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Old 12-19-2006, 10:05 AM
loki83jcg loki83jcg is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 14
Default Review Educational Video: Wreckl's "Back to the Basics"

I was taking lessons for 3 years before I bought this video. This video confused me so I want to explain to others about what they will be getting for their money before they change their style of playing.

Dave Wreckl's "Back to the Basics"

Seemingly aimed at beginning players, a video of this type should exclude any personal bias on how to play and offer a wide spectrum of different techniques. Yet, this video does leave large gaps that I wish to discuss.

This video is separated into different sections. I will try to recall the some of the sections to explain away some of the larger gaps.

1. Hand control: Wreckl has great hand control. Many of his techniques are helpful. He teaches about the finger control offered by the French grip and traditional grip. However, I would inform the beginner that Wreckl neglects to inform about the German grip, the grip that I and many many other players prefer using (Buddy Rich for example).

2. Foot control: Wreckl shows you how to play the bass drum with heel up. Yet, there is another gap. He doesn't show you how to use the heel down technique, which is used, and preferred, by many drummers (including Buddy Rich). In my opinion I think that heel down is more important for beginners because it evenly distributes your weight between your butt and two feet. A beginning player needs to understand the concept of weight balance and thus, having one foot continually up isn't the best start (it is also exhausting). Also, heel down technique is known for offering more control and more balance.

3. Cymbal Placement: Wreckl teaches you how to play the cymbals and produce the cymbal's different array of sounds. Yet, there is no overhead camera on the cymbals and you can only see the drum set and cymbals on profile. Also, he chose a kit set up that confuses the issue because of its vast amount of cymbals. Simply, a beginner needs to know how to place ONE ride and ONE crash.

4. The solos: Wreckl is a masterful drummer who plays with a lot of feeling. I would recommend anyone interested in prog. rock to listen to his stint with Chick Corea. However, I believe that a key element for playing drums is tempo and, right after cymbal placement, when he says that he will play a "straight-ahead" beat , he goes into a complicated solo that is without tempo. And this isn't the only solo without tempo.

Overall, it isn't a bad video but I would not recommend it for beginners. Though seemingly a video comprised of sections for the beginner, the real highlight of this video is watching and listening to Dave Wreckl. However, for a beginner, I actually believe that this video confuses the most important issues: a steady tempo and the basics.

Last edited by loki83jcg; 12-19-2006 at 11:16 AM.
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