Monday, April 14, 2014

Neil Peart on Drum Solos in March, April, 2014 issues of Rhythm magazine
7:14PM EST | comments (6) |

UPDATE - 4/15@9:23AM: John has also transcribed part 1 of the article and made it available online here.

UPDATE - 4/15@8:23AM: It turns out that there was also a part 1 to this article that was published in the March, 2014 issue. In that portion of the article Neil breaks down the 2 mini-solos he played on the Clockwork Angels Tour during Where's My Thing? and Headlong Flight.

Rhythm April 2014As a follow-up to their December, 2013 special edition focusing on the drum solo, the April, 2014 issue of Rhythm magazine features an article written by Neil Peart titled Neil Peart on Drum Solos. John over at has transcribed the entire article and made it available online here. Neil breaks down his drum solo arrangement that he delivered on the night the Clockwork Angels Tour video was filmed, and also shares his thoughts regarding the future of drum solos:

... these days [the drum solo] is absent from the 'mainstream' of popular music, but I would venture that has been so since the dawn of recorded music. Jazz has always embraced self-expression, freedom, and virtuosity, and that has not changed. Some rock musicians have also aspired to those values, but in the final analysis, it is up to the audience.

The popularity of more adventurous music ebbs and flows, but does seem to endure. Perhaps in these times even the word 'progressive' has evolved from admired, to despised, to mildly respected.

Certainly it has always been true that drum solos are more exciting in concert than on record. Again, drummers have a visual thing going on - what is nowadays called 'optics'. If it is left up to the audience, I believe drum solos will endure. ...



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#6 - Posted 4/15/14 @1:12PM by ToadBrother [contact]

I actually like how Neil did it in this last tour; splitting one big solo up into three solos spread throughout the whole show. Long enough for you to be dazzled by the Professor's technical capabilities, but not so long that your mind starts to wander and you begin to think "Is there enough time for me to hit a washroom..."
#5 - Posted 4/15/14 @12:15PM by jiminseattle [contact]

Being a drummer I enjoy the solos, that being said if they shortened them to one 5 minute solo and played one more song I would dig it.
#4 - Posted 4/15/14 @8:51AM by MGRushFan

Denny, funny you should mention those points. I agree 100%. Drum solos=lame. And frankly, it's not like Peart is playing anything even worth sticking around for in his solo nowadays.

I also go thru long periods of ESL, particularly broons band, trees and xanadu. I even ripped the ESL version of limelight off youtube because it is so much ballsier than the studio version. The St Louis 1980 boot is awesome! I love when the crowd screams after the opening hits of 2112. What happened to those crowds? Nowadays the crowds are pretty lifeless.

Regarding bringing back the real percussion, I used to run NYC's biggest drum and perc rental house, and during the 30th anniversary tour I got in touch with their management offering for free an entire rig replicating the ESL years percussion setup....crotales, chimes, temple blocks, temple bells, the whole shebang. Delivered, setup, teched. Needless to say I never got taken up on the offer. In fact, I never got past the secretary. I can understand of course, but I really was excited about the possibility of seeing Peart play perc, rather than the lame electronics he uses now, which sound uninspired at best. There's a real disconnect when you see someone hit a pad and a sample comes out. I think the human brain can sense that it's not real, and therefore lacks power and authenticity.
#3 - Posted 4/14/14 @9:01PM by Denny Crane [contact]

@ #2

I kind agree to a certain extent. I love Neil's drumming and admire his talent, but if RUSH decided to play another song in place of the 5 minute solo I would not be overly disappointed. I've got nothing but love for Neil, so don't go there, but if he scaled back the solo (which he really has given the three smaller versions) I would open to them playing another song instead.

I've mentioned a few times lately that I am stuck in an "Exit Stage Left" loop of late where I've only been listening to ESL and the 1980 St. Louis bootleg (courtesy of a fine RIAB member) lately. This has led me to dream of Loren Gump wheeling out the large chimes, crotales, and woodblocks that Neil used to play back in the 1980s. Could you imagine if Neil busted out the REAL chimes and stuff for Xanadu? Anyways, that is my story and I'm sticking to it.

#2 - Posted 4/14/14 @8:42PM by jiminseattle [contact]

Drum solos are a thing of the past. Used to be quite prevalent in the 70's and 80's.
#1 - Posted 4/14/14 @7:21PM by Denny Crane [contact]


Where you at Shred????

Slow poke


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