Hello DrummersRule! Fans!!!
This week I have been focusing on 3/4 Ostinato patterns for my advanced players. Recently I watched a Neil Peart Video where he was talking about different Ostinato patterns and how to develop them.
In my next blog I’ll show you how I took this idea and created exercises based on this pattern. For this bLog however, see another great Neil Peart Interview I liked below… enjoy!!
Exclusive Interview with Neil Peart
You can usually spot the people who’ve worked in the music industry for any great length of time: they cower in dark corners twitching nervously, constantly running their hands through thinning, grey hair and wax lyrical to no-one in particular about the dire state of modern music. In a business where cynicism seems to conquer even the purest of souls, the challenge of emerging unscathed is a feat comparable to mastering one-handed drum rolls – wearing a boxing glove.
Sitting in a dressing room backstage at Wembley Arena, Neil Peart is relaxed, amiable and perfectly courteous. Having notched up 30 years and 17 albums, driving Rush to new creative heights and consistently breaking fresh ground in rock drumming, you almost wouldn’t blame him for being a little jaded by the trials and tribulations of the music industry. Over the course of an hour-long conversation, however, he talks enthusiastically about his childlike love of drums and of his continuingly fruitful, creative – and personal – relationship with his band-mates. At once deeply interesting and profoundly inspiring, it’s a conversation as far from the cynical jabbering of old hacks as you can possibly get. It is, in short, the stuff of legend. A true drumming legend, no less.
In the beginning…
Neil Peart’s dressing room is as homely as a clinical arena dressing ro
om can be. It’s his own personal room; band-mates Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson share a similar space down the corridor. A five-piece DW black and white sparkle sits in the middle, all set for Peart and his pre-show, freeform warm-up. A huge map of the UK hangs behind the kit’s throne, a tool to plan his exploratory motorcycle journeys on days off.
The room is a testament to Peart’s desire to exert a little control in an environment where it would be easy to shrug shoulders and go with the flow. In true Lloyd Grossman style, it’s the room of someone that exudes determination and focus, two attributes that were in abundance as soon as he got his hands on his first kit.
“Oh yeah,” he says with a huge smile, “as soon as I started I was obsessive about it. I’d come home and start practising and play along with the radio. They had to make me stop practising, not make me practice. It was an irresistible attraction, really. The movie, The Gene Krupa Story, was the thing that really got me excited about it, but any time I’d see a drummer on television it was like a visual fascination as well as a musical fascination.”
“I had a teacher for the first couple of years. That gave me a grounding in sight reading and different styles. After that, I went my own way with the foundation that he’d given me, kind of knowing what I had to work on. The teaching aspect was really important. You can’t start in a vacuum. It’s like any subject you want to learn, you have to have some sense of what there is to know and what to work on. You can’t just say, ‘I’m going to work on it’, you have to know which direction to go. You can’t just say ‘I think I’ll play drums today!’ Nothing happens that way.”
So how about tips for new drummers? Is there anything you can pass on?
“Getting a teacher is the first recommendation. You can’t learn too much. I worked on samba for a long time just to learn Latin feels. I’ve never used it, but I understand it and I have fun with it. Timekeeping, too, no one can work too hard on that. Every drummer goes through the stage of playing a fill, getting excited and speeding up, or coming out of the fill and slowing down. Everyone goes through that and it gives you great insecurity – other musicians pick on you, producers pick on you. It’s very undermining because you think, ‘Well, the drummer’s first job is to keep time and I can’t keep time’. Something everyone should understand though is a) that everyone goes through that and b) it’s correctable. It takes the effort to practice and practice until you realise how to play your fills so they won’t speed up and until you get an innate sense of time.”
Brett Frederickson – DrummersRule! Drum Lessons
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