Back on March 25, 2009, I did a review on a 2006 instructional DVD that was written, produced, and performed by Keith Banks entitled, Defining A Worship Drummer. In my review of that DVD, I addressed the product’s strengths and weaknesses. As for the product weaknesses, one of my comments was, “I thought the teaching side of Keith’s DVD could have been a little less philosophical and a lot more practical because he never taught any special drumming techniques or nuances that would have been relevant to the praise genre, nor did he ever give any general drumming tips.” At the time I wrote that, I did not know that Keith had produced a CD entitled, “Finding The Pocket of the Groove” that same year he did his first DVD (2006).
“Finding The Pocket of the Groove” is a CD that features 33 different drum grooves from 9 different genres such as latin, fusion and straight-ahead jazz, funky & soulful, rock, latin, reggae, hip hop, and R &B. This would be a valuable product for any praise drummer simply because a lot of praise songs sample from a variety of genres. In order to be an effective praise drummer, one needs to be familiar with the various styles, and this CD can help you do that. This CD is also a very good practicing tool for bass, guitar, piano, keyboard players, as well as drummers and percussionists. It will help a drummer with his/her timing and develop the groove and feel the pocket.
In 2009, Keith produced two more instructional videos entitled:
Series I, Dynamic Drum Lessons (Beginner & Intermediate Drummers)
Series I, Dynamic Drum Lessons (Advanced Drummers)
Both of these videos are very practical and teach a lot special drumming techniques and nuances that are relevant to the praise genre.
The DVD for Beginner & Intermediate Drummers covers the fundamentals of using the proper handling of the sticks and foot techniques. It also covers some basic rudiments, the essential counting system of notations, basic structure of building drum fills, and developing dynamic grooves. Keith also wrote a book that accompanies this DVD that scores all the exercises.
The other DVD for Advanced Drummers teaches the following concepts:
• The funk clave
• Cross over hi-hat
• Phrasing & articulating creative drum fills
• Thinking out the box drumming concepts
• World & cultural rhythms
I am of the opinion that clave should be illustrated on all drum rudiment charts along with all the double stroke rolls, paradiddles, flams, ruffs and etc. simply because all pop music as we know of it today is based on the clave (the 3/2 son clave in particular). Although there are different ways to play clave on the drum set, Keith shows the viewer how to ride the hi-hat with clave.
The cross over hi-hat concept is where the drummer uses the snare hand to hit the hi-hat between the back beats of 2 and 4 while the other hand is riding the hi-hat. The reason Keith calls it “cross over” is because the snare hand crosses back and forth from the snare to the hi-hat. Many drummers are using this technique and it does help add some spice to your groove whether you are riding your hi-hat or your cymbal.
This DVD features two songs and on one of them entitled Avivanos. In this song, Keith demonstrates his “out of the box” thinking and his phenomenal independence by putting together a double ride combination. Keith played 16ths on the snare at a tempo of 92 bpm with his left hand while playing the hi-hat and the snare with his right. In another segment of the song puts together a paradiddle combination between the kick and the snare while riding the cymbal.
Keith gives the viewers their money’s worth with plenty of material. Any drummer who can master all the techniques taught in this DVD will be one bad cat. The only down side of the DVD is that it did not come with an accompaniment book as the DVD for Beginner & Intermediate Drummers did. Of course, it’s very understandable why there is no book. Preparing an accompaniment book for this DVD would be a greater undertaking because the exercises are a lot more intricate than the exercises in the first one. But, then again, the fact that this DVD has more intricate exercises would be an argument for writing the accompaniment book.
The title to both of these DVDs reads, “Series I.” So this begs a question. Does this mean that there will be a “Series II” coming out anytime soon? Only Keith can answer that question.