What seemingly easy song/part did you surprizingly struggle with?

Russian Dragon

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If anyone can play the hi-hat pattern of Billy Swan's "I Can Help" as smoothly & consistently as the record for the entire 4 minutes you have my admiration, because for me it was an exercise in futility to execute it all the way thru with relaxed confidence.
I've never played it, but if I do, I'm bailing out and cheating with 2 hands on the hats after about Bar 3. Kudos to whoever that is on the record.
 

DamnSingerAlsoDrums

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Birds of Fire by Mahavishnu
Yeah Mahavishnu Orchestra, one of those band where it feels like every beat 3 in a bar is replaced by the value of Pi.
Uh 1 - uh 2- uh 1 - 2 - 3.14159265 and every decimal indicates the number of notes to be played as "tuplets" of the preceding digit's value. :blink:
 

k_50

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The intro to "In The Stone" by EWF drives me nuts! It sounds like it has some odd time thrown in there, but when I play the song to a metronome it stays in a perfect 4/4 time. I just can't get the count/feel of those two hits.
This post got me listening to EWF on Tidal. And I've had In The Stone on repeat for 30 minutes (it's just so groovy!).
The trick with the intro is that the drums come in on the 1 of the 3rd measure, so ba-ba-crash - 1-e-and.
 
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michaelocalypse

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Everlong. Disco hats with the non-typical bass pattern on the verse. It's not the speed that gets me. It's coordinating my right foot with my right hand. I should probably just lead with my left hand on that song.
 

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One of my cover bands used to cover You Ought To Know by Alanis Morisette. I just couldn't get the feel right for the intro for ages. It sounded easy enough, I could play way more complicated things than that but it gave me a hell of a hard time.
 

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The count on "I'm Free", from the Who's Tommy throws me every time, unless I just concentrate on the feel. (To this day I have no idea how the drum part is counted against the rhythm guitar.)

And of course, Bonzo's intro on "Rock 'N' Roll" starts on the and of 3, which also throws me, even after hearing it for the last 49 years.
Well, ya gotta air drum that one, mate. Fake it till ya make it. Maybe pull up Little Richard's'Keep a Knockin' for inspiration since that's where J. Henry Bonham got his. It won't help much with anticipating the pulse of this juggernaut though and I'd still be dancing through the first few bars like Elaine from Sinefeld if it wasn't for my luck as a kid drumming in a most extraordinary band of other kids who were well beyond the scope of most all 70's garage or cover bands. Our principal guitarist/ wunderkind, phenom, andcall around tremendous heart (RIP Tim Bryson) played drums to begin with and at like 12 yo was nailing Stevie Wonder's parts which y'all know sharethis similar splice/punch edit effect. Anyway, long story a little shorter, this person took to guitar so well almost instantly and to the point where there was nowhere he could drum. Fast fwd a bit and I'm asked to 'have a seat upstage' with 4 scary good snotnosed
Keith Moon really had his own weird inner metronome, god knows what kind of cosmic mosquitos he was trying to swat with his drumsticks. But dang! was that wild randomness was ever so entertaining. But as much as I love the old Who stuff, this is one of the bands from that era that I can't play along to.
I sucked at the teat of 'Who's Next' front to back for months and what started out to my head sounding like sporting goods falling out of an over-stuffed closet eventually made some kind of autistic/quadraphenic order-less flow to me. But if (especially early on) I should run over and lift the needle to better the muscle memory of some fill, forget it. Lost. hesitation wasn't in Keith's skillset and that was the beauty of it. Downhill slalom, no emergency exits. When you touch that space it lives in you, forever really. It's not like I use those signal flare in a dynamite shed fills leading into the last refrain of 'Won't get Fooled Again' much these days but having maybe a little understanding of how they came to be certainly helped me get to another level as a musician.
'Kieth wasn't a drummer really, Hell, he wasn't a drummer at all.
Kieth was... Something else.'
-P. Townsend
 

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Everlong. Disco hats with the non-typical bass pattern on the verse. It's not the speed that gets me. It's coordinating my right foot with my right hand. I should probably just lead with my left hand on that song.
I think that's it entirely, with the Beatles stuff, I mean. And I say this from experience, Ringo was a lefty playing righty. Me too. Some guy named Billy Cobham as well.
Bonzo's juggernaut interpretation of Little Richard's 'Keep a Knockin' beat (that's probably Earl Palmer as an 'Upsetter' responsible for that one originally. Eluded me so effectively, I danced like Elaine from Sinefeld on the first couple bars of Rock and Roll forever until a tremendous talent I had the good fortune to be in over my head with said 'You know the first couple of notes aren't on the recording, right? That curtain keeping me from feeling this damned thing for so long was lifted at last with just 12words.
And we weren't even old enough to buy a pack of smokes. (RIP Tim Bryson)
 

halldorl

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Beatles songs, most of them. I just can´t relate to the music and therefore find it difficult to play it. It´s not the way Ringo plays it´s the overall sound and feel. The music is sort of alien to me, always has been. I am most likely a case study for someone.
 

RayB

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I struggled with this as you mentioned no reference to the one and if the guitarist doesn’t count it in its hard to know( and he didn’t have a clue either!)
I found this online when I was learning it. Ah its all so Easy now
I've been drumming 50+ years and recently played in a band covering the Eagles "Take It Easy". Middle tempo, easy-going songs like this can be challenging. Nothing to do with chops, but I struggle a bit knowing which pattern fits best. Straight eighth notes on hi hat doesn't always work great (depending on the tempo and/or what the rhythm guitar is strumming). Sometimes I play this hi hat pattern: One -&-uh Two-e-&-uh Three-&-uh Four-e-&-uh, in a relaxed way. In the verse, sometimes just kick with snare on 2 and 4, then I add a hi hat pattern during the "Take It Easy" refrain.
Mellow songs are tricky because you don't want to rush but you also want to drive it a little. And lyrics matter: you really do want to "Take it easy". Similarly, in a tune like "The Bottle Let Me Down", I respect the lyrics and play a little loose and sloppy.
I feel particularly satisfied when I nail down a ballad or medium tempo with the right feel. High energy tunes are easier to play (though they can get crazy when guys keep cranking up their amps, I pound too much and it feels like band is on intravenous 5-hour energy).
Anyway, I've heard plenty more drummers mess up medium tempos than fast ones.
By the way, did you ever hear or see video of the classic Benny Goodman quartet? Benny on clarinet, Lionel Hampton on vibes, Terry Wilson piano, and Mr. Krupa on drums. Acoustic volume; clarinet is a relatively quiet instrument. They do a beautiful version of "Moonglow" at a relaxed tempo. Krupa plays sticks with a lot of energy, really wailing away, but NEVER overpowers the clarinet or other instruments. No rushing either. Can you play a whole dynamic range, with sticks, and not drown out a clarinet??
Something gained and something lost as drumming evolves. The old greats had a sense of tempo and dynamics most of us today can't come close to.
How are your dynamics?
 

RayB

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I think that's it entirely, with the Beatles stuff, I mean. And I say this from experience, Ringo was a lefty playing righty. Me too. Some guy named Billy Cobham as well.
Bonzo's juggernaut interpretation of Little Richard's 'Keep a Knockin' beat (that's probably Earl Palmer as an 'Upsetter' responsible for that one originally. Eluded me so effectively, I danced like Elaine from Sinefeld on the first couple bars of Rock and Roll forever until a tremendous talent I had the good fortune to be in over my head with said 'You know the first couple of notes aren't on the recording, right? That curtain keeping me from feeling this damned thing for so long was lifted at last with just 12words.
And we weren't even old enough to buy a pack of smokes. (RIP Tim Bryson)
Yeah, that's Earl Palmer on "Keep A Knocking". I really think it would enhance anyones playing to listen to the records Earl Palmer made in New Orleans with Little Richard, Fats Domino and a lot more, including Shirley and Lee classics like "Let the Good Times Roll" and "Feel So Good". He was one of the best back beat drummers of all time and really responsible for creating a good deal of rock drumming. In fact, it's kind of ironic a lot of American rock drummers learned beats from British drummers, who had originally learned them from Earl Palmer and other American drummers.

In his autobiography "Backbeat", Palmer explains he was a jazz drummer using ride and shuffle beats most of the time. Then this super exuberant singer, Little Richard, came into the studio and pounded the piano on his uptempo songs. The shuffle beat sounded too staccato at those tempos, so Palmer began playing straight 8 notes. It happened naturally and by "Keep A Knocking" he nailed down a "rock and roll" beat. Palmer went on to become a top LA studio musician, recording for an incredible range of performers (from Sinatra to the Byrds, iconic TV and movie soundtracks). He could sight read intricate charts and play any style of music; enjoyed the New Orleans back beats he recorded but had no idea at the time it would define his legacy. He recalled how record producers in LA would sometimes ask him to sound "whiter" for pop and rock records, which he could easily do, ensuring him plenty of work.
Whenever I dug someone's drumming in any style, I always wanted to know who he listened to, and in turn, who that guy listened to...same thing with all musicians I love. You start to appreciate the greatness and creativity of Elvin Jones, Jo Jones, Baby Dodds, Lester Young, Jimmy Blanton, Louis Armstrong and others. With the internet, you can hear them all. Doesn't mean you have to play "retro"; it enriches what you're playing now without thinking about it.
 

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Yeah, that's Earl Palmer on "Keep A Knocking". I really think it would enhance anyones playing to listen to the records Earl Palmer made in New Orleans with Little Richard, Fats Domino and a lot more, including Shirley and Lee classics like "Let the Good Times Roll" and "Feel So Good". He was one of the best back beat drummers of all time and really responsible for creating a good deal of rock drumming. In fact, it's kind of ironic a lot of American rock drummers learned beats from British drummers, who had originally learned them from Earl Palmer and other American drummers.

In his autobiography "Backbeat", Palmer explains he was a jazz drummer using ride and shuffle beats most of the time. Then this super exuberant singer, Little Richard, came into the studio and pounded the piano on his uptempo songs. The shuffle beat sounded too staccato at those tempos, so Palmer began playing straight 8 notes. It happened naturally and by "Keep A Knocking" he nailed down a "rock and roll" beat. Palmer went on to become a top LA studio musician, recording for an incredible range of performers (from Sinatra to the Byrds, iconic TV and movie soundtracks). He could sight read intricate charts and play any style of music; enjoyed the New Orleans back beats he recorded but had no idea at the time it would define his legacy. He recalled how record producers in LA would sometimes ask him to sound "whiter" for pop and rock records, which he could easily do, ensuring him plenty of work.
Whenever I dug someone's drumming in any style, I always wanted to know who he listened to, and in turn, who that guy listened to...same thing with all musicians I love. You start to appreciate the greatness and creativity of Elvin Jones, Jo Jones, Baby Dodds, Lester Young, Jimmy Blanton, Louis Armstrong and others. With the internet, you can hear them all. Doesn't mean you have to play "retro"; it enriches what you're playing now without thinking about it.
Nice!
Yeah, that's Earl Palmer on "Keep A Knocking". I really think it would enhance anyones playing to listen to the records Earl Palmer made in New Orleans with Little Richard, Fats Domino and a lot more, including Shirley and Lee classics like "Let the Good Times Roll" and "Feel So Good". He was one of the best back beat drummers of all time and really responsible for creating a good deal of rock drumming. In fact, it's kind of ironic a lot of American rock drummers learned beats from British drummers, who had originally learned them from Earl Palmer and other American drummers.

In his autobiography "Backbeat", Palmer explains he was a jazz drummer using ride and shuffle beats most of the time. Then this super exuberant singer, Little Richard, came into the studio and pounded the piano on his uptempo songs. The shuffle beat sounded too staccato at those tempos, so Palmer began playing straight 8 notes. It happened naturally and by "Keep A Knocking" he nailed down a "rock and roll" beat. Palmer went on to become a top LA studio musician, recording for an incredible range of performers (from Sinatra to the Byrds, iconic TV and movie soundtracks). He could sight read intricate charts and play any style of music; enjoyed the New Orleans back beats he recorded but had no idea at the time it would define his legacy. He recalled how record producers in LA would sometimes ask him to sound "whiter" for pop and rock records, which he could easily do, ensuring him plenty of work.
Whenever I dug someone's drumming in any style, I always wanted to know who he listened to, and in turn, who that guy listened to...same thing with all musicians I love. You start to appreciate the greatness and creativity of Elvin Jones, Jo Jones, Baby Dodds, Lester Young, Jimmy Blanton, Louis Armstrong and others. With the internet, you can hear them all. Doesn't mean you have to play "retro"; it enriches what you're playing now without thinking about it.
Nice! Funny your anecdote re the fascination with British drummers held by us here in the US. More than thrice, Clapton has told the same story with regard to American blues guitar worshiping Brits confused by being idolized with top 10 hits and record breaking performance attendance while their influences barely eeked a living on the Chitlin Circuit.
Haven't yet read the Earl Palmer story but ever since his name kept falling in with the likes of 60s-70s Hollywood 'A' listers Hal Blaine Jim Keltner and Jim Gordon he was on my radar. Even at 16yo this SoCal whiteboy knew Earl wasn't related to Carl if you know what I mean. What a pocket. One last, get ahold of Mac Rebenack's autobio Under a Hoodoo Moon. Storyteller from Storyville, Creole, New Orleane that he (Dr John) is, you can bet it's a non-stop page turner. Besides how losing a finger in a poker game ended his status as 1st call studio session guitarist the insight he brings as to how The Big Easy narrowly missed being the recording capitol of the world instead of Hollywood is a nice slice of little known R&R history. One big reason why NOLA was poised was the roster of hitmakers who resided there. Fats Domino, Neville Family, Prof Longhair, Zigaboo, Palmer etc. As you mentioned, their versatility and hit making track record ensured they ruled the roost until corruption and graft from street to state level spoilt the gumbo for investors and a few years later that crown was worn by
PLos Angeles' Wrecking Crew. But that's another story. Thanks for yours! Time to sign off as I do believe I'll have myself a bit of woodshedding.
Cheers!
P
 

Ludwigboy

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I struggled with this as you mentioned no reference to the one and if the guitarist doesn’t count it in its hard to know( and he didn’t have a clue either!)
I found this online when I was learning it. Ah its all so Easy now
Thanks for this....it has been SOOO helpful!
 

wtc

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This one has bugged me for decades. And it's probably really simple.

It's the individual snare hits coming out of the chorus following the solo. It doesn't seem to line up with 4/4 when he goes down to the toms. Any help would be appreciated.

Susie Dramas Elton John
 

DamnSingerAlsoDrums

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This one has bugged me for decades. And it's probably really simple.

It's the individual snare hits coming out of the chorus following the solo. It doesn't seem to line up with 4/4 when he goes down to the toms. Any help would be appreciated.

Susie Dramas Elton John
Honky Chateau is a terrific album. Nigel has got a great feel as always. Maybe the slap-back echo throws you off or the fact that Elton sings a rythmicaly busy line over the first 2 bars of the fill? Have you tried counting in 8th notes instead of in quarters? Uh 1- uh 2- uh 3- uh 4...that's what I do, and everything lines up nicely. Although Nigel is stretching the pocket quiiiiiite a bit, as he does most of the time.

Sorry I can't explain it better, some "real" drummer will chime in. Suffice it to say that if I can get it, you sure can too!!
 

tnsquint

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Although this young dude is 2000% more skilled than I will ever be and his fun is contagious, this is a style of over the top chops galore drumming I don't care much for. He would be warmly thanked and gently nudged off stage after one song, were he to play on my gig. ;):salute:
Thank goodness you get to play your gigs and he plays his. It’s a very different style that is absolutely intended to be played live. I work with guys like this all the time and love it. Also, once you hear it in context with the entire live ensemble and not just “drum forward” it is a very different and exhilarating experience.

If every drummer were entirely relegated to some simplified version of “playing for the song”, wouldn’t music become far more homogenized? Why would that ever be a good thing. Nothing would ever move the art forward. I love playing for the song, don’t get me wrong, but there are other styles of music out there that may be different. It’s unfortunate that most people only know “gospel chops” from watching YouTube videos like this and have not experienced this live with a great band great singers and a great audience. Two very different things.

I never thought Billy Cobham, Dave Weckl, Lenny White or any other masters of fusion music were overplaying. This style of music is absolutely where jazz fusion, pop, soul and rock collide.

Ok, rant over.

To the original post, when I moved to Nashville, I was shocked at just how hard it was to play one of those traditional 6/8 ballads and make it really feel great. For a while it felt so plodding and forced, trying to keep the darn thing in tempo. Took me a while to figure out how to relax and let it breathe without rushing.

….and learning to play and sing “Touch and Go” by the Cars…..
 

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There are two that give me some problems. "The Chicken" where the hit is after the stop and Spain where I screw up every time .... :(
The hardest part of The Chicken was teaching it to my bass player.
Spain gets me every time. My teacher wrote it out for me and I still screw it up.

JH
 


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