April 2020 Music Purchases

- Music

I think that you can see my camera mount in these pictures of drum instructional videos.

Picture of three DVD cases - description is in the article.

  • Neil Peart - A Work in Progress
  • Neil Peart - Taking Center Stage
  • Mike Portnoy - In Constant Motion

A Work In Progress and Taking Center Stage are two drum instructional videos featuring the late, great Neil Peart. His first video, A Work In Progress, covers music from the Test for Echo album, while Taking Center Stage covers music played during the Time Machine 2010-2011 tour. Both videos contain lots of footage of Neil Peart discussing a variety of topics. If you’re a fan of Neil Peart and his music, I think that these two videos make for interesting viewing - even for non-drummers.

In Constant Motion is a snapshot of Mike Portnoy’s career in 2007, prior to the release of Dream Theater’s Systematic Chaos album. Despite the name, this instruction video does not contain the song “Constant Motion”. But it does cover a selection of songs from Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence, Train of Thought, and Octavarium along with an entire second disc devoted to his many side projects at the time. The disc of side projects was hit-or-miss. I enjoyed hearing and watching Transatlantic for the first time, but there’s a lot of runtime devoted to tribute projects that I didn’t find interesting.

Picture of two DVD cases - description is in the article.

  • Jim Chapin - Speed, Power, Control, Endurance
  • Simon Phillips - Complete

Jim Chapin’s Speed, Power, Control, Endurance focuses on the Moeller method in fine detail. I’ve seen a few videos here and there about the Moeller method, but the one that helped me out the most with understanding it was a clip that was taken from this video. I decided to get this video, and it’s very dense and informative.

But I have to warn about something: even though I bought a new copy of it, it’s missing the exercises that were apparently part of the VHS release. The DVD gives a URL for the exercises that no longer works. The exercises are also not on the DVD.

Oh boy, watching this Simon Phillips video compilation was a fun experience. Complete compiles two VHS releases from 1992 - Simon Phillips and Simon Phillips Returns. He wears Tama leggings for the entire duration of the video, and I’ll admit that I’m a little jealous that I can’t get Tama leggings in 2020. The song performances are very well-shot by early-90s standards and doesn’t just focus on Philips playing. Anthony Jackson (who would later go on to be part of Hiromi’s trio project with Simon Phillips) plays bass, and Ray Russell plays guitar. All three get their share of the spotlight in much of the performance footage, which usually doesn’t happen in drum instructional videos as they tend to focus on the drummer. There are quite a few lesson segments too. I didn’t get much out of most of these segments, but maybe you would.

More stuff soon!