Opinion

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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? Read more

Gear Review – Tama Iron Cobra

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Gear Review – Tama Iron Cobra

The Tama Iron Cobra is one of the staple pedals of the rock and metal scene. The money Tama has been putting into that marketing has been working; they are one of the most popular pedals because they are fast, smooth, and will survive a nuclear firestorm. Tama has built that fan base and is pretty well happy to stick with the thing they have going on. They haven’t had a major change in design for a while. Ironic, considering the words ” The Legend in Innovation” are etched in the foot board and they’ve been using the same basic model for years.

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DVD Review – Rockabilly Rocking Swing with Slim Jim Phantom

Slim Jim Phantom is awesome… more awesomely awesome then you will ever be, and this video proves it! Woe unto you he who knowith not how awesome he is for he is just that awesome. Is what I would proclaim smugly if I weren’t above such things. Which I’m apparently not but seriously that is how smug this video comes across to me. Almost to the point of making the thing too comical to watch. I’m gonna keep this review short because the less I say  the less likely I’ll say something I’ll regret. Read more

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DVD Review – Randy Van Patten: Extreme Drum Set Techniques

I’m gonna be totally honest and say I had never heard of Randy Van Patten before I rented this DVD and I have a feeling you might not know who he is either. He’s a working drummer with a lots of years under his belt and has drummed for lots of people in his time. In other words he’s the kind of drummer we aspire to be like but didn’t realize it when we started. When people say they want to be a studio or a session drummer they often have guys like Steve Gadd in mind, but not everyone can achieve Steve’s level of standing in the music industry. Most studio and session drummers are more like Randy. One of many working drummers who’ve landed some big gigs but never achieved the notoriety of the drum gods. Not glamorous but if they went missing it would put the music industry into cardiac arrest. You can get the specifics on everything Randy at www.vanzdrumming.com. Read more

Drummer Talk 08/13/2009 – Rehearsing

This week, we talk abut rehearsing – space, leaders, etc! The Paradiddle is the rudiment of the week, Philly Joe Jones is the drummer of the week, we talk about what we’re listening to right now (including a phone call to Soulja Boy Tell’em), and Carter brings drumming news!

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DVD Review – Arrival: Behind the Glass

Russ Miller, studio drummer, inventor of drumming gadgets, and former drummer-talk interviewee has entered the world of instructional DVDs with his offering Arrival: Behind the Glass. Arrival is the name of the album that he recently released and Arrival: Behind the Glass is a tour of what it was like recording with tons and tons of famous and well respected drummers. Oh, right. I didn’t mention the all star cast, did I? This is definitely an album for drummers incase you hadn’t guessed. Every other track on the album is a rhythmic conversation (a.k.a drum duet) with some incredible drummer. Among those included in the project were: Steve Smith, Jeff Hamilton, Zoro, Akira Jimbo, and Johnny Rabb. Read more

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DVD Review – Advanced Funk Studies

     I should note that for this review that I have neither Advanced Funk Studies nor the Contemporary Drum-Set Techniques books themselves but given the information in this DVD I will soon. Rick Latham wrote those two books over twenty-five years ago and they’ve become favorites of the drumming community over that time. At some point along the way Rick decided to supplement the books with a video for each book respectively. Fast forward to today, for the 25th anniversary of  Advanced Funk Studies Rick rereleased both of the DVDs together in a single disk with a bunch of extras and it made its way to my house via Netflix… and that’s the story so far.
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DVD Review – Benny Greb: The Language of Drumming: A System for Musical Expression

      Benny Greb’s new DVD is somewhere between Big Time and the Thomas Lang DVDs. To me this makes sense because I tend to think of Benny Greb’s drumming style as a blend of those two drummers. Thomas Langesq chops with a Billy Ward like sense of creativity. In this DVD Benny Greb teaches you how to “speak drum” There isn’t anything revolutionary in terms of what he’s teaching, it’s how he’s teaching it that is the real selling point. This isn’t one huge system it’s actually 3 or 4 smaller ones that he’s teaching you by relating them to something very intuitive to humans, language.

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DVD Review – Chris Layton: Double Trouble Drums

     Maybe I’m all alone in this but before I picked up this DVD I had no idea who Chris Layton was. Maybe that’s a forgivable offense but I also didn’t know who Stevie Ray Vaughan was either. So if you do know who Stevie Ray Vaughan was then placing Chris Layton in your mind will be easy. He was Stevie’s drummer in Stevie Ray Vaughan and the Double Trouble band, making him either the double or the trouble. I’m not sure which. Read more

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DVD Review – Phil Maturano: Afro-Cuban Drumming

     Latin music is something that isn’t often covered in depth in most drum instructional videos. There are a lot of books on the subject but for some reason they don’t seem to have attempted to seriously cover this topic in a video. Well, Phil Maturano has filled that gap with this DVD. Like with pretty much every other DVD I’ve reviewed, depending on which description you read (there’s a million of them) you’ll come away with very different ideas of what this DVD is supposed to offer. I’ve seen descriptions pretty much saying that not only will you be able to play latin music like a pro, you’ll also be able to speak fluent Spanish and make a mean Paella. Read more

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DVD Review – Terry Bozzio: Solo Drums

     There was a time in Terry Bozzio’s history where he wasn’t the king of huge drumsets… he was king of big hair. This video is a record of how he approached his drum solos at that time. His solos back then are very similar to his solos these days but he used a much smaller kit back then, only five toms a snare and two bass drums… tiny. His solos are long orchestral inspired pieces that I just don’t particularly care for. Read more

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DVD Review – Ian Paice: Not for the Pros

I expected this to be a straight up instructional video like pretty much every other DVD i’ve reviewed. Usually for me that means trying to glean a couple new and useful thing out of a mass of stuff that I already know or is inferior to what I know. You can only watch so many of these things before you start to feel like a know-it-all. Well, Not for the Pros isn’t really an instructional as much as it is a mainline injection of Ian Paice (not even a very big one at that). This vid is somewhere between a factory tour, an instructional, and a concert vid. It’s very loosely held together by a single thread, and that thread is Ian. Read more

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DVD Review – Jeff Queen: Playing with Sticks

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Let it be known before I get this thing going, I’m not a snare drummer. At least, I’m not the kind of snare drummer like the target demographic of this DVD is. The type that probably have spent time in a marching band of some kind and play HUGE snare drums that sound like popcorn popping. This DVD made me very very hungry because I didn’t hear the snare drums as snare drums, I heard them as popcorn. How is this relevant? Not at all. Just thought I’d throw that out there. Read more

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DVD Review – Groove Essentials w/Tommy Igoe

tommy-igoe-groove-essentials  I’m now realizing that I should have done this one a loooooong time ago. Tommy Igoe’s Groove Essentials DVD was originally a poster. Yup, a single sheet of paper. This humble piece of paper was destined for bigger things then anyone could have expected. Eventually the fans of the poster screamed for a film adaptation of the runaway hit! That call was answered and things have gotten plain old ridiculous from there. Read more

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Pupils & Pros

I’ve reviewed all three current editions of the HMMS and doing so has made me realize something. Letting the audience drive the clinic can be a really bad idea.

It would seem that people are prone to ask certain question of clinicians just for the novelty of it being explained live. Jojo Mayer still gets questions about hand technique even though he has an entire DVD dedicated to the subject. Steve Gadd still gets questions about that groove that he did with that guy’s band even though there are transcriptions and videos of what he played all over the internet. And Bernard Purdie will still get asked about the Purdie Shuffle no matter how well documented it is. Read more

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