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Topic: 2112, Please Help.

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  1. #1

    2112, Please Help.

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    In November, in one of the finest posts I've seen, you spoke of Peart learning that a drum beat is a circle, not a point on a graph. I've been wondering about that ever since, so could you please explain that?

  2. #2
    Moderator/Developer Brian2112's Avatar
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    Smile Re: 2112, Please Help.

    Sure Paul!

    The basic concept is that it is the space between the notes that counts.
    I’ll try a practical example first.
    In the past, when I have played with rock bands that covered Led Zeppelin tunes, I was often asked “How did you make yourself sound so much like John Bonham?” I wasn’t using a kit even close to what he had, the sound was completely different, and yet I was able to emulate his style. The reason is that Bonham played his upbeats “behind the beat” while his downbeats were sometimes just a tad “ahead of the beat”. The result was that when Bonham played a straight eighth note feel, it had swing to it. The swing came because of the proportion of time between the downbeats and the upbeats. He was keeping a very “laid back” feel.
    Conversely, when I have played in Jazz bands (and to an extent fusion ensembles), I play all notes slightly “ahead” of the beat (while keeping a swing proportion). The reason is that in jazz, the drummer is “driving” the band where as in rock; the drummer is holding the band back a bit.
    Now, when I was younger, I used to think of a beat as being a long line (much like a note on a midi piano roll). But when I went to Berklee, I found that the idea of a circle is better. The reason is that there are far more points on a circle. The trick is to be able to manipulate this circle consistently. Many drummers are right on the beat (Early Rush) which sounds mechanical. Some drummers are all over the circle (No uniqueness). One who has command of the circle has a very identifiable sound and a superior feel.
    This is not limited to drummers however. This applies to all instruments. Two sax players can play the same jazz solo, but the one that commands the circle is going to be the smokin’ player. They may not even know about the circle – it just comes naturally, yet that is what it is.
    If you were to watch me play, you would see that when I hit the snare drum, I am not hitting it straight down. The motion is more like a crescent. I am simply completing the circle.

    Hope this helps a little. It is difficult to explain.

    …2112
    "So what if some parts of life are a crap shoot? Get out there and shoot the crap." -- Neil Peart
    Hint:1.6180339887498948482 Φ

  3. #3

    Re: 2112, Please Help.

    More help:

    http://penz4.tripod.com/neilssolo.html

    http://www.drummerworld.com/drummers/Neil_Peart.html

    The 'circle' came about as Neil went back to his roots and love for Jazz. It was about the time of the 'Burning For Buddy' A tribute to the music of Buddy Rich, featuring Kenny Aronoff, Bill Bruford, Steve Gadd, Neil Peart, Ed Shaughnessy, Marvin Smith, and Dave Weckl.
    Bela D Media | www.BelaDMedia.com

  4. #4

    Re: 2112, Please Help.

    It may be difficult to explain, but you succeeded beautifully. Just curious: in the Bonham style, how far ahead and behind are you?

    The fact that this applies to all instruments is particularly edifying. I have a special gift for mangling a rythym in unusually distasteful ways. Before I start working to improve in that area, I need to record midi and find out just what I'm doing to that poor little circle.

    It's 1 AM, and I have plenty to do tomorrow, but you NSers bring something valuable to my life that I don't find elsewhere. Thanks to all, and especially to Brian.

  5. #5

    Re: 2112, Please Help.

    Personal Opinion; Neil Peart = great drummer. Rush = horrible music.

    BTW, Charlie Watts is a great drummer that can't "hold back" the band...Keith Richards always seems to play behind the beat so Charlie's gotta nudge him along.
    I remain solely responsible for the content of my messages, and agree to indemnify and hold harmless northern sound source, and their agents with respect to any claim based upon transmission of my message(s). Rock on.

  6. #6

    Re: 2112, Please Help.

    Quote Originally Posted by wes37
    Personal Opinion; Neil Peart = great drummer. Rush = horrible music.
    Dear Mark Simon
    C/O Northern Sound Source,

    Please find the sum of $1,000.00 US for the banning of Wes37.

    Sincerely,
    Francis Belardino
    Bela D Media.com
    Last edited by Bela D Media; 02-23-2006 at 09:18 PM.
    Bela D Media | www.BelaDMedia.com

  7. #7
    Moderator/Developer Brian2112's Avatar
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    Re: 2112, Please Help.

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Blankenau
    It may be difficult to explain, but you succeeded beautifully. Just curious: in the Bonham style, how far ahead and behind are you?

    The fact that this applies to all instruments is particularly edifying. I have a special gift for mangling a rythym in unusually distasteful ways. Before I start working to improve in that area, I need to record midi and find out just what I'm doing to that poor little circle.

    It's 1 AM, and I have plenty to do tomorrow, but you NSers bring something valuable to my life that I don't find elsewhere. Thanks to all, and especially to Brian.
    Thanks for the kind words Paul.
    I was thinking of playing my triggers (when I stop being lazy and hook them up again), and playing different styles in the same genre. When played into my sequencer, the piano roll will kind of give a visual of where things are falling - on a grid at least LOL!!!
    I did this when my triggers were hooked up - just to see where my style fell. It was quite interesting to see that no matter what I played, I had a nice swing happening. But that was years ago. I'm old now...
    "So what if some parts of life are a crap shoot? Get out there and shoot the crap." -- Neil Peart
    Hint:1.6180339887498948482 Φ

  8. #8

    Re: 2112, Please Help.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bela D Media
    Dear Mark Simon
    C/O Northern Sound Source,

    Please find the sum of $1,000.00 US for the banning of Wes37.

    Sincerely,
    Francis Belardino
    Bela D Media.com
    For $500, I'll ban myself!
    I remain solely responsible for the content of my messages, and agree to indemnify and hold harmless northern sound source, and their agents with respect to any claim based upon transmission of my message(s). Rock on.

  9. #9

    Re: 2112, Please Help.

    Quote Originally Posted by wes37
    For $500, I'll ban myself!
    hahahahaha! Good one!
    Bela D Media | www.BelaDMedia.com

  10. #10

    Re: 2112, Please Help.

    Interesting....

    I'm very much into Big Band Jazz (amongst 100 other genres ).

    The very best jazz drummers I have played with have all been excellent rock drummers too. Does this mean that rock drummers make good jazz drummers, or is it just that great drummers can play in any genre?
    Richard N.

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