Hey Joe: Great drumming or overplaying?

steadypocket

Gold Member
Mitch Mitchell’s busy style of drumming never appealed to me personally. Any recordings of him where he let 20 seconds elapse without playing a fill? Nonetheless his style did appeal to those who hired him, and many fans of the recordings he played in. That’s the sound they were looking for and Mitchell clearly established himself as a player with an identifiable sound—one that was highly sought after.
 

fredbear

Junior Member
imagine trying to play it if the guitar was down lower.....for this to work its gotta have a good mix, I def would play it different if the guitar was at a lower volume
 

mrfingers

Senior Member
I think Mitch played it like no other would have. Buddy Miles and Billy Cox were solid players but a let down for me, just not having that spark of Mitch Mitchell and Noel Redding.

Agreed. I felt something was really missing with change of personnel.
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
I find it odd that the dudes who write a song could ever be accused of overplaying that song... Like, really odd.
 

Hollywood Jim

Platinum Member
I find it odd that the dudes who write a song could ever be accused of overplaying that song... Like, really odd.

I agree. It's like saying Beethoven wrote musical scores that were too busy;
his music had too many musical notes written for too many instruments.


.
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
As has allready been mentioned before in this thread, but Jimi Hendrix has not written Hey Joe, meaning that his version was basically also a cover..

No one knows exactly who wrote that song, but the first famous version is this one..:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XPa2HzDV7-0

Right, but I noticed that the two versions bare little resemblance to one another. It's pretty safe to say that the drums are pretty busy on both, as well. My head is still treating them like different songs for the purpose of coming up with a drum part; I'm sure you can see Mitch couldn't have played the original drum part when Jimi didn't play the original arrangement, right?
 

BrokenStick

Junior Member
It fits because that's the only way most of us have ever heard it. Mitch took his jazz background and made it fit the rock scene.
That's brilliant in its own right.

Great tune for sure.

Also pretty busy. Maybe it is familiarity bias: not anywhere near as good.

I'd say Mitch Mitchell's playing was both a part of the source of and reflection of the zeitgeist. And I'd be willing to bet there may well be versions out that are less verbose. It's an emotionally angry and violent song; I'd say they conveyed that in the playing.
 

moodman

Well-known member
Mitch changed things for drummers, like Ringo did, Jimi coulda had his pick. I try to imagine Aranoff with Jimi...nah.
 

someguy01

Well-known member
No one knows exactly who wrote that song, but the first famous version is this one..:
Billy Roberts has the copyright (1962). Dino Valenti is also credited with writing the song.
 

paradiddle pete

Platinum Member
In the 60's no one was stopping you, now it's a different story.. Jazz drumming easily blended into rock , Ian Paice comes to mind.. Ginger Baker etc..
 

steadypocket

Gold Member
I think you have not catched the sarcasm in my previous reply, because i agree with everything you wrote..

People who say that Mitch Mitchell is 'overplaying' songs, in my opinion seriously have not understood a few things about drumming, about freedom, about expression, about creativity, about power and about musicality in general..

I mean, whats next, that we all decide that Strawberry Fields Forever also has too many fills..?
People who don’t believe that Mitchell’s busy playing doesn’t constitute overplaying in my opinion don’t understand the concept of supporting the song. My point is that it really just is a personal preference. I just dislike the busy drummers (Mitchell, Baker, etc.) of that generation that started out as jazz drummers. For some reason, busy drummers like Peart and Gavin Harrison create drum parts that are really part of the composition, rather than Baker’s busy for the sake of busy approach.
 

bud7h4

Silver Member
It's great overplaying. It was intentional; there was a point to it.
It sounds a little unstable . . . . like the mind of someone who just shot his "ole lady" for cheating on him.

The Doors did this kind of thing too, but less subtle.

Edit: by "unstable" I don't mean the playing itself, I mean the feel or emotion.
 
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C.M. Jones

Well-known member
It's great overplaying. It was intentional; there was a point to it.
It sounds a little unstable . . . . like the mind of someone who just shot his "ole lady" for cheating on him.
Well stated. The song's seeming instability is in perfect concurrence with its turbulent theme. It's a tale of structured chaos, an effort to portray the madness of violence through the medium of rhythmic motion. Mitch's drumming, like Jimi's guitar playing, is a jagged brush moving frantically over a bloodstained canvass. Nothing about the composition should be changed.
 

ricky

Senior Member
That was the style, no?

Like did they wear too much fur and feathers and flowery shirts and were their bell bottoms too big and was their hair too long and did they smoke too much dope???

Or not enough?
 

opentune

Platinum Member
People who don’t believe that Mitchell’s busy playing doesn’t constitute overplaying in my opinion don’t understand the concept of supporting the song. My point is that it really just is a personal preference. I just dislike the busy drummers (Mitchell, Baker, etc.) of that generation that started out as jazz drummers. For some reason, busy drummers like Peart and Gavin Harrison create drum parts that are really part of the composition, rather than Baker’s busy for the sake of busy approach.

I'd never mix or compare Mitchell and Baker, two very different styles. Even though he started in jazz, Ginger has the 'African thing' going in his beats and approach . Almost no other rock drummer had that. When you hear people cover Cream or Blind Faith songs you can tell what is missing.
 

blinky

Senior Member
That was the style, no?

Like did they wear too much fur and feathers and flowery shirts and were their bell bottoms too big and was their hair too long and did they smoke too much dope???

Or not enough?
I would say just about the right amount of everything including "overplaying" 😁
 

moodman

Well-known member
If the music 'asks' for it, it isn't overplaying, supporting the song isn't necessarily fill-less time keeping.
Especially in improvisation, interaction on a dynamic level and response level are part of your job. You have to learn that on the gig and, just might have to overplay a little to learn how far to go and when to do what.
I want to support any soloist whether they like interaction or a solid groove sans fills.
 

MntnMan62

Junior Member
I happen to think the drumming on Hey Joe is outstanding. Very slick actually. And not too much at all. In fact, I think besides Jimi's sound and his songwriting ability, the drum fills on that tune helped to make it as iconic as it is.
 
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