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DVD Review – Dave Weckl: How to Develop Techinque

Back from an extended break I’m bringing sexy back! no, wait. No i’m not. I’m bringing reviews back!

I just wanted to let you guys know that I’ve matured as a review since my early days and if I seem inconsistent with the way I reviewed earlier in my career, it’s because I’m a bit better and more experienced than I used to be. Maybe someday I’ll go back and re-review some of my earlier works that didn’t have the benefit of my current reviewing maturity when I wrote them. But I digress

Dave Weckl had a big change in his playing from the way he played in his back to basics video. I’m not exactly sure when it happened but it was after his mullet and before his move to Sabian. The big change was he loosened up. Under the tutelage of Freddy Gruber and Jim Chapin he learned the same things that Jojo Mayer and Steve Smith learned under them and his playing became markedly more smooth. Oddly enough though they all learned the moller technique from the same two guys they all perform it differently. Which just goes to show there is always some personalization in any technique you learn.

Anyways this DVD is almost completely centered on the hands. There is a small section on the feet which I will cover in this review but for the most part this DVD covers hand technique. If you have Secret Weapons for the modern drummer then you already know about almost everything Dave talks about in this DVD. He starts with hand positioning and then moves on to explain his newfound approach to playing the drums. He talks about rebound, wrists, fingers, the Moller Technique, and he even gets Mr Freddy Grubber himself to impart some words of wisdom before he closes out the section on hand technique.

The part of the hand technique section that really intrigued me was his section on the double stroke roll. Dave has a very unique take on the double stroke roll that I’ve never seen anyone else use. It’s like a condensed Moller but instead of being a two strokes for one motion technique, it’s a double stroke. He demonstrates the technique on a practice pad and compares it the way he used to perform a double stroke roll and you can hear the difference. And that’s on a practice pad. Not exactly the most expressive and subtle instrument in a drummers arsenal. You can see a little clip of him doing his interpretation of the double stroke roll here. His discussion about the double stroke roll actually leads into his conversation about the one handed roll. Or the “one handed roll” as he says. His variation on the one handed roll is just the double stroke motion he uses over and over again. Very interesting and very similar to the fastest version of the push pull technique for traditional grip in Secret Weapons.

After the hand technique section Freddy Gruber comes in and shows that if you use the system that Dave is using in the video you are practicing all the grips whenever you practice one… not so sure about that but it’s an interesting concept. Freddie then talks a bit about the Moller Technique and movement around the kit and then he’s gone. He’s on screen for all of about 4 minuets so Dave isn’t in danger of being upstaged.

After this Dave talks about the way he sets up his kit. The big concept in this section that I suggest you take away from this video is when he talks about where the most powerful point of a stroke is and how your drums should be set up so you can get that power from all your drums. This hasn’t changed since his back to basics days and he actually did a better job of demonstrating it in that video then this one. He talks about positioning the drums a little bit but he mostly talks about how being lose gets a bigger sound on the drum kit. It’s also in this section that he talk the tiniest bit about playing with your feet in this section. If your looking for a good guide to foot technique, this video isn’t the place to look for it.

As far as presentation goes Dave breaks up the video with lots of little clips of him playing live performances with his band. which is nice because he often directs your attention to something he is talking about and how it is used in the performance clip that follows. Dave is an ok host. Not great, not terrible.

As far as extra features go… this one has a bunch but many of them are pretty much commercials for the stuff Dave uses. He has one for his stick, his cymbals, new stuff he’s added to the kit, his drums, his mics, and his drum heads… if your a gear nerd then this stuff you’ll definitly enjoy. He also has two full performances (one live one in studio) and two interview clips along with the commercials. So he does have a good amount of extra stuff.

Time for the break down.

For content 1.5 of three mic.

For presentation .5 of 1 mic

For Extras 1 of one mic

So there you go three of five stars… it’s a pretty middle of the road dvd with only a couple of things that are only found and discussed here.

This is a three part series so check out the other reviews when they come out

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