Wow, Neil Peart kinda sucks...

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plangentmusic

Guest
...at playing jazz! lol

Don't get me wrong -- I like Peart. He's so SOLID! His time is impeccable, he's very creative, thoughtful and there's no questioning his chops. But man, the dude CAN NOT swing.

I think what makes him so machine-like accurate, also makes him stiff. His ride pattern sound like it's quantized to straight 16th notes!

Nevertheless, I give him credit for stretching and paying homage to Buddy Rich, but it's sort of like Clay Atkin singing songs that pay homage to Wilson Pickit. Thanks, but no thanks.
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
Welcome to 1989.

And every other time this has been been discussed.

And assuming you are referring to his appearance at the Buddy Rich tribute, Neil himself will tell you he sucked that night.
 
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plangentmusic

Guest
Welcome to 1989.

And every other time this has been been discussed.

And assuming you are referring to his appearance at the Buddy Rich tribute, Neil himself will tell you he sucked that night.

Ha. didn't realize it was so old. And I'm sorry if I'm not up on everything that's been discussed. (Hasn't everything?) Anyway, I'm not talking about a bad night. I saw several clips. He doesn't get it. That's all I'm saying.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
Yeah, it was such an apparent difference when Marvin Smitty Smith comes on with Steve Smith too. It was like night and day. But I thought it was cool that he took the bull by the horns and gave it his best shot, can't fault a guy for that. I know I'd be scared to death playing with Buddy's band - playing with any good big band is a heart-stopper sometimes.
 
Yeah, it was such an apparent difference when Marvin Smitty Smith comes on with Steve Smith too. It was like night and day. But I thought it was cool that he took the bull by the horns and gave it his best shot, can't fault a guy for that. I know I'd be scared to death playing with Buddy's band - playing with any good big band is a heart-stopper sometimes.
Absolutely. Big props to Neil for his attempt, and for the Burning for Buddy sessions. Even though he knows he's out of place, he still put himself out there. Mad props. Mad mad props.

Did I say mad props?
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
Absolutely. Big props to Neil for his attempt, and for the Burning for Buddy sessions. Even though he knows he's out of place, he still put himself out there. Mad props. Mad mad props.

Did I say mad props?
Its funny that we say this now about the man. I recall everybody absolutely hating what he did when the video was being sold. But back then I was playing in college with big bands and I totally got the vibe of being in a different place as a drummer. You don't know power until you've been on the bandstand with at least 13 horn players even more arrogant than you ;)

My first time kicking a big band, I started playing, when the horns came in, I wanted to drop my sticks and run! Weeks later I got to watch the Bob Florence Big Band rehearse at the Musicians Union Hall in Hollywood and Peter Donald was playing drums (Nick Ceroli had just passed away) - and it was enlightening and frightening at the same time. But Peter helped me see the light.
 
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plangentmusic

Guest
In all fairness -- a lot of guys who think of themselves as playing "superior" music. often have a harder time jumping across the isle. Ever hear an opera singer sing a pop song? it usually sucks. I've worked with a million jazz guitarists who couldn't lay down a straight 8th note rhythm.

And Buddy, never really nailed the rock or funk thing -- though he thought he did. : )
 
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Anthony Amodeo

Guest
Neil swung the band exactly the way I expected him to

rigid and stiff....

so what

the man is a rigid and stiff rock drummer and does what he does to perfection

he would probably sound equally as bad with James Browns band or with P funk

but throw Clyde Stubblefield or Buddy Rich in RUSH and see what happens

for the record Im not a huge Peart fan by any stretch
 

Numberless

Platinum Member
Those videos are like 20 years old, as far as any of us know, he can swing his ass off right now, I think it's silly to judge a drummer by a single video, even more so when it's such an old video, jeez don't we all constantly practice to get better? Is Neil Peart not allowed to do that? Is he forever cursed to play exactly the way he played in 1989? Sure, his performance in that tribute wasn't exactly swinging but 20 years is a loooooooong time.
 
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Anthony Amodeo

Guest
Those videos are like 20 years old, as far as any of us know, he can swing his ass off right now, I think it's silly to judge a drummer by a single video, even more so when it's such an old video, jeez don't we all constantly practice to get better? Is Neil Peart not allowed to do that? Is he forever cursed to play exactly the way he played in 1989? Sure, his performance in that tribute wasn't exactly swinging but 20 years is a loooooooong time.
there are many more recent videos from while he was studying with Freddie Gruber...and after

not any better

I personally dont care if he can swing or not

he is not a jazz drummer
 

MikeM

Platinum Member
I really liked his feel between '75 and '81. That was my favorite era of his. Through the '80s, Rush went through a completely sterile digital phase where there was so much going on that was electronic that there wasn't even much guitar left, and the drumming got caught up in that too by absolutely slaving itself to the click.

I think it's totally valid to point out his stiffness in just about all he's done over the last 30 years. It's there and it's undeniable. But if you can block that out while listening to about any of the first seven Rush albums, I think it's fairly evident that at one time, he actually had a pretty snazzy feel - just my opinion, of course. There was always a certain rigidity to it, but it was rock and it was appropriate and it didn't feel so sterile. It was more human tightness than a quantized robotic thing. I was just listening to 2112 the other day thinking, "There was no click track for any of this, and there never had been in his previous experience. Maybe that's why I like it so much."

Once he got all stiffened up later on, I think he found it just about impossible to shake - not that he's tried that hard: for all his Gruber / Erskine lessons, he still plays to a click an awful lot, even live.

But yeah, I bought the BR video back when in came out ('89, '90?) and he was clearly a fish out of water.
 
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plangentmusic

Guest
I really liked his feel between '75 and '81. That was my favorite era of his. Through the '80s, Rush went through a completely sterile digital phase where there was so much going on that was electronic that there wasn't even much guitar left, and the drumming got caught up in that too by absolutely slaving itself to the click.

I think it's totally valid to point out his stiffness in just about all he's done over the last 30 years. It's there and it's undeniable. But if you can block that out while listening to about any of the first seven Rush albums, I think it's fairly evident that at one time, he actually had a pretty snazzy feel - just my opinion, of course. There was always a certain rigidity to it, but it was rock and it was appropriate and it didn't feel so sterile. It was more human tightness than a quantized robotic thing. I was just listening to 2112 the other day thinking, "There was no click track for any of this, and there never had been in his previous experience. Maybe that's why I like it so much."

Once he got all stiffened up later on, I think he found it just about impossible to shake - not that he's tried that hard: for all his Gruber / Erskine lessons, he still plays to a click an awful lot, even live.

It sounds like he played to a click on Moving Pictures and I think that's his best playing. (Maybe because I also think its their best album. Other than that --not the biggest fan). And honestly, for their stuff, the stiffness works. As a bassist, I like that dead center solidity from a drummer. I'd LOVE to play with Neil. But I doubt I could swing with him if I was hanging from a rope!
 

8Mile

Platinum Member
Well, I AM a huge Rush and Peart fan, and I agree that swinging is something lost on Neil. I listened to the 2008 concert and I thought Neil had acquired a lot in the way of comping skills. He seems to know a lot more left hand/right foot figures that are suitable for jazz phrasing now. But as far as a swinging feel, I don't hear much of an improvement. He's still very stiff.

The thing is, like Mike M., I thought his feel on the early Rush records was pretty damn good. In fact, I thought his technique was better, too. Watching Neil back then, he seemed to keep a pretty firm grip on the sticks. That's probably not ideal for long-term health of the hands, but it enabled him to play with really good speed and power. Neil got around the drums really, really well back then, and he managed to do so in a way that intricate drum parts could be heard above everything playing live at rock arena volume.

That was what I loved about Neil's playing. I think what Neil did learning jazz and studying with Gruber and Erskine was great and I commend him for it. But if I'm being completely honest, I think he lost some of his old rock identity and chops along the way. And maybe that's what he wanted to do, so good for him.

But that old rock identity was what attracted me to his playing in the first place. Fearless, bombastic, a million notes and FUN.
 

Otto

Platinum Member
Hes one of the modern drum composition etude masters

Great works to learn different roles a drum part can take on...

He admits his technical failings...but I denounce anyone trying to flaw his compositions.

I still find different literary tools at play...and wonder which, if any, were intended.
 

opentune

Platinum Member
I really liked his feel between '75 and '81. That was my favorite era of his. Through the '80s, Rush went through a completely sterile digital phase where there was so much going on that was electronic that there wasn't even much guitar left, and the drumming got caught up in that too by absolutely slaving itself to the click.

.
IMO the 70's were the best years for Rush. The hungry, formative years, their studio sound, and yes the drumming back then. It was alsways a superb tight outfit on stage. The electric/digital era made some great songwriting and catchy (radio) songs, but even the guitarist tired of all that synth stuff too.

peart's drumming si impeccable whichever way you cut it. Really ,Rush's music, like that of Yes, or ELP, calls for more precision than 'feel'. There is no sign of any R & B in it...and who ever danced to a Rush tune?
 

MikeM

Platinum Member
It sounds like he played to a click on Moving Pictures and I think that's his best playing.
He may have, I'm not sure. I never thought about it until about 10 years ago on a forum when someone claimed he did and suggested I listen to the Exit, Stage Left version to compare. Sure enough, the studio version was a lot more brisk and on top of it.

But here's a website that makes it less clear...

I don't know what to think now. But, even if he did start using a click around that time, there was still enough residual humanity left in his playing that came through - unlike later years.
 

8Mile

Platinum Member
Really ,Rush's music, like that of Yes, or ELP, calls for more precision than 'feel'. There is no sign of any R & B in it...and who ever danced to a Rush tune?
That's very true. I guess Neil's extreme popularity over the last 30 years makes him an easy target. I mean, next to Carl Palmer, Peart sounds like Bernard Purdie. Palmer had chops and fit in great with prog rock bands, but he has no groove at all and his time is all over the place. But people focus on what he does well rather than his weaknesses, while Neil seems to experience the opposite.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
That's very true. I guess Neil's extreme popularity over the last 30 years makes him an easy target. I mean, next to Carl Palmer, Peart sounds like Bernard Purdie. Palmer had chops and fit in great with prog rock bands, but he has no groove at all and his time is all over the place. But people focus on what he does well rather than his weaknesses, while Neil seems to experience the opposite.
Very true on the Carl Palmer observation! I was watching one of their documentary DVD's today and yeah, ELP didn't groove that much, and Carl's playing feels really stiff and the time can be all over the place, but that was probably part of ELP's charm too. They did it on mostly all of their songs. But as a progressive rock band, man did I enjoy hearing all those notes flying by!
 

MikeM

Platinum Member
That's very true. I guess Neil's extreme popularity over the last 30 years makes him an easy target. I mean, next to Carl Palmer, Peart sounds like Bernard Purdie. Palmer had chops and fit in great with prog rock bands, but he has no groove at all and his time is all over the place. But people focus on what he does well rather than his weaknesses, while Neil seems to experience the opposite.
Ha ha! So true! I liked Carl Palmer's drumming when I was growing up because he was part of the prog thing that I liked, but after I got older, I was like, "Holy Cow! Was this guy ever ... I dunno ... good?" I know, I know, CP's pretty good and all, just not in my top 2,000 anymore.

But yeah, after sitting on top for so long and wiping out hard - and publicly - playing jazz, Peart's become a very easy target. It sometimes feels like a cheap shot considering how much playing he did that really was cool and different. I can't ignore his heyday, so I'll always be a fan.
Fearless, bombastic, a million notes and FUN.
Well said!
 
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