DVD Review – Alan Schechner: Coordination & Groove
Coordination & Groove is a video that is pretty much honest about its content. It’s a video about coordination and groove, in that order IMO. Alan Schechner (the host) is another one of those working drummers. The kind that we’ll probably end up like if we pursue the working drummer career path. Not famous, but then again… who needs fame if you have a job making music with the instrument of your choice? He’s also a drum instructor and has taught Steve Vai’s drummer Jeremy Colson. He’s also how I would expect a hypothetical Jamie Kennedy/Jerry Seinfeld love child to appear.
His system is extremely similar to Akira Jimbo’s Wasabi method. They both function by taking a simple groove and applying different series of tweaks on the beat. They both start out tweaking the beats maybe once or twice. Depending on the original beat and how creative you’re feeling that day you’ll probably come across some cool beats of your own. Though, if you want your beat to really groove you better not go too crazy because it will quickly turn into a coordination exercise… hence the title of the film. Seriously though most of the examples aren’t readily applicable to most music. In fact, if you are going to play anything that you made using every step in this system; you better give your band a big warning beforehand. I suppose that’s the benefit of the system is you can take it as far as you want; I just think that approaching them with some restraint will produce the most musical result. In-fact most of the best grooves he plays are the ones BEFORE the transformation system.
It’s not all bad though, there are some bright spots in this film. I really enjoyed his solos which I thought were very musical and well thought out. Think Steve Smith but more progressive and less jazzy. He makes great use of a rhythm saw, which is a serrated stick, and a pair of boomwhackers, which is a strange plastic tube that makes a pitched noise that changes depending on what you hit it on. very very melodic and clever stuff
It’s fullscreen, it’s grainy, it gets repetitive, and it strikes me as attempt to cram a ton of information in a video that would have benefited from being longer. They did get a few things right too though: In every example they have split screen viewing AND the sheet music clearly printed under! its even in a readable font size! You can print them off the website which is ok… but it would have been awesome if it were on the disk.
They punted on this one. They took two of the lessons, removed them from of the main film, and label them bonus lessons. I’m not even sure that could honestly be called an extra. Not impressed. Definitely would have loved a gear tour on his kit as it’s quite nice.
All and all I’m kinda torn on this one. This isn’t a MUST SEE! It’s more of a should-rent-it-if-you-wanna. If you’ve seen Wasabi then you know most of what you’re gonna get and you can be the judge if you want more. If you haven’t seen Wasabi then I don’t know what to tell you but I will say you should see one or the other.