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Bonzo's Montreux

Treviso1

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Bonham played this 100% with a single bass drum. This nonsense that he was playing those straight 16th notes on two bass drums is just that...nonsense. Remember, John Bonham had a very quick foot, great technique, and he was much younger than the guy (George) from the video, who looks to be at least in his mid 50s if not in his early 60s. Anyway you look at it, music is a young man's sport and Bonham was at the peak of his playing ability when he recorded this in 1976 and was approximately 28 years old at the time.
 

Stephen.DeBoard

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I found this on the following website: http://www.rockapedia.com/biography/john-bonham/equipment

Bass Drum Pedal
Double bass drums were used on the recording of the drum solo "Bonzo's Montreux". It is a unique approach to incorporating a second bass drum. Bonham added a second bass drum and simply played it with his left foot the way he would normally be pedaling 1/8th notes on his hi-hat. In sections, this creates 2 unique bass drum parts that syncopate and sometimes overlap causing both kick drums to be hit at the same time.
I'm thinking he did it like this. I've incorporated playing 8th notes on my hi-hat with my left foot when not playing it with my sticks for most of my life now inspired by hearing John Bonham do it as a kid on the live version of Moby Dick. I've messed around doing this on the bass drum too and there are some cool syncopated rhythms that come out naturally. Between this and the obvious layering of takes I think it's very possible that on at least one of the takes he played the 8th note bass drum with his left foot while keeping the right foot playing some 16th notes within the beat.
 

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Bonham played this 100% with a single bass drum. This nonsense that he was playing those straight 16th notes on two bass drums is just that...nonsense. Remember, John Bonham had a very quick foot, great technique, and he was much younger than the guy (George) from the video, who looks to be at least in his mid 50s if not in his early 60s. Anyway you look at it, music is a young man's sport and Bonham was at the peak of his playing ability when he recorded this in 1976 and was approximately 28 years old at the time.
Fludas is pretty much the authority on anything John Bonham, if you dont know.. Check out what he does..

Anyway, he offers the concept as nothing more than that.. A concept.. A "maybe". And its an interesting maybe
 

Treviso1

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I'm thinking he did it like this. I've incorporated playing 8th notes on my hi-hat with my left foot when not playing it with my sticks for most of my life now inspired by hearing John Bonham do it as a kid on the live version of Moby Dick. I've messed around doing this on the bass drum too and there are some cool syncopated rhythms that come out naturally. Between this and the obvious layering of takes I think it's very possible that on at least one of the takes he played the 8th note bass drum with his left foot while keeping the right foot playing some 16th notes within the beat.
With all due respect, I don't believe that's how he played it. That's one bass drum, but there are some overdubs flying in, panned hard left and right, but I just don't think that it's double bass. For someone who has played double bass for 40 years, playing that pattern is awkward with two feet...it's actually easier with just one foot, using a rocking motion on the fulcrum of the pedal. Bonham most certainly could do this with one foot and I believe that is exactly how he did it.
 

Treviso1

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Fludas is pretty much the authority on anything John Bonham, if you dont know.. Check out what he does..

Anyway, he offers the concept as nothing more than that.. A concept.. A "maybe". And its an interesting maybe
Hey, I love George and he offers a ton of great, insightful stuff on Bonham. I just don't believe that is how Bonham did it. Bonham was at the peak of his career and ability in 1976. Just listen to Achilles Last Stand! With all of the imitators, no one, including George is playing the foot pattern he played on Achilles Last Stand. Bonham is blazing on that track. But hey...it's just my opinion.
 

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Bonham played this 100% with a single bass drum. This nonsense that he was playing those straight 16th notes on two bass drums is just that...nonsense. Remember, John Bonham had a very quick foot, great technique, and he was much younger than the guy (George) from the video, who looks to be at least in his mid 50s if not in his early 60s. Anyway you look at it, music is a young man's sport and Bonham was at the peak of his playing ability when he recorded this in 1976 and was approximately 28 years old at the time.

I'm gonna disagree with the bolded. In fact I believe it to be the opposite. Unlike jocks, musicians get better with age due to increased knowledge of their instrument and music. I've seen many older bands lately and they kill it. I saw Deep Purple last year and guys are all 70s and the musicianship was amazing. They play better now than they did IN the 70s. Saw Billy Cobham a few years ago and he's lost nothing. Saw Ray Benson with Asleep at the Wheel and he sounded great.

Why do you think its a young mans game?
 
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Stephen.DeBoard

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With all due respect, I don't believe that's how he played it. That's one bass drum, but there are some overdubs flying in, panned hard left and right, but I just don't think that it's double bass. For someone who has played double bass for 40 years, playing that pattern is awkward with two feet...it's actually easier with just one foot, using a rocking motion on the fulcrum of the pedal. Bonham most certainly could do this with one foot and I believe that is exactly how he did it.
I don't think it's double bass in the sense that he is alternating his feet to play 16th notes but he could be riding 8ths with his left foot like he does often with his hi hat and then playing the beat pattern incorporating 16th notes with his right foot. He obviously didn't need his left foot to play 16th notes on the bass drum. Because the performance is layered with multiple takes I concede that it could have been recorded with either one bass drum or two.

However he did it, I love it!
 

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When was it recorded originally? Jimmy Page said he couldn’t tolerate the two bass drums because it made his head swim.

Edit: 76 apparently. And having just listened to it for the first time in decades, it sounds like single foot to me except for that one little spot where he hits a couple 16th notes before going back to 8th notes. On the other hand, does anyone actually play in a band that does it? ;)
 
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Steech

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Bonham played this 100% with a single bass drum. This nonsense that he was playing those straight 16th notes on two bass drums is just that...nonsense. Remember, John Bonham had a very quick foot, great technique, and he was much younger than the guy (George) from the video, who looks to be at least in his mid 50s if not in his early 60s. Anyway you look at it, music is a young man's sport and Bonham was at the peak of his playing ability when he recorded this in 1976 and was approximately 28 years old at the time.
Dunno about the young man’s sport thing. Plenty of slightly older fellers out there with chops to burn.
 

stuart s

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Hey, I love George and he offers a ton of great, insightful stuff on Bonham. I just don't believe that is how Bonham did it. Bonham was at the peak of his career and ability in 1976. Just listen to Achilles Last Stand! With all of the imitators, no one, including George is playing the foot pattern he played on Achilles Last Stand. Bonham is blazing on that track. But hey...it's just my opinion.
Love the foot pattern on ALS, but it not difficult to play that track. Even the Disco segment is easy to accomplish with some practice. That song is difficult because of the length of the song (endurance) and the slight variations of the beat and tempo throughout.
 

Treviso1

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I'm gonna disagree with the bolded. In fact I believe it to be the opposite. Unlike jocks, musicians get better with age due to increased knowledge of their instrument and music. I've seen many older bands lately and they kill it. I saw Deep Purple last year and guys are all 70s and the musicianship was amazing. They play better now than they did IN the 70s. Saw Billy Cobham a few years ago and he's lost nothing. Saw Ray Benson with Asleep at the Wheel and he sounded great.

Why do you think its a young mans game?
Honestly, if you don't understand what I wrote, you simply haven't gotten there yet yourself. If you ever saw Billy Cobham in his prime, you wouldn't say that he hasn't lost anything over the years. Billy Cobham was a phenom drummer, fiery at its greatest level and yes, he's still great, but not the same as he was in back in 1973. Ian Paice is one of my all-time favorite drummers, but he isn't the same as he was 50 years ago either. Let's be real here...it is very much like being a well trained athlete, especially being a drummer. Sure, you will mature into a player with better taste, but to say that you are going to burn at 75-80 years old with the same intensity as when you were in your 20s is silly. Of course you aren't going to be the same or burn with the same intensity. It's just obvious. You can choose or pretend otherwise, but you are kidding yourself.
 

BoomBoom

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Honestly, if you don't understand what I wrote, you simply haven't gotten there yet yourself. If you ever saw Billy Cobham in his prime, you wouldn't say that he hasn't lost anything over the years. Billy Cobham was a phenom drummer, fiery at its greatest level and yes, he's still great, but not the same as he was in back in 1973. Ian Paice is one of my all-time favorite drummers, but he isn't the same as he was 50 years ago either. Let's be real here...it is very much like being a well trained athlete, especially being a drummer. Sure, you will mature into a player with better taste, but to say that you are going to burn at 75-80 years old with the same intensity as when you were in your 20s is silly. Of course you aren't going to be the same or burn with the same intensity. It's just obvious. You can choose or pretend otherwise, but you are kidding yourself.

A little touchy are we? Its really not necessary to insult my drumming manhood just cuz we disagree on something about drums. You have never heard me play.

From what you wrote it seems to you drumming is some kind of athletic pursuit as opposed to a musical one. He who plays the most notes wins or something. That's not the way I see it. He who plays the most musical wins IMHO.

I've played drums for 50 years and play better today than I ever have. Your mileage may vary.
 

Treviso1

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A little touchy are we? Its really not necessary to insult my drumming manhood just cuz we disagree on something about drums. You have never heard me play.

From what you wrote it seems to you drumming is some kind of athletic pursuit as opposed to a musical one. He who plays the most notes wins or something. That's not the way I see it. He who plays the most musical wins IMHO.

I've played drums for 50 years and play better today than I ever have. Your mileage may vary.
I am not touchy at all on the subject, it's just reality. Some of us live in the real world, while others live in the fantasy world. If you look at the reality of the subject, drummers tend to be the first ones replaced in bands with original members because of the physical nature of what we do. It is, by far, the most physically challenging of instruments to play, pack-up, load up, lift into your vehicle, lift out of your vehicle, carry/roll into the gig, set up the kit, play the gig, breakdown the kit, pack up the kit, carry/roll back to the vehicle, lift back into your vehicle, unload your vehicle...it all adds up after you have done it a few thousand times over the past 45 years. Playing the gig is the easiest part of the gig! I find everything else to be very difficult.

Let's forget about the physical aspect of playing the gig... How about the creative aspect of playing the gig. I'll open up another can of worms... The creative mind is also a young man's (or woman) sport too. When I hear the things I played and went for when I was 20 years old, I am stunned at the creativity and the sheer courage I had to just plain "go for it." I would go for things that I would never dare to go for today, because I know better now. Yes, I am talking about what people used to call "being a hot dog." That is also part of the younger brain/body that I am talking about. I have seen this in virtually every player as well. Not only does the body change/age with time, but the creative mind does as well. There's a peak and then the decline. It is nature's way, unfortunately. While Paul McCartney has written all of the greatest songs of the 20th Century (IMHO), he hasn't written a single song that has moved me since "No More Lonely Nights" in 1984. Most musical artists have about a 5 year window in the spotlight where everything they do is gold, the stars in the heavens align, and they can do no wrong once they hit it big. After that, it's over. The decline is inevitable. Their peak has come and gone and they chase the past for the rest of their careers and eventually become an oldies band. Sure, there are exceptions to this rule, but not many. Heck, even The Beatles fit just about right in this spotlight window (1964-70...that's 6 years). Yes, The Rolling Stones had several windows and so did Aerosmith, but by in large...it's about a 5 year window in the spotlight. Name virtually any band and you will see that their greatest period is just about 5 years. Sure, RUSH had over 4 decades, but who will argue that their greatest 5 year period of success wasn't between 1980 (Permanent Waves, Moving Pictures, Signals, Grace Under Pressure) to 1985? That is unquestionably their peak. Neither the Stones nor Aerosmith have released original material worth listening to in several decades at this point. Sure, they are in their mid-to-late 70s or, perhaps, even 80 years old at this point... Again, creativity is a young man's sport! You don't have to agree with me and I don't care whether you do or don't, it's just what I have observed as a human being, musician, and philosophical being on this planet for the past 56 years.

Finally, I am happy that you are playing better today 50 years later and that you are so pleased with your playing. I would say that I am a much tastier player than when I was 20 years old, but I certainly don't have the physical or technical facility that I had when I was 20 years old, practicing 6-8 hours per day with drums being the center of my existence.

Of course, I am speaking in generalities and there are always some exceptions to every rule, but not many. If you are the exception to that rule...congratulations! You are by definition...exceptional! Keep doing it. Excelsior!

Now, let's get back to Bonham's amazing foot!
 

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Load in / Load out is a different world these days …….ugh …..
 

Houndog

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Back on topic , I spent an entire night of practice trying to play the correct bass drum pattern to Rock & Roll …..
 

BoomBoom

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I am not touchy at all on the subject, it's just reality. Some of us live in the real world, while others live in the fantasy world. If you look at the reality of the subject, drummers tend to be the first ones replaced in bands with original members because of the physical nature of what we do. It is, by far, the most physically challenging of instruments to play, pack-up, load up, lift into your vehicle, lift out of your vehicle, carry/roll into the gig, set up the kit, play the gig, breakdown the kit, pack up the kit, carry/roll back to the vehicle, lift back into your vehicle, unload your vehicle...it all adds up after you have done it a few thousand times over the past 45 years. Playing the gig is the easiest part of the gig! I find everything else to be very difficult.

Let's forget about the physical aspect of playing the gig... How about the creative aspect of playing the gig. I'll open up another can of worms... The creative mind is also a young man's (or woman) sport too. When I hear the things I played and went for when I was 20 years old, I am stunned at the creativity and the sheer courage I had to just plain "go for it." I would go for things that I would never dare to go for today, because I know better now. Yes, I am talking about what people used to call "being a hot dog." That is also part of the younger brain/body that I am talking about. I have seen this in virtually every player as well. Not only does the body change/age with time, but the creative mind does as well. There's a peak and then the decline. It is nature's way, unfortunately. While Paul McCartney has written all of the greatest songs of the 20th Century (IMHO), he hasn't written a single song that has moved me since "No More Lonely Nights" in 1984. Most musical artists have about a 5 year window in the spotlight where everything they do is gold, the stars in the heavens align, and they can do no wrong once they hit it big. After that, it's over. The decline is inevitable. Their peak has come and gone and they chase the past for the rest of their careers and eventually become an oldies band. Sure, there are exceptions to this rule, but not many. Heck, even The Beatles fit just about right in this spotlight window (1964-70...that's 6 years). Yes, The Rolling Stones had several windows and so did Aerosmith, but by in large...it's about a 5 year window in the spotlight. Name virtually any band and you will see that their greatest period is just about 5 years. Sure, RUSH had over 4 decades, but who will argue that their greatest 5 year period of success wasn't between 1980 (Permanent Waves, Moving Pictures, Signals, Grace Under Pressure) to 1985? That is unquestionably their peak. Neither the Stones nor Aerosmith have released original material worth listening to in several decades at this point. Sure, they are in their mid-to-late 70s or, perhaps, even 80 years old at this point... Again, creativity is a young man's sport! You don't have to agree with me and I don't care whether you do or don't, it's just what I have observed as a human being, musician, and philosophical being on this planet for the past 56 years.

Finally, I am happy that you are playing better today 50 years later and that you are so pleased with your playing. I would say that I am a much tastier player than when I was 20 years old, but I certainly don't have the physical or technical facility that I had when I was 20 years old, practicing 6-8 hours per day with drums being the center of my existence.

Of course, I am speaking in generalities and there are always some exceptions to every rule, but not many. If you are the exception to that rule...congratulations! You are by definition...exceptional! Keep doing it. Excelsior!

Now, let's get back to Bonham's amazing foot!

Have a nice day and good luck with your drumming. :)
 

hsosdrum

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... The creative mind is also a young man's (or woman) sport too...
Absolute hogwash. Maybe your creative mind worked better when you were younger, but it's preposterous to extrapolate that to be true for every other creative mind that's ever existed on the planet.

When I listen to recordings of my drumming from 50 years ago (I'm now 70) I can certainly hear lots of p*ss and vinegar (a willingness to "go for it"), but I also hear a drummer who wasn't a good listener, and wasn't able to control his musical impulses so he could use them to their best advantage. During the ensuing 50 years I've learned a great deal about how to harness my creativity so that my drumming serves whatever music I happen to be playing. (BTW, that music is definitely not pop music, but that's another thread).

Regardless of my personal experience, I would never be so foolish as to assume that every other creative mind that has ever existed has followed the same creative arc as I did from my youth into my old age.
 


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