Africa by Toto, Hi-hat sticking?

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
Even hard copy printed transcriptions that you purchase in books usually have some errors. (A friend of mine has a book of Rush transcriptions, and all the really cool fills are wrong.)
That's because all transcriptions are merely interpretations, not scientific facts, making the efficacy of any interpretation debatable. Treat transcriptions as academic models, but play the songs they explicate however you wish. In summation, let your own interpretations prevail.
 

oldskoolsoul

Silver Member
Well, to me in that Montreux video, Porcaro pretty clearly plays mostly one-handed 16ths and groups of an 8th + two 16ths on the ride in the chorus as a main pattern..

There is no need to play constantly one-handed 16ths, just like Porcaro himself also varies them with groups of two 16ths and an 8th in the verses and on each 2 and 4 in the intro..

Plus, there are also the fills, etc..

Meaning, if your main groove idea will be one-handed 16ths, you will serve the song in the 16th shaker/hi-hat feel plus your right hand will have enough rest every now and then to keep playing like that..
 

brentcn

Platinum Member
That's because all transcriptions are merely interpretations, not scientific facts, making the efficacy of any interpretation debatable. Treat transcriptions as academic models, but play the songs they explicate however you wish. In summation, let your own interpretations prevail.
If you’ve got tons of experience, sure. But if not, it’s better to check out what other, more experienced drummers are doing. These days we can go right to the source: the drummers playing the gigs with the actual band who wrote the song.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
If you’ve got tons of experience, sure. But if not, it’s better to check out what other, more experienced drummers are doing. These days we can go right to the source: the drummers playing the gigs with the actual band who wrote the song.
Agreed. The wealth of data to which we have access can be very useful. As you've mentioned, however, there's a lot of nonsense in circulation as well, and beginners are particularly vulnerable to it. Caution is paramount. So yes, consulting primary sources (drummers who recorded songs originally) is a great option.
 

oldskoolsoul

Silver Member
On a sidenote..

I saw Toto a few months after Porcaro died with Simon Phillips and i had the whole time the feeling that i was looking at a Toto coverband..

That feeling stayed since that time, regardless the drummer they played with..
 

Mastiff

Senior Member
Thanks for all the replies. Regarding playing verbatim, I can see both sides. As a low-intermediate level drummer, there is value to me in attempting to match the originals simply to expand my horizons and vocabulary instead of falling back on familiar patterns. Ideally, I want to know that I could play the original and am choosing to apply my own twist. Of course, one problem is that lots of songs are multi-tracked and make exact matching nearly impossible (Message in a Bottle comes to mind in addition to this one).
 

brentcn

Platinum Member
On a sidenote..

I saw Toto a few months after Porcaro died with Simon Phillips and i had the whole time the feeling that i was looking at a Toto coverband..

That feeling stayed since that time, regardless the drummer they played with..
In a sense, every rock band is a cover band, as soon as they play a song one time.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
On a sidenote..

I saw Toto a few months after Porcaro died with Simon Phillips and i had the whole time the feeling that i was looking at a Toto coverband..

That feeling stayed since that time, regardless the drummer they played with..
I know what you mean. A drummer does a lot to define a band's character. The Police without Copeland would be unthinkable, for instance.
 

brentcn

Platinum Member
Thanks for all the replies. Regarding playing verbatim, I can see both sides. As a low-intermediate level drummer, there is value to me in attempting to match the originals simply to expand my horizons and vocabulary instead of falling back on familiar patterns. Ideally, I want to know that I could play the original and am choosing to apply my own twist. Of course, one problem is that lots of songs are multi-tracked and make exact matching nearly impossible (Message in a Bottle comes to mind in addition to this one).
Our job is made much more difficult when we’re trying to approximate with one kit, what was originally done with additional loops, percussion, and overdubs. But there are some tricks to that.

It’s useful to realize when there’s a constant note value, versus a more broken pattern. Then we can adjust our playing to fill in the gaps, if desired. You should pay equal attention to variety of sounds in the original groove, in order to decide if the notes you add will sound best on one sound source, or on a different sound source.
 

sumdrumguy

Senior Member
To my ears, the shaker pattern and the transitional fills are essential. For the shaker feel, I play a 3 note grouping (+a1 +a2...) on the hi-hat. For the fills, I base those on a mix of studio and live versions.
 

rhumbagirl

Senior Member
No No. No No No No No. If someone starts a thread about something, we're supposed to first give it our best shot at helping them with that something before discrediting the rationale behind it. Qualifying every issue gets really old here on DW.

My two cents.
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
I don't really try to make covers but just play to what I hear with what I got in my tool box of drumming skill. I don't know the song yet really but I was just playing to this yesterday-in my new house-after weeks of no play. What I did was play fast 16th notes with the accents on melody cues so Da dum -da dum dum -da dum dum dum, then fast 16s for twinkly part-then accents, etc. I know everyone understood that analysis LOL. I didn't even fool with toms yet. Playing the fast 16s with melody makes it sound less rushed (to my ear-only got one hearing aid now the other out for repair), but it's the same motion through out (you just don't hear it) My trying to emulate Nate Smith improved my fast 16th notes immensely (he's a beast) -and Steely Dan "Ruby Tuesday" is also fast 16s (throughout).
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
Well so here's Nate's change-no tom and now he decided to change it up a bit. I guess toms are Ok after all-must have been a panic attack. I really like the old skool blocks in front of bass in the first pic.
Screen Shot 2020-06-25 at 8.10.38 PM.pngScreen Shot 2020-06-25 at 8.09.59 PM.png
 

Push pull stroke

Platinum Member
What I did was play fast 16th notes with the accents on melody cues so Da dum -da dum dum -da dum dum dum, then fast 16s for twinkly part-then accents, etc. I know everyone understood that analysis LOL. I didn't even fool with toms yet. Playing the fast 16s with melody makes it sound less rushed (to my ear-only got one hearing aid now the other out for repair), but it's the same motion through out (you just don't hear it)
I like it. Brilliant.
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
I'm digressing to cutting and pasting again. It's like making a card rather than buying one-take some effort for people. "No No. No No No No No. If someone starts a thread about something, we're supposed to first give it our best shot at helping them with that something before discrediting the rationale behind it. Qualifying every issue gets really old here on DW." Ooooops! My Bad-well it wasn't discrediting as much as off topic-but point taken. The only thing separating mankind from the animals is........-well nothing come think of it. But you're correct and we need to focus on the problem rather than rabbit holes-like the one I fell in.
 

rhumbagirl

Senior Member
I'm digressing to cutting and pasting again. It's like making a card rather than buying one-take some effort for people. "No No. No No No No No. If someone starts a thread about something, we're supposed to first give it our best shot at helping them with that something before discrediting the rationale behind it. Qualifying every issue gets really old here on DW." Ooooops! My Bad-well it wasn't discrediting as much as off topic-but point taken. The only thing separating mankind from the animals is........-well nothing come think of it. But you're correct and we need to focus on the problem rather than rabbit holes-like the one I fell in.
That wasn't directed toward you specifically, GripGet. It was for those alluding to the notion that any effort to sound like someone else is senseless. Although I don't think anyone here thinks it's senseless to try to capture the "essence" of the original sound. HOWEVER, we were on this beautiful path to discussing Porcaro, drumming flow, etc, and some of you out there think it's a perfect time discuss individualism. I digress. LOL
 
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