What Else Affects Tone? A Great Drummer

December 31, 2009 | By | Reply More

Bonzo! Alex!

Bonzo left and Alex right.

Bonzo left and Alex right.

When you’re pondering how to improve your tone and playing next year, think about this: It’s inspiring to play with a good drummer. You might play differently, you might be inspired to new heights in riff-dom and all that could change your tone – much of which is in your fingers anyway.

Just ask Edward Van Halen, who never sounds “as good” (whatever that means – Ed’s great no matter what) when he plays with a different drummer. Check out the almighty YouTube if you don’t believe me.

How about Jimi playing with Mitch Mitchell? Clapton with Ginger Baker?

And not least, ask Jimmy Page, who used to record John Bonham jamming in the studio and then craft riffs around that glorious playing and sound – Moby Dick being one example.

Listen to the following – a great beat, played by a master. (It’s funny to hear Robert Plant ask Bonzo what’s going on after Bonham presumably flubbed the beat before this recording started.) This is almost the entire drum track for “Fool in the Rain,” so don’t keep waiting for the music to kick in….

And what would you do if your drummer started pounding this out on the kit?

Yeah! I’m inspired!

Category: Alex Van Halen, John Bonham

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