John Bonham

dothecrunge

Senior Member
Re: Favorite Bonzo Track EVER?

drumslaveDave said:
Being lucky to see Zep play not once but 3 times, I'd have to say ANY LIVE Moby Dick would make your head hurt for a week or 2 and not from the volume level but tryin to figure out what he was doing..

NEVER MIND THE POST BELOW HE NEVER SAW ZEP LIVE

Did you know Zep was an improv/jam band? Check out more than just the studio cuts and Song Remains the Same and you'll see that. Find some bootleg stuff or some LIVE BBC stuff you'll get the drift.
Which shows?

20 characters
 

Phrase

Junior Member
Re: Favorite Bonzo Track EVER?

Good Times Bad Times - those broken triplets are a nightmare to get right (unless you cheat and use a double pedal!)

Check out my Led Zep tribute band's clips here
 

pdp 9091

Gold Member
Re: Favorite Bonzo Track EVER?

ooo man....so many great grooves....i kind of like his blues stuff the best...."since ive been loving you" is a simple song to play but it just sticks out to me for some reason....i just love that "bluesey" feel that goes along with that song....and of course on the dvd the Denmark Radio part of the dvd on the first dvd in the clips......communication breakdown.....dazed and confused....babe im gonna leave you.....and how many more times.....just those 4 songs its my favorite on the dvd....sooooo crazy with those fills on dazed and confused.....and even on how many more times....(on how many more times if u notice towards the end where the drums and the guitar comes back in bonham does his fills and starts on the ride and jimmy and john paul just look at each other confused for a second and then they come in and go back into the song.)......and the fill at the end of achilles last stand on the dvd is crazy

but in order my favorite bonham grooves

1. when the levee breaks
2. Since ive been loving you
3. dazed and confused
 

pcmckay

Senior Member
The tunes I enjoy playing to are:
1. OUT ON THE TILES

2. MISTY MOUNTAIN HOP

3. FOOL IN THE RAIN

4. ACHILLES LAST STAND

5. THE CRUNGE
 

theduke86

Senior Consultant
Man, you Bohnam-ites need to chill. John Bohnam is my favorite rock drummer and in my top ten drummers of all time. That being said, his chops are not insurmountable. Most of his stuff is pretty basic conceptually. He pulls his right foot stuff off cleanly and extremely effectively, and all in a great pocket- I love his drumming. For pure chops, many, many drummers have bested Bonzo. At that time, for example, Tony Williams could probably double his right foot (let's not even talk about the left foot) dexterity. Does that make John Bohnam worse? No way! He's a legendary drummer! His work stands alone despite that people have done better.
What I love about him is his groove- he's got one of the best pockets I can think about.
It has been stated earlier in this thread that John Bohnam cannot be analyzed because there are way too many secrets in his drumming. Not so. I've heard some drummers do an awesome John Bohnam impression. I don't think there is any drummer that is stylistically untouchable, except Elvin Jones. I've heard two drummers do a good Elvin impression. Roy Haynes and Ian Froman (who's a teacher out at berklee- incredible player and teacher) could both cop that vibe well- but not exactly like Elvin.
Bonzo has been copped many times. He's such an influence, I can't even begin to name some of the drummers. I'll start. Jeff Porcaro, Carlos Vega, Abe Laboriel Jr. , Josh Freese, Simon Phillips and MANY others could do a Bonzo impression very closely. I've never heard them do an intentional Bonzo impression, but I'm positive they could if they wanted. Nearly EVERY good rock drummer in the world today has gone through a John Bohnam worship stage. Every good drummer been checked out and analyzed. Actually, John Bohnam's been analyzed more than any drummer except possibly Steve Gadd or Tony Williams. If you transcribe and listen to enough of a player, you can sound very close to him after a while. If you are dedicated, have the help of a teacher if you need it and if you go through and transcribe the player's body of work in a logical order, and study his influences, you WILL end up sounding like him.
You want to sound like Vinnie? Go through the Gary Chaffee books, get great drum-corps hands, transcribe a ton of Tony Williams and Alphonze Mouzon, then get the new Randy Waldman book that'll give you Vinnie exercises and transcriptions. Then go and transcribe all the Zappa, Sting and Karizma stuff. Then, go develop ADD. Then you'll probably sound a lot like Vinnie and people will love you. Five years and thousands of hours of practice later.I can go through a few drummers like this- Tony Williams, Dennis Chambers, Weckl, and so on- I can even go through horn players like this. Want to know how Chris Potter got as good as he did? Go transcribe John Coltrane, Sonny Stitt, Wayne Shorter and Michael Brecker. And so on.
You want to be John Bonham? Get a nasty right foot, learn your rudiments, learn to play blues and old school rock extremely well, then transcribe all the beats and fills you like from his performances.
None of these guys, except for Buddy Rich or Elvin Jones is untouchable. Buddy because he's a chops virtuoso and Elvin for his concept of time. You can analyze Elvin's solos easily enough- it's his time playing that gets me. Likewise, given very hard study for an endured period of time, you can learn to play exactly like John Bohnam.
 

Bonham to the moon

Senior Member
Of course TheDuke, this all your opinion. With every drummer that has ever been, theres going to be a guy that comes out that is faster, and can imitate them. But what it comes down to is originality. Every solo that has ever been played can be stripped down and imitated, but its the person who created it that needs the credit. A guy whos been playing for a couple of months might be able to play the groove from When the Levee breaks, but it was Bonham who heard the rest of the song and layed it down originally. i know that Bonham didnt have the greatest chops of all time, there may be a few cats that can play Pat's Delight, but its Bonham that created the masterpiece. You say that Elvin Jones cannot be imitated stylistically, how so? i've heard many people lay down a groove that imitates Elvin. You also say that those who have gotten close to Elvin's playing still cant get it exactly. I've yet to hear anyone get Bonhams groove exactly, unless they added effects in the studio. And if anyone does get it exactly, as with any other drummer, it is because they have studied and transcribed their playing, not because they have come up with it themselves. If you studied any drummer for long enough and transcribed their songs note for note, than you can imitate them exactly, even Rich, Jones.
 

theduke86

Senior Consultant
Bonham to the moon said:
Of course TheDuke, this all your opinion. With every drummer that has ever been, theres going to be a guy that comes out that is faster, and can imitate them. But what it comes down to is originality. Every solo that has ever been played can be stripped down and imitated, but its the person who created it that needs the credit. A guy whos been playing for a couple of months might be able to play the groove from When the Levee breaks, but it was Bonham who heard the rest of the song and layed it down originally. i know that Bonham didnt have the greatest chops of all time, there may be a few cats that can play Pat's Delight, but its Bonham that created the masterpiece. You say that Elvin Jones cannot be imitated stylistically, how so? i've heard many people lay down a groove that imitates Elvin. You also say that those who have gotten close to Elvin's playing still cant get it exactly. I've yet to hear anyone get Bonhams groove exactly, unless they added effects in the studio. And if anyone does get it exactly, as with any other drummer, it is because they have studied and transcribed their playing, not because they have come up with it themselves. If you studied any drummer for long enough and transcribed their songs note for note, than you can imitate them exactly, even Rich, Jones.
Uh, well, it's actually not a subjective matter of opinion. I wasn't really calling into question John Bohnam's originality, at all. Nor his greatness- just because someone can be imitated doesn't mean someone isn't great- in fact I think if someone is imitated it can mean right away they are great. I was actually refuting your illogical statement that there are too many secrets behind Bonzo's drumming to figure his stuff out. This is very untrue. If you play along to records enough, or loops of Bonzo grooves, and figure out his chops, you will figure out Bonzo. You can't really, in respect, disagree with me, because this is the way it has always been done. Abe Laboriel, I'm sure, can do an amazing John Bohnam impression. I can clearly see and hear it in his playing. You're just taking my remarks as being disparaging, because, you know, anything less than TOTAL worship of John Bohnam is not right.

In respect to Elvin Jones, Elvin Jones is untouchable because of the way he could yank things in and out of time and come back to the beat. He could reef on beats so hard and come right back in on time. I've never heard anyone with the exception of Roy Haynes who is able to play so elastically. Roy can't even do it as well as Elvin. His concept of time is alien- no one has any idea how he thinks about groove or time therefore no one can figure out how he plays the way he does. There are some Elvin things that are very doable- but not most of the more extreme stuff. I haven't heard anyone do the stuff that he does. With Bohnam, or any other great groove drummer, I can understand what they're playing... example "Okay, Bohnam is counting quarter notes and emphasizing 2 and 4 on Rock and Roll". Or, "Okay Bohnam is emphasizing offbeats on Immigrant Song" to name a couple. If you can get the beat and time and feel it like the drummer is, you can play it exactly like him. No one knows what Elvin was thinking. When he played swing he grunted offbeats- you can hear him on some albums doing that loudly. But for the harder stuff, drum scholars are without a clue.
As for Buddy, he had an X factor- a once in a generation virtuositic abillity that hasn't been equaled. He is the Mozart, Paganini, Parker or Gould of our instrument- he will not be equaled.
 
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finnhiggins

GONE MUCH TOO EARLY!!!
I'm with our man TheDuke. It is entirely possible to imitate Bonham. Here's how you do it:

1) Transcribe enough that you understand his phrasing and approach to orchestration of grooves and fills.
2) Sit down with a sequencer and, by means of looping and programming sequenced drums over the top, work out exactly where Bonham is placing his notes relative to the beat.
3) Work on your tuning and technique. Tune open, hit the drums nice and hard (but without hitting "through the drum") in the centre of the head and use the right drum sizes. Spend time just hitting drums trying to work on your touch, ignoring any issues of what parts you're going to play.

If you understand those three attributes of Bonham's playing - his touch/tone, his timing and his part selection - then you're going to be able to imitate it given enough practice, recording and analysis of your own playing.

Elvin is considerably more tricky because, as TheDuke86 said, his ability to bend time is as big a part of his feel as his tone or part selection. It's not hard to sit down and work out what Elvin is playing, or how his drums sound. It's virtually impossible to work out a logical "what-would-Elvin-do" formula for his timing, which is what makes him so hard to imitate.
 

jonescrusher

Pioneer Member
theduke86 said:
You want to sound like Vinnie? Go through the Gary Chaffee books, get great drum-corps hands, transcribe a ton of Tony Williams and Alphonze Mouzon, then get the new Randy Waldman book that'll give you Vinnie exercises and transcriptions. Then go and transcribe all the Zappa, Sting and Karizma stuff. Then, go develop ADD. Then you'll probably sound a lot like Vinnie and people will love you. Five years and thousands of hours of practice later.I can go through a few drummers like this- Tony Williams, Dennis Chambers, Weckl, and so on- I can even go through horn players like this.
This is a great piece of writing, Duke.
 

theduke86

Senior Consultant
Thanks Finn and jones....
My one big beef with people is when they are so totally in love with a person they say no one could ever play like him again. Not so. It's easy to see where people come from! Everyone has their influences. Even musical prodigies like Charlie Parker, John Coltrane... One can see clearly that John Coltrane copped Dexter Gordon, Charlie Parker played like Lester Young, a little bit. Even though both were absolute virtuosos and will NEVER be outdone, you can still imitate. There are a few one can't. But I see where these guys are coming from.
 
F

fixmejesus

Guest
finnhiggins said:
I'm with our man TheDuke. It is entirely possible to imitate Bonham. Here's how you do it:

1) Transcribe enough that you understand his phrasing and approach to orchestration of grooves and fills.
2) Sit down with a sequencer and, by means of looping and programming sequenced drums over the top, work out exactly where Bonham is placing his notes relative to the beat.
3) Work on your tuning and technique. Tune open, hit the drums nice and hard (but without hitting "through the drum") in the centre of the head and use the right drum sizes. Spend time just hitting drums trying to work on your touch, ignoring any issues of what parts you're going to play.

If you understand those three attributes of Bonham's playing - his touch/tone, his timing and his part selection - then you're going to be able to imitate it given enough practice, recording and analysis of your own playing.

Elvin is considerably more tricky because, as TheDuke86 said, his ability to bend time is as big a part of his feel as his tone or part selection. It's not hard to sit down and work out what Elvin is playing, or how his drums sound. It's virtually impossible to work out a logical "what-would-Elvin-do" formula for his timing, which is what makes him so hard to imitate.
OK, then go ahead and try it and post it here under "your playing". You guys are just full of it. Prove me wrong.
 

theduke86

Senior Consultant
http://www.drummerworld.com/Videos/johnbonhamtech.html
That's a guy doing Bonzo vibe very well who isn't even that well known. Plus he looks quite young! Check out Abe Laboriel- ANYTHING for a huge Bohnam influence.
I love how I throw the old reason bug into the debate, give reasons why it's easier to reproduce Bohnam than Elvin or Buddy and then you tell me "No, Bohnam R00LZ0R5 so no one can reproduce it. That video isn't a pure reproduction as I'm sure some would be capable of. One thing's for sure. It's a lot closer to Bohnam than anyone's come to Elvin. Except maybe Froman.
Once again, I'm in NO WAY disparaging John Bohnam- I love his drumming. I think his stuff is awesome. I think it's much, much easier to cop the feel than Elvin or Buddy. As is Tony Williams. Or Max Roach. I know where those guys are coming from. I don't know how Elvin came about. Or Buddy. No one knows! This doesn't necessarily make them better- that argument is stupid and I don't want to have it. It makes them much harder to authentically imitate than Bonzo. And imitating Bonzo takes years of study. Concentrated, hard study. But it can be done with the proper methodology and proof. There are a lot of guys who can sound like Bonham clones. Same thing goes for drummers like Gadd, Tony, Weckl, Max. Any of the drummers who have been academized and analyzed can be imitated. There are parts of Elvin Jones' drumming that we will most likely never understand. If anyone finds out the secret to his time playing, please let me know so I can pay you one million dollars for a lesson. Thank you.
 

Bonzo91

Senior Member
pdp 9091 said:
ya i probably have watched that dvd 4 million times...lol....but in my opinion i think he was at his greatest on the second dvd because he was more mature in his style of drumming- more controlled and even tamed (if that makes sense)....dont get me wrong bonzo was soooooo great on the first disc but i think as he got older and matured more from the 21 year old he was on the first disc to the 30 year old he was at Knebworth...he picked up more of controll with his fills/technique. Just take the fills in Kashmir for example....totaly amazing....but all in all....awesome dvd!



I kinda of like him when he was about 21 he was juest out there lol and he looked cooler as he began to grow older he started looking like a grizly lol. Though as years went by he began to have more control. And i still think his one of the greatest drummers of all time.
 

mattsmith

Platinum Member
Bonham to the moon said:
exactly, same goes for Elvin. If you can show me some drumming that i would mistake for Bonham, then i'll shut up.
No, I really don't think you would. It's like you guys have some secret handshake or something.

All anybody was sayin' anyway was that Bonham stuff could be analyzed and imitated. So can Mel Lewis. So can alot of Gadd. It doesn't mean it's not great. And naw, Its not an opinion that Bonham's music can be imitated. It's fact. Every time I read that, you turn it into your own put down while at the same time, you acuse the other guy of sayin' how he disrespects you. Its nothing but your own code for saying "you're just not cool enough to get it.' Give me a break.

I think this is more about how too many Bonham fanatics don't seem to see the existence of ANY other great drummer. I mean you get great explanations of another viewpoint that even then still praises your guy, and all you ever say is "oh yeah" or "prove it to me." Duke and Finn explained it to you with perfect logic. If you disagree prove it to them man. This is a discussion forum, not religious conversion.

You know, I used to think how funny it was watchin' these guys like elvin4ever talkin' about the godlike qualities of Buddy Rich. But you know what I see? All those Rich fanatics are all over this forum talkin' like experts on the matters of all drummers not just Buddy Rich.

Look Bonham is great for sure. I love his playing too. But come on.
 

Bonzo91

Senior Member
If you can't tell the difference between the real Bonzo and the Immitation than your no Bonham fan. How can you not, even though he can be immitated you can still tell, bonhams always got that certain tone and everytimr you hear him youd feel thunder rudshing through you, but when its an immitator you can tell they tend to play softer or have a much different style.
 

BellsOfRhymney

Senior Member
There is no arguing Bonham's greatness, total class and taste, every song, every lick, and it all holds up today like no other ...amazing how good he was.
 
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