Sunday, October 31, 2010

Drumming diary: Good Times, Bad Times

This week, on Rachel learns the Zep...

After a necessary hiatus, I've gotten back to work on "Good Times, Bad Times." The muscle memory had faded a bit, but it's returning. Really, the only part that's giving me any trouble is this one:

C=Crash, R=Ride cymbal, T=high tom, S=Snare, FT=Floor tom, Bd=Bass drum, Hf=Hi-hat pedal played with the foot.

That's a long string of triplets played pretty exclusively with the feet. The hands are involved, but it's mostly half notes played on the hi-hat pedal with the left foot (1+2+3+4+) with triplet beats on the kick with the right foot (-ea-ea-ea-ea-ea-ea-ea-ea, with the - representing the half notes played with the left foot). Bonham loved his triplets. He was also known for his speedy foot, and thus had no compunction about throwing, what, 10 triplets in a row on the kick?

Incidentally, this track was the first one on their debut album, and thus was the world's introduction to Led Zeppelin, and John Bonham. Everyone who knew anything about drumming stood up to pay attention. Even the drummer who influenced his technique, Carmine Appice of Vanilla Fudge, played his kick triplets with a double-kick drum setup; but Bonzo did it solo.

I'm not that fast yet, so whenever I'm sitting down or even just standing still, I'm playing triplets with my feet. I'll catch up to you yet, Bonzo. You and your little dog, too.

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