Colin Woolway’s Drumsense
Nov 17 2014
In this DVD, drummer Colin Woolway gives absolute beginners the chance to learn basic rock drumming starting with simple beats and building up to fairly difficult four way co-ordination. It includes a section on ‘fill ins’ which uses a unique system of subdividing and phrasing. The DVD will show the student how to move around the kit using toms and cymbals, employing the now famous ‘Drumsense’ teaching technique.
There is also a section on ‘beginners’ jazz’ and hi-hat timekeeping, where you will use easy-to-learn phrases to build up an ability to play comfortably in rock and jazz styles. An absolute must for beginners or drummers who want to revise drum set basics!
This DVD is apparently based on Woolway’s “Drumsense” system for teaching/learning drums. He doesn’t explain the overall system – but the material on this DVD is very methodical. And it stands alone as a useful teach-yourself DVD (unlike, say, Groove Essentials by Tommy Igoe which is excellent; but you would probably need to buy the corresponding book or poster to see the patterns spelt out).
First, he explains 11 core grooves. The first four will be familiar to any novice drummer (Hi Hat 8th notes; snare on beats 2 & 4. Four basic Bass variations). The next three include some snare ghost notes on various 16th beats. The last four have similar ghost notes but on the Bass drum.
None of these are mega-advanced; but some are a bit trickier than others. More importantly, these are the kind of basic grooves that anyone should be able to play before progressing to more fancy stuff.
After playing all 11, you then learn to play them all again with a variation of style. Then again… and again. In all you cover 5 ways to play each of the 11.
- 8ths on closed hi hat
- 16th on close hi hat
- 8ths while opening & closing HH
- 16th opening & closing
- playing only half the 8th (on Ride or HH)
In all this gives 55 exercises to work on – but all related in a clear pattern. Playing the variations is an excellent way to gradually build skills. Also you learn an approach (Colin calls it a Process) that you could apply in lots of contexts.
After the grooves, he takes a similar approach to fills. He starts with 16ths round the kit, then breaks them up into different groups. Then he plays them with different sound sources. Once again a very systematic process. By the end of this you have the makings of a nice little drum solo.
Finally he introduces swinging the beat & triplet-based fills. Again building the variations according to the previous ‘process’
Overall, there is a hell of a lot of useful stuff here. He explains it ALL very slowly & clearly. It is not super-advanced, but it is not Noddy level either. A solid process to take a beginner to the next level.
The demos would be much better with other instruments (like Groove Essentials – but Groove Essentials is not nearly so well explained as this – swings & roundabouts!) If you are a new-ish drummer this is an EXCELLENT foundation.
Running time: 2 hours
Video: MPEG2 Video 720×480 (16:9) 29.97fps 7000Kbps
Audio: Dolby AC3 48KHz 6ch 192Kbps
Size: 4.1 Gb