DVD – Review: Learn Drums With Six Great Masters!

This presentation by Hotlicks is reminiscent of Frankenstein’s monster. The idea being to take the best sections of six different Hotlicks features and blend them together in one monster presentation. Most of the movies that are sampled in this video have a full length of about sixty minutes. While this movie itself is only 41 minuets long. My point being that you getting less by watching this then you would by watching one of the videos sampled in this feature.

Now to be fair, I’m pretty sure that about half of these videos aren’t in production anymore so this might be the only way you have to get a glimpse into what those videos contained. I’ve searched for the videos by Kenwood Denard, Tico Torres, and Tommy Aldridge but I can’t find them anywhere. If you were desperate to see these things, you might find one at a Goodwill somewhere in Nebraska in VHS format.

The movie starts out with a clip from Joe Morello’s first DVD (which I have already reviewed) where Joe shows you some basic hand technique. This section is adequate for the absolute beginner, but there are much better places to learn hand technique.

The movie then moves to an exceedingly short section with Ginger Baker (who’s movie I’ve already reviewed) on paradiddles and the double stroke roll (though he calls it the mummy daddy roll.) Once again, absolute beginners may benifit but it’s far too short and simplistic for the advanced drummer to get much out of this.

After that we get a section hosted by Tico Torres (Bon Jovi’s drummer.) Tico specializes his section on cross sticking, stick shots, and playing on the rim of the drum. If you didn’t already know what each of those things I just mentioned were, then you might get a lot out of this section. If you did, then you will learn a cool little lick at the end of the section and that’s about it.

Kenwood Dennard takes over from here and demonstrates the woodstroke… badly. I say it was done badly because I still have no idea what he’s doing. It makes me wonder if I would have understood if I had seen his entire video, but I definitely don’t get it after watching the little snippet in this video. The woodstroke isn’t something like Jojo Mayer covered in his DVD. If I had to describe it I would borrow the same analogy Carter used and say that it’s like the rubber pencil trick. I would also add that I can see some of the principles of the Moller technique at work in this stroke but it’s still largely a mystery to me.

The next section is a lesson in double bass by Tommy Aldridge. I can tell that the information in this section was revelatory back in the day that it was shot. These days however, most of his advice is pretty mainstream. Mostly he says practice normal rhythms with your left foot (if you normally play the bass drum with you right foot.) The goal being to achieve even strength between your legs. That’s about it.

The last section is with Carmine Appice running through a bunch of different beats (all of which are really cool by the way) demonstrating the use of drags on the snare drum. He demonstrates more than enough beats for you to get the idea but a surplus of information is a welcome sight in this DVD.

Here be the breakdown.

For content I’m giving it 1 mic and it’s lucky that I’m giving it that. There just isn’t much in the DVD and the lack of any sort of instructional continuity makes it hard to learn what little is there.

For presentation I’m giving it 0 mics. It’s too short, the film is low quality, and, let’s be honest, they stitched together bunch of random clips from different instructional videos they had laying around and resold it.

For Extras I’m giving it 0 mics because there are no extras.

Grand total of 1 mic… an all time low for drum DVDs

It’s not even worth renting on Netflix. I regret having wasted my time and a spot in my queue on this video. My only consolation is that I am able to warn others who might make the same mistake as I.

Much like Frankenstein’s monster, this video is an abomination and should never have been assembled. If you do come across this video, you should proceed to trap it in a large wooden building and then burn the building down.

You’ve been warned.

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