Taken to School

by Omar on September 16, 2008

in Drummers, DVD Review

While I'm embarking on my quest to build the perfect kit (well, ok, one I can afford!), I decided to catch up on some DVD's that I've been meaning to watch.  As we all know, there are dozens upon dozens of drumming videos, most of which I'm sure are very good, and you can learn something from any of them.  I personally had not seen yet the Modern Drummer Festival 2006 DVD from Hudson Music.  Boy was I in for a treat.

First of all, I must commend Hudson Music for making such fantastic DVD's as this one.  This is not the first DVD I've viewed from them, but I was just blown away by the quality of video, sound, camera angles, and overall production.  Watching this DVD (there's actually 4 DVD's with about 13 hours of footage) makes you proud to be involved with what I think are the most fun instruments on the planet - the drums!

Part of what attracted me to watch these videos was the fact that two of my favorite drummers were involved, Thomas Lang and Steve Smith (Stewart Copeland is an honorable mention).  I like them both for different reasons, but they are just phenomenal beyond compare.  However, there were many fantastic performances, so I won't go over all of them here, 'cause I'd be writing till tomorrow!

I started watching the DVD with the intention of being entertained, but the more I watched, the more I got taken to school.  BIG time.  It would take me a very, very, VERY long time to come anywhere near the level that these cats play.  But that's ok!  It just gives us something to aspire to, to expand our vocabularies and toolboxes, and the like.

Before I get to my absolute favorites parts, I'd like to start with some honorable mentions that were quite surprising.  I really liked Ronald Bruner Jr.'s performance.  His non-orthodox arrangement of his kit was intriguing, but he still made the set sing.  He did drop his sticks a couple of times, but you know what?  I love that.  Not because I want to see mistakes made for the sake of a spectacle (far from it!), but it just makes the performance more organic and sincere.  Of course, if you're only listening and not watching, you'd never know.  That's the sign of a pro.

Aaron Spears also turned in an impressive performance.  He was a madman!  The drumming quartet of Teddy Campbell, Gerald Hayward, Martin McQuitty and Aaron performed a drumming symphony that made my jaw drop.  I find it hard to keep a beat in time, and here you have alternating between keeping time and soloing!  Great chops all over the place.

If you don't have your own set ready, have someone bring it to you one piece at a time!  This is how Jason McGerr started off.  First the snare, then the bass drum, hi-hat, ride, tom, and lastly the floor tom (oh yeah, cymbals too).  Jason didn't display all the flashy chops that the other drummers displayed, but it wasn't necessary.  It was simply brilliant.  He emphasized that what should be most worked on is keeping time, which makes a lot of sense.  His rudiments lesson was an excellent class for an admiring crowd (me included).  It was an excellent presentation.

And then there was Thomas Lang.  He has such an incredible amount of dexterity and speed, and he just doesn't miss.  His solo, as usual, was mesmerizing.  He is a master of control and coordination (a tribute to his DVD's), and independence.  Well, I really don't know what else to say - his performance leaves you speechless.

There's so much to say about these two days of videos that I'll leave it for another post.  There's just way too much great drumming.  Time to go back to school.

To purchase the DVD, click here.

Part 2

Be Sociable, Share!

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: