Thread: Neil Peart
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Old 11-07-2005, 02:38 PM
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Sabian_Dragon Sabian_Dragon is offline
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Default Re: Neil Peart

The other important thing to remember is Neil Peart plays in what I like to call "Happy-Medium" mode. He shifts along with the complexity of the entire band; when the guitar/bass has a complex rhythm, he backs off with a simple beat; when the guitar/bass are simply pumping out the same three-chord monotone, he starts going into his own world of complexity, primarily with the ride cymbal and bass drum.

This is an important skill for drummers to have. Over the years, I've noticed that too much complexity can lull an audience to sleep just as bad as too much simplicity. Music is an expression of emotion in its purest form, and thus, the entire band needs to share the weight as opposed to just one player. Therefore, while some drummers might curse Peart for playing the same "monotonous" rhythm in each of his songs and say that about 95% of his playing is as common as any other drummer, the important thing to remember is that Peart is allowing the rest of the band to express their music as well. He's a wise drummer in the sense that he saves his best talents for when they are needed most.

For those who say that Peart is overrated because he plays the same thing over and over again, be aware that a lot of his stuff is very methodical as opposed to improvisational. Peart has such a scientific mind (just read his lyrics and, if you get a chance, Ghost Rider) that he sees everything in a plug-n-chug mode. He may play the exact same thing for the same song, but in my opinion, a drummer who practices one thing a thousand times is better-versed in percussion than a drummer who practices a thousand things once.

That's my schpeel.
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