The Master Drummer is based on over 40 years of observing and studying the master players. Throughout this DVD, renowned player, author, and teacher John Riley defines and explores the four key musical components drummers ... more »must develop in order to play at the highest level. John's insightful approach will help any drummer grow, regardless of level or style, and will lead to positive results in the achievement of one's musical goals.« less
"Definitely a great DVD - one of the first that is really geared towards jazz drumset playing, although drummers playing any style can benefit from this material. I was lucky enough to study with John for 2.5 years in college, and I've hung with him a bunch since. He's an extremely articulate and inspiring teacher, and this DVD is really well done and deeply informative. You won't really get the gist of it from a single viewing. Like John's books, there is a serious wealth of information to delve into. You'll be working on this stuff for years!
There are four sections of roughly half and hour each covering technique, groove, creativity, and musicianship. The first section has a lot of talk and demonstration of technique, but unlike most other drum DVDs, Riley focuses on things that are important to jazz drummers playing jazz music. That having been said, drummers playing any style of music can benefit from this material.
Part of John's concept is to work on coordination exercises that really help improve your comfort level at the kit. These exercises may not sound like music when you hear them demonstrated, or when you try them yourself - John mentions this. You have to dedicate to them with the faith that they will indeed end up improving your coordination, time, groove, etc. It's kind of like in "Karate Kid" when Mr. Miyagi makes Daniel Larusso paint the fench and wax the floor. He doesn't realize it at the time, but he's learning essential skills.
There is a nice section where John demonstrates a series of classic bebop solo phrases, from the language of Philly Joe, Max, and Roy Haynes. He then shows you how to take those ideas and make your own creative language out of them by rearranging the notes or phrasing, and combining them together.
My favorite part of the DVD is the last section. John plays a recording of himself playing a gig with George Garzone, Kenny Werner, and Ed Schuller. We hear the band trading choruses with the drums on "Solar." John stops the tape after each trade and discusses what he was hearing and what inspired him to play what he played. You really get a sense of how much these guys are interacting and how closely they are listening to each other.
Another element that I dug are a couple of "lo-fi" clips of John in his practice room at home. In one, he's working on Elvin's solo from Wayne Shorter's "Black Nile" and in another, he's just playing a stream-of-consciousness drum solo and is absolutely killing!
A must have for any aspiring professional drummer
Jerad Lippi | 04/25/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"FANTASTIC!!! John did a great job organizing the material, especially considering that the subject is so broad. It's really refreshing to see a drum DVD that actually addresses MUSIC and not just Bruce Lee chops."
Educational and INsptirational masterpiece
Jennifer Barnes | Valencia, CA United States | 05/23/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Bravo John Riley !!!!!!! "The Master Drummer"-Mr. Riley's latest educational offering is as complete an educational and inspirational program as any drummer could ever dream of....This top quality production is divided up into 4 parts.....the information spans from basic to very advanced--presented in a clear logical progression...the demonstrations are impeccable...this dvd is entertaining, informative, and inspiring...AND--John's Dizzy Gillespie story included in the program is worth the purchase price...(curious--HA !--get the dvd!! you'll love it..)--this is a must have for any drummer !!!--this is a must have for any Jazz musician..--!!!! Hey Amazon--5 stars is not enough--can we give this dvd 100 stars? (Steve Barnes L.A> freelance drummer playing and STILL learning for 50 years.....thanks for the lessons JOHN !!!!)"
John Riley's DVD
Paula Mccarthy | Annapolis, Maryland United States | 05/26/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"John Riley has once again raised the bar in drumset education with his soon to be a classic DVD, The Master Drummer. As with his books and anything he has published, his informative and extremely well organized approach to musical drumset playing has been artfully broken down into four main components. Sophisticated but practical concepts are very thoroughly presented and demonstrated with the deft musical touch that has made John one of the true giants of the drums. Very rarely do we encounter a musician with both musical and technical brilliance who has the ability to convey the information in a manner we can absorb. John Riley is all of this and more. Please take advantage of the DVD, it is a wealth of information. Joe McCarthy Leader/Drummer Afro Bop Alliance 2008 Latin Grammy Winner Adjunct Professor of Music, Georgetown University, Washington DC www.joemcdrum.com"
The Best Jazz Drumming DVD Ever Made
andy ziker | phoenix | 09/29/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As somehow who has taken private lessons from John Riley, and whose career has been helped immeasurably by his mentorship, I strongly recommend this DVD (as well as John's jazz drumming instructional books). If you buy this package, you are getting an incredible deal. John wisely encroaches on, but doesn't rehash material found in his books. He has provided me with years of additional instruction all within one DVD.
The way that John organizes the material, his clear explanations and inspiring demonstrations of the examples, and the provided play-along opportunities are brilliantly constructed. The cinematography is first rate and gives the viewer a virtual vantage point of taking a lesson from one of the world's best drum teachers. John's uncanny ability to motivate his students comes out.
Over the years, John has helped me to understand what it takes to achieve mastery, very similar to Malcolm Gladwell's concept in his book, Outliers. Though I haven't achieved jazz drumming mastery, John Riley's passion and his giving spirit has again pointed myself (and many others) in the right direction.