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Old 01-03-2014, 07:32 AM
Jimmy900 Jimmy900 is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 45
Default Re: How did Keith Moon play?

In my opinion the closest to Keith Moon's style of playing was Mitch Mitchell who was particularly adept at using drum technique. I think the key to Moon's playing is being able to do single stroke rolls very fast while crushing some hertas in. I don't think Keith ever thought about it as herta's, ratamcue's etc when he was playing them, he firstly thought of them as single stroke rolls and thought about the different rudiments by splitting them up into singles first so he could split up and syncopate hertas and ratamacue's etc halfway through and do different stuff. He said that he could play paradiddles but they never fitted in with the music he was playing with.

Also, look carefully on the video of "Who Are You" the song on you tube. You will see Keith Moon do a brief demonstration of how he approached the toms and the cymbals. He rolls his fist together like a boxer hitting a speedball and then when he comes to the end of 4 rolls he puts his arms out to simulate a particular accent on the drums. I think the key to his playing (and I'm not an expert, just a big who fan) that made him keep time was thinking in circles - he played up wards as if he was paddling and he would know how to come in on a cue at the end of a bar or a guitar solo by knowing when his other arm would come back up or down at the end of a circle that he used in his rolls (so then knowing where to place the other that fell naturally within a bar etc or the end of 4 bars). He did use his fingers to move the stick while he was driving the stick to the tom, but to move it sideways (not to do a paradiddle) but sway the stick sideways so that he could do the off beats on the other toms that would supply the great oddities of his fills (his fist looks like it's over one drum but the end of the stick is hitting another away to the side).

Another aspect to his playing was the orchiestral way in which he turned the volume up and down. He hit the skins as if you were hitting a kettle drum to build up tension and gravity, only he would do it really fast and build it up to a long roll right across the kit (but with each drum so you would have to put double the effort into each drum rather rely on a given technique that would make it easier and tidier) - again this is Keith Moon's amazing self taught training on single stick rolls.
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