If anyone is interested, I posted a bunch of half speed Buddy Rich solos on YouTube. Follow this link to watch and discuss:
Watching these videos at half speed reveals some things that might shock you, especially with respect to his speed. A good way to gauge Buddy's higher speeds is to watch closely his hi-hat workout in this video www.youtube.com/watch?v=4kGqppouPvs
. The workout runs at 2:07-3:11 and 4:23-5:07. Here, his right hand carries long strings of notes, while his left adds accents here and there on the underside of the hats. At half speed, the right hand sounds like it's playing eighths at 210. When his left hand hand alternates with his right, rather than add accents, as it does to make three and four note figures around 2:39-2:42, 3:09-3:11 and 4:43-4:44, the notes played between both hands sound like 16ths. Believe it or not, at full speed, that makes for a speed of 14 notes per second in Buddy's right hand, and a speed of 28 notes per second between both his hands, which is far faster than I have ever heard any drummer play. (Now, whether Buddy could have sustained that speed for a full minute, a la the World's Fastest Drummer competition, is unknown, of course).
The techniques used during the hi-hat workout are applied from 6:22 to 6:45 on the crash cymbal in the above video. Again, Buddy's right hand plays long strings of what appear as eighth notes at 210, while adding left hand accents on the underside of the cymbal. These accents typical appear at this speed as quarter notes and notes of greater value. At full speed, then, the right hand is push-pulling at a speed of approximately 14 notes per second.
(You can also see Buddy achieve that speed in this video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=G5k-8iGXjPs
at minute 6:15 to 6:35.)
The half speed videos also show Buddy as being able to cruise for long, long periods of time in the 10 or so notes per hand per second range of speed, as he does in this video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=2RAOTOaBgtA
. From :08 to around 1:30 in this video, Buddy's left hand is playing at a speed of around 10 notes per second, from what I can tell. If you measure these notes against a metronome, you'll see that they synch with eighth notes at 150 beats per minute at the half speed pace of the video. At full speed, these are 16th notes, of course, which make for approximately 10 notes per second in his single hand.
Lots more cool stuff in these half speed videos. Check em out, if you like.