Sting - Seven Days - Drum Transcription & Performance

Dear community,

here is my drum performance of Seven Days by Sting with the incomparable Vinnie Colaiuta on drums including my transcription. The transcription follows the video so that you see exactly what is going on in the drum part at Seven Days.


The drum part of Seven Days is a real work of art, equipped and designed by Vinnie Colaiuta with so many details and finesse, just a piece of genius and for me one of the best and most musical drum performances that has ever existed.

My aim was to follow Vinnie Colaiuta one-to-one at Seven Days, to take every note and every nuance with me. I was aware that this was practically impossible and I have to admit that I am desperate about it. 🙈 So please don't hold it against me if one or the other beat is missing in my drum cover or in my sheet or in the transcription or if you hear passages differently than I do. Please let me say, that every transcription is also an interpretation. It starts with the fact that I played everything on three toms, but Vinnie Colaiuta very likely used four toms when recording Seven Days. I also only have two splashes, but I hear at least three at Vinnie Colaiuta. I had to make compromises.

I hope you enjoy watching and listening and then checking out and trying it yourself.
 

jda

Silver Member
that's a start..
5 existed and exists before and after both
remember
it's Almost, unlimited what can be done how it can be accent-chopped- up.
Can be split in-half to imply "2".
that's the thing about numbers' they're 'all even ; )
if-cut in Half; Sting doesn't really do that there; I just threw that in; There's a Tony Williams song -where he cuts 5 in half- from 1965 called "Love Song" from Lp "Spring"..(it's in the melody of that tune) actually the Bass cuts Tony's 5 in 2.
One and the And of Three.
 

jda

Silver Member
is that (center beaded) snare there,, a Ludwig? (or Gretsch? with die cast (hard to see) hoops?


another tidbit is- an 8X10 tom I think- but more interesting I bet dollar to donut that is- a 10X12 second tom..
power tom..

Look see. Snare and Tom dimensions
 
is that (center beaded) snare there,, a Ludwig? (or Gretsch? with die cast (hard to see) hoops?


another tidbit is- an 8X10 tom I think- but more interesting I bet dollar to donut that is- a 10X12 second tom..
power tom..

Look see. Snare and Tom dimensions
Your posted YouTube-Video shows though a live setting, but you hear the studio version of the song. But please watch this version, it's the same video but with the actual live recording of the moment:


It's just incredible!
 

Tosheus

Member
Dear community,

here is my drum performance of Seven Days by Sting with the incomparable Vinnie Colaiuta on drums including my transcription. The transcription follows the video so that you see exactly what is going on in the drum part at Seven Days.


The drum part of Seven Days is a real work of art, equipped and designed by Vinnie Colaiuta with so many details and finesse, just a piece of genius and for me one of the best and most musical drum performances that has ever existed.

My aim was to follow Vinnie Colaiuta one-to-one at Seven Days, to take every note and every nuance with me. I was aware that this was practically impossible and I have to admit that I am desperate about it. 🙈 So please don't hold it against me if one or the other beat is missing in my drum cover or in my sheet or in the transcription or if you hear passages differently than I do. Please let me say, that every transcription is also an interpretation. It starts with the fact that I played everything on three toms, but Vinnie Colaiuta very likely used four toms when recording Seven Days. I also only have two splashes, but I hear at least three at Vinnie Colaiuta. I had to make compromises.

I hope you enjoy watching and listening and then checking out and trying it yourself.
Fantastic playing Timo.. Thank you.
 

jda

Silver Member
Your posted YouTube-Video shows though a live setting, but you hear the studio version of the song. But please watch this version, it's the same video but with the actual live recording of the moment:


It's just incredible!
still can't pin-point snare (and snare top hoop) and power tom (10x12) same..but Yes I remember now! there were 2 videos

edit: It's a 6.5 Ludwig Black Beauty but can't confirm top hoop is a die cast Ludwig die cast gretsch or triple flange ??
can anyone?
4:14 is clearest view.
I think it's a Gretsch die cast on a Ludwig Black Beauty
 
Last edited:

Winston_Wolf

Platinum Member
still can't pin-point snare (and snare top hoop) and power tom (10x12) same..but Yes I remember now! there were 2 videos

edit: It's a 6.5 Ludwig Black Beauty but can't confirm top hoop is a die cast Ludwig die cast gretsch or triple flange ??
can anyone?
4:14 is clearest view.
I think it's a Gretsch die cast on a Ludwig Black Beauty

The snare is a Ludwig for sure, the Imperial lugs are the giveaway. There are a couple shots where it looks to have a bronzeish hue. Is it just a reflection from the natural finish drums, or could it be bronze? I'm not sure it truly looks black enough to be a Black Beauty...
 

MrWriter

Active Member
Superbly interpreted, Timo, considered, respectful and with just the right amount of dynamics. I know how darn hard this piece is with the hi-hat accents coming on every fourth hit over a two-bar phrase to somewhat disguise the 5/4 time signature. The accent pattern on the hi-hat during the verses comes on Beats 1, 3, 5, 2 and 4 over a repeating two-bar cycle. Feels strange when doing that with the rim shot and kick.

In the UK it's a Trinity Grade 8 drum piece so no mean feat.

This is (word for word) what is written in the Trinity Grade 8 Rock & Pop drums book about this piece and this is what Sting said of it: "On 'Seven Days' we wanted to do something in 5/4 time with a kind of reggae beat and chords that come out of a Broadway show. It was a h hybrid and the fun was in trying to make sense of this three-legged animal with two heads. I'm working with musicians I have to keep challenging. and make demands on them by asking them to do things that aren't natural.'

I think, with this song, Sting achieved his above quoted objectives.

Nice one, Timo - loved this performance.
 
Superbly interpreted, Timo, considered, respectful and with just the right amount of dynamics. I know how darn hard this piece is with the hi-hat accents coming on every fourth hit over a two-bar phrase to somewhat disguise the 5/4 time signature. The accent pattern on the hi-hat during the verses comes on Beats 1, 3, 5, 2 and 4 over a repeating two-bar cycle. Feels strange when doing that with the rim shot and kick.

In the UK it's a Trinity Grade 8 drum piece so no mean feat.

This is (word for word) what is written in the Trinity Grade 8 Rock & Pop drums book about this piece and this is what Sting said of it: "On 'Seven Days' we wanted to do something in 5/4 time with a kind of reggae beat and chords that come out of a Broadway show. It was a h hybrid and the fun was in trying to make sense of this three-legged animal with two heads. I'm working with musicians I have to keep challenging. and make demands on them by asking them to do things that aren't natural.'

I think, with this song, Sting achieved his above quoted objectives.

Nice one, Timo - loved this performance.
Thanks @MrWriter, it is really a hard one. I would say, if there are more level grades, it deserves the highest. :) To play the notes is one thing, to play it with Vinnies sensitive touch, musicality and smooth feel, as if it were the simplest thing in the world, that's a whole different thing.

Sting knows how to get the best out of his musicians. "Seven Days" is a masterpeice on all at all levels.
 
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