Songs With Bored Drummers

You ever listen to a song and, even though the song might be pretty good, you can just tell the drummer is bored out of his mind?

A good example of this would be "All of My Love" by Zeppelin:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qBI_Av00_Fo

I heard that on the radio last night and I was just chuckling. Bonzo sounds so bored, and uses the same two or three fills over and over.

Any other great 'bored drummer' songs you guys can think of?
 

PQleyR

Platinum Member
I think he might just be trying to play for the song...

I know he didn't like playing D'yer Mak'er very much though.
 

MileHighDrummer

Senior Member
Nope. Because it's likely that any drummer I hear on a tape, CD, radio or other medium is already having a much better time than I had at the same time he/she was recording the session.
 

Pocket-full-of-gold

Platinum Member
How do you apply a definitive on matters of taste?

I've heard lots that I personally feel is boring......and usually I find the drum parts to be the least of the problem. However, it is impossible to tell if the players were as bored when tracking it as I was when listening.
 

8Mile

Platinum Member
You ever listen to a song and, even though the song might be pretty good, you can just tell the drummer is bored out of his mind?

A good example of this would be "All of My Love" by Zeppelin:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qBI_Av00_Fo

I heard that on the radio last night and I was just chuckling. Bonzo sounds so bored, and uses the same two or three fills over and over.

Any other great 'bored drummer' songs you guys can think of?
It's funny you mention that song, because I have to admit, I always thought it sounded like Bonzo kind of phoned it in on that performance. Not saying he did, but it gave me that impression, too.

I think of Neil Peart's drumming on Closer To The Heart the same way. It's got some fills and everything, but it's one of the few uneven performances on record by Neil. Say what you will about his groove (or lack thereof), he was meticulous about his drum parts on record but I think that one kind of falls short. Just my opinion.
 

opentune

Platinum Member
I quite like that song, the simple drum parts, but agree he was playing for the song, and thats simply what it required. My guess, however, given the other tunes on that album, is that on the doorstep of the 80's, Zep were headed in a direction that Bonzo would not have liked - synthesizers etc. There were also 2 camps going in the band by then - and I actually would have predicted they split up in the 80's...how about that? OK off topic now.
 

Tommy_D

Platinum Member
I find most Zepplin songs boring, so your example doesnt surprise me.

Pretty much all songs that go nowhere I find quite boring. This is what draws me to progressive music, for drumming at least. I enjoy rock music and music that has a good driving beat, but I just am not inspired to play Zepplin, even the great "fool in the rain". Boring... It has three beats throughout its entirety. Shuffle, 3 over 4, and samba. But it goes back and forth between shuffle and 3 over 4 over and over again for minutes. Finally, a break and you get this samba beat for about 20 seconds. Yay, something different! Then you are thrown right back to the original shuffle again to finish the song. Ugg.... Enough with the damn shuffle!

I was listening to Mangini playing on the latest Dream Theater album tonight and I lose count of how many different beats he plays in each and every song. Every verse, bridge and chorus are different. Timing signatures change constantly, there is never a single fill repeated. Every song is like this. Nothing is phoned in. Are some songs simpler than others? Of course, but even the simplest of songs he plays is far more musically complex than anything from the great "Bonzo".

This is probably a generational thing, like how old people say "back in my day, we didnt have all this fancy hulla-baloo." Maybe progressive music is a lot of fancy hulla-baloo, but the old classic stuff is just not doing it for me. Its simple, straight forward and mostly boring to me.

So if I had to pick out bored drummer songs I would pick many classic rock songs, and lots of Beatles music.
 

Michaelocalypse

Senior Member
I've heard dozens of songs where I was pretty sure the drummer was bored out of his mind. I have one image that sticks in my mind though. I saw a video of System Of A Down and it looked like John Dolmayan was seconds away from just dropping his sticks, walking off to a bench and having a nap out of boredom.
 

picodon

Silver Member
I find most Zepplin songs boring, so your example doesnt surprise me.

Pretty much all songs that go nowhere I find quite boring. This is what draws me to progressive music, for drumming at least. I enjoy rock music and music that has a good driving beat, but I just am not inspired to play Zepplin, even the great "fool in the rain". Boring... It has three beats throughout its entirety. Shuffle, 3 over 4, and samba. But it goes back and forth between shuffle and 3 over 4 over and over again for minutes. Finally, a break and you get this samba beat for about 20 seconds. Yay, something different! Then you are thrown right back to the original shuffle again to finish the song. Ugg.... Enough with the damn shuffle!

I was listening to Mangini playing on the latest Dream Theater album tonight and I lose count of how many different beats he plays in each and every song. Every verse, bridge and chorus are different. Timing signatures change constantly, there is never a single fill repeated. Every song is like this. Nothing is phoned in. Are some songs simpler than others? Of course, but even the simplest of songs he plays is far more musically complex than anything from the great "Bonzo".

This is probably a generational thing, like how old people say "back in my day, we didnt have all this fancy hulla-baloo." Maybe progressive music is a lot of fancy hulla-baloo, but the old classic stuff is just not doing it for me. Its simple, straight forward and mostly boring to me.

So if I had to pick out bored drummer songs I would pick many classic rock songs, and lots of Beatles music.

I don't think it's generational, there have always been people that like 60 ingredients on their pizza, but to me there is usually no "point" in such music or pizza, no theme, no meaning, no message. It's either not there or I don't get it, which is the same for me anyway.
 

lefty2

Platinum Member
There is a reason Prog, and metal aren't played on the radio. The main stream public doesn't listen to that stuff. Around Kansas it's mainly musicians that listen to that, or people that know musicians. We don't even have Jazz on the radio, unless you pay for satellite radio. Some drummers lock into the grove and stay there, There is a art to that as well. Look at all the famous studio drummers on recordings. I doubt that they were bored. They played those simple beats with a conviction, and a passion that keeps the producers calling them back for more. The public feels it too, and buys their music. If you are bored playing the music, then you are not playing it right. You need to get into it. If you can't feel it, the listener won't feel it either. You're the musician, you make the music, not just play it. Bring it to life.
 

Anon La Ply

Renegade
Repeating fills usually doesn't stem from boredom any more than repeating a melody is a sign of boredom. I also don't see how you can be bored playing a song in a band performance that is sounding and feeling good, no matter how simple.

I often find the simplest and most repetitive songs more difficult than more usual drum parts because even small mistakes stick out like dogs' yarbles. I find it easier to spray a bunch of notes around because you can get away with a bit of slop.
 

BFrench501

Senior Member
I find most Zepplin songs boring, so your example doesnt surprise me.

Pretty much all songs that go nowhere I find quite boring. This is what draws me to progressive music, for drumming at least. I enjoy rock music and music that has a good driving beat, but I just am not inspired to play Zepplin, even the great "fool in the rain". Boring... It has three beats throughout its entirety. Shuffle, 3 over 4, and samba. But it goes back and forth between shuffle and 3 over 4 over and over again for minutes. Finally, a break and you get this samba beat for about 20 seconds. Yay, something different! Then you are thrown right back to the original shuffle again to finish the song. Ugg.... Enough with the damn shuffle!

I was listening to Mangini playing on the latest Dream Theater album tonight and I lose count of how many different beats he plays in each and every song. Every verse, bridge and chorus are different. Timing signatures change constantly, there is never a single fill repeated. Every song is like this. Nothing is phoned in. Are some songs simpler than others? Of course, but even the simplest of songs he plays is far more musically complex than anything from the great "Bonzo".

This is probably a generational thing, like how old people say "back in my day, we didnt have all this fancy hulla-baloo." Maybe progressive music is a lot of fancy hulla-baloo, but the old classic stuff is just not doing it for me. Its simple, straight forward and mostly boring to me.

So if I had to pick out bored drummer songs I would pick many classic rock songs, and lots of Beatles music.
Tommy, I'm answering this as I used to have this silly attitude that Mike Portnoy was a god and Steve Gadd was crap because all he did was play stuff that sounded easy. I realise you talked about Mangini, but my Dream Theater fanboy phase was when MP was in the band.

I had an 8 year break from drumming and just LISTENED to music and I realised that having a different beat in every bar is not always a good idea.

Listen to a John Bonham shuffle on any song, then listen to Mike Portnoys shuffles on Chris and Kevins excellent adventure (from Liquid Tension Experiment). It sounds great until Portnoy ruins it with all this double bass and stacks stuff that just sounds awful. Are you seriously going to say that sounds great over anything Bonham has done which has served the song completely?

There is a beauty to simplicity that just cannot be overlooked. You want to know why I overlooked it? Because secretly I couldnt play the stuff even though it sounded easy! If you are a world class drummer then I'll happily stand down in this thread. I can't shuffle for toffee! I can't wait till I've learned how to. It will beat just doing busy tom and snare fills all day long.

Dream Theater were my favourite band, and dont get me wrong I like to listen to them. But there is far more to music than changing up beats constantly.
 

BFrench501

Senior Member
Repeating fills usually doesn't stem from boredom any more than repeating a melody is a sign of boredom. I also don't see how you can be bored playing a song in a band performance that is sounding and feeling good, no matter how simple.
I think this is a symptom of being a drummer, not a musician.

I try to sympathise with every other instrument even to the point that when I hear a new song I am not even looking for the drum beat. I'm listening for the lyrics and then the overall tone of the song before I even consider anything else. Then its about me fitting in to that.

Simply battling against all the others isnt making music, it is overly excessive use of masterbation.
 

BFrench501

Senior Member
haha how quickly this turned into Bonham Vs Portnoy, Overplaying vs underplaying!
Sorry mate, its just that JB is a classic case of play what is needed for the song and MP is the opposite. I can't think of any better examples and the immature attitude Tommy D shows is an attitude I once had but I am now firmly on the other side of the fence.
 

Pocket-full-of-gold

Platinum Member
Boring... It has three beats throughout its entirety.
So by this reckoning, Chancler must have been suffering a borderline coma when he laid down the Beat It groove, no?

haha how quickly this turned into Bonham Vs Portnoy, Overplaying vs underplaying!
What's even more perplexing is how quickly this became an "I'm bored, therefore the drummer must have been bored" thread.

And I fear more, I may have prompted it......although it was the polar opposite of the point I was trying to make. However, I'm also aware that in 2014, perception IS reality.....it doesn't even have to be qualified.
 

keep it simple

Platinum Member
Sorry mate, its just that JB is a classic case of play what is needed for the song and MP is the opposite.
Playing "devil's advocate" here, I think MP played exactly what is needed for the song. DT fans have an expectation of constantly switching patterns. Ok, it sucks the groove right out of the song most of the time, but it's delivering on that "clever" level fans demand. All the players are doing the same too, so if it doesn't come across as a constant shred competition, it isn't DT. The exception being refrains that are injected to offer a strong juxtaposition element (& give the vocalist something to do ;)
 

Diet Kirk

Silver Member
Playing "devil's advocate" here, I think MP played exactly what is needed for the song. DT fans have an expectation of constantly switching patterns. Ok, it sucks the groove right out of the song most of the time, but it's delivering on that "clever" level fans demand. All the players are doing the same too, so if it doesn't come across as a constant shred competition, it isn't DT. The exception being refrains that are injected to offer a strong juxtaposition element (& give the vocalist something to do ;)
I'm not a massive fan of either MP or JB, both have merit to me though.

Ultimately both have sold millions of records which has to count for something.

I often think this kind of debate only really makes sense when talking about bands who are trying to generate their first fanbase. That is when you can really seperate the over or under playing in relation to serving the song.

No real point in analysing something from this angle that millions of people thought was great and millions didn't. That stuff has found its audience and as music is made to entertain, any arguments against it fall to being an individuals personal preference.
 
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