In this installment of our 2015 holiday gift guide, we’re taking a look at fifteen DVDs that every drummer should own. These are the videos that drummers are going back to time and time again for inspiration and edification. Whether you’re looking for new creative ideas behind the kit, technical instruction, or grooves from all over the world, these videos can help facilitate growth on your musical journey.
1. Benny Greb, The Language of Drumming – Greb presents the method he created and used to develop his creativity, musicality, and technique. The DVDs feature explanations and demonstrations of how Greb’s rhythmic alphabet can be used to develop timing, technique, dynamic control, and speed.
2. Benny Greb, The Art & Science of Groove – In this collection, Greb introduces the five core elements of groove (time, feel, sound, body, and mind), offering solutions that can be applied to any musical style.
3. Florian Alexandru-Zorn, The Brush Secret – This DVD offers comprehensive and clear instruction on brush techniques that can be utilized in a variety of situations. Highlights include sweeping concepts, developing your own voice, percussion adaptations, and sweeping the rudiments.
4. Gavin Harrison, Rhythmic Visions & Horizons – This double DVD collection provides an in-depth look at the Gavin’s concepts on displacement, modulation, subdivisions, and spacings, as well as four-way syncopation. The second DVD includes lessons on “overriding,??? resolving phrases, polyrhythmic theory, and more.
5. Jojo Mayer, Secret Weapons for the Modern Drummer (A Guide to Hand Technique) – This double-DVD collection is recommended for drummers of every age, style, and skill level. Mayer covers a wide range of information on drumming technique, from the most fundamental to the most advanced.
6. Jojo Mayer, Secret Weapons for the Modern Drummer, Part 2 (A Guide to Foot Technique) – This comprehensive DVD set covers a wide range of foot techniques, from the most fundamental to the most sophisticated. State-of-the-art visualization and in-depth analysis offer easy to follow, step-by-step instructions for drummers of every skill level. Jojo explains every aspect of foot technique and pedals, and he reveals the inner workings of his own technique in great detail.
7. Gil Sharone, Wicked Beats – This is a complete guide to Jamaican drumming styles. Sharone explores contemporary styles as well as the earlier styles that helped shape them. The DVD includes performances, lessons on classic beats, variations of each style, play-along tracks, and more.
8. Keith Carlock, The Big Picture – In this video Carlock covers a wide spectrum of technical and musical concepts. Highlights include lessons on phrasing, improvisation, style, technique, timekeeping, soloing, grooving, and more.
9. Neil Peart, Anatomy of a Drum Solo – Using a performance recorded in September 2004 as a framework, Peart talks about the concepts and techniques behind each segment of his nine-minute solo. The video also includes two full-band performances from Rush, interviews, audio tracks, and more.
10. Ralph Peterson, Jazz Drumming Demystified – In this DVD, the jazz great and Berklee professor offers insights and methods of how to learn jazz drumming. Highlights include developing musicality, grip and fulcrum mechanics, expanding vocabulary, the rudimental pyramid, syncopation exercises, and more.
11. Steve Jordan, The Groove Is Here – The Grammy award–winning drummer offers an in-depth look into how and why he plays drums. The focus is on classic American rock and R&B styles, musicality, creativity, and feel.
12. Steve Smith, Drumset Technique/History of the U.S. Beat – In this video Smith covers drumset technique, practice approaches, independence/interdependence, implied metric modulation, and the history and evolution of the drumset. Also included are song performances, solos, and more.
13. Thomas Lang, Creative Control – The focus of this video is to help develop speed, control, finesse, and coordination on the drumset. Also included are lessons on techniques for hands and feet, rudiment orchestration, foot dynamics, showmanship, advanced interdependence and coordination, multi-pedal orchestrations, and more.
14/15. Todd Sucherman, Methods & Mechanics I and II – This series from Styx drummer Tod Sucherman offers personal insights on how to navigate life on the road, as well as lessons on rudiments and their application to the drumset, practice exercises, odd phrasing, solos and song performances, hand exercise, and more.