Re: DRUM INSTRUCTION DVD & BOOK REVIEWS
Alan Schechner "Coordination and Groove: Learn how to play intermediate to advanced drums instructional drum lessons video" DVD
Intermediate to advanced
Music Star Productions
I recently returned from my second lesson with Alan Schechner. I hope that anyone who has seen his DVD, Coordination and Groove, was as inspired as I was. It would make me feel better if I knew that they they struggled as much as I did to get my head around what he was talking about in this amazing DVD. Being a perpetual newb drummer, I seek rhythmic concepts that do NOT delve into the obvious: jazz mastery, odd-time wizardry, double-bass speed demons and the like.
Schechner's DVD present a remarkably simple idea about how to tranform common beats into mind-bending independence puzzlers. Alan explains his transformations thoroughly. The problem is that those who translate explanations will literally and quickly deduce Alan's rhythmic transformations as, "You must do it exactly like I do." Not so. This is actually what Alan does NOT recommend. He explicity says, for example, if you don't have a cowbell for your left heel (your other half of your foot plays your hi-hat pedal), then don't play the cowbell.
In my lesson, he boiled down the transformations concept even further: Simply, think of your limbs as creators of rhythms and melodies. To start, he had me play my two favorite beats back to back. Alan then transcribed and combined the beats to put one beat's kick on the right foot as we would normally play; the other beat's kick was moved to the left foot. Modifications were made for musicality--delete a sixteenth, or eighth, note here or there.
The end result: Back home, my right foot is playing a Roland pedal dialed in as a tabla, my left foot is on my kick drum's left-foot double pedal. Or vice versa: My left foot is playing a cowbell, my right foot is on the kick. The beats individually are not complex. Together they create a radical transformation and a whole new level of musicality for the drumset. Alan further suggests playing my hand rhythms with varying patterns (think: The New Breed).
In short, Schechner's DVD is a critical component for the evolution of drumming on the drumset. While many will focus on foot techniques as the next step in double-bass drumming (i.e., moving your feet around pedals assigned to different instruments), Alan presents a means for taking interdependence to the next level. For this, "Coordination and Groove" is a revolutionary, and mandatory, DVD for drummers serious about approaching playing with a truly new view.
(Review originally appeared on my Web site.)