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Tiger Bill Reviews

The Next Step

By Dave Weckl

Picks Up Where "Back To Basics" Left Off

Dave Weckl The Next Step from Warner Bros. Publications

The Next Step, which is the follow up to Dave's Back to Basics DVD, is also a re-release of a title originally released on VHS. This DVD version includes six chapters plus bonus features that are available only on DVD.

Let's see if it's worth your time and bread.

The DVD opens with Dave playing along to a track from his album Contemporary Drummer + One (also available from Warner Bros. Publications).

Time Playing
Dave discusses his approach to time playing and offers tips on how to develop good time. He demonstrates exercises to help you develop solid time and shows you how to build your internal clock.

The importance of recording yourself playing live and listening back to it with a critical ear is discussed, along with developing the ability to listen to yourself while playing as if you're listening to yourself on tape. Dave also covers the importance of dynamics and demonstrates while playing to another track from his album Contemporary Drummer + One.

Dave explains his concept of orchestrating a piece of music on the drumset including sub-divisions, accenting appropriately to backup each instrument, filling between breaks, and the importance of keeping a steady pulse on the hi-hat.

Beat displacements are covered and demonstrated along with tips on when and when not to use the technique. Dave offers a practical demonstration of these concepts as he plays along with a track from his Contemporary Drummer + One album. Then, using a rhythmically and musically busy vocal track titled "Rainy Day" from the same album, Dave demonstrates how more than one groove can fit the same song.

Odd Time Playing
Dave explains his approach to odd time playing, which uses half time phrases as opposed to counting out specific note groups. He says that this helps keep your odd time playing sounding musical as opposed to taking the rigid mathematical approach. Dave demonstrates his concept on the kit using examples in 5/4, 7/4, and 9/4 time.

Two basic types of drum solos are discussed and demonstrated on the kit: The pure drum solo that starts and ends with the drums and the type of solo that's played over a musical comp. Dave explains the benefits of a melodic approach to drum soloing as opposed to a strict technical display of chops.

Dave also breaks down his solo patterns into separate exercises using triplets, sixteenths, and thirty second notes so you can use them as a basis for developing your own solo ideas. He then uses all of the exercises together into a practical example on the drumset. Also stressed is the importance of using dynamics and of being able to sing what you play.

Dave discusses the value of listening to other drummers playing various musical styles, his own experience of playing with Chick Corea, and more. The segment closes with Dave performing to a track from his album Contemporary Drummer + One.

Special Features
These include:

  • Dave playing "Bugle Call Rag" with the Buddy Rich Big Band
  • A Shuffle Funk/Hip Hop Demo with Dave on drumset and Walfredo Reyes Sr. on percussion
  • Preview of "Breaking the Girl" featuring Chad Smith
  • The Complete Warner Bros. Dave Weckl Catalog
  • Printable exercises from Dave's out of print books
  • Internet connectivity.

The Next Step Bottom Line
I recommend The Next Step for intermediate and advanced players alike. This DVD version offers special bonus features not on the original VHS tape. At a retail price of $24.95, it's  good value. But an even better value if you purchase it online at:


Until next time: Stay loose!

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