So....how long should it take to learn....

New Tricks

Platinum Member
...the intro to Def Leppard's Rock Of Ages?

It should be a no brainer, right?

Just keep the cowbell going and it's a simpleish kick and snare pattern, right?

I had to map it out and play it at least 50 times before I could keep the cowbell going at the end of the first half. After maybe a hundred times I can do it easy enough by following the map. I finally managed to do it 5 times in a row without looking.

I am anticipating several hundred more repetitions to be 100% comfortable and play it on autopilot. My brain doesn't like this pattern.

It's a good thing I don't have a job :)
 

ineedaclutch

Platinum Member
Ha good stuff. Sounds like you got it. I like to learn parts like this w/o the timekeeper, which would be the cowbell quarters in this case. After you internalize the pattern then you know you just have to add on quarters on something. It could be right hand, left hand, feet, or another appendage. That thinking has helped greatly on Latin patterns where a clave is the root.
 
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ConcertTom

Senior Member
I just came across my rough transcription of this intro from years ago when I was very briefly in a DL tribute band. Funny enough was that I transcribed it wrong. In the end I think the ESSENCE of that intro is more important than playing it perfect. Just pretend you're a hair-rocker kind of half ass pretending to play a generic and slow James Brown beat, but with a cowbell on all 4s.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
...the intro to Def Leppard's Rock Of Ages?

It should be a no brainer, right?

Just keep the cowbell going and it's a simpleish kick and snare pattern, right?

I had to map it out and play it at least 50 times before I could keep the cowbell going at the end of the first half. After maybe a hundred times I can do it easy enough by following the map. I finally managed to do it 5 times in a row without looking.

I am anticipating several hundred more repetitions to be 100% comfortable and play it on autopilot. My brain doesn't like this pattern.

It's a good thing I don't have a job :)
That is not hard. You need to switch the "pop-heavy-metal" mode off in your brain and turn on the "James Gadsen Funk" mode instead. It's easy. The long hair leather/pretty guys have you confused ;)
 

Woolwich

Silver Member
I’ve just listened to it for the first time. It’s not a simpleish kick and snare pattern at all. I reckon you could blag it and get away with it but to do it properly 100% of the time will take some effort as you’ve discovered.
Let’s not forget Rick Allen was playing professionally at the age of 15 and, according to Wikipaedia, played the legendary Hammersmith Odeon on his 16th birthday. That he played traditional grip at a time when matched grip was de rigeur for drummers suggests he had a background of lessons and he was and still is no slouch behind the drum kit.
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
Having just watched the video, the cow bell is being played separately so you can dump that bit.
 

J-Boogie

Gold Member
Is that one of the albums where its all Mutt Langes fingers doing the drumming? These things will get easier to get down in time. You will get better and better as you progress at being able to produce on the kit, what you can create in your head. Takes time for everyone tho. Good info on Rick, thanks for sharing that Wool
 

New Tricks

Platinum Member
I reckon you could blag it and get away with it but to do it properly 100% of the time will take some effort as you’ve discovered.
Like a lot of drummers, I fake my way through my share of stuff but this seems like it's important :)

You need to switch the "pop-heavy-metal" mode off in your brain and turn on the "James Gadsen Funk" mode instead. It's easy. The long hair leather/pretty guys have you confused ;)
Can't....comprehend....this ^. ;).
Also, I've seen you play and I'm not nearly as coordinated as you! I am stubborn though and I will eventually imprint it into my brain.
 

Hollywood Jim

Platinum Member
Yeah that's a hard one to learn. Maybe you need to learn it without your left arm. (Sorry just had to say that).
Watch live performances. He does it just fine without his left. Seems easier to play using the left foot as the snare drum. LOL
Maybe because it's easier to disconnect your arm patterns from your leg patterns.

I had lots of trouble learning Life In The Fast Lane by the Eagles. I learned it, stopped playing it and quickly forgot how to play it. It's a brain twister.


.
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
Watching Def Leppard play it live shows the drummer playing cow bell, bass drum and snare. (with no left arm I might add)


.
Well I stand corrected-I should have known-more cowbell. One armed-that's right. I think about that with all the real technical technique folks-does it really matter as long as you get it done? Course I just might be sensitive cause my technique sucks.
 

Hollywood Jim

Platinum Member
Rick Allen lost his arm after this track. His amputation was 1985, this song was 1983. Not trying to be a jerk, but this was 10 arm Def Leppard, not 9 arm.
Yeah I kind of thought that might be the case. But when I saw the video of him playing the song with the cow bell live with no left arm I decided I’d mention it. Check it out on YouTube. Thanks for the details.



.
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
I remember there was this fella in my hometown born with no arms, just passed away recently. I remember going to this rural country store he worked picking up a RC Cola and moon pie and he worked their filling up people vehicles with gas or diesel and also managed the cash register. It always amazed me he could dress himself, drive, mow the lawn, married and had a family-etc. handle anything just as well as anyone else. That was my first hint that a "handicap" isn't defined by the condition but the person. It's a hard mind set to break-as my mentor with my masters degree had a prosthetic arm. I initially would try to help-thinking he's got a handicap and needs it-oh silly me. He could do anything with better dexterity than I. And he had a fireproof hand-which I was doing tissue culture where you use ethanol to sterilize your hands, and I was working over an open flame which inevitably I'd catch myself on fire. Another friend tripped in his yard and is now a paraplegic having some arm movement and though he can't walk (well he can stand and slowly with a stand and assistance) he works out everyday and is probably in better shape than I-also he goes to work everyday and runs his business. Took me awhile to realize I'm the one with a handicap in my mindset. In a way Aging is a process of "handicapping" as we lose our special senses, lose cognitive abilities, lose muscle mass, lose bone mass, etc. But it's only handicapping as much as you let it. It's inspiring to see people overcome adversities in their lives, and it is really convicting of my good fortune when I start getting depressed or complain about minor inconveniences.
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
And the obvious answer is , it depends on your skill level, your desire, and how much time you spend on it. I would listen , listen, listen a ton before siting down to play it and almost learn to sing or hum along first.
 

New Tricks

Platinum Member
And the obvious answer is , it depends on your skill level, your desire, and how much time you spend on it. I would listen , listen, listen a ton before siting down to play it and almost learn to sing or hum along first.

Skill level. It amazes me that someone skilled enough could sit down, look at the written music and play something the first time. I was never anywhere close to that level and could never be close to that level.

Desire. I am somewhat driven. I do get some satisfaction from playing things "correctly" even when it will generally go unnoticed by most.

Time. Time is a two part thing. I have plenty of time on a daily basis but not that much time left on the planet :). That's why I choose my battles.

Listening. In the olden days you had to lift the needle off and onto the record to hear a part repeated. It was such a PITA, you were usually satisfied with "close enough". With today's technology, the excuses are far fewer. But, even with the technological advantages I have, this seemingly simple task has been not so simple for me.

I have however progressed in the last couple of days and I will have it ready before anyone else in the band. The part that was throwing me (the end of the first half) is no longer an issue. The whole intro is now 80% imprinted but I still have to think (not my strong suit).
 
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