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Guerrilla Drum Making Review


Guerrilla Drum Making DVD

86 Minutes
John Dutra

There is an increasing number of online home-made videos and tutorials showing various aspects of the drum making and drum finishing processes, some of these are are reasonable and some are not so great. Many of the 'how its made' variety give an insight into the major drum manufacturer's plants and processes that are very informative, but use machines and techniques that the small-time or hobby builder can never hope to use. John Dutra's Guerrilla Drum Making represents the first professionally produced tutorial that I have come across regarding Drum making that relies on common or garden tools and techniques - I am mightily impressed.

The DVD assumes from the outset that the viewer has a basic blank shell or an old shell to be reconditioned; it takes the viewer through several practical and very well explained steps on the accurate placement & drilling of holes and the attachment of hardware on toms, snares and kick drums. For me the 'meat on the bone' of the the DVD is regarding finishing the drums using a variety of methods: staining, sunbursting, using wrap, striped laminates, even the complicated process of using jointed veneers and more!. The Author uses mostly household tools and easy-to-find everyday items in accomplishing the work, this non-reliance on expensive or specialist tools is refreshing and increases the overall accesibility to the viewer.

Throughout the production, the DVD is professionally photographed, lit and recorded; it includes multiple camera angles and a clear voice-over to ensure that the viewer can clearly understand the various steps and objectives of each process. In addition, the DVD is backed up by a range of online resources. 

If there can be any down side for me, it is that the DVD relates primarily to drum assembly and finishing rather than 'drum making' from scratch. As a drum-builder myself I would have been fascinated to have seen another's process of making shells using ply, stave, segment or steam bending  techniques, however that would be more than enough to create an entirely separate DVD product. If it's not already on John's to-do list then I'd like to make that a formal request!

Overall, this is a top quality, professionally produced DVD containing many useful tips and accessible approaches that would take years of trial and error to learn; without doubt it is certainly a video tutorial that must be in the video library of every drum-building enthusiast.

Drumdojo is more than happy to recommend this DVD to our site visitors as a 'must have' - go get it today, you'll not regret it for a moment!

Paul Marshall
March 2009

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