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Archive for February, 2011

Great Hands for a Lifetime!

Monday, February 14th, 2011

I’m back!Lifetime DVD front

After two years and loads of live music with some recordings thrown in, I’m finally ready to get back to this blog of groove.

Probably the most noteworthy event of late was my participation in the making of Tommy Igoe’s latest instructional DVD Great Hands for a Lifetime; an instructional DVD that teaches the basic rudiments of drumming and Tommy’s  Lifetime Warmup.

For the uninitiated, the Lifetime Warmup is one of Tommy Igoe’s teaching tools for his private lessons. It is a sequence of the basic rudiments of drumming all stuck together with rolls. It’s like playing scale chains on the piano. On the surface, it seems like an obvious exercise. However, the way in which the Lifetime Warmup has been constructed makes it not only a great warmup, but also a perfect device for  building endurance and advancing technical abilities.

Back in the summer of 2009, Tommy called me up and asked me if I’d like to help him with a new DVD he was recording. He didn’t tell me what the actual subject matter was but cryptically asked me if I remembered how to play the Lifetime Warmup. I’d gotten away from it in recent months but still remembered how to play it. I just wasn’t sure how well. Well, I needn’t have worried. The combination of time spent playing and the resulting buildup of technique was plenty to allow me to perform well on the DVD.

There were five of us that were either former or current students of Tommy’s participating each with a slightly different set of skills. When you watch the group sections of the DVD, you’ll see that each of us has a slightly different technical approach to playing. That is the point of having us in the video; to show how well the Warmup applies to each skill level of player.

For me, the best part is the fun we had playing in a group setting. Six drummers playing together isn’t something you normally see outside of a marching band. Since both Tommy and I have played in drum and bugle corps, it’s a natural setting. The other players quickly fell into the groove and we all locked in pretty tightly. It was fun. You can clearly see that we were all very relaxed and having a good time. Any drummer who picks this up can play along with us and have fun, too. Ideally, you could call over some other friends and play together.

So any of you drummers out there who want to up your game, pick this up and get to playing. You won’t be sorry.

The DVD is loaded with information (a trademark of Tommy’s) so there are plenty of things to work on.

The nearly four-hour DVD includes Tommy demonstrating the basics of his system, Matched and Traditional Grip, Fulcrum Concepts, Rebound Strokes, Singles and Doubles, Check Patterns, The Five Families of Rudiments, and group demonstrations with five of his students, including all three versions of the Lifetime Warm-up.

You can read more about it here.

Buy it here: Tommy Igoe’s Great Hands for a Lifetime