Thread: Neil Peart
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Old 08-21-2007, 04:05 PM
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Default Re: Neil Peart

Originally Posted by harley_g View Post
Hello everyone...thought I might bring up a thread that hasn't had a post for a while. I actually came on here quite a lot a while back but got busy so when I came back I couldn't get into my account...anyway. I come because something has been bothering me.

I have seen many a video of Peart. I wasn't blown away or anything, but I didn't mind him. But a visit to the good old YouTube and another watch of his solos and such, and I quickly became confused. Looking at the amount of people proclaiming that drums were invented for Peart, and that without a doubt he is the greatest drummer ever to live, I thought I was taking crazy pills. I was ALMOST drawn to start an argument and become like one of those losers who sit on YouTube and drone on and on about why Derek Roddy is so much better than Joey Jordison (they're both tasteless in my opinion but that's beside the point).

Every single solo I've seen of Peart immediately reminds me of solo's I would come up with when I'd been playing for 6 months to a year. Four on the floor, semiquavers on the snare with some triplets, and some tom fills. I'm not here to say I could school Peart in a battle or that he's crap or anything like that, I've just honestly been baffled by why people continue to be so amazed by stuff that many beginners come up with for their first solo. When I was in a Mike Mangini clinic he actually said that the whole four on the floor thing is a beginnerish thing (in the sense that it's what drummers start out with, not that it's bad or anything).

If I was playing stuff so similar to Peart after such a short while of playing and only being able to play a Go-Go's greatest hits album, how is he so good?

After roughly 8 minutes of soloing I saw a guy who looked uncomfortable and frankly unhappy (beside the point but it doesn't hurt to show some emotion...) and who could come up with nothing but basically what would usually be a rock fill played over and over again. It bored me to tears, not because it was simple (some of the best sounding licks I've heard are simple) but because it just seemed so repetitive and uncreative.

There's hardly any dynamic range in his soloing. For the best drummer in the world he sure doesn't show any contrast. I saw an old post on here saying how he leaves heaps of space and such in his solos...I could here no space except the space between his semiquavers and the time it took him to jump around to his electronic drum kit. So often in drumming less is more...

Which leads me to the next thing. He has such a big kit, but I just see him use it so uncreatively, it's honestly uninspiring. There are so many drummers out there who create just this amazing contrast and inventive grooves and patterns on a 4-piece, meanwhile Peart continues his long semiquaver tom roll. Bill Stewart, Brian Blade, JoJo Mayer (maybe a 5-piece but close enough), it goes on. While I'm at it I might offend any others who weren't already offended :P...I haven't been so bored or confused since I saw Mike Portnoy play his monster kit.

I've tried to take the high road here folks because I've thought long and hard and I've come up with nothing except that the people who like him can only appreciate big drum kits and loud playing. I know this can't be true so I MUST be missing something. I just don't get it.

Enlighten me!

Well I'd say that you need to look a little closer then my friend because most of the time not just one thing is going on at once. Like when he's playing the waltz section, have you actually tried to do that without a little practice. Not very easy from my experience. Also, if you are so educated then you would have found a full coverage of his Anatomy of a Drum Solo DVD. No? In fact just watch what the snipits we have here on DW, and see for yourself. Hopefully you will begin to see the clearer picture as to how his solo was meant to be, a tribute to drumming in general and his progression through that world.

It also confuses me when you compare him to people such as Jojo and Brian Blade. Last I checked they don't even play his style of music. I tend to believe that your taste in music has biased this opinion. As for the large kit thing too, listen to his new song Malignant Narcissism, that was played on a 5 piece. No long tom rolls, none of his "untasteful" use of so many drums, just one solid instrumental track.

Also, remember that a solo isn't the image of a drummers talent. If thats all you listen to then you really need to take a step back and do some more research because you've missed some pretty good stuff (ex. Mike Portnoy, I agree the solos are poor but the tracks he produces are much better).

Hope you're enlightened.
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