Friday, June 30, 2006

Baby's got the bends

So I've now joined the new covers band. (does anyone know the correct format when writing the word "i've"? Should it be a capital "I" or a small "i"? I am never sure).

I am really excited about this bunch. They've got a good few gigs booked over the coming months and the set list is quite varied and interestingly funky. I am going to juggle the two bands because I have grown to love playing with the other guys and gal in Mimosa, I just miss the fun of thrashing out now and again.

For a drummer, one of the challenging aspects of learning covers properly, is listening very well and trying to play the song with the feel of the original. It is only half the job to learn the actual part and to hit the correct drums or cymbals at the correct time. The other half is to copy the feel. I have seen so many drummers play covers in their "style" when the reality is that they haven't paid any attention to the style of the original.

Have a listen to Superstition by Stevie Wonder. It is revered by many drummers for being one of the greatest and funkiest drum parts of all time and it is actually played by Stevie himself. To recreate it properly you have to pay attention to the high hat part. It is a sloppy and erratic dotted sixteenth note pattern that very few "proper" drummers would have come up with, but it is a crucial part of the song.

I have heard it played by many drummers in pub bands and I have only ever seen one drummer try to play it as the original. You could hear it played by 10 different drummers and each of them could play the exact notes at the correct moments but they would all have a different feel to the original. That drum part deserves respect and it shouldn't be bastardised just because Mr Crap drummer isn't up to it or can't be bothered.

Some of the songs I am learning now are:

Psycho Killer - a classic, plods along, deceptively hard to play as it's so sparse
I predict a riot - a bit corny but good fun all the same
Dani California and Tell me Baby - 2 songs from the new Chilis album. As Chad Smith is one of my heroes these are great fun for me.
American Idiot - Sometimes one has to prostitute oneself
The Bends - Absobloodylutely brilliant song, everything good about Radiohead in 4 minutes and it will be in my repertoire soon. So much fun to play.
Spitting Games - I'm not a Snow Patrol fan at all but this is the only song of their's that I like. And I love it.

Those are the highlights and I've also got some other "bread and butter" stuff to learn. Ones like Lucy in the sky with diamonds, Purple haze, Rebel Rebel. All well known dodgy covers band songs that will be useful to have in my list anyway.

So it's a busy time for me. The funk band has a gig next Saturday and I'll need to polish up for that, I'll be learning all the new songs and England will win the World Cup.

Which is nice.


anush wij said...

From what I've been taught: It's "I've", regardless of if it's being used in the middle of a sentence or at the beginning of one

Anonymous said...

As long as it refers to the self, "I" will always be in uppercase no matter where or how it is placed in a sentence (I've, I'd, I'm, I'll).

Rhythmic Diaspora said...

Thank you kindly - I bow to your superior knowledge and shall make my "I" s big in future.