Simple songs that are more interesting upon analysing them?

NickSchles

Junior Member
So, a bit of context…

I recently posted a cover of Dam That River which I did with my band, The Mercy House. I was originally planning on playing it note-for-note, but then decided to just jam it and have fun with it. I thought it’d be more satisfying that way (it was), plus it wouldn’t require too much effort (it didn’t).

With that in mind, I had previously looked for transcriptions online but couldn’t find any! I actually wondered why nobody had bothered before, so I decided to quickly transcribe it and put it out there, as I’m doing now.

In any case, it wasn’t until I started charting it that I began to appreciate the parts and phrasing a bit more. I love how the grooves fit into the riffs… It’s not something you’d generally pay attention to whilst casually listening to the tune, as it just flows so naturally!

Anyhow, probably the biggest reason I decided to transcribe it was so I could teach it to my students. Similarly, I thought I’d share the transcription with you too in case you’d like to do the same!

Check out the post, and download the PDF here: https://nickschlesinger.com/alice-in-chains-dam-that-river-drums

I’m curious now, so I put it to you… What tunes are seemingly simple, but were more interesting upon analysing them?

Either way, I hope the transcription’s useful!

 

ottog1979

Senior Member
Good topic. Isn't this true for many/most songs? My cover band is currently adding CCR's Long As I Can See The Light
. Seemingly an easy song. Not so much on drums. LOTS of stuff in this.
 

rhumbagirl

Senior Member
Carly Simon's "Comin' Around Again" was difficult for me, but I was trying to sing the vocals too. And play the hihat transcription exactly, which feels on top of the beat and very staccato. It required a grip on the stick I hadn't ever used before, sort of a loose but closed German grip, using a lot of wrist and arm. Of course I'm trying to sound like a studio recording and who knows how they produced that and how many layers.

EDIT: You can't use push pull with these 16ths as is the natural tendency.

 
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drumnut87

Well-known member
like a virgin by madonna is interesting, as tony thompson who did the drums for it just had a way of making the groove sing and interesting :)
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
I like simple but elegant orchestrated music too-so you have different musicians playing different parts that only how they weave together a song emerge as a single beautiful entity. It's like we are made up individual cells that make our up body-the single entity. I remember before YT we had to listen to songs-now my brain would put different parts together that I thought was drums doing it all. But upon video you find heck no-the drummer wasn't playing this huge chops complicated piece-just a simple part-other musicians parts filled the gaps I thought was drums. I imagine a lot of us old players likely learned a song wrong by ear then years later view a live video and discover oppps! LOL
 

Spreggy

Silver Member
I remember holding my nose to learn "Party in the USA" for weddings, and it turned out to be a well-constructed and performed piece of music.
 

Ryan Culberson

Well-known member
It’s a shame that simplicity is so often equated with being uninteresting. Not throwing shade at the OP… I notice this in general and in far more pursuits than drum parts. Not everyone wants to solve calculus problems or speak in Shakespearean English when they listen to/play music.

To answer the OP question specifically, I find any Mick Fleetwood drum parts fit the simple and interesting criteria quite well, and I’d also add quirky to the list.
 

Mediocrefunkybeat

Platinum Member
'In my Life' is absolutely an example of this. It's not that challenging to play but nobody else would have written that utterly bizarre drum part.
 

Pootle

Well-known member
Duran Duran - Rio

I suggested that we learn it as I love the song not realising the drum track is fairly taxing. 16 beat through the song full tilt, a hihat pulse where I wouldn't instinctively put it, and the middle eight has an offbeat groove that took hours to lock in with the bassist. But I can play it effortlessly now which is very satisfying, and always look forward to it!
 

Mediocrefunkybeat

Platinum Member
'Rio' is also an absolute beast on the bass. Getting the notes down is fine but actually keeping up and nailing the feel is a real challenge.
 

Rotarded

Senior Member
Duran Duran - Rio

I suggested that we learn it as I love the song not realising the drum track is fairly taxing. 16 beat through the song full tilt, a hihat pulse where I wouldn't instinctively put it, and the middle eight has an offbeat groove that took hours to lock in with the bassist. But I can play it effortlessly now which is very satisfying, and always look forward to it!
This was one of my band's signature covers, which I love. Our bassist can nail it note for note. But yes, 16ths on the hats, at 142 BPM, for 6 minutes is a grind. Not to mention the bass drum doubles, that come in with the the 8ths on hats, 2/3rds of the way through.... We always ended the first set with it.
 
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Neal Pert

Well-known member
Just about everything Stan Lynch did with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.

He has this way of making even the simplest beat seem interesting.

And it's more than that. He gives the rhythm section a bounce that SOUNDS easy to play but really isn't. That's why you almost never hear a good Tom Petty cover.
 

Hewitt2

Senior Member
He’s definitely got a Ringo thing going on. Love his sloshy use of the hats and accenting the off-beats. it’s almost like he’s dancing behind the kit - tough to replicate. “You don’t know how it feels” is a great example of this.

 

A J

Well-known member
Since we're talking Stan Lynch.... I always thought "Woman In Love" was one of those simple songs that was hard to replicate. Any decent drummer can learn it but that FEEL is elusive and difficult to master.
 
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