Re: DRUM INSTRUCTION DVD & BOOK REVIEWS
Traveling Through Time
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Amazing solos and interplay between Horacio "EL Negro" Hernandez (top Latin drumset player) and Giovanni Hidalgo (top conguero) with educational breakouts. Inspirational!
Latin musicians, drummers and percussionists looking for ideas for soloing and how to play off of each other. Inspirational for all, more comprehensible for intermediate, advanced players.
(A Caveat: I'm a percussionist (congas, djembe, pandeiro, etc.) not a drumset player, who happens to like reading this forum to get ideas from all of you drumset players -- just so you know my biases and where I'm coming from. Perhaps a drumset player who has seen the video can add his/her comments and perspective.)
This DVD, one of my all time favorites, is a hybrid performance/instructional DVD. It features just Giovanni and El Negro in a nicely done up studio, with a variety of camera angles, allowing you to see plenty of Horacio's left foot clave technique. Overall the production is great.
It's a tremendous example of how to develop soloing ideas from a combination of rudiments and Latin rhythms. The sheer musicality of these guys and the way they play off of each other and bend the rhythms back and forth is amazing. As is their technique: Giovanni has blinding speed, and is noted for pioneering the use of rudiments on congas and the ability to mimic the multiple rebounds you can get with sticks with just his hands (although he is frustratingly coy about exactly how he does it -- my teacher asked him in person and his advice was basically the same as on his videos: practice hard). Horacio has incredible indendence, and strikes me as being amazingly relaxed and balanced while his limbs whirl around all of his bells, cymbals and toms. (Drumset players, what do you think of him?). You'll get more out of this if you are familiar w/ Latin timelines and rhythms like songo, comparsa, rumba clave and the 6/8 bell, or are good at absorbing rhythms quickly, as they demonstrate them only in passing while breaking down and explaining the inspiration for their solos. To tell the truth I get a little lost when they talk about how they combine different metric feels (e.g. a 6/8 and 5/4 feel within a 9/8 meter on Enea) but I don't have any formal instruction in that area. There is no instruction on basic techniques/patterns on this DVD, but it's great for what it is, with a lot of inspiration and food for thought.