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Pat Petrillo: Complete Drum Workout

Promising “hours of practice time, even a hundred years from now,” Pat Petrillo’s Complete Drum Workout is a “comprehensive program to help improve every aspect of your playing.” Starting with the snare drum, Petrillo concentrates on coordination, endurance and touch by presenting 15 exercises covering every rudiment group. This first section was most impressive, culminating with his band’s performance of “Big Hair,” a swampy groove showcasing Petrillo’s great hands.

The box notes that the second section contains 30 “groove variations,” but I counted eight, each superimposed over 10 different two-bar bass-drum rhythms-or maybe it just seemed like that many more since they were played over interminably cheesy synthesizer sequences. Part three concerns ghost notes and beat displacement, with “Swingin’ da Funk” utilizing concepts for R&B-inspired jams, go-go, hip-hop, gospel, new-jack swing and New Orleans funk (no mention of jazz anywhere on this tape). The difference between Petrillo’s examples of this groove played straight and “played swing” (besides his use of an auxiliary snare drum) was the insertion of one single “swingin’ 16th” note on the bass drum.

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