and personal philosophies. Peter involves his experience into the book. That`s wonderful!

The DVD is amazing! Peter is an awesome teacher and player, he really encourages me, motivates, makes me wanna play! He explains things covered in the book, plays with the band in various set-ups (piano trio, Alan Pasqua(p), Dave Carpenter(b)...or sax trio with Bob Sheppard(sax) or quartet). In the bonus section Bob, Dave, Alan and finally Peter talk about things they look for in a drummer. There is an example how NOT to play a ballad...and much more.
PLUS, there are 11 play-alongs, with and without drums. Original tunes, high quality...beautiful.

For everyone who wanna work with Peter, that`s it. =)

Great package.




If you already have those two, than it sounds like you would dig "Hands, Grooves, & Fills" by Pat Petrillo

Just check out the reviews on it and see for yourself.

Good Luck


Senior Member
Pat Petrillo--Hands, Grooves and Fills


Hal Leonard/Hudson

Something for everyone and a great resource for teachers

I have gotten so much from this book and I've been playing 35 years. The secret: It's the perfect combination of accessible and challenging so one can teach themselves and not give up (never finishing the book as probably happens to a lot of us when we have the good intentions of picking up some new instructional media and bettering ourselves).
Having the book and mp3 play along in addition to the DVD is genius (the book/mp3 disc is my favorite part). And of course it's much easier to sit down with the book and mp3 disc at one's drums than sitting in front of the TV, but then the DVD is available for clarification.
And all the drumless playalongs and corresponding transcriptions are very hip and useful.
There are some fun rudimental warmups and Pat's own tab method (although for someone who reads music this would be time consuming to learn another notation) and of course the grooves and fills.
The only negative (and this is nitpicking, I suppose) is there are some typos in both the book and the subtitles which should have been fixed in the editing phase.
Suggestions for future editions: Get the flam instruction on the DVD and have the play alongs at a slow learning tempo in addition to the performance tempo.

For me this book is worth it just for the grooves and play alongs.

This is a great, great product! Just buy it!.


Platinum Member

THE ART OF PLAYING WITH BRUSHES - presented by Adam Nussbaum and Steve Smith - featuring: Joe Morello, Charli Persip, Eddie Locke, Billy Hart, and Ben Riley.

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A very unique opportunity to learn and practice a variety brush playing styles and techniques. I'm so glad they created this project and captured a lot of wonderful information (much of it passed down from great drummers of the past) that might otherwise be lost to us.

All Levels



Presented and moderated by Adam Nussbaum (apparently, it was his idea originally) and Steve Smith, it's two DVDs featuring Joe Morello, Charli Persip, Eddie Locke, Billy Hart, and Ben Riley. In various segments, you see each person (including Nussbaum and Smith) take a turn at playing swing (4/4 & 3/4) at various tempos, latin (Bossas and Sambas) at various tempos, and Ballads. All of the tunes are included as play-alongs on a CD. Basically, after each performance, either Adam or Steve interviews the drummer in detail about how and why they played what they did. Additionally, Adam and Steve spend time interviewing each drummer about his musical life and the stories and anecdotes are priceless--these guys really are living history!

There are great, great "bonuses" included as well including collection of videos of legendary drummers playing brushes in different contexts, including Big Sid Catlett, Papa Jo, Ed Thigpen, Gene Krupa, Mel Lewis, Steve Smith and Jeff Hamilton's "Salt Peanuts" duet, Steve Gadd, Nussbaum, Maestro Max Roach, and more. Too cool!

Plus, individual brush playing "lessons" from Nussbaum, Thigpen, and Louis Bellson. Louis' segment showing him playing brushes on a snare drum a couple of years ago and the variety of strokes and sounds he demonstrates is incredible--that segment alone is worth the price of admission, but it's just one of many gems in this wonderful project.

Other bonuses are PDFs to supplement whats on the DVDs and a little booklet on the history of brushes (did you know they were originally invented as devices to kill flies?) and a listening guide to recordings of significant brush performances throughout the years.

Bottom line--don't hesitate to pull the trigger on this one. You'll get a big chunk of history along with a unique opportunity to witness and learn from some cats who are a part of a legacy of great brush playing.



Junior Member
John Blackwell: Technique, Grooving and Showmanship

# # 1/2 out of 5 stars
Great drummer, below average teacher
Hudson Music
Cons: I bought this dvd with a series of other dvds when I was in an intense drumming craze. After viewing it for the first hour I searched for some drying paint for some excitement. Then six months later I picked it up again. And I put it back down. It isn't that John Blackwell isn't a great drummer, as stated above. No, it seems that the main problem with this dvd was its lack of focus, script writing, and overall vision. John Blackwell speaks horribly slow with long pauses. Everything he says seems completely unrehearsed and that is the same feel I get when watching this dvd. When I said the target audience was "all" it was because I couldn't find which target audience would benefit from this dvd least. Every once in a great long while he will show you something amazing that will help with your drumming but the intervals between are long and insufferable. Most of what you learn is simply by copying what he is doing through what visuals you have witnessed. There are no explanations. To illuminate, some quotes from John Blackwell:
On how to create a solo:
"I used to plan my solos... but it never came out the way I wanted it to come out... don't plan the moment, live the moment."
On how to practice:
"I go in and try to discover new things. Sometimes they come out... I screw up and stumble into something new." PERIOD
This is mostly because, as John Blackwell has stated, he has been playing drums since the age of 2. I don't remember how I started walking at that age and it is apparent that he doesn't remember anything from that age either. I would not consider this an instructional dvd as there is no instructions. This dvd isn't going to help you learn to play drums the way a dvd by Steve Smith, Erskine, or even Wreckl would.
Pros: I have to give credit from John Blackwell's extensive knowledge of drumming influences throughout the years. And that he always gives credit where credit is due. He seems like a humble gentleman and every approachable person. He is not arrogant; he is very down-to-earth. He loves what he does and you can see it.

I feel like this dvd will give you a close look into the personality of John Blackwell. It will make you a fan. I saw him on tv in some music show with Prince and was happy to recognize him. However, this isn't a good instructional dvd. On a different note, although the box says that the dvd is two complete disk, the second disks contents are listed as bonus material and is mostly live footage. I am probably going to keep my copy but never watch it again.


I'd look for a beginner's book instead. The information regarding drum notation will be easier to process if it's not in constant motion like a dvd. Any beginner's book will probably do.


Junior Member
Hi there can anybody recommned dvd or video etc. on how to read drum notation for beginners and upwards


Junior Member
Yeah, Cool

That saves me from hunting down a VHS copy.

I think that was done in the late 80's maybe early 90's or so.

You can imagine what he looks like now.

Incidently in addition to his superior drumming let's not short change old Ginger.

I understand he is or was a member of the House of Commons where he lives! Not to shabby of a guy.

Reminds me of that Cream tune, "Politician".

Thanks for the heads up and info!


I think it's a redo, with a little extra material.

Edit: yeah, it's a redo. He's playing ludwigs on the dvd, but he switched to DW quite some time ago.
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