Is Sing Sing Sing technical?

freyadrums

New member
Hi, I’m looking at playing sing sing sing for a drum audition, and wondered would you say it is a technical piece? As I’m grade 8 and looking for something that level without playing the classic pieces from a grade 8 exam book! So want a piece to demonstrate grade 8 skills but be a well known piece! Would you say Sing Sing Sing is a good option?
 

Morrisman

Platinum Member
Sing sing sing is more about feel and timing than technicality. Consistent tempo, controlled accents and the ability to change from the floor tom beat to the cymbal beat seamlessly. Essentially just two alternating beats that have to sound good to the listener.

For a ‘technical’ drum kit piece I think more of Dave Weckl’s published solos, with odd time changes and complex grooves, or Murray Houlliff’s book, or even the solos at the end of Latham’s Funk Studies book.
 

flamateurhour

Active member
I think that relative to other swing music or jazz that's out there, maybe not, but it would take an immense study to really nail the feel, tone, and energy of Krupa's performances. Would be fantastic if you really learned to character act the role in that song.
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
I think that relative to other swing music or jazz that's out there, maybe not, but it would take an immense study to really nail the feel, tone, and energy of Krupa's performances. Would be fantastic if you really learned to character act the role in that song.
That's a wonderful idea and would take it to "technical" with the Krupa animated smiling lean and flamboyant rise of his arms playing the song. He takes off near end. Hot dang that brass section is on fire.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
There's a guy out here in LA named Randy (I forget his last name) and yearly he does the "Krupa v Rich" thing at the Hollywood drum show with Jimmy Ford doing the Buddy part, and I swear, he totally evokes Gene Krupa - he has all the mannerisms and face down. It was just so fun to watch since I never got to see Krupa perform in person. Jimmy Ford as Buddy was a total chops fest, but we always talk about how Randy just looks and feels more Krupa. It would be interesting if, for your audition, you just invoked the spirit of Krupa and really performed the solo as he did. That would score you points right there!
 

johnwesley

Silver Member
Krupa made the song "his" thanks to Benny Goodman, but the song was written by Louis Prima and his drummer Jimmy Vincent was the first to play it. A bit different than Krupa. Actually ore of a Buddy Rich style. Take a look.

 
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Griener

Member
....his drummer Jimmy Vincent was the first to play it.
I doubt that. Jimmy Vincent was born in 1923 and Gene Krupa recorded Sing Sing Sing for the first time in 1937.
But indeed there are different approaches to play that piece (which made me want to become a drummer when I first heard it in 1982).
One of my favorite version is British drummer Bobby Orr playing it with Benny Goodman in 1970 in Stockholm:
 

Griener

Member
Actually the drummer on the first recording of that song was George Pemberty in 1936.
And it wasn't a drum feature at all:
 

johnwesley

Silver Member
Actually the drummer on the first recording of that song was George Pemberty in 1936.
And it wasn't a drum feature at all:
Greiner, thanks for the info. By all accounts I've seen, Jimmy Vincent was born in 1923. As for his being first to drum Sing Sing Sing, I assumed as much because I have a DVD called Louis Prima The Ultimate and that's were the clip from Jimmy playing the song came from so my assumption was he played it first with Prima. I never heard the "non'drum solo" version you posted but knew it was a vocal song to begin with. Interesting, and thanks for the correction.
 
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