Pat Petrillo's Hands, Grooves, and Fills
NAME: Hands, Grooves, and Fills - by Pat Petrillo.
This features a DVD, book, and CD with play-along tracks.
STAR RATING: # # # # #
For me this work has been priceless. I have been interested in, and dabbled in, drumming and percussion for a few years now, utilizing or referencing instructional works including those of Pete Lockett, Marco Minnemann, Marvin Dahlgren/Elliot Fine, Tommy Igoe, and Jim Chapin, but never really taking any of them all the way in so to speak, either because of daunting learning curves or the fact that an (over)emphasis on left-brain, analytical, technical musicianship is almost an oxymoron to me. That is to say, I played piano for years and years as a kid but became bored by the sight-reading, just playing what is on the page, dry and fun-less version I was taught, so I quit. Later I got into the baritone, (like a tuba but smaller) but again the same style of learning and playing bequeathed to me by public school education wore out its welcome and I quit again after years of study. So naturally as I have again acquiesced to the call of destiny (read: begun playing music again) I have avoided standardized technique or only touched lightly the real study of drums so as to maintain the activity as more of a meditation, an authentic expression of myself, than a regurgitation of the known, systematized, and ordered. Then...I saw that Pat Petrillo would be in my area here and there for lessons and classes, so I took the plunge and decided to take it to the next level. Now... I have been using Pat's DVD/book/CD in combination with some lessons for about four months and I am AMAZED on so many levels by his product. First of all, I found it accessible as a beginner in that the exercises get progressively more difficult but the learning curve is not too steep, which allowed me to jump right into basic rudiments and combos and grooves, and now I am already capable of rudimental solos over ostinato-feet, more complex and funky grooves, and fills. Pat has developed a "rudiment-tab system" which is sort of a short-hand way of writing out rudiments and combos, simplifying the process of learning and memorizing them. Second, and more importantly to me, is that I have felt no compromise of the enjoyment of the activity; actually now it is much more fun because I can relate much more easily to the videos on drummerworld, and to other musicians in a band scenario.
All skill levels
The primary areas of study are, as the title suggests, hand technique, grooves, and fills. Hand technique includes warm ups, the rudiments (regular notation and tab), and rudiment combos (tab). A brief primer on reading 16th note rhythms then precedes the grooves part. At first I found the grooves section of this product very similar to Tommy Igoe's Groove Essentials, in which he breaks down many styles to their basic building blocks, but Pat seems to do that and add his own super funky twist to styles ranging from rock to funk, jazz, salsa, "Nawlins," Brazilian, r n b, and more, each with various permutations like jam band, neo soul, funk fusion, acid jazz, drum n bass, etc. The fills section has various contemporary and old school fill stickings in the book, and the video includes demonstrations of how to split it up around the kit at slower and faster tempos.