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  #1  
Old Yesterday, 01:25 AM
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Jeremy Bender Jeremy Bender is offline
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Default I suck at power ballads.

I just realized how unconvincing I play power ballads. You know those Star Search/Showtime at the Apollo/America's Got Talent etc... songs that repeat the chorus at least six times with the big cymbal crash key change towards the end.
I think it's because I never like them and that's why I don't play them well. I have yet another new challenge as a musician.
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Old Yesterday, 02:40 AM
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Default Re: I suck at power ballads.

What makes you think you are unconvincing Mr. Jeremy Bender?
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  #3  
Old Yesterday, 03:16 AM
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Jeremy Bender Jeremy Bender is offline
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Default Re: I suck at power ballads.

It's just the way I feel about the songs I guess. I can keep time, play with dynamics and I understand the song structure but there's a musical disconnect for me.

Maybe I need to learn to embrace this style and get on with it.
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Old Yesterday, 04:18 AM
Derek Derek is offline
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Default Re: I suck at power ballads.

Is it possible that the way you play them is fine but you just don't enjoy it?
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  #5  
Old Yesterday, 04:38 AM
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Jeremy Bender Jeremy Bender is offline
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Default Re: I suck at power ballads.

That may indeed be the case.
Drummerworld is like free therapy sometimes!
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  #6  
Old Yesterday, 04:47 AM
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Default Re: I suck at power ballads.

Well, I wasn't going to bring it up but....

(see what I did there?)
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  #7  
Old Yesterday, 05:45 AM
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Default Re: I suck at power ballads.

Tell us about your childhood Jeremy. You can lie down if you like.
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Old Yesterday, 06:03 AM
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Default Re: I suck at power ballads.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeremy Bender View Post
It's just the way I feel about the songs I guess. I can keep time, play with dynamics and I understand the song structure but there's a musical disconnect for me.

Maybe I need to learn to embrace this style and get on with it.
The way I see it you can do one of 2 things:

1. Never play another power ballad in your life again. So long Celine Dion, bye bye Bette Midler, bog off Bonnie Tyler.

2. Stifle the dry heaves and do your damnedest to wring out every over-stressed syllable of feeling by beating those cymbals like unloved stepchildren.

In the band I'm in we selected some songs by giving everybody a vote for a song. You want your song played? Name it! I had a recalcitrant band member who felt one of the other members' choices was not to his taste, which made it hard for him to muster up enthusiasm. Tough! Suck it up Buttercup!

(If it were me, I'd be trying to make option 1 work.)
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Old Yesterday, 07:25 AM
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Hollywood Jim Hollywood Jim is offline
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Default Re: I suck at power ballads.

When you play a power ballad, light up a cigarette and put it near your drum kit.
Close your eyes when you play.
Imagine you are in a Chicago nightclub in 1950.
Pretend you are playing the blues.

.
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  #10  
Old Yesterday, 03:04 PM
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Default Re: I suck at power ballads.

I love ballads. "Stairway to Heaven" is a power ballad.

What makes a ballad....a ballad anyway?
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  #11  
Old Yesterday, 03:17 PM
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Default Re: I suck at power ballads.

Maybe this will help!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pNCiXKpO94g

or this (a full version)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mCDuCrr2Ljs
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  #12  
Old Yesterday, 03:46 PM
mikel mikel is offline
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Default Re: I suck at power ballads.

Could be because they tend to sound easy but to wring every ounce of "Emotion" from one is a thing of horror and beauty, at the same time.

My fav would have to be "Bed of Roses" by Bon Jovi. If you have to do a power ballad this is the one.

I hate big hair rock but BoR gets me every time. Guilty secret is out.
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  #13  
Old Today, 12:07 AM
Drumolator Drumolator is offline
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Default Re: I suck at power ballads.

I read a long time ago in Modern Drummer, when playing a slow song (or any other type you have trouble with), pretend that you wrote it. It has worked for me. Peace and goodwill.
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  #14  
Old Today, 12:28 AM
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Hollywood Jim Hollywood Jim is offline
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Default Re: I suck at power ballads.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drumolator View Post
I read a long time ago in Modern Drummer, when playing a slow song (or any other type you have trouble with), pretend that you wrote it. It has worked for me. Peace and goodwill.
Yes.

Learn the words of the song and own the emotion. Then you can be part of the emotion of the song as you play it.

.
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  #15  
Old Today, 12:28 AM
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Default Re: I suck at power ballads.

Never been a fan of the power balad, but I have to admit that on those occasions where I'm practicing along to random stuff on the radio, I almost always stop and play along to them, or at least the ones that don't make me puke lol. Journey's always good since there's 30 years of them being burned into my brain so nothing but the groove to think about.

What I really like is that it's like an inverted kind of practice, if you will. Instead of a lot of notes with few spaces, these are a lot of spaces with few notes.

A different kind of fun for sure, but really useful. Plus, being able to comfortably play slow with conviction and authority directly transfers over to Melvins-y stoner/doom material, so I've programmed myself to ignore the cheese factor and just try to nail it.
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  #16  
Old Today, 12:40 AM
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Default Re: I suck at power ballads.

You have to get your stick spins down, and having power toms helps too, lol
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  #17  
Old Today, 12:45 AM
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Hollywood Jim Hollywood Jim is offline
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Default Re: I suck at power ballads.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeM View Post
A different kind of fun for sure, but really useful. Plus, being able to comfortably play slow with conviction and authority directly transfers over to Melvins-y stoner/doom material, so I've programmed myself to ignore the cheese factor and just try to nail it.
Yes, learning to play slow is very useful. And learning to play slow and loud and make it sound good is hard to do.


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  #18  
Old Today, 07:25 AM
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Default Re: I suck at power ballads.

Power ballads can be hard to lock in - with the dramatic faux timpani fills being very unforgiving, and it's easy to get scrappy coming out of them and returning to the groove.

Just as jazz is difficult - playing lightly with intensity - it's not always easy to play slowly with intensity either. There's always a temptation for someone in the band (including drums) to push the tempo and lose some of the spaciousness. Andy has talked about how Comfortably Numb is the hardest song for him in his band's set, yet you'd think some of their other tunes like Jump would be tougher.

It's also easy to tense up with all the drama (contorted face, James's unloved stepchildren cymbals) but, as always, staying relaxed gives a smoother result.
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  #19  
Old Today, 11:01 AM
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MileHighDrummer MileHighDrummer is offline
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Default Re: I suck at power ballads.

I always have problems with the key changes too.... :)
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