Monday, October 1, 2012

New book/DVD: The Complete Guide to Playing Brushes

Scattered throughout this blog are posts about playing brushes, plus the following reviews of what I consider to be some outstanding instructional videos on mastering brushes:I have just discovered a new instructional package: The Complete Guide to Playing Brushes: Brush Skills for Playing Jazz and Pop Music (Book & DVD)

What distinguishes this book/DVD set from the videos I cited above are two things:

  1. It is not jazz-centric
  2. The instructor, Florian Alexandru-Zorn, uses match grip when demonstrating exercises and techniques
Let me back up and state up front that I am a jazz drummer and I use traditional grip exclusively. I think it's folks like myself who sometimes are the barriers to pop drummers learning how to play with brushes. This set removes those barriers in my opinion.

For one thing the instructor and material clearly demonstrate how to employ brushes in pop music, which can extend to I-IV-V rock some call blues, as well as country, Americana and roots music. And, of course, rock (especially some forms of alternative rock). For that reason this package should make a lot of sense to non-jazz drummers. From personal experience I can say that every other package on the market falls far short in that respect, and is a barrier to non-jazz drummers even considering learning how to play with brushes.

Another barrier this package breaks is proving that playing brushes using match grip is perfectly fine. Most drummers play match grip, yet most brush instructional videos are demonstrated with traditional grip. If nothing else that is a psychological barrier to many drummers who play strictly match grip.

Here are a few clips from the package, plus the instructor, Florian Alexandru-Zorn, in action at a workshop:

One performance clip shows how Florian applies his lessons in a real musical setting. Granted this is a jazz number, but Caraven has been covered by rock groups like the Ventures.

In addition, here is a preview of the book that comes with the package: Table of Contents and sample lesson. Dig around this blog as well as my other one, Music for Drummers for reviews of brush models and heads, examples of solid brush playing and related subjects.

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