Van Halen Unchained Help?


Senior Member
Hey everyone,
I've been trying to break down the song Unchained by Van Halen, and I've got most of it down, but there are a few parts in the song I am really struggling with. It's mainly where the drums change around :40 , and again later in the song. I thought that it stayed in 4/4 but I'm still having a real hard time counting when exactly the snare and bass drum hit during that part.

Midnite Zephyr

Platinum Member
I think you hit the BD on the upbeat (8th) before the measure, then the SD on the 2 & 3 down beats, then the BD on the upbeat (8th) before 4, then SD on 1 & 2, BD on the upbeat (8th) before the 3 and then the upbeat (8th) before the 1 again, all the while keeping the constant 16th beats on HH. And, yes, it stays in 4/4. Does that make any sense?


Platinum Member
FWIW... My main instrument is lead guitar and I've played this song in a few bands. The pre-chorus part that starts around 40 seconds is a son of a bitch on any instruments. I finally just "memorized" the parts and stopped counting.