Time is a musical essential. Whether you are playing a simple beat, a fill, or a solo, time should inform every choice you make at the drums. Hence, Everything Is Timekeeping.
This DVD features Peter Erskine's instructional videos Everything Is Timekeeping and Timekeeping 2, which were previously available only on VHS.
Assisting Peter on this DVD are guitarist John Abercrombie and bassist Marc Johnson. With the focus always on time and feel, Peter covers topics such as the jazz ride pattern, ride cymbal technique, basic jazz independence and coordination, improvisation, and composition. Also featured are advanced musical styles and ethnic grooves such as samba, calypso, Afro-Latin, reggae, jazz, and funk.
In addition, there are brand-new special features, including performances with vibraphonist Mike Mainieri, an extended lesson in brush-playing techniques, an in-depth interview, and a video montage. The DVD also includes PDF files of the booklets that accompanied the original releases.
Time has been an object of fascination and study for me ever since I first played a drum. Learning how to create a rhythm on its own or with the accompaniment of a band was an exercise in musicmaking trial and error. Traversing the arc from imitation to creation, and ultimately discovering how to “own” a beat and drive any song or ensemble to its full potential has been a life-long pursuit.
Time is a musical essential. But I chose not to label this pair of videos, originally produced in the late 1980s, as Timekeeping is Everything. Rather, I specifically embraced the notion that everything we do in the course of making music should be part of that rhythmic continuum that provides the pulse and center to any performance or song. Time. So, whether you are playing a simple beat or a fill or a solo, time should inform every choice you make at the instrument. Everything is Timekeeping.
Assisting me on this video are two musical friends and heroes, guitarist John Abercrombie and bassist Marc Johnson. There are also brand-new special features including performances with vibraphonist Mike Mainieri, an extended lesson in brush-playing techniques (recently filmed), an in-depth interview, and a video montage that profiles my life in music to date. Time is not always so kind when it comes to the effects of aging. But I can say with certainty and pride that the contents of this video compilation stand the test of time.October, 2009
I personally own Peter Erskine's Everything Is Timekeeping (c.1989) and Timekeeping 2 (c. 1990) on VHS, and am overjoyed to see this re-release, Everything Is Timekeeping I & II, on DVD, especially since I worn my tapes out!
In Part 1, Peter demonstrates and discusses his philosophy of the jazz ride pattern, ride cymbal technique, basic jazz independence and coordination, improvisation and composition on the drumset and more. The video provides a wealth of ideas and information plus incredible trio performances featuring John Abercrombie and Marc Johnson. In Part 2, Peter continues to stress the importance of a good beat. He stretches out, improves and explores the possibilities to be found in straight eighth and sixteenth-note samba, calypso, reggae and Afro-Latin musics.
Throughout the DVD, Peter Erskine's instructional manner is relaxed, congenial, and clear.
Drummer, composer and educator, Peter Erskine, has done a magnificent job with these two instructional videos, and although its been over 20 years since they were first released, that have stood the test of time. Every serious student of drumming, regardless of their music genre preferences, should be studying the playing style(s) of Peter Erskine. Why? Because Erskine is without a doubt one of the most well-rounded, all-around drummers of our lifetime. His credits read like "who's who" of contemporary music. There's so much to glean, not only from Peter's playing, but from his words of wisdom and insight into the art of drumming, music and life. Everything Is Timekeeping 1 & 2 DVD should be in every educator's library; its a must have.
Special thanks goes to Alfred Music Publishing for their Artist series, and for once again making this historical piece of educational material available to drummers everywhere.