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DVD Review – Behind the Player: Stephen Perkins

Hola! Yeah, I know it has been a while but now I’m back!

To make up for slacking I’m doing a trio of videos to make up for lost time. The three videos come from a new series of instructional videos I discovered on Netflix. A Los Angeles based company called IMV has flooded Netflix with its line of “Behind the Player” (BTP) DVDs. They have videos for guitarists, bassists, and drummers and they feature mostly artists of the rock/metal/alt variety. They also donate a portion of their earnings to a charity called Little Kids Rock. I suspect it’s all a part of an evil plot concocted to boost membership in the KISS Army, but that’s just my theory.

On to the review!
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Todd Sucherman: Methods & Mechanics 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.
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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…

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…

DVD Review – Mike Terrana: Rhythm Beast

     I’ve just been striking out with a vengeance on my recent Netflix picks for drum reviews and  this is strike 3… good thing I’m not playing baseball. Mike Terrana’s Rhythm Beast is very similar to Ian Paice’s DVD that I reviewed previously in that there was some confusion as to what I was getting into when I read the description. The description led me to believe that this was a performance/instruction just like the description of Ian Paice’s DVD led me to believe it was a regular instructional. I was wrong then and I’m wrong again this time.
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Groove Essentials Youtube Channel

So while searching for a story for today, I stumbled across the Hudson Music Youtube channel and found a whole channel for Tommy Igoe’s Groove Essentials 2 DVD. This particular clip popped out to me. It’s about rideless grooves and how to use them. I found it incredibly useful. Same ole Tommy. However, I noticed he’s using Evans heads now where he was using Remo before. Enjoy!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GlAuXhP9I5o&feature=related[/youtube]

DVD Review – John Blackwell: Master Series

 

     John Blackwell is the third in the HMMS (Hudson Music Master Series) line-up and unfortunately it’s much the same as his first DVD. Like I said last time, John Blackwell is one of the best drummers of his kind today, but he is not a good teacher or clinician. It pains me to say this but if you watched his first DVD then you pretty much have already seen this DVD. This DVD has more and longer music and it has special guest Marcus Williams. It has more stories about touring with guys like Prince, it has more printable pdfs (which are very nice) but for all intents and purposes it’s the same DVD. It covers the exact same topics as his last DVD but the thing is that he doesn’t cover it much better then he did the first time around. 
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DVD Review – Akira Jimbo: Fujiyama

     Akira Jimbo has probably gone farther than any other drummer down the path of cross breeding acoustic and electronics. Anyone who’s tooled around his drummerworld.com page for a little while knows what i’m talking about. He pioneered his own method of blending electronic and acoustic drums into a hybrid kit upon which he can perform entire songs as a one man band. He’s not playing to a track or over a loop (though he does use loops) he’s using electronic drums to orchestrate parts that would normally be played by other musicians or electronically added afterwards. The system elevates drummers, drumming, and the drum-set to new musical heights. Read more…

DVD Review – Akira Jimbo: Wasabi

     Akira Jimbo’s first offering to the drumming public is his video Wasabi. Wasabi is mostly about the Wasabi Method Akira developed to help him change up his playing. The Wasabi Method consists of four basic parts used to spice up a groove or lick you’ve heard somewhere else. Incase you were wondering about the title, Wasabi is a very popular spice in Akira’s homeland, Japan. Because the video and method are about spicing up your playing it makes sense that they would be named after a spice, no? Read more…

DVD Review – Antonio Sanchez: Master Series

Antonio Sanchez, drummer for Pat Metheny does a master class and you get to be there even if you weren’t there!

That’s pretty much how all the Hudson Music Master Series products work. They film someone doing a master class and add some of their masterful camera work and other little things that are specific to the DVD. Some of those things include a foot cam and onscreen text that highlights some of the points that Antonio hits on. Read more…

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