Neil Peart - Anatomy of a Drum Solo DVD

The Neil Peart Anatomy of a Drum Solo DVD is a 2-disc set which features Neil talking about his approach to soloing, dissecting a solo recorded during a RUSH concert back in September of 2004 in Frankfurt, Germany. Neil reviews each segment of his 9-minute solo that is a highlight of each RUSH performance. He delves into the inspiration and the concept behind each part of the solo and discusses and demonstrates the technique required for performing each segment of the solo.

Included on the DVDs are additional interviews, analysis, and documented Rush performances from the drummer's perspective.


Anatomy of a Drum Solo (complete)

"Der Trommler" (recorded September, 2004, Frankfurt)

  • Neil's analysis and discussion of "Der Trommler" and of his approach to soloing
  • Sidebar 1 - Exclusive Hamburg solo ("Ich Bin Ein Hamburger")
  • Sidebar 2 - "Exploration #1"


Bonus Features, including:

  • "Exploration #2"
  • "O Baterista" (solo from RUSH in Rio)
  • Interview with Paul Northfield, RUSH co-producer and engineer, and Lorne Wheaton, Neil's drum tech
  • Lorne Wheaton setting up and talking about Neil's drumkit
  • Performances with RUSH of "Tom Sawyer" and "Subdivisions" (from the perspective of the drum cameras)
  • Previously Unreleased Solo from RUSH's 1994 Counterparts Tour

Special Features

Alternate Edits: During parts of Neil's analysis of "Der Trommler," the viewer can choose between two different camera edits; one with related playing examples in full screen and one with Neil in view while the playing example is shown in a separate inset. These spots are identified by an on-screen icon.


First let me say that when I received Neil Peart Anatomy of a Drum Solo DVD to review, I knew right away that every RUSH and/or Neil Peart fan is going to love this 2-disc DVD set. I originally started listening to RUSH very early in their career, and I knew then what I know now ... that Neil Peart is indeed the definitive progressive rock drummer ... and has been for the past thirty years.

Okay ... now about the DVD set itself ...

This is not an instructional DVD, and Neil Peart doesn't claim to be a drum instructor or teacher. Neil makes it clear that the DVD is about showing the elements and concepts he uses to create his drum solo(s).

Neil does a fine job of addressing the viewer. He's articulate and even speaks with a creative edge; all fruits from being a writer and lyricist. This DVD is an experience, giving the viewer a chance to see and hear how Neil approaches his drum solos, in particular, his solo entitled "Der Trommler" (meaning "the drummer"), recorded September, 2004 in Frankfurt, Germany during RUSH's 30th Anniversary Tour.

Some may be disappointed with the lack of details provided by Neil since he doesn't get into technical aspects of his playing. Even though most of what he does is just single and double strokes, I think it would have been nice for him to explain a bit of what he's doing. After showing the live version of each element, Neil takes the time to play it again for the viewer ... as he says, "slowing it down a bit". If you are taking the time to slow it down and demonstrate, why not state what sticking you are using? If the intent of the DVD is to "not teach you how to play" Neil's solo ... why break it down and/or perform it more slowly?

You'll notice that Neil's approach seems to be about building on one original solo concept which he first came up with decades ago. He states that he's "not finished" with it and "still has more to say"... hence the reason much of the solo sounds like Neil's solos from times past. Speaking of which, this DVD shows quite a few of Neil's past solos including "O Baterista" from RUSH in Rio.

After watching the DVDs, my personal favorite parts would have to be the two Exploration sections where Neil is just "warming-up" and messing around ... and watching live (close-up) bonus footage of Neil playing "Tom Sawyer" with the band.

I must say that I was surprised and dismayed to see how uncomfortable Neil looks (and sounds) when playing triplet figures and/or anything that's supposed to swing. This is especially noticeable when viewing the two Exploration sections, each lasting more than 30 minutes. Perhaps I feel this way simply because I'm an instructor and educator, so you'll have to make your own assessment, but to me he looks very stiff ... the triplets and swung figures to not swing and/or have a good feel. Those who've seen/heard all of the Burning for Buddy (videos and recordings) will probably know what I'm talking about.

All in all, I recommend Neil Peart's Anatomy of a Drum Solo 2-disc DVD set. Neil is part of our drumming history and is worthy of study. And like I said in the beginning of this review ... all of you RUSH and Neil Peart fans are going to love it!