If you're a drummer or if you teach drummers at the middle or high school levels you might want to take a closer look at a cool app for the iPad called Drum Guru. What does it do? It's a collection of videos and written out drum set patterns that you can use to learn and practice new techniques. The app itself is a freebie and it comes with seven sample lessons. Additional lesson packs are available for $3.99 each through in-app purchases.
As mentioned Drum Guru consists mostly of videos, performed by highly skilled percussionists from many different well known rock groups like Mike Mangini and David Garibaldi. Each of the videos can be slowed down slightly to let you follow the top-down action as the performer plays the patterns on their set. The videos themselves are very well recorded although in my opinion the slow motion setting leaves a lot to be desired. The video looks okay at the slower speed but slowing down the audio leaves you with a lot of audio artifacts that are a little annoying.
Each lesson also has a practice area where the pattern is written out in standard drum set notation. It also provides a metronome and faster/slower/normal speed adjustment but the speed is hard coded to one of three levels so you cannot select specific bpm tempos only the three that are provided. You can also choose to include the metronome or drum sounds in the playback and switch the looping of the pattern on and off as desired.
Drum Guru is most appropriate for advanced drum set musicians. If you are looking for more basic rhythm instruction apps you probably want something more like Rhythm Lab or MyRhythm. because if the demo videos are any indication even the "beginner" lesson packs are probably too difficult for any true beginner to play. However, any percussionist that is trying to develop their skills and add some new riffs and techniques to their routine should definitely take a look. Drum Guru is free and available through the Apple App Store.