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3.5 out of 5 stars
Format: DVD|Change
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on May 15, 2006
First of all, let me say that I have been a student of Joe Morello for the last eight years and that the material in this DVD, which I already have on VHS is beautiful and extremely informative. Joe covers all aspects of drumming on the drum set and gets to the point unlike other recently heralded "gurus" of the drums.

HOWEVER, I would advise anybody to buy the VHS tape of this for several reasons. Firstly, the extras are just bogus. The excercises are isolated and you can slow them down which in my opinion is poorly done. Most importantly, the sound is for the most part distorted and there are several points where the sound actually cuts out. It seems to me as if this is the work of irresponsible, lazy technicians who transferred this to DVD who clearly were not listening to what they were doing. Obviously, this is an attempt on the part of Hot Licks to make more money for doing nothing to this DVD. In fact, they made it WORSE.
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Reading over the other reviews I have to agree, in part, with comments regarding sound quality. However, that is a small barrier to overcome when you consider the invaluable information and tips Joe imparts.

First off, let me state that I do not believe this is a video that new drummers should tackle first. Not that drummers of every skill level will not benefit, but the focus of this particular video is crafting solos and mastering each component of the drum kit. I personally believe this is secondary to timekeeping and groove, which are - to me - the essence of drum kit playing. To that end I would encourage new drummers to focus on Tommy Igoe Groove Essentials, which will not only expose drummers at all skill levels to an encyclopedic range of grooves, but will provide a solid foundation of technique that can be leveraged in the lessons Joe gives in this DVD.

Second, this, like Joe Morello: Drum Method 1--The Natural Approach to Technique, is not an easy set of lessons and exercises to get through. One reason is Joe's on camera instructional technique is deceptively informal and quick. He has a habit of tossing off tips and advice in such a casual manner that you find yourself dismissing them as unimportant - and that is not the case in anything he utters. Also, many of the 40 exercises in this video are explained in a minute or less, with very quick reinforcing examples. This requires you to pay careful attention to what he is saying and demonstrating. Moreover, in the parts where he explains how to play, for example, a bass drum or hi-hat, he is scratching the surface, providing enough information to an alert viewer to take and expand on his or her own, without going too deeply into the topic. For drummers who are used to slicker presentations that are designed to ensure that even the slowest or least experienced student will get it, Joe's approach can be disconcerting and frustrating.

The solution is to make your remote control your best friend by pausing after each exercise and spending at least 20 minutes working through the exercise (less if you have already mastered it and more if not.) That is 800 minutes of work you need to be prepared to do if you truly want to benefit from this DVD - and benefit you will because while the exercises seem trivial when explained, they are anything but when you are working through them.

For example, the last exercise on substitutions can be extremely difficult for even the most experienced drummers, and could warrant hours and hours of work to become merely proficient, but not an expert. Also, this exercise is a great example of how Joe teaches. He provides a fairly simple example or exercise that has behind it many combinations and permutations, and expects you to figure out your own practice plan. The goal, of course, is to build muscle memory of these many variations until you can perform them automatically. By definition, this is boring and physically exhausting, which in the larger scheme of things are small inconveniences to achieve the chops that will result from your hard work. Some of the exercises will require very well developed chops, so I recommend either Joe Morello: Drum Method 1--The Natural Approach to Technique or Tommy Igoe Great Hands for a Lifetime (or both!)

If you are seeking an easy path to improving your skills, you are not going to like this video. However, if you are willing to diligently work through the exercises, and are also willing to engage your brain to build upon the tips Joe provides, you will dramatically improve your drumming skills.
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on September 9, 2013
Joe Morelllo has been a major influence on me since I began playing in 1960. This DVD has a lot of good information and jogs my memory but most of it has seemed very basic, so far. I'm not through the whole thing yet and there are some lessons I have to skip due to my arthritis (not Joe's, he was immune from such things) but I'll stick with it. I'm not disappointed with it but I like Jo Jo Mayer and Tommy Igoe's videos better.
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on March 24, 2007
a master teaching and passing his knowlege for future generations of drummers
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on July 19, 2006
Felt as if this session was thrown together with no plan or agenda. Sometimes that's good in this case it ended up losing me.

I know for fact Joe can teach, so don't let my opinion sway you.

His classroom time is better than his video time
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on April 20, 2015
Joe Morello at his humouress best. Having fun as he teaches you something.
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