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Old 08-22-2017, 08:26 PM
DrummerCA35 DrummerCA35 is offline
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Default Do Some Parts Always Remain a Physical Challenge? Separate Ways & American Band

Are there some parts that you play that are always a physical challenge regardless of many times you've practiced them?

For example, the first picture is the drum fill played during (I think) the second break in Journey's "Separate Ways". I can do slow, but my left hand is going from the rack to the floor tom and (partly) because of the distance, it's an incredible challenge to do it at the speed of the song. I can do it slower, and in fact can incorporate part of the fill into other songs. I know, practice slow, and build up from there. And I'm working on it, as it's a challenge, and it's inspired me. But I'm wondering if this is a law of diminishing returns...if I would EVER be able to do this fill at that speed. I've looked online at drum covers, and most guys I see are playing "something else" for this break.

The second picture is the drum intro to American Band. Because of leg injuries, I cannot do this bass drum part on one pedal. I use a double pedal. I can pull it off, but the bass drum notes NEVER seem to get much easier. It remains a challenge each time I do it, and I've done it hundreds of times on my practice kit and have pulled it off at gigs. But even though I keep practicing it, each time I do it, it's a challenge. One thing I've found that helps me not miss the bass drum notes is to really focus on my right foot on the first of the of the 2 bass drum notes, and that seems to always get me there.

I know I'm not talking about rocking science here, or Frank Zappa or Rush parts, but the challenge here, for both of these parts is more physical, just being able to do them fast enough. Maybe doing them hundreds of times isn't enough, it needs to be thousands? Or maybe some parts are just always difficult for some people?

Thanks for any thoughts.
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Last edited by DrummerCA35; 08-22-2017 at 08:50 PM.
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Old 08-22-2017, 08:45 PM
BruceW BruceW is offline
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Default Re: Do Some Parts Always Remain a Physical Challenge? Separate Ways & American Band

I'm not nearly skilled enough to play some of the stuff out there. For instance, your example of American Band... I completely cheat and play it on the toms, cuz i can't do it on the kick, single or double pedal.

One that sticks in my craw is Led Zep Rock and Roll. It's not the speed, but the feel of it, and I have refused to put it in sets before, because the intro is so iconic, if I can't play it right, I don't want to do it at all.
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Old 08-22-2017, 10:02 PM
DrummerCA35 DrummerCA35 is offline
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Default Re: Do Some Parts Always Remain a Physical Challenge? Separate Ways & American Band

Thanks for the post and input Bruce.
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Old 08-22-2017, 10:40 PM
New Tricks New Tricks is offline
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Default Re: Do Some Parts Always Remain a Physical Challenge? Separate Ways & American Band

I am in the under skilled ranks but I am stubborn and I have time on my hands :)

The American Band intro is one that sounds easy enough and many people certainly fake their way through. I've never played it but have of course heard it a zillion times. If I did play it, I'd take the hour (hours?) to get it burned into my brain.

Just now I picked it up quickly enough to play it easily but I would likely forget it until I drilled it in a bit more. In the olden days I would just listen and try to figure it out and give up when it was close enough. It was hard using records.

Now I use tools and technology to shorten my learning curve. I put the mp3 into a recording program, get the tempo set and map it out with midi notes a measure at a time. I don't read music so the midi notes give me a visual which helps a lot.

I broke the intro in half. From the visual midi notes I could see the delayed second snare hit and realized I had to hold up a bit and strike it after the 4th cowbell. Your brain wants to keep it simple and hit the snare on 2 and 4. You have to set your cowbell hand on autopilot.

The second half seemed simple to me using a double pedal. There is no way I could do it with a single. My feet were never my strong point.

The Separate Ways fill is really buried in the mix. I just play what I assume is three and 2/3 triplets using the double bass.

Speaking of buried in the mix, when I put the headphones on, my copy of American Band has some strange, reverby voicing at the very beginning.


Quote:
One that sticks in my craw is Led Zep Rock and Roll. It's not the speed, but the feel of it, and I have refused to put it in sets before, because the intro is so iconic, if I can't play it right, I don't want to do it at all.
I can't play like it's supposed to be played. Apparently the snare and hats are played identically but my left hand isn't that good so I work around it a bit. I play the snare part accurately but leave out a few notes on the open hats only hitting the "accent " notes.

Apparently that song, like Van Halen's Panama, start on the off beat. It took me forever to figure that out. I thought they were just playing sloppy. I can't play and count on the off beat so I just adjust by adding a 1/16 note at the end (end the segment with 5 snare hits)

And, once you do learn it, you will have two teach your guitarists how to play it :)

Last edited by New Tricks; 08-23-2017 at 09:38 PM.
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Old 08-22-2017, 11:17 PM
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Default Re: Do Some Parts Always Remain a Physical Challenge? Separate Ways & American Band

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Originally Posted by New Tricks View Post
.

The Separate Ways fill is really buried in the mix. I just play what I assume is three and 2/3 triplets using the double bass.
It's actually not a double bass fill, though it may be easier to play that way.

It's just an unusual phrasing, which makes it difficult to play properly.


I remember asking Steve about this many, many, many years ago at a clinic, and he said it was one of the few songs he played the same way every night.
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Old 08-22-2017, 11:21 PM
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Default Re: Do Some Parts Always Remain a Physical Challenge? Separate Ways & American Band

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Originally Posted by BruceW View Post

One that sticks in my craw is Led Zep Rock and Roll. It's not the speed, but the feel of it, and I have refused to put it in sets before, because the intro is so iconic, if I can't play it right, I don't want to do it at all.

I agree, the feel is difficult, but if you think of the 1st note of the fill as a rest, with the first note played as the upbeat, it helps.
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Old 08-22-2017, 11:25 PM
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Default Re: Do Some Parts Always Remain a Physical Challenge? Separate Ways & American Band

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Originally Posted by DrummerCA35 View Post
Are there some parts that you play that are always a physical challenge regardless of many times you've practiced them?
Despite my answers above, to the actual question yes.

Knowing how it's supposed to be played, and doing it right are two different things.

And as mentioned, drums being buried in the mix, or no definition between toms on many older records can make it difficult to know what is "right".
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Old 08-22-2017, 11:39 PM
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Default Re: Do Some Parts Always Remain a Physical Challenge? Separate Ways & American Band

Those aren't that hard, and you can do them if you put some work in. Just sayin.

Especially the kick doubles one, you MUST slow way down and get the muscle memory going.

You stated you'll never be able to do this, and that's both un-true and detrimental to yourself. It might take more work than you're willing to put in, but if you put that work in, I promise, this will no longer be a physical challenge and you'll be onto the next "impossible" challenges.

One of the coolest parts about growing as a musician is times like when an old favorite song comes on the radio and you go "holy crap, that sounds like something I could play! ... Couldn't say that a year ago!"
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Old 08-22-2017, 11:44 PM
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Default Re: Do Some Parts Always Remain a Physical Challenge? Separate Ways & American Band

Speaking of Journey, I caught part of a set by a Journey tribute band summer before last. They're supposed to the best Journey tribute band in my area, and I see that they have tons of gigs lined up, so people dig them.

But it drove me nuts how drummer didn't play the parts like either the record or the live albums. Not that he butchered the songs, or played anything "wrong" for the music, it just it wasn't the parts I was expecting to hear from a band claiming to be a sound alike.

But judging by the size of the crowd, I was clearly the only one bugged by it. lol
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Old 08-23-2017, 01:06 AM
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Default Re: Do Some Parts Always Remain a Physical Challenge? Separate Ways & American Band

The way that the American Band intro is written in the OP...I want to say the part in question is properly played as triplets, not 16ths. I could be wrong, but this was kind of glaring to me...unless I am mistaken and they aren't trips. I think they are though. I count the part in question:

1-trip-let / 2-trip-let / 3-trip-let / 4-trip-let / 5-trip-let/

1-trip-let / 2-trip-let / 3-trip-let / 4-trip-let /5 - and /

Clarification anyone?
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Old 08-23-2017, 02:06 AM
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Default Re: Do Some Parts Always Remain a Physical Challenge? Separate Ways & American Band

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Originally Posted by larryace View Post
The way that the American Band intro is written in the OP...I want to say the part in question is properly played as triplets, not 16ths. I could be wrong, but this was kind of glaring to me...unless I am mistaken and they aren't trips. I think they are though. I count the part in question:

1-trip-let / 2-trip-let / 3-trip-let / 4-trip-let / 5-trip-let/

1-trip-let / 2-trip-let / 3-trip-let / 4-trip-let /5 - and /

Clarification anyone?
I've always heard that intro as 16th notes w/flams as shown. If you slow it down you should hear the same.
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Old 08-23-2017, 02:08 AM
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Default Re: Do Some Parts Always Remain a Physical Challenge? Separate Ways & American Band

This may help: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1LzYCsUy9MA
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Old 08-23-2017, 02:39 AM
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Default Re: Do Some Parts Always Remain a Physical Challenge? Separate Ways & American Band

Quote:
Originally Posted by larryace View Post
The way that the American Band intro is written in the OP...I want to say the part in question is properly played as triplets, not 16ths. I could be wrong, but this was kind of glaring to me...unless I am mistaken and they aren't trips. I think they are though. I count the part in question:

1-trip-let / 2-trip-let / 3-trip-let / 4-trip-let / 5-trip-let/

1-trip-let / 2-trip-let / 3-trip-let / 4-trip-let /5 - and /

Clarification anyone?
I'm pretty sure they are 16ths, Lar.
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Old 08-23-2017, 04:38 AM
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Default Re: Do Some Parts Always Remain a Physical Challenge? Separate Ways & American Band

Quote:
Originally Posted by larryace View Post
The way that the American Band intro is written in the OP...I want to say the part in question is properly played as triplets, not 16ths. I could be wrong, but this was kind of glaring to me...unless I am mistaken and they aren't trips. I think they are though. I count the part in question:

1-trip-let / 2-trip-let / 3-trip-let / 4-trip-let / 5-trip-let/

1-trip-let / 2-trip-let / 3-trip-let / 4-trip-let /5 - and /

Clarification anyone?
I think it may be because of the phrasing. They are 16th, but since they are in groups of three, hands+ kick+ kick, you may be tricking yourself into thinking they are triplets.
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Old 08-23-2017, 04:42 AM
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Default Re: Do Some Parts Always Remain a Physical Challenge? Separate Ways & American Band

American Band yes they are 16th notes, I should know, I screw it up every time I play it :-)
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Old 08-23-2017, 05:25 PM
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Default Re: Do Some Parts Always Remain a Physical Challenge? Separate Ways & American Band

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Originally Posted by DrumEatDrum View Post
I agree, the feel is difficult, but if you think of the 1st note of the fill as a rest, with the first note played as the upbeat, it helps.
The opening of R&R starts on the and of 3.
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Old 08-23-2017, 06:03 PM
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Default Re: Do Some Parts Always Remain a Physical Challenge? Separate Ways & American Band

That American band songs intro seems pretty simple to me... not even being cocky or anything. Its one of those momentum/pedal reactionary-based fill, which ive always practiced growing up. Hm perhaps i shall try this fill and record it

As for me, i have hard time pulling off the infamous moby dick/paradise city "Bonham triplet" fill. Practice eventually get it done but even sometimes now and then i will have difficulty pulling it off on the spot at any given moment. Something to def keep working on as i wanna be able to do it anywhere any time
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Old 08-23-2017, 06:10 PM
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Default Re: Do Some Parts Always Remain a Physical Challenge? Separate Ways & American Band

The actual pattern for American Band is easy, the challenge is executing it clean and in time. At least for me anyway!!
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Old 08-23-2017, 06:26 PM
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Default Re: Do Some Parts Always Remain a Physical Challenge? Separate Ways & American Band

Learn the lick(s) perfectly really, really slow and then speed them up over time would be the only things I can suggest. Also, I'm sure there are some YouTube instructional videos or drum covers that could help.
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Old 08-23-2017, 06:35 PM
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Default Re: Do Some Parts Always Remain a Physical Challenge? Separate Ways & American Band

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executing it clean and in time.
The bold italics are mine, because that is the part I had trouble with. I found the fill fairly easy to play, but somewhat difficult to do without changing the tempo during it. Metronome practice!
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Old 08-23-2017, 06:48 PM
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Default Re: Do Some Parts Always Remain a Physical Challenge? Separate Ways & American Band

127 bpm eh... thats definitely not slow
I will crank her up tmr nite and see how doable it is as a first take.
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Old 08-23-2017, 09:37 PM
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Default Re: Do Some Parts Always Remain a Physical Challenge? Separate Ways & American Band

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Originally Posted by DrumEatDrum View Post
It's just an unusual phrasing, which makes it difficult to play properly.
.


This ^ might as well be written in Chinese, Russian or Greek :)
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Old 08-23-2017, 11:44 PM
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Default Re: Do Some Parts Always Remain a Physical Challenge? Separate Ways & American Band

Well I guess I've been playing it wrong this whole time lol.

On 2nd thought, perhaps I am playing it right and I'm just thinking they're trips when they really aren't.

I prefer the 2nd scenario :)
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Old 08-24-2017, 12:22 AM
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Default Re: Do Some Parts Always Remain a Physical Challenge? Separate Ways & American Band

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Originally Posted by larryace View Post
Well I guess I've been playing it wrong this whole time lol.

On 2nd thought, perhaps I am playing it right and I'm just thinking they're trips when they really aren't.

I prefer the 2nd scenario :)
We'll go with that...
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