Saturday, June 09, 2007

Contrast: Neil Peart

Buddy Rich was almost obstinate in his refusal to use two bass drums, which became increasingly popular during his life. With his speed, he didn't need two drums. However, it has become commonplace today, even among the great players of today.

Here is Neil Peart, drummer for Rush and extraordinary musician (he write most of the lyrics for Rush's music). Where Buddy Rich exuded personality while he played, Peart is more focused. His playing, often, seems almost casual - like he is simply turning on a light switch. I don't think I can do anything as casually as Neil Pert plays the drums. Another obvious difference is in Peart's use of many drums, even on a rotating stage, while Buddy Rich kept things more basic.

Two different men. Two different styles. Both great drummers.

Notice the crossed-arm drumming that Peart does in this solo (about six minutes into the solo)? That is an homage to Buddy Rich, straight from his playbook.

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Anne said...

I am continually amazed by percussionists.

Seth Ward said...

Cool. Btw, have you seen this? Talk about a couple of contrasting drumming styles.

euphrony said...

Yeah Seth, that's pretty cool. Have you seen this?

Chaotic Hammer said...

Heh. I nominate Seth for today's Failure to See Things Right Under Your Nose Award.

Neil Peart was definitely my drumming hero back in the day. The Holy Grail of drumming for me was being able to precisely emulate his solo performances from Rush's first and second live albums, and to play fun stuff like Tom Sawyer, La Villa Strangiato, and YYZ precisely, beat for beat. I was there at one point, too -- practicing three or four hours every day after school. As much as I idolized everything about it back then, I concluded fairly early on that I really just didn't have any desire to live the "life of a musician", being away from home, out on the road, etc.

Besides being an excellent percussionist himself, Peart is also great because he has studied and pays homage to the greats before him, and has taken it upon himself to truly master his art completely. And it's pretty dang entertaining to watch, too.

euphrony said...

I never had the patience to put in nearly enough practice. I had some talent, but my mind wandered too easily to other things. Same story with playing piano - I was good, but never practiced to get good.

Peart is the consumate drummer. There's a YouTube of him playikng in a Buddy Rich tribute, and he leaves most of his usually equipment behind to more closely follow Rich's style. Watching him is good entertainment. I'm glad to see that he's getting back into music after both his wife and daughter died about two years ago (one cancer, I believe, and one a car crash). His lyrics are some of the best.

Seth Ward said...

Oh nice. That's funny.

I accept that award and would like to thank a few people who have helped me to be where I am...

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