Neil Peart

Stroman

Platinum Member
I myself am a huge Neil Peart fan but I've noticed how the quality of his drums are sounding not so good. I don't hate DW Drums but I think Neil should really do what he did back then and not use the stock heads on his drums. If he got like a Roll the Bones or Moving Pictures sound on his drums that would be good but I think it's because he stopped using the Slingerland snare. Ever since the Snakes and Arrows DVD the drums sound horribly tuned to me. The snare on the R30 DVD and album sounds godly compared to what it is now. But Neil really should go back to not using the stock heads. But his tech I think has said that his drums are like rarely tuned so that's why they probably sound awful. Neil is still a good drummer but it's just the EQ and what not is really awful.
Different strokes, I guess. he must like the sound.

The information that drums are rarely tuned is incorrect, but his current sound is definitely way different than the old Ludwig or Tama kits of yesteryear.
 

BenjaminCamelot

Senior Member
Different strokes, I guess. he must like the sound.

The information that drums are rarely tuned is incorrect, but his current sound is definitely way different than the old Ludwig or Tama kits of yesteryear.
I think I meant the heads are rarely changed or something I don't remember
 
I would consider his prime to be a lot earlier than the Time Machine tour - that was just three tours ago and he was beginning to slow his roll. His "prime" was Hemispheres to about Counterparts, IMO.
relatively speaking since I first saw him in 2007. I meant more like the prime of his later years.

saw Rush in

2007
2010
2011
2012
2015

Time Machine was probably the most memorable because my wife got to see him for the first time and Ghost Rider was a pivotal factor in us getting married believe it or not.
 

PlayTheSong

Senior Member
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Nu0FwUgAJs

Neil in his prime. still can't believe how hard he used to hit. look at that kit move.
In my experience, drums move like that when there's a bit too much give in the flooring, regardless of how hard you hit. If he doesn't dent or break heads (as someone claimed) the flooring of the riser/stage may be a factor.

Neil was my first favourite drummer. I love how well he scripts his fills but I kinda don't like that he never varies from the script. Can you imagine playing the same song for 30 years and never coming up with an improvement on what you played in the original recording? That's unusual, but he's one of the greats to me.
 

supermac

Senior Member
relatively speaking since I first saw him in 2007. I meant more like the prime of his later years.

saw Rush in

2007
2010
2011
2012
2015

Time Machine was probably the most memorable because my wife got to see him for the first time and Ghost Rider was a pivotal factor in us getting married believe it or not.
He was still great right up until the end.

But as others have said, his peak was in the 1980s.

Check out this show from 83/84 if you haven't already seen it.

Cheers.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q6fX5rB_9L0
 

MikeM

Platinum Member
Neil was my first favourite drummer. I love how well he scripts his fills but I kinda don't like that he never varies from the script. Can you imagine playing the same song for 30 years and never coming up with an improvement on what you played in the original recording? That's unusual, but he's one of the greats to me.
He was my first favorite drummer, too. Actually, Ringo and Moonie were, but NP was the first one to get my full undivided attention and made me feel like I really needed to figure out what he was doing.

The Grace Under Pressure tour video has some great moments where his playing gets pretty far off the recorded version. For example, the middle section of The Weapon is quite a bit more adventurous than what's on the record. It feels pretty improvised to me, though it's hard to know how much of it actually was.

I remember reading an interview back in the '80s where he said he liked solving his drum part puzzles before recording, but that other better ideas would often occur to him later and he'd essentially rewrite his parts before or during the tours. That was part of the reason they'd regularly do live records.

But I agree that he generally sticks to the script. For me, I appreciate and admire that approach because he treats his parts as actual compositions that perhaps *shouldn't* deviate a whole lot. Rush was not a jazz band or a jam band so to go looking for three guys to have a spontaneous musical conversation on stage misses the point of what they were all about.
 
In my experience, drums move like that when there's a bit too much give in the flooring, regardless of how hard you hit.
or sheer amount of energy expended, and DW's hardware. not saying things wouldn't be more solid were he using, say a Yamaha hex rack. still, makes for an enjoyable visual effect.
 

BenjaminCamelot

Senior Member
or sheer amount of energy expended, and DW's hardware. not saying things wouldn't be more solid were he using, say a Yamaha hex rack. still, makes for an enjoyable visual effect.
If he expanded out to a double bass kit again, his kit wouldn't really be super compact. However, if he used a rack for his kit, his kit would be a little odd considering how compact his kit is, like I said.
 

PlayTheSong

Senior Member
He was my first favorite drummer, too. Actually, Ringo and Moonie were, but NP was the first one to get my full undivided attention and made me feel like I really needed to figure out what he was doing.

The Grace Under Pressure tour video has some great moments where his playing gets pretty far off the recorded version. For example, the middle section of The Weapon is quite a bit more adventurous than what's on the record. It feels pretty improvised to me, though it's hard to know how much of it actually was.

I remember reading an interview back in the '80s where he said he liked solving his drum part puzzles before recording, but that other better ideas would often occur to him later and he'd essentially rewrite his parts before or during the tours. That was part of the reason they'd regularly do live records.

But I agree that he generally sticks to the script. For me, I appreciate and admire that approach because he treats his parts as actual compositions that perhaps *shouldn't* deviate a whole lot. Rush was not a jazz band or a jam band so to go looking for three guys to have a spontaneous musical conversation on stage misses the point of what they were all about.
Thanks for the re-education! I'll have to check out those rewrites.
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
He was my first favorite drummer, too. Actually, Ringo and Moonie were, but NP was the first one to get my full undivided attention and made me feel like I really needed to figure out what he was doing.

The Grace Under Pressure tour video has some great moments where his playing gets pretty far off the recorded version. For example, the middle section of The Weapon is quite a bit more adventurous than what's on the record. It feels pretty improvised to me, though it's hard to know how much of it actually was.
I remember taping (VHS) the Grace tour video off of MTV and re-watching it constantly as a kid.

Also, "Closer to the Heart" version on that video is pretty loose as far as Rush goes. And it's not just Neil that (mostly) sticks to the records. It's not like Geddy and Alex are up there improving either.

Also, I never quite get why Neil often gets criticized for not going off the script when that fact is MOST rock bands post-1970's don't get off the script much (save the jam bands). Sure, The Who, Led Zep, Deep Purple and others made the long jam and improve sections a staple of concerts, and the Grateful Dead made a career out of it, but since the early 80's very few bands really do that.

I recall talking to Steve Smith at a drum clinic around 1990 or so, and him mentioning some Journey songs were played the exact same way every night.

I've seen Metallica play on multiple nights in a row (though not recently) and every thing, down to the in-between song banter, was identical night after night.

So it's really not just a Neil thing.
 

8Mile

Platinum Member
Also, I never quite get why Neil often gets criticized for not going off the script when that fact is MOST rock bands post-1970's don't get off the script much (save the jam bands). Sure, The Who, Led Zep, Deep Purple and others made the long jam and improve sections a staple of concerts, and the Grateful Dead made a career out of it, but since the early 80's very few bands really do that.

I recall talking to Steve Smith at a drum clinic around 1990 or so, and him mentioning some Journey songs were played the exact same way every night.

I've seen Metallica play on multiple nights in a row (though not recently) and every thing, down to the in-between song banter, was identical night after night.

So it's really not just a Neil thing.
I really think most of the negativity towards Neil was a reaction to his immense popularity. When someone becomes that worshipped, there's a backlash. People would criticize him for things they wouldn't for others.

It's kind of unfair, but Neil has left quite a legacy and his influence is undeniable at this point.
 

bud7h4

Silver Member
Most of that kit is really up in the air. It doesn't take much to get things moving with stands that tall.That said, Neil seems to be a bigger hitter than most

Funny thing about how hard he plays, I find myself hitting harder when playing Rush songs. There's just a "snap" to his feel that brings it out of me when playing his songs.
 
Funny thing about how hard he plays, I find myself hitting harder when playing Rush songs. There's just a "snap" to his feel that brings it out of me when playing his songs.
it's impossible to play Marathon without hitting as hard as possible.

I can count on one hand the number of times I've made it through that song in one piece.
 

Krampus

Junior Member
Neil is my original drum hero.

I'm one of the million or so drummers he launched in the 70s and 80s. Funny thing is I dont want to play like him. I mean I wish I could play like him. But I gravitate more to dance-able grooves, whether thats funk, latin, sexy-rock, whatever.

Still I love listening to Rush and the composition and execution of Neil's parts continue to amaze me.
 

R2112

Silver Member
I remember the first time I saw Rush in '92 on the Roll The Bones Tour. I couldn't get over how hard Neil was hitting the drums. A few years later I saw him in an interview where he said that he used to play his sticks backwards where the butt end would strike the head and that he tried to hit through the drum to the floor. After seeing that interview I thought, "well, now that makes sense" lol.
 
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