CD Reviews
Drummer Cafe 20th Anniversary
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greenday_playalong.jpgAlfred's Ultimate Play-Along series gives you everything you need to jam with your favorite Green Day songs. This book features authentic, artist-approved drum music and notation transcriptions of various hit songs from the Grammy® award-winning band. Each book includes an enhanced CD with two versions of every song: a full-performance track with an amazing sound-alike recording, and a professional accompaniment track so you can play along. Put the CD in your MAC or Windows-based computer to access the TNT (Tone 'N' Tempo) Changer, which allows you to easily change the key and tempo.

Green Day titles include: American Idiot * Basket Case * Boulevard of Broken Dreams * Brain Stew * Longview * Minority * Wake Me Up When September Ends * When I Come Around.

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REVIEW4cups

First, I want to say something upfront and get it out of the way. I'm very surprised and disappointed with Alfred Publishing for feeling the need to include the lyrics of Green Day in this drum play-along. Laying aside my personal feelings towards Green Day dropping the F-bomb in just about every one of their songs ... I see no reason why the lyrics needed to be included in this book. The tracks on the CD are just instrumental versions; with and without drums. It's not like the customer can follow along with the lyrics as they play to the music on the CD ... because there are no vocals to be heard! So it's the printed lyrics in the book that merits the Parental Advisory. What a shame. I would think a lot more young people would be enjoying this play-along Book/CD had Alfred Publishing chose to omit the lyrics. So parents ... if you can get past the printed cursing, know that your child will not be listening to the profain lyrics as they play-along to the CD.

Now ... as far as the CD is concerned ... very, very cool! Just as was stated in the opening paragraph, not only does the CD have some great "sound-alike" music tracks to play to ... with and without drums ... but you also have complete control over the tempo so you can slow down or speed up the performance track. There's also a loop button so you can have a particular track play again and again if you'd like. Since there's also a pitch/key control function, part of the TnT (Tone 'n' Tempo changer) package, and the book contains the melody line and chord changes for each song, technically you could use this Book/CD to play guitar, bass and keyboards. The only hitch would be that the drum play-along only mutes the drums, not any of the other instruments.

The notated drum transcription is very close to what is played on the CD. I don't know just how close it is to Green Day's actual songs, but from what I can tell, it's close enough from an educational standpoint. I want to mention that Tre Cool is not playing on this CD, but Darrin Mooney has done a wonderful job of emulating Tre's original drum tracks. And by the way, if your reading isn't what you'd like it to be, there's a drum notation guide in the back of the book to help you out.

With a retail price of $14.95, Green Day fans will certainly enjoy this book and play-along CD package.