Help with the Keith Moon left-lead-triplet thing

KamaK

Platinum Member
I've been working on this a while, and the bottom line is that my KM left-lead-triplet-thing doesn't sound as good as other drummers' KM-left-lead-triplet-thing.

To give an example, take a listen to Roy McDonald's rendition at the 2:30 mark... There's a return fill, followed by several bars of the triplet lick. It sounds so full and energetic, and so much better than my attempts, that I can only conclude that I'm missing something and doing it wrong. I've tried slowing it down, but I'm still left guessing.


Can someone please explain what exactly he's doing there?

Note: For those wondering... Yes, that's Charlotte Caffey's daughter. Holy crap she sounds just like her mother.
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
at 2:30 there is nothing, at 2.32 is the same as 2:24 and 2.28, is that what you mean or at 2:35?
It's the repeating lick on the outro. Beginning at ~2:35 and ending at 2:48.

I've tried it as a left-hand-lead-triplet on the rack down to the floor, and as a 4-note-ruff starting with the right on the floor, alternating floor/rack.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
If you want to both lead and end with the left, work on the Ratamacue. LLRLRL RRLRLR. This might not be what they are doing, but it can be cycled as triplets and does what you ask.
 

johnwesley

Silver Member
Whoever the drummer is in the video has the Keith look down pretty good. Doesn't play like him but sure has the movements......As for the left hand lead. Do like Moon and don't worry how to do it....listen to the sound and lay it however best you can and don't worry about which hand leads. Replicate the sound NOT the left or right way to do it.....
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
Keith was a flowing drummer-lots of rolls and explosive cymbals. He led with whatever hand was handy or did it with one hand. Sometimes it was just random, wild energy disconnected from the song LOL (I think all the other players would just play and sing on top of him at times). But he would always come in on time when it counted-seems he wanted the drums to have a bigger voice than just keep time. His solos were just crazy. What's not to like!!!!
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
@MrInsanePolack -- I'll add RMQ's back to my practice rotation for a week and see what happens. While I've worked them before, I tend to use them only in 6/8 pieces as my go-to fill when transitioning from verse to chorus. Will try to lean on them in 4/4 stuff and see what happens.

@johnwesley -- That's sorta what I'm trying here. I can play the triplet figure almost any which way, but nothing sounds like what Keith, Roy, or any other drummer is doing. Even when matching the cymbal placement, my rendition sounds dead and uninspired... Like I'm missing something or feeling it wrong.

Roy does it in the first chorus to this song as well, but it is far less pronounced...

 
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johnwesley

Silver Member
@johnwesley -- That's sorta what I'm trying here. I can play the triplet figure almost any which way, but nothing sounds like what Keith, Roy, or any other drummer is doing. Even when matching the cymbal placement, my rendition sounds dead and uninspired... Like I'm missing something or feeling it wrong.

2 things for you. 1) Quit trying to do it like all other drummers. Moon always said "I'm the best Keith Moon style drummer in the world."
2) As I said before. Listen to the sound you want and figure the best way to play it your way. Your way is the key
 

johnwesley

Silver Member
Keith was a flowing drummer-lots of rolls and explosive cymbals. He led with whatever hand was handy or did it with one hand. Sometimes it was just random, wild energy disconnected from the song LOL (I think all the other players would just play and sing on top of him at times). But he would always come in on time when it counted-seems he wanted the drums to have a bigger voice than just keep time. His solos were just crazy. What's not to like!!!!
Let me say this from first hand knowledge. Yeah Keith was a "flowing" drummer as you say. But he knew exactly what he was doing. He just blew out the standard parameters that nearly every single drummer adheres to. Bonham NOT excluded, but that's another post. Moon was not Mr Backbeat although he did have the capability, but used that method to "rest" before moving on to the next round of "explosions" that amazed everyone who ever saw him perform. He didn't think in terms of triplets, 16th notes, paradiddles, etc. He only though in terms of how much he could get in the measure before the next one started. Listen closely to his drumming on "Tommy", and you'll hear him doing things you never thought to do. He did. He put rolls and cymbal crashes in the "wrong" places, BUT if you listen again, light bulb goes off and you realize what he did was genius. I think the best way to put it is Moon was constantly on experimental auto-pilot. He was truly the best rock drummer ever. Oh. In addition to the playing, he entertained. and UNLIKE MOST STICK TWIRLING ONE TRICK HUMAN METRONOMES.....Moon's entertaining style was completely natural and uncontrived. WHY? Keith loved the drums and BECAME the drumset.
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
People get weirdly hung up on what hand to use for what. I tend to think in terms of what comes next. If I need my right hand to be somewhere else then I'll voice more things with my left. Point is, don't worry too much about sticking, think in terms of efficiency and what you need to do next. For example a 4 note "fill" down the toms, might happen as LRLR or LLRR, or heck, even RRRR entirely depending on what happens afterwards and where I "need to be".
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
You know Art, if you "like" everything, pretty soon you become the boy who cried "like" and nobody will take notice when you really do need to like something huge.
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
People get weirdly hung up on what hand to use for what. I tend to think in terms of what comes next. If I need my right hand to be somewhere else then I'll voice more things with my left. Point is, don't worry too much about sticking, think in terms of efficiency and what you need to do next. For example a 4 note "fill" down the toms, might happen as LRLR or LLRR, or heck, even RRRR entirely depending on what happens afterwards and where I "need to be".
I get that, I really do, and I'm willing to try different permutations for what is essentially a 3-4 note triplet ad-lib to a 4/4 money beat.

I posted because there's gotta be someone here that uses this, or studied this, and would love to know their approach, or if they can figure out Roy's approach.

I guess I'm gonna have to ping Roy and see what happens.
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
You know Art, if you "like" everything, pretty soon you become the boy who cried "like" and nobody will take notice when you really do need to like something huge.
[/QUOTE]
There I gave you love Doc. I thought the thumb was the finger? WTH??. Yes I love this new option-we need emoji too=see mine I use my stiff thumb cause my third digit won't straighten LOL. See I'm in agonizing pain when I do it-so it's the thumb for me. You guys slay me. ROFL. WTH my multitasking is really sucking wind today. I keep mixing up threads and posts-crap getting old sucks. My wife has me painting some wicker furniture so I'm in basement multitasking painting, posting on here and FB, and then drum breaks to beat out my frustrations-I hate painting wicker (I got paint all over me-I should have sprayed it).
 
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johnwesley

Silver Member
You're concentrating too much on "studying", "thinking", "worrying". You need to "feel" the drums or else you're just a technician. Best analogy I can think of is African rhythms played by tribal guys. They have some outstanding rhythmic sequences and not a one of them "studied" the patterns or looked at charts to see what to play. They just go with the flow and play based on feeling. Like the difference between Bonham and Moon. Bonham was a great technician, Moon was a great drummer. Switching instruments for a moment, I remember Artie Shaw talking about a conversation he had with Benny Goodman. Benny asked Artie who was the best clarinetist? Artie told him "I can't answer that. I'm a musician. You're problem is you concentrate too mush on the the clarinet and technique rather than the music you're making." Moon summed it up this way "Give me a mandolin and I'll play rock and roll." Bottom line is hear the sound in your head and figure out for yourself the best way to replicate it, whether its LRR RLL RLR LLL , ETC. Find the best way to do it your way and move on. Anyone can learn scales, but not everyone can play music.
 

Mongrel

Silver Member
Somewhere out there....

Is a video interview with Daltry where he talks about how Keith followed the vocal line with his patterns. Daltry even pulls up a Who tune and demonstrate it.

THAT taught me more about how Moon thought and more importantly, how he responded to the music in context than anything else I've read or heard about him.

I don't know, but maybe that could be helpful in thinking about how to apply yourself to those triplets...
 

johnwesley

Silver Member
You're right Mongrel. Moon was a master at playing the song. Following Daltrey then Townshend when Daltrey wasn't singing.
 

Mongrel

Silver Member
Here's that interview with the band:


I love it when Entwistle says they could isolate the drum track and know the tune because Keith would be playing the "vocals".
 

johnwesley

Silver Member
Interesting how they each described Moon's playing and the way it fit in the band. Lots of people think Moon could only have worked out in a band like the Who, but he at one time was considering a move, though not too seriously, to the Animals. He would have fit with them perfectly as well. Because he played to the song, I personally think he could have worked in a lot of different bands. Listen to his drumming on Quadraphenia and how diverse he'd gotten. Personally I think the only mistake Moon made. aside from overdosing, was expanding his kit with all those toms and gong drums. It became too much for him and unlike his admission to me prior to that about not having to "think" about what drum to hit, the huge kit he ended with did just that. Took his attention away from the music to "WTF drum do I hit next?"
Sorry to ramble on guys, but I know a lot about and am very opinionated when it comes to the greatest rock drummer that ever lived.
 

Rattlin' Bones

Gold Member
Moon was a good jazz drummer. Which is different than a rock drummer. he didn't just keep time didn't just work around 2 & 4 back beats. Like a lot of jazz drumming which plays and comps off the melody line rather than just keeping time, so kick does different things and accents whatever instrument is doing solo break or ensemble doing melody. Moon played to the song.

Good advice from others don't worry about form just listen and play. You gotta listen and make your drumming part of and fit the entire ensemble sound.

Somewhere out there....

Is a video interview with Daltry where he talks about how Keith followed the vocal line with his patterns. Daltry even pulls up a Who tune and demonstrate it.

THAT taught me more about how Moon thought and more importantly, how he responded to the music in context than anything else I've read or heard about him.

I don't know, but maybe that could be helpful in thinking about how to apply yourself to those triplets...
 

johnwesley

Silver Member
Moon was a good jazz drummer. Which is different than a rock drummer. he didn't just keep time didn't just work around 2 & 4 back beats. Like a lot of jazz drumming which plays and comps off the melody line rather than just keeping time, so kick does different things and accents whatever instrument is doing solo break or ensemble doing melody. Moon played to the song.

Good advice from others don't worry about form just listen and play. You gotta listen and make your drumming part of and fit the entire ensemble sound.
Not sure I'd describe Moon as a jazz drummer, but you're right about his not being just a time keeping human metronome. I get pretty irritated as those who complain that he couldn't keep time. He certainly did within all the other stuff he threw in. As for jazz drummer, I remember someone (maybe Townshend) said he was more like a percussionist in a symphony orchestra, because he played ALL the parts. Kinda what Moon told me when he said he just fills in the stuff Pete forgot to put in.
 

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