Excited to get a chance to play 50 Ways in a band

Rotarded

Senior Member
Sweet! I'd be all about playing that!

I will occasionally break out that riff at sound check and it creates a commotion, nearly every time, from the audience.
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
Because it's such an iconic and instantly recognizable rhythm, you've got to play it exactly like Gadd did. It's actually not a hard part, a close listen will tell you how the hat is used. But there's no making it your own or getting the flavor, you have to play that part! :)

If the band is ambitious, a little cheesy, and very brave, that would segue perfectly into "One Tin Soldier" :)

Bermuda
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
Steve Gadd does a complete breakdown on Youtube.. Search it out if you feel you need it.
 

Frank

Gold Member
I got it, but thanks.

Yeah - there is a breakdown by Dr. Gadd on YouTube posted by our hosts at Drummerworld.
 
M

Matt Bo Eder

Guest
Am I crazy for being so happy that I finally found a band where I can play the Gaddtastic 50 Ways riff? We're going to do 50 Ways, and I'm very happy.
An iconic part to be played for sure! I learned how to play it, but never had a band willing to play it. Have fun on that one!
 

brentcn

Platinum Member
Sweet! There's a live version with some very tasty fills, and a bit more energy in the choruses. Worth checking out.

The chorus chord progression is a nice easy one to solo over, so there's some jamming/improv opportunity there.
 
I learned to play it and the funny thing for me is that it became muscle memory. If I try to think about what I'm playing I'll usually mess something up. But if I just let my body go at it, I play it correctly.

The hardest part for me is that I really want those tambourine hits. With both hands busy that would mean using my left foot for the tambourine, but it's doing the open/close for the main beat. I never figured out how it would be possible to do both.
 

Frank

Gold Member
Because it's such an iconic and instantly recognizable rhythm, you've got to play it exactly like Gadd did. It's actually not a hard part, a close listen will tell you how the hat is used. But there's no making it your own or getting the flavor, you have to play that part! :)

If the band is ambitious, a little cheesy, and very brave, that would segue perfectly into "One Tin Soldier" :)

Bermuda
I know, but I always can't help myself. I have made the teeniest, tinyest tweak. Acceptable? :) [I don't play it with the left hand on the hi hat]
 

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supermac

Senior Member
I will occasionally break out that riff at sound check and it creates a commotion, nearly every time, from the audience.
Likewise. Totally brilliant drum part. Never played the song with a band. One day, hopefully. Love Gadd's "military-style" stuff.
 

Frank

Gold Member
Fast forward 3 years. That band never made it to a gig. [surprise surprise] Was ok, because no one would have attended. The material, except for 50 Ways, was snoozetastic from a live play situation.

Today, discussion of the rhythm broke out among drum friends on Facebook, and I was surprised to see how many people admitted they didn't play it. Which made me revisit. Which made me finally decide - no tweaks, this round, I play it note for note. Which I'm doing fine. But - I still don't like having my left hand on the hi hat. Thoughts? Bermuda? :) [asking Bermuda because he who rightfully asserted last round that you Gotta play it Exact. After all, it Is Dr. Gadd. I really love Steve Gadd's playing.]
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
I'm jealous. I spent years learning how to play it (and also his rhythms on "Late in the Evening"), and NEVER got to play it at all. Good for you!
 

Push pull stroke

Platinum Member
I'm jealous. I spent years learning how to play it (and also his rhythms on "Late in the Evening"), and NEVER got to play it at all. Good for you!
Maybe we could have a get-together where we fly in to somewhere, hire a good band, and we take turns playing the 50 Ways groove, Funky Drummer groove, etc..
 

mikyok

Platinum Member
Sweet! I'd be all about playing that!

I will occasionally break out that riff at sound check and it creates a commotion, nearly every time, from the audience.
Good way to find the muso in the crowd.

I crack out Mushanga if I have to mic up
 

brentcn

Platinum Member
Fast forward 3 years. That band never made it to a gig. [surprise surprise] Was ok, because no one would have attended. The material, except for 50 Ways, was snoozetastic from a live play situation.

Today, discussion of the rhythm broke out among drum friends on Facebook, and I was surprised to see how many people admitted they didn't play it. Which made me revisit. Which made me finally decide - no tweaks, this round, I play it note for note. Which I'm doing fine. But - I still don't like having my left hand on the hi hat. Thoughts? Bermuda? :) [asking Bermuda because he who rightfully asserted last round that you Gotta play it Exact. After all, it Is Dr. Gadd. I really love Steve Gadd's playing.]
It can be done cross-handed as well. It's more effort in some ways, less in others.

If you're a trad player, it's nice to have the left hand on the hi-hat, because it can conveniently play the top of the hi-hat for a lighter, more articulate sound. At first it's weird to play beat 2 and the and of beat 2 with the left hand, but it eventually gets comfy. Also, to play the floor tom note (along with the bass drum) on beat 3, it's just a bit easier to move your right stick from the snare to the floor tom, rather than from the hi-hat to floor tom.

Also, I usually add the left foot on the hi-hat on the and of beat 3 and the and of beat 4, in order to mimic the castanet overdub on the original recording. It feels a bit sparse to me if I leave this out.
 

oldskoolsoul

Silver Member
..Maybe we could have a get-together where we fly in to somewhere and we take turns playing the 50 Ways groove, Funky Drummer groove, etc..

I like that idea..!

To fly to somewhere is not that easy though, but how about a sort of teaser video with you playing those..?

Just curious about that.. :)
 

oldskoolsoul

Silver Member
..Someone say video?..

Yes, i am always curious to see how members play, especially when they are very active in the 'technique' section..

But, another idea could be to make a sort of chain-video (thats how we call that in dutch..lol) with a lot of other members playing those songs (or just the one from this thread) too..

I honestly have no recording equipment at home, but lets just make a survey to see who is interested in the idea..

And if a nice get-together can happen like that, i am pretty sure that during a soundcheck someone can record a version of myself with a phone too.. :)
 
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