DVD Review – Behind the Player: Stephen Perkins

Stephen Perkins is best known for drumming with Jane’s Addiction but he’s also played for Porno for Pyros, Infectious Grooves and he currently plays with Banyan. Of course, if you have seen this DVD before you would already know that because player history is one of main features of a BTP DVD. All of these BTP features have the same basic structure: there will be a BTP section, 2 or 3 song lessons, and some extras.


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Todd Sucherman: Methods & mMechanics for Useful Musical Drumming

I’ve been excited to see this one for a while. I was waiting for the promised Blu-Ray version to come out so I could see if the instructional experience is that much better in HD. Alas, my patience expired when I saw it available on Netflix. I saw the preview for this DVD and thought “that guy sounds like a more progressive version of Steve Smith… and I like that.” As it turns out Todd Sucherman: drummer for Styx, session drummer, and clinician, is a big fan of Steve Smith. In fact Todd actually tells a touching personal story about his relationship with Steve Smith which is one of the nice little touches in this DVD that make it so great, but I’m getting ahead of myself. methods_mechanics Read more

Victor Wooten & Carter Beauford: Making Music

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. Read more

DVD Review – Matt Sorum: Licks and Tricks from the Rock & Roll Jungle

If there’s any drummer who can claim they’ve come from the rock and roll jungle it’s Matt Sorum. With seven years under his belt, he’s the longest sitting Guns N’ Roses drummer ever. Matt Sorum was ejected from the band by Axl Rose after he defended Slash’s decision to leave. So along with Slash and former Guns N’ Roses bassist Duff McKagan they formed Velvet Revolver… which is now on hiatus because their lead singer left the band. Lead singer issues aside, Matt Sorum is a road tested rock drummer and well qualified to speak on the topic of rock drumming. Read more

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

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 – Steve Gadd: In Session

DVD Review – Steve Gadd: In Session

Steve Gadd: In Session should win some kind of prize for honesty and plainspokenness in the category of drum instructional videos over thirty years in age, because that’s all you get with In Session. Steve Gadd giving session advice from in session interviews and just straight up doing session work. That’s it. That’s not a bad thing, but if you were expecting something that isn’t “Steve Gadd giving session advice from in session interviews and just straight up doing session work” then you’re looking in the wrong place. And yes, I did just quote myself and use italics unnecessarily. Read more

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 Read more

Gear Review – Pearl Eliminator Demon Drive

Gear Review – Pearl Eliminator Demon Drive

First things first. This review would not have been possible without the guys at Fork’s Drum Closet allowing me to occupy their practice room, tool around with a VERY expensive piece of equipment, and have access their wi-fi so I could do some background research on this pedal. They are supporting drummer-talk and the review monkey by allowing me review their gear so do me a favor and if my review is what convinces you to buy this pedal then give these guys your business. Tell em JABB from drummer-talk sent you, that way they know that they are benefiting from our relationship.

And now the review!

The bass-drum pedal market is a fairly slow one. Even with companies like Trick, Sleishman, Gibraltar, Vruk, Big-Dog, and Off-Set throwing their hats in the ring it still takes forever for produce new and innovative pedals. So when one of the big guys like Pearl put out a new pedal… it’s bound to make some waves in the drumming community. Pearl’s Demon Drive is one sexy piece of equipment, I mean, everything abut it screams fast. It is hands down the most aesthetically pleasing pedal on the market IMO. Then again it will spend most of it’s time under your foot so it’s not exactly going to be a crowd pleaser unless you can do something cool with it. Also if making it ugly would significantly drop the crazy high price then i’ll take the ugly pedal. Pearl seems to have decided that the interchangeable cam system that the previous Eliminator pedal was rocking has no place in the new design. The old chains and straps have given way to a direct drive system, which along with the bearings are what Pearl is touting as the reason for the new pedal smoothness and responsiveness. Trick has compression springs, DW 9000 has the free floating rotor, Giant Step has the rotating pendulum, and Demon Drive has Ninja bearings. Read more

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

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

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

DVD Review – Jeff Queen: Playing with Sticks


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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