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Old 08-30-2012, 07:46 AM
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Arky Arky is offline
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Location: Germany
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The Black Book - An Introduction To Creative Metal Drumming, by Randy Black. 2-DVD set. Total running time: 3 hrs. 25 min.

# # # # (4.5 stars)

Great tutorial on how to apply rudiments on the drums in a metal context with a lot of tips & fills. Rounded up by a documentary on Randy's drumming career, an interview, performances, various slo-mo parts.

Basically any level (although hard for beginners), to advanced. Pretty much any drummer could get fresh ideas and inspirations from this DVD.

Hudson Limited (2009)


Initially Randy wanted to record a few songs in pro quality for promotional purposes but in the process this fully-fledged 2-DVD set came out as a result.

Disc 1:
* Exercises/Tricks/Gear (the gear section isn't up to date as Randy has switched from Mapex to Pearl drums/pedals/hardware and changed some of his (Sabian) cymbals)
* 3 Solos (+ slo-mo parts)

Disc 1 includes (as reads on the back cover):
- Basic Rudiments on the Practice Pad
- Advice to young drummers
- Hand grip & technique
- Stretching & stick tricks
- Applying arious rudiments on the kit
- Hi-hat foot technique
- Independence exercises/moving accents
- Various fills & rhythms from Randy's recordings
- Crossovers
- Applying different styles to metal music
- Tools of the trade
- 3 solos - pad/studio/live

Disc 2:
* Documentary/Interview (on past and present band activities)
* Drum performance of 7 songs (+ slo-mo parts)
Those songs have been selected for interesting drum parts to be broken down for learning purposes and are very different (within a hard rock/heavy metal context).

Disc 2 includes (as reads on the back cover):
- Documentary/interview
- Drum performance of 7 songs:
- Seven Seals/Primal Fear
- Hit You Harder/Skew Siskin
- Blood On Your Hands/Primal Fear
- Heart Of A Brave/Primal Fear
- Blackened Beauty/Marcus Forstbauer
- A Promise From Underneath/DuskMachine
- Cold Blooded/Annihilator (cover version)

This tutorial comes with a 10-page booklet (no notes/transcriptions). The overall artwork/design of the cover, DVDs and booklet has a very professional look and is very pleasing to the eye. The sound quality is superb, Randy underlines that there was no movement or quantizing of his playing after the recording was done.

Randy is also a drum teacher, this really shows in the way he's explaining things and demonstrating stuff. He has a powerful playing style which takes - but also provides - quite some energy. He's using a mostly symmetrical drum setup and open-handed playing a lot. A great deal of his patterns are symmetrical.

The basic rudiments section starts off with briefly explaining the origin of traditional grip. The grip Andy is using is matched grip. The rudiments section covers the essentials & more for metal context.

What might be considered a weakness of this tutorial is that Randy doesn't cover double bass technique/runs in detail and/or doesn't provide e.g. broken bass drum patterns (except for those used in a fill/hands & feet context). His bass drum playing is mostly either 'regular' patterns or switching to 8th/16th notes. His footwork fits the demonstrated contexts/ideas perfectly though and doesn't leave anything to be desired sonically, just be aware that it's not a hardcore tutorial on foot/bass drum technique explicitly.

Here's a YouTube promo clip:
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