Let's discuss Bill Ward

Houndog

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Saw him mentioned in chat box ,I'm ready to read about something other than "Wood types and how they do or do not affect sound" threads .

I'll start by saying that there are parts he plays that I still can't figure out . Like the song Snowblind , I'm lost ....

I grew up listening to Sabbath , I'd like to pick up some new insights .

As a side note and no one cares , but my buddies son is married to Bills Daughter .
When he told me I was like WTF , how does the godfather of metal drummings daughter end up in OKC ?
 

Kcmcc

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Great drummer, but maybe the second worst solo on an otherwise great record ever on Rat Salad.



*The worst is Hughie Flint on "What I'd Say"
 

Nacci

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I love Bill Ward. Easily one of the most original drummer of the era. I think his heyday was the first three Sabbath albums. Within that context he was an absolute machine. The YouRube footage of him with Sabbath in Paris 1971 is incredible.
 

Prufrock

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I didn't grow up a Sabbath fan, but heard a lot of it being played by my friends. Compared to the drumming in the prog music I tended to listen to (Yes, King Crimson, Zappa, ELP, and so on), Ward's drumming sounded primitive and not very good. This year I have been doing a deep dive into the early Sabbath albums, and the drumming is amazing. What I didn't understand decades ago is how Ward - the godfather of metal drumming - is grounded in jazz. That "swing" people refer to (which I should have picked up on, since so many of my drumming heroes back then - Bruford, Giles, Wyatt, Mitchell, Baker, and so on all had jazz backgrounds and training). The lack of this understanding in so much metal that has followed has created a genre that often lacks "soul." Sabbath definitely has soul. It's often a soul in struggle between dark and light, but that's what makes it compelling. Iommi's riffs and tone get a lot of the attention; Sabbath would not have been the same without Ward's drumming style.

During this Coronavirus crisis, I've actually found early Sabbath to be some of the most sane music to listen to. When you look into the lyrics, they are often surprisingly relevant to the human condition. Not your typical "c*ck rock." What could be more cathartic at this historic moment, for example, than a song like "Wheels of Confusion"? Great stuff, and it only took me forty years to recognize it.

 

blikum

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Great drummer! You can really hear (and feel) the swing / jazz influence in his playing. Not your traditional rock drummer by any means.
 

repete

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Bill was a huge huge influence on my playing - this quote sums it all up for me

I play orchestration; I play back to what comes at me. I build structures around things. And I make allowances for the bass to sweep over me and for Tony to break through; they allow so much to happen. I never thought about “keeping a beat” in Black Sabbath. Some things needed a groove. But groove accompaniment seemed to work and then as soon as that stopped, I would move on to where else I needed to support things.

here's a recent MD interview
 

BennyK

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All those 60's Brit drummers were rooted in blues shuffles , skiffle and 12/8 variations , consequently well situated to put a skip on things when the pop pulse evolved into straight eights . Ward is a shining example .

I bought the first Sabbath album in 71 and his drumming impressed me as much as Clive Bunker's .
 
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snappy

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The music written has many sections that lend itself to
fun drumming and lots of fills.
-1 (2)+/ fill 3, 4, 1, 2, 3, 4...
-1/fill 2, 3, 4...
etc.
Bill jams...
 
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Prufrock

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This is my favorite Sabbath song the last couple years.
Strangely I discovered it is in some ways almost the exact same song as The Band's "The Shape I'm In"


I read somewhere that this was a favorite of Frank Zappa's as well.
 

Frank Godiva

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I love the early BS as well, but I found this modern interview with him where he gives some of the best advice on overdoing it with drugs and drinking during playing. I always try to keep this sage advice in mind when I want to party and play. It's really selfish and you risk really f-ing everything up for the whole band. If it's good enough for Bil then it's good enough for me.

 

Houndog

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I love the early BS as well, but I found this modern interview with him where he gives some of the best advice on overdoing it with drugs and drinking during playing. I always try to keep this sage advice in mind when I want to party and play. It's really selfish and you risk really f-ing everything up for the whole band. If it's good enough for Bil then it's good enough for me.


I'm going to watch later , I have played many a gig drunk and stoned ...Ugh..
 

Prufrock

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I love the early BS as well, but I found this modern interview with him where he gives some of the best advice on overdoing it with drugs and drinking during playing. I always try to keep this sage advice in mind when I want to party and play. It's really selfish and you risk really f-ing everything up for the whole band. If it's good enough for Bil then it's good enough for me.

There are so many examples of this, where great music has been made by people living in excess. The lucky ones live through it. In this case - at least for me - it was looking past the image, the cover art, the band reputation, and actually hearing the great music. This has always been presented as the product of the "sex, drugs, and rock and roll" lifestyle, but maybe it's just as valid to say that Sabbath's great music (as with a number of bands) was made in spite of the excess.
 

Bonzo442

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I grew up with sabbath and listening to all the albums both sides as the friends house we all hung out at was a sabbath freak. I love all their stuff and Bill influenced me greatly as those were my early years of learning to play. It’s amazing you don’t hear much of their best stuff on the radio but I guess that happens a lot with a lot of bands
 

Paradiddle

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Not too many guys had swing in their stroke with metal like Bill Ward.
I could not agree more. I was a huge Sabbath fan during my formative drumming years. I think his creative approach to fills and his swing really set Sabbath apart from other metal bands.
 


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