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  #1  
Old 04-29-2009, 05:15 AM
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Ian Williams Ian Williams is offline
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Default Nick Mason

Nick Mason has been drummer and performed percussion support on every Pink Floyd album, up to date. He has some jazz bits, R&B and shuffle background, while playing the drums.

He used Premier Drums from the late 60's to late 70's. After that, he used Ludwig Drums until early 90's. He currently uses DW (Drum Workshop) Drums, pedals and hardware. His actual kit is a DW Double Bass with the Dark Side of the Moon logo.

Any comments to share?

Thanks & Regards,
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  #2  
Old 04-29-2009, 07:35 AM
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Default Re: Nick Mason

I like Nick Mason. It took me a long time to appreciate the nuances in Nick's playing, but he is a cool guy to listen to. I love when he doesn't use a ride or hats to lead in certain movements of the song "Time." I always thought that was classy. He may not be a shredder, but he certainly knows how to write and execute a great drum part that adds to the song. To me, that is one of the greatest talents that a drummer in a band can have. Not to mention, he is part of Pink Floyd. It's kind of hard to say anything bad about that! If you are ever bored, play "In the Flesh." It's lots of fun.
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  #3  
Old 04-29-2009, 05:34 PM
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Default Re: Nick Mason

Nick is a great example of leaving something out and being perfect. I was driving one day and air drumming to Comfortably Numb and I was air drumming a fill, but Nick wasn't. And in that one moment, everything he did made sense.
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  #4  
Old 04-29-2009, 10:27 PM
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Default Re: Nick Mason

I appreciate your input, fellows. Nick also plays guitar, bass, keyboards but He loves his usual drums. In addition, He is a Musician, Producer and Author.

Check: http://www.drummerworld.com/drummers/Nick_Mason.html

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  #5  
Old 07-14-2009, 07:25 PM
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Jeremy Bender Jeremy Bender is online now
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Default Re: Nick Mason

A nice pic. of his set-up. Love the roto-toms!
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  #6  
Old 11-27-2009, 11:01 PM
percussivelibrarian percussivelibrarian is offline
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Default Re: Nick Mason

I love Nick Mason's playing, especially during Floyd's space rock period ca. '68-71, pre-Dark Side of the Moon. Tunes like Careful with that Axe Eugene, Saucerful of Secrets, Atom Heart Mother, and the awesome tom-tom work on Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun. Mason was never known for his awe-inspiring technique, but his playing is so atmospheric and seems to perfectly complement the various moods and textures of the band's sound...
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  #7  
Old 11-28-2009, 03:14 PM
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Default Re: Nick Mason

I like Nick's playing. His simplicity gave Floyd's music the space and clarity it needed.
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  #8  
Old 11-28-2009, 05:05 PM
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Default Re: Nick Mason

Ditto on the Roto Toms. Imagine the myriad of sounds that could be obtained.
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  #9  
Old 12-16-2009, 09:25 PM
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Default Re: Nick Mason

Quote:
Originally Posted by percussivelibrarian View Post
I love Nick Mason's playing, especially during Floyd's space rock period ca. '68-71, pre-Dark Side of the Moon. Tunes like Careful with that Axe Eugene, Saucerful of Secrets, Atom Heart Mother, and the awesome tom-tom work on Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun. Mason was never known for his awe-inspiring technique, but his playing is so atmospheric and seems to perfectly complement the various moods and textures of the band's sound...
same here! I like better the pre-Dark Side of the Moon... great stuff.
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  #10  
Old 12-16-2009, 09:49 PM
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Default Re: Nick Mason

I like Nick Mason except he always had Double-Bass and I can't. think of one Pink Floyd tune that has double bass in it.

Besides that he is one of those great less is more drummers and don't. think the Floyd tunes would sound the same with a different drummer.

Bonzolead
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  #11  
Old 12-26-2009, 07:37 AM
jimmy5578 jimmy5578 is offline
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Default Re: Nick Mason

I love Nick's playing and it frustrates me that he dosen't get the credit he deserves. I think his playing is beautiful and it moves me much more than the mathematicians that seem to get all the praise from drummers (bill bruford, neil peart, etc...). I was listening to Floyd tonight and I was tuning into Nick and the way he plays things that compliment the song (and just as importantly the things he DOSENT play) really surprised me. He's such a great song drummer and he has such a great sense of time and dynamics. Definitely way underrated.
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  #12  
Old 12-27-2009, 07:31 AM
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harryconway harryconway is offline
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Default Re: Nick Mason

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cadet311 View Post
Nick is a great example of leaving something out and being perfect. I was driving one day and air drumming to Comfortably Numb and I was air drumming a fill, but Nick wasn't. And in that one moment, everything he did made sense.
Indeed, Nick is one of those masters who understands that the space between the notes is just as important (or more so) than the notes themselves. Yet he's also one of the best psychedelic drummers.
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  #13  
Old 03-21-2010, 12:26 PM
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Default Re: Nick Mason

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Originally Posted by harryconway View Post
Indeed, Nick is one of those masters who understands that the space between the notes is just as important (or more so) than the notes themselves. Yet he's also one of the best psychedelic drummers.
Yes, his psychedelic work is great.

Just been listening to some of their early work again - Saucerful of Secrets, Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun, Careful with That Axe, Eugene ... love his drumming ideas and execution in those pieces. Great to watch on the Pompeii video too. Hard to care about technicalities when atmospheres like that are being created.

He also plays slow parts superbly, eg. Us and Them, Shine On You Crazy Diamond
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  #14  
Old 03-22-2010, 05:10 AM
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Default Re: Nick Mason

wow, can't believe there aren't more replies in here!
i'm not really a huge fan of pink floyd (well, i don't really listen to their music too much atm), but i did hear dark side of the moon hundreds of time as a child (my uncle was a junkie). lovely drummer.
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  #15  
Old 05-30-2010, 03:04 AM
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Default Re: Nick Mason

Love Nick Mason's drumming! His cymbals always sound beautiful. Barrett era Floyd is my fav., followed by Saucer thru Wish You Were Here, then Animals thru Final Cut. After Waters left I mostly lost interest.
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  #16  
Old 05-30-2010, 03:14 AM
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Default Re: Nick Mason

Nick is certainly a huge influence on me.

He just always seemed to play just right.

I never get tired of "Wish You Here."

Did anyone read the Jim Keltner interview in Drum head magazine? He discusses when he got called into play in Pink Floyd's "Momentary Lapse of Reason" album. He said Nick just sat in the studio reading magazines, not the least bit concerned that the producer was having someone else record his tracks. Jim's take was that "Nick's playing had sold 100 million records, what else does he have to prove?"
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  #17  
Old 08-18-2010, 04:43 PM
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Default Re: Nick Mason

Quote:
Originally Posted by toddy View Post
wow, can't believe there aren't more replies in here!
i'm not really a huge fan of pink floyd (well, i don't really listen to their music too much atm), but i did hear dark side of the moon hundreds of time as a child (my uncle was a junkie). lovely drummer.
I also listened to Dark Side Of The Moon hundreds of times and I was not a junkie or anything, just loved the music, but never really focused on the drumming parts very much until now and I see what a lot of you are saying about the genius of leaving things out to add to the over all musical effect. However, I am a bit disturbed (and this will reveal my naivety about the music business) about the Jim Keltner interview in Drum head magazine mentioned here by DrumEatDrum were Nick was replaced by a session drummer while he sat by reading a magazine. I have read about the cut throat dealings that can occur in the music business but the insensitivity of it all is a total turn off and I question why anybody would want to be part of that. I though session drummers were used to do the boring work in the studio mostly because the band members could not be bothered with it. But this is different and requires re-evaluating everything.
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  #18  
Old 08-18-2010, 04:48 PM
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Default Re: Nick Mason

Quote:
Originally Posted by bonzolead View Post
I like Nick Mason except he always had Double-Bass and I can't. think of one Pink Floyd tune that has double bass in it.

Besides that he is one of those great less is more drummers and don't. think the Floyd tunes would sound the same with a different drummer.

Bonzolead
There were lots of players with double bass kits in the 60s and 70s who did nothing that is now stereotypical about double bass drum playing. The kind of stuff that it typically thought of as double bass playing now began with the NWOBHM bands, then further developed with the early thrash bands, etc.
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  #19  
Old 08-18-2010, 05:54 PM
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Default Re: Nick Mason

Quote:
Originally Posted by DrumEatDrum View Post
Did anyone read the Jim Keltner interview in Drum head magazine? He discusses when he got called into play in Pink Floyd's "Momentary Lapse of Reason" album. He said Nick just sat in the studio reading magazines, not the least bit concerned that the producer was having someone else record his tracks. Jim's take was that "Nick's playing had sold 100 million records, what else does he have to prove?"
Typically, a session guy gets brought in to a recording scenario for a band's drummer if he can't cut it in the studio.

Nowadays, many bands that have a drummer that is a sideman for live playing may have an altogether different drummer for recording an album.

So, I can only assume that Nick Mason's reasons for not playing on the album were ultimately his choice. Not feeling like he has anything to prove makes sense. I think he got bored with drumming there for a while and was only interested in auto racing and producing music occasionally.

Producers, especially very famous and prolific ones that have the complete confidence of the record company, can weild enormous influence on which musicians can be selected for a recording.

I read somewhere that Chris Daughtry had known and been playing with Joey Barnes (drummer) before his first album came out. Since he was probably "handled" extensively for the production of the album, there was probably no question that a studio ace would be brought in to record the drums for his first album. Josh Freese recorded all the drums and percussion for that album.

Second time around, Daughtry probably had more say in the production of the album and Joey had proven himself thoroughly. Great drummer BTW.

I love Nick Mason's playing and I don't think any less of him for not drumming on one of Pink Floyd's albums.
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  #20  
Old 08-18-2010, 06:12 PM
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Default Re: Nick Mason

Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzkidding View Post
I also listened to Dark Side Of The Moon hundreds of times and I was not a junkie or anything, just loved the music, but never really focused on the drumming parts very much until now and I see what a lot of you are saying about the genius of leaving things out to add to the over all musical effect. However, I am a bit disturbed (and this will reveal my naivety about the music business) about the Jim Keltner interview in Drum head magazine mentioned here by DrumEatDrum were Nick was replaced by a session drummer while he sat by reading a magazine. I have read about the cut throat dealings that can occur in the music business but the insensitivity of it all is a total turn off and I question why anybody would want to be part of that. I though session drummers were used to do the boring work in the studio mostly because the band members could not be bothered with it. But this is different and requires re-evaluating everything.
I would not worry too much about it in this case. By that album Pink Floyd was a household name and the band was working on its own terms. Not always the case though
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  #21  
Old 08-19-2010, 07:59 PM
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Default Re: Nick Mason

Generally, studio recoded drumming would be perfect because of the combined effort of the drummer himself and the engineers. God knows howmany retakes were done during the recording proceess.
In my book, the drummer is excellent only if he reproduces the same sound like in the album or something different which is interesting when asked to play live.

Pulse album-- basically DSOTM live-- sloppy drumming, ... sorry!!

"A lot of our tracks have sounded a lot better than I thought they would because of recording, mixing, and because I probably didn't hear it that way"-- Charley Watts.
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  #22  
Old 08-19-2010, 08:37 PM
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Default Re: Nick Mason

Quote:
Originally Posted by BrewBillfold View Post
There were lots of players with double bass kits in the 60s and 70s who did nothing that is now stereotypical about double bass drum playing. The kind of stuff that it typically thought of as double bass playing now began with the NWOBHM bands, then further developed with the early thrash bands, etc.
What's a NWOBHM band? Tommy Aldridge always did great double bass stuff no matter if it was Black Oak Arkansas or Pat Travers in the 70's & he had less drums & did more chops than Nick IMO don't. get me wrong I like Nick's playing but you can do any Pink Floyd tune on a 4-piece kit with just a single bass pedal. but i guess that's the spectacle of the over the top rock drummer LOL

Bonzolead
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  #23  
Old 08-19-2010, 09:11 PM
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Default Re: Nick Mason

Quote:
What's a NWOBHM band?
New Wave Of British Heavy Metal (Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, etc. afaik).
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  #24  
Old 08-19-2010, 10:41 PM
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Default Re: Nick Mason

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Originally Posted by Fuo View Post
New Wave Of British Heavy Metal (Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, etc. afaik).
Cool thanks learn something new everyday.

Bonzolead
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  #25  
Old 08-20-2010, 01:24 AM
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Default Re: Nick Mason

Quote:
Originally Posted by bonzolead View Post
What's a NWOBHM band? Tommy Aldridge always did great double bass stuff no matter if it was Black Oak Arkansas or Pat Travers in the 70's & he had less drums & did more chops than Nick IMO don't. get me wrong I like Nick's playing but you can do any Pink Floyd tune on a 4-piece kit with just a single bass pedal. but i guess that's the spectacle of the over the top rock drummer LOL

Bonzolead
I agree that you could play the gist of it on a 4 piece, but songs like "Set the Controls..." would sound a bit lame without the range of toms - maybe a 4 piece and an Octapad....
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Old 08-09-2011, 09:37 PM
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Default Re: Nick Mason

I always though this playing was perfect for that band. Just like Charlie Watt's for the Stones- they both made the music 'happen."

Does anybody know his exact cymbal set-up for the Pulse tour? (the Paiste website may not have it correct).
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  #27  
Old 06-09-2012, 08:55 PM
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Default Portraits of Nick Mason - Pink Floyd

hi folks,

About portraits of Nick Mason...this portrait ( oilpainting... on wood ) I realised as a student in 1977 :

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?f...type=1&theater

enjoy it...

TJ
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  #28  
Old 11-20-2012, 08:28 AM
AllTheCoolNamesAreTaken AllTheCoolNamesAreTaken is offline
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Default Re: Nick Mason

Nick's the drummer for the job. It's fun learning his parts, because they're so spacious. It's a different skill than just technical stuff. So I don't generally make fun of him technically ... but I really have to say how lame it is that he overdubbed the hi-hat sixteenths for the end of "Have a Cigar". :-P I mean, come in. It's not even fast!
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  #29  
Old 01-15-2013, 01:19 AM
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Default Re: Nick Mason

I love Mason's style. He is a great inspiration to me and my drumming. His style is very laid back and wild at times. I love it!
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  #30  
Old 01-18-2013, 02:51 AM
B_HALF19 B_HALF19 is offline
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Default Re: Nick Mason

One of my absolute favorites. Very underrated. I truly believe sometimes it's what you DON'T play that makes the song. (Ringo, Nick Mason, Charlie Watts, Doug Clifford, Patrick Carney, Brad Wilk, etc).

I'd rather listen to a good solid drummer that makes a song FEEL good than someone who is flashy for the sake of being flashy. (Except for Gavin Harrison, who does both!!)

Nick is great and Pink Floyd is one of my favorite bands of all time.
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  #31  
Old 01-18-2013, 02:55 AM
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Default Re: Nick Mason

Also, as a side note... I'm embarrassed to admit, as a Pink Floyd fan, that I did not know until very recently that Jeff Porcaro played drums on "Mother" (The Wall).

I guess Nick struggled with the odd time signature changes.
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  #32  
Old 01-22-2013, 11:50 PM
AllTheCoolNamesAreTaken AllTheCoolNamesAreTaken is offline
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Default Re: Nick Mason

Quote:
Originally Posted by B_HALF19 View Post
Also, as a side note... I'm embarrassed to admit, as a Pink Floyd fan, that I did not know until very recently that Jeff Porcaro played drums on "Mother" (The Wall).

I guess Nick struggled with the odd time signature changes.
I think it was more the press rolls. I've never heard one in a song that Nick played, which leads me to believe he can't do them (he also doesn't play dynamics). But he still drummed on some great songs.
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  #33  
Old 01-23-2013, 08:04 AM
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Default Re: Nick Mason

In late November 2007, I had the pleasure of meeting and interviewing Norman Smith in his home, shortly before he died. I think it may have been his last interview.

Some of you may know him as the Abbey Road recording producer who worked with The Beatles on all their albums right up to Rubber Soul (almost 100 tracks in all), and Pink Floyd's first second and fourth studio albums. He had some great stories and as far as I was concerned I could have spent many more hours listening, however his health was failing and I didn't want to stress him too much.

Anyway, what some might not know is he was a drummer and percussionist, and often if a drummer in a band was struggling with a part he would step in and play. He played on 'Remember A Day' from Saucer Full of Secrets, and in fact it was only ever played it once live apparently (on Later with Jools Holland), by a band put together by Gilmore, and not by Mason.

He also played on some Beatles tracks when Ringo simply could not get his head around what the producer wanted. However, I can't remember which ones.

I think Norman 'Hurricane' Smith (or Norman 'Normal' Smith as John Lennon liked to call him) should be recognised as a drummer as well as a producer and recording artist.

He and his wife were very nice people and it was a pleasure to meet them.
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Old 01-29-2013, 06:16 PM
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Default Re: Nick Mason

It kinda pisses me off that he never seemed to bother to get better. I mean if you are getting paid so much money for your craft, you should make an effort to improve. But from Dark Side of the Moon onwards, it seems his technique pretty much plateaued. You could argue all that stuff about his playing being "perfect for the music" and all that, but for those of us honing our craft daily, it's a bit annoying.

But who knows, he might have oodles of technique that he doesn't want to show off.
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