Re: Todd Sucherman here!
By all means, split your hands. A snare/tom flam with the tom hitting first and the snare last is a musically powerful thing---and the beginning of lots of Tony Williams-ish ideas that you can build on.
As far as the electronic kit goes, I echo Leadfoot's sentiments. It's great for maintenance practice. I mean, you can't develop your ride cymbal technique on a piece of rubber, you know? But it's better than nothing. And some of the sequencing gizmos on those things are downright fun. While nothing is like the real thing, electronic kits are great for drummers who have noise issues with their living situation.
I certainly hope there are things in the DVD that are applicable to ALL musicians! Besides obvious lesson type things-- there are thoughts on approaching music, musicians, career navigational ideas--tips and thoughts that I've developed over 34 years of being a working musician. I think the ideas are applicable to drummers of all types and styles---because it's up to the viewer to get what they want out of the materials. If some of the concepts are thought provoking it's up to the viewer to add the ideas to their musical bag---physically playing wise or just mentally.
Here's the text from the back cover of the DVD and will give you an overview:
"Todd Sucherman brings the knowledge of thousands of gigs, shows and recording sessions along with over three decades as a professional drummer to this useful and unique DVD package. Astonishing technique, power and musicality explode from the various musical and solo performances throughout this presentation. Working with artists over a myriad of genres diverse as Styx, Brian Wilson, Spinal Tap, Eric Marienthal, Peter Cetera, John Wetton, Steve Cole, The Falling Wallendas and countless more, there's a wealth of knowledge imparted that goes way beyond just the technical aspects of drumming. Methods and Mechanics is filled with practical career tips that will help you navigate through the music business as well as mental aspects and cerebral approaches to the art of playing music on the drums. Filmed in 16X9 in High Definition at a stunning location this DVD features music from Styx, Taylor Mills and Jerry Goodman and contains various solos and playing examples in an array of styles as well as technical lessons to enhance your rhythmic and musical vocabulary.
Methods and Mechanics includes:
Grip and stroke analysis with many rudiments and hybrid rudiment exercises on a practice pad with slow motion examples
Orchestration of hybrid rudiments and stickings for musical application on the drum set
In depth analysis of hi hat techniques and how they effect groove and feel
Emphasis on mastering a simple vocabulary before moving on to more complex concepts
Thoughts on practice and patience
8 performance songs with full analysis--some with "play by play" voice over
Full double bass drum vocabulary for unique use in grooves and fills
Odd time break down of more complex time signatures
Musical notation and downloadable PDFs
Jazz kit performances and tips for swing time and brushes
Tips for music business career navigation, as well as tips for recording sessions, shaping songs with dynamics, paying attention to lyrics, traveling on the road, keeping things fresh, thoughts on gear, gear maintenance, Building a drum room, and loads of extras that include A Day On The Road, Drum Room Tour, Thoughts on working with Styx, Brian Wilson and Taylor Mills, personal history, tribute fills, an extensive photo gallery, and even a blooper reel.
Methods and Mechanics is a stunning achievement that reminds us the music comes first and that the arts are one of life's greatest joys. Entertaining as well as educational, music and truth flow through this epic presentation.
Available worldwide from Altitude Digital Video Production Altitudedigital.com"
I hope you check it out and that it helps inspire creative ideas in you playing and thinking.
The kit at the MD fest was a Pearl Reference in Crystal Rain finish.