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Tiger Bill Reviews
Four Hours of Performances, Including 15 Songs and Solos Mixed in 5.1 Surround Sound
I love DVDs! Where else can you get nearly four hours worth of education and entertainment mixed in high-quality 5.1 Surround Sound for the price of a single drum lesson? As for the star of this particular DVD, Marco Minnemann is a drummer who has been touring and recording with artists worldwide for a number of years. Some claim that Marco has been "genetically engineered," but that's not giving the credit to Marco. I say that he's a drummer who loves his art and has practiced many long hours to develop his technique and interdependence skills to an extremely high level. As this DVD reveals, regardless of musical style or time signature, Marco negotiates his way through each and every chart and challenge - no matter how complex - with the ease of a true "artist" drummer.
Let's take a look at Marco's DVD, Extreme Drumming, from Warner Bros. Publications.
Song Track Performances & Breakdowns
Although Marco's performances on this DVD will no doubt entertain and astound, it is not just a performance DVD, it is also educational. This DVD really allows us to get into Marco's head as far as his approach to music composition and drumming is concerned. Marco explains how he was heavily influenced by Frank Zappa's music and how he also loved to experiment with music programs on computers, programming as many complex patterns as he could and then trying to play along with his drums to see if he could "beat the machine."
(Tip: If you've ever gone through Gary Chester's book "The New Breed" and you have Marco's DVD, go to the chapter "Insanity" and listen carefully. Marco orchestrated two pages of syncopation exercises from Gary's book within the song structure.)
Lots of Lessons
Feeling and Phrasing: Marco's approach to the creation of his drum patterns in odd time signatures with the use of sampled loops. Very cool!
Extreme Practice Routine: Marco explains how he practices to develop his extreme interdependence, which includes not only playing various rhythmic patterns using each limb at the same time but playing in multiple time signatures simultaneously as well!
Finger Control Technique: Marco briefly demonstrates his finger technique and his variation on the Moeller system for accenting.
Stick Tricks: As Marco says, "you really don't need it because you don't hear it in a studio but it's fun to do!" And I agree. Marco demonstrates his backsticking style, his original stick click tricks, Buddy Rich's favorite stick trick, and more. Fun stuff and useful for the "show" thing.
Interdependence Workshop: These are the exercises Marco uses to improve his own interdependence skills. It consists of playing different combinations of basic patterns with various limbs while soloing against them with the limb or limbs of your choice.
Book Excerpts: Marco plays selected exercises from his book, Extreme Interdependence, which is also available from Warner Bros.
Interview with Wolfgang Schmid: Wolfgang, the bass player on this DVD, talks about Marco.
Interview with Steve Hamilton: Steve, the pianist on this DVD, recalls his first meeting with Marco and how he came to work with him on this project.
Alternate Takes & Rehearsals: There are some alternate takes and rehearsals of the songs performed on side one.
Behind The Video: Some fun behind the scenes stuff filmed while making the DVD includes bits with Rick Gratton playing along with Marco, Marco soloing, Marco's impression of Dom Famularo, control room antics, a late night after-filming jam session, and lots more behind the scenes shenanigans. Even James Brown puts in an appearance, well, sort of!
Artists Biographies: Bios of Marco Minnemann, Wolfgang Schmid, and Steve Hamilton.
Marco's Discography: A listing of his CDs along with sample audios from each.
Photo Gallery: Stills taken during the making of the DVD.
Interactive Drum Set: You can check out the specifics of each of Marco's DW drums and all of his Meinl cymbals.
Browse the WB Catalog: A synopsis of six drum books from Warner Bros. Publications.
Extreme Drumming: The Bottom Line
Extreme Drumming retails for $39.95, which is a bargain for the amount of content on the DVD. And you can find it online at a discount:
Until next time: Stay loose.
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