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The Master Drummer


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Frequently Bought Together

The Master Drummer + The Jazz Drummer's Workshop: Advanced Concepts for Musical Development + Beyond Bop Drumming (Book & CD) (Manhattan Music Publications)
Price for all three: $53.49

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Product Details

  • Actors: John Riley
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Alfred Music
  • DVD Release Date: April 1, 2009
  • Run Time: 120 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 0739060287
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #52,170 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

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Customer Reviews

This was a purchase that I will cherish.
Greg Sundel
The DVD also has play along tracks and a printable pdf to the various exercises so you can chop it out at your own pace.
Eric W. Magnussen
Like John's books, there is a serious wealth of information to delve into.
Paul Wells

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

38 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Paul Wells on April 7, 2009
Format: DVD
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.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Jerad Lippi on April 25, 2009
Format: DVD
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.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer Barnes on May 23, 2009
Format: DVD
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 !!!!)
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By andy ziker on September 29, 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
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.

Thank you John.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Paula Mccarthy on May 25, 2009
Format: DVD
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
[...]
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By E. Pierce on August 10, 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
John Riley's educational DVD is one of the best drumming DVDs I've seen. For those familiar with Riley's books (The Art of Bop Drumming, Beyond Bop Drumming, and The Jazz Drummer's Workshop), this DVD not only reinforces concepts from those excellent books, but it also expands on them by offering new concepts and exercises not found in his books. therefore, I would highly recommend it to any serious drummer, even if he or she has already studied from Riley's books.

One of the great things about Riley's DVD (and this is true of his books as well), is that he not only offers very specific technical exercises to develop one's vocabulary on the instrument, but he also offers very pertinent information on how to utilize that technique in a musical way. For someone who is learning jazz, this DVD is especially invaluable, but its concepts and exercises are also relevant for any drumming style.

Some of the other reviews on Amazon have covered the specific contents of the DVD. I will add that I especially liked Riley's demonstration of various bop solo licks, as well as the transcriptions of various jazz "Latin-ish" patterns played by jazz drumming masters. I also liked his discussion of the concept of "headroom", and the attendant independence exercises are great. The footage of him working up the transciption to an Elvin Jones solo is also very informative.

In sum, this DVD is incredibly informative and well-produced, which is exactly what I've come to expect from a brilliant educator and player like John Riley. I whole-heartedly recommend it.
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