Victor Wooten & Carter Beauford: Making Music
This review might be a little nontraditional but you’ll have to forgive me because this DVD is quite nontraditional. It’s one of those most rare of animals, the drum and bass instructional video. Carter Beauford, (drummer for DMB) and Victor Wooten, (bassist for Béla Fleck and the Flecktones), decided to turn the recording session for Victor’s album Yin-Yang into the foundation for an entire drum/bass instructional DVD. This isn’t two separate instructional DVDs that Hudson Music decided to sell as a package. It doesn’t try to teach everything you need to know to play either instrument. Rather, it focuses on the music on the Yin-Yang album and examines the give-and-take between Carter and Victor when they play. This is an instructional that demands you pay attention to what they play and analyze it for yourself.
According to wikipedia, Carter only did session work for Victor on two songs for the entire album. In the video you only really see them working on the track “Zenergy” so you’ll hear that song over and over and over and over. There is a lot of interviews and a few bass and drum duets to space out the studio footage. The idea, it seems, was to demonstrate whatever concept by playing together and then talking about it afterwards. After watching some of them I felt like I saw what they were getting at when they played. Some of the others not so much. One thing I noted is that because Carter Beauford’s style is so unique that it could be difficult taking his ideas and applying them to your playing. Then again if you’re watching this video then you probably already know that. Victor actually proved to be very articulate and the main educator of the video. Listening to what he had to say about music in a more philisophical kind of context along with his thoughts when he’s producing music is good for all musicians.
This is one of the lower quality Hudson Music DVD’s but then it is one of their oldest. It’s in Full Screen and some of the back grounds for the interviews are bad. Whatever, I’ve seen many times worse then that in my time reviewing these things. Camera work and pacing are same old Hudson Music quality. The real thing that annoyed me was hearing that “Zenergy” song a million times while watching it Then again that’s probably what it’s like in the studio. You gotta listen to the same thing over and over again so you can figure out what can make the song better. I’ll just say it’s very realistic in that department and will leave it at that.
Carter gets his points across well enough but Wooten is the clinician of the two and better at communicating. I usually found that I liked Victors take on most of the things they discussed together. Between the pair of them, they were able to clearly explain whatever concept they were talking about. Once again they didn’t go into details about stickings or give transcriptions or whatever. Lots of broad concepts to be found here.
In short, presentation wise, this DVD came out as well as it could given the technology available to them at that time.
The bonus footage is the only real thing worth paying attention to in this DVD… of which there happens to be a ton. It contains highlights from a Victor Wooten bass clinic and a long form interview with Carter Beauford. The Beauford Interview is interesting and has some song groove examples. The Wooten clinic is a great watch for any kind of musician and the information is still relevant today. It’s the same stuff he talks about on his brand new Hudson Music DVD so that’s good. The extra content is just as good as the main feature when you put them together so definitely watch it if you get a chance.
I happen to be a Bassist/Drummer so I thought maybe I’d be the only one who’d really benefit to watching this DVD. Nope. You should definitely rent this at least once.