Thread: John Bonham
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Old 06-07-2006, 06:53 AM
CooManChu's Avatar
CooManChu CooManChu is offline
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Location: Chicago, IL
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Default Re: John Bonham

Hey, a while back someone posted a question about Bonham's HH riding on Heartbreaker from Zeppelin II. At the time I think the general agreement was that the skip/ghost notes we're hearing were a studio effect.

I was wondering if maybe those could in fact be genuine ghost notes, possibly even in the snare (to give the different timbre we were hearing). I'm thinking about something along the lines of some super basic Clyde Stubblefield who at the same time this Zeppelin recording was made was pulling off some very cool ghosting.

Just wondering if anyone thinks you could play the general groove in the hands something like following and come up with a sound fairly close to the original:


HH:|x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-|
_S:|-g--xg---g--xg--|
___|1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + |


Leaving the stick close to the head after the backbeat so it connects as a ghost is something I think I hear Clyde do alot and I hear it in some of Bonham's stuff too (like on "When the Levee Breaks" where he also uses ghost attacks in the bass). I've been working hard on "I Got the Feeling" where Clyde employs his ghosting technique extensively, so maybe I'm just extending it to this "Heartbreaker" groove. However, I would imagine that Bonham would have listened to Clyde quite a bit too and employed some of the things the other guys of the time were doing around him.

Just as an aside: If you listen to Dread Zeppelin's "Heartbreaker (At the End of Lonely Street)" you'll hear the same ride pattern as above with the ghost notes:


HH:|xxx-xxx-xxx-xxx-|
___|1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + |


The other thing I was thinking was that is doesn't seem characteristic of Bonham to use a studio effect to give his drumming the sound of additional technique or a sound he can't come up with on his own. His stuff isn't layered upon layers like Page's stuff was and I think if he had the opportunity to add studio effects to his playing, he generally declined. I don't know for sure, though.

Anyway, this is probably a little geeky for some people, but I get into the little embellishments that people do. I think it's like a subtle spice people use to make their cooking special or different and also gives me more options to consider in my own playing.

Any thoughts?
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