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Tiger Bill Reviews
Shredding Repis on the Gnar Gnar Rad
Brain's Lessons is an instructional video from Alfred Publishing, which stars drummer Bryan "Brain" Mantia. Brain has worked with Limbomaniacs, Tom Waits, Primus, and recently Guns N' Roses, among others. His educational video is divided into four main sections. Also included is a 14-page booklet that contains written examples of all lesson material. Intrigued by the subtitle, I decided to dissect Brain's Lessons and see if there's anything worthwhile inside. Here's the result.
Lesson 2: The Up-Down Technique
This section does not go into very much detail on technique and only serves as a simple starting point for the beginner. (Refer to my series of articles on Building Monster Chops for a more thorough study of technique. Also check out my Concepts of Tension Free Drumming™.)
Lesson 3: Funk Drumming
This section gets better when it gets down to business, including demonstrations on how to get three different tones out of your Snare Drum and three ways to play your Hi-Hat. Also good is Brain's advice on how sometimes playing less (leaving some space for the other musicians) is better than overplaying.
Lesson 4: Ostinatos
This is great stuff for your 4-way coordination and should provide you with plenty of ideas for developing drum solos using Ostinato patterns.
Bottom Line: Is Brain Worth the Bucks?
Does this DVD, which retails for $24.95, give you your money's worth? For the beginning drummer, my answer is yes. There's enough here to get the beginner thinking along some creative lines. I would also recommend it to the more advanced drummer who is new to Funk drumming and Ostinato patterns, and has an interest in playing Go-Go. Fans of Brain won't want to miss this DVD either.
For those of you who do pick up Brain's Lessons, don't miss his solo at the very end of the video. He plays part of it with some very unique drumsticks. Now this is creative, funny, and entertaining and the camera work actually stays still long enough for you to enjoy it!
This DVD is available online at a discount: Brain's Lessons
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