Don Henley’s hi-hat on Lyin’ Eyes

Cauldronics

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The general hat pattern is:

1 2and3and4
1 2and3and4and1

With a couple variations and changes in the chorus. The bass drum (1—and3) and cross stick (on 2 and 4) are predictable throughout, but it’s almost comical how the hat plays over that beat.

This song would be the closest Henley ever got to sounding stiff and rigid, given the pattern played, yet it sounds loose and great. Subtle accents on the downbeats with the hats.

I’m somewhat in awe of how he kept it that relaxed and nearly swinging. I’m not sure why I never noticed it before.

What a drummer!
 

Cauldronics

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Then I realized if he kept playing the hats through with constant 8th notes, it would be too busy and get in the way of the song. The guy had a great ear.
 

Peterk256

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One of my least favorite Eagle songs to play. The song is very sparse. If I play constant eight notes on the hi hats I become painfully aware of every tiny variation of time/touch and feel like a slightly uneven metronome (because I'm not a machine). Maybe Don felt the same way and introduced those deliberate variations instead.
 

Cauldronics

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I get the feeling that even if he played straight hat 8ths, it would sound great, but he chose to do something better.
 

drumgadget

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The general hat pattern is:

1 2and3and4
1 2and3and4and1

With a couple variations and changes in the chorus. The bass drum (1—and3) and cross stick (on 2 and 4) are predictable throughout, but it’s almost comical how the hat plays over that beat.

This song would be the closest Henley ever got to sounding stiff and rigid, given the pattern played, yet it sounds loose and great. Subtle accents on the downbeats with the hats.

I’m somewhat in awe of how he kept it that relaxed and nearly swinging. I’m not sure why I never noticed it before.

What a drummer!

Couldn't agree more ............

Except ............ "almost comical"? Sounds perfect to me .... playing to the song, keeping it loose and open, accents where they need to be.

This song is one of the great Eagles "country style" tunes; the open feel is perfect ......... the "ands" on the hi-hat blend perfectly with the "bump ... pa -bum" classic bass drum pattern.

I sincerely dig Don Henley ............

Mike
 

Cauldronics

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My "almost comical" comment is more a reflection of the hi-hat part simplicity. You might expect a first day drum pupil to lock the hat part to the notes played with the other limbs. Something which they might even laugh at themselves for doing a week later at their next lesson.

DH is a drumming GOAT, but not for the reasons most people choose their favorite drummers.

On a completely different yet still ingenious track that I now have the urge to hear: Boys of Summer, he again shows how versatile, creative and grooving he could be. Even if some (all?) of the drum parts are programmed on that one. It sounds like Henley!
 

drumstuff66

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I don't sing, but have always noticed and liked the parts of drummers like Don Henley, Phil Collins, Levon Helm, Dave Grohl/Taylor Hawkins (great singer!), Roger Taylor (Queen), etc...

I've thought maybe having to coordinate that "5th limb" (their voice while while phrasing melody lines, etc.) enables them to come up with parts I might not have...

Early on in my development as a player drummers like DH ("songwriter drummers" I call them) set off a light bulb: Not stepping all over the vocal part, but working with it and supporting it while still being creative was one of tickets to the "next level"...

DH's track on "One of These Nights" was always a favorite...
 

BennyK

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He's " strumming " the hihat and following the iambic meter and pulse of the lyric . As a singing drummer who majored in English at college , he was well qualified to construct lyrical content , and as a singing drummer , in the perfect position to accompany himself .
 
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Vistalite Black

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Such a terrible person. If he pleaded "no contest" today, it would have rightfully been the end of his career.
 

Seb77

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He's " strumming " the hihat
i was thinking of this as well; that "1 2&" ryhthm seems to mimic the rhythm guitar part. I hear the 4& more frequently throughout than only every two bars.
 

John DeChristopher

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During my formative teenage drumming years in the 70s, I totally dismissed Don Henley as a drummer. I didn't like his sound (still not crazy about it) and was too young and dumb to appreciate his incredible, natural, feel. I think he's probably the most under-appreciated drummer of all time. Certainly one of them.

"Lyin' Eyes" is an excellent example. I played it in the 70s (incorrectly) and the band I'm in now plays it and I actually took the time to really listen to the subtleties and learn it correctly. But I'll readily admit I can't make it feel the way he does. It's more uptempo than you think and I have a tendency to want to play it slower, so I set my Tempo app for 133 BPM and hang with it. Stan Lynch (who's a good friend of Henley's) and I spoke about Henley recently and Stan was raving about how great a drummer he is. And Stan knows a little bit about having a great feel.

I've always thought his playing on "Take It To The Limit" was pretty darn epic. "New Kid In Town" is another deceptively tricky song to cop the right feel. "In The City" "One Of These Nights" and "Life In The Fast Lane" are all great performances. Even "Take It Easy" when you really listen to it, is a hard song to cop the right feel.
 

Ludwigboy

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I enjoy playing this song "Lyin' Eyes" during our "garage band" driveway gigs ...we do a number of Eagles songs; for some reason, the hardest part I have found is the drum intro on " Take it easy"; it really takes some practice counting it in
 

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I went out and grabbed a 602 20" Medium Ride so I could play Take It To The Limit. Funny, I still don't sound like Don!

Dan
 

BennyK

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On ' Peaceful Easy Feeling ' he doesn't break up the hihat groupings . It could be an unintended independence limitation(?) that works in his favor on Lyin Eyes and numerous other hits where he's not singing lead . Around the Ottawa Valley there's a tendency to play a Little Feat type of sixteenth note half time feel when covering Hotel California , but Henley doesn't do that on the studio cut . His is a straight eigth with a diddley wink .
 
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