Sunday, July 24, 2011

Transcription: Andy Newmark - Anticipation

This is kind of a remarkable track by Andy Newmark, Anticipation by Carly Simon, one of the first and biggest hits he played on. It's an easy thing to dismiss— if you're over about 40 years old you've heard it on way too many gas station AM radios, and then, ad nauseum, on a Heinz ketchup commercial— but it's a serious piece of drumming, and music. 

What's interesting about it- and what I'm noticing across the board as I get in and really study some of these 70's things— is the amount of shape and variety there is in the part. In fact “part” isn't the right word; it's a performance— it is obviously played very much in the moment, rather than crafted for the perfect choice of notes. [Update: that's contradicted by the interview below— he actually spent a lot of time thinking about the fills]. The drums track the dynamics of the tune very sensitively, not only in volume but in content— every single measure is different. Very different from the totally regular, completely worked-out thing expected now. 

Get the pdf 

The transcription presented some problems— the frequency of his cymbal is very close to the guitar's range, so it's sometimes difficult to tell which is which, and again, there is so much shape to his playing that at the lower end of the dynamic range things get lost. During the very soft second verse I had to just render the time as slash marks, and write in the fills- what is audible is too sketchy to make a usable transcription.

Much of the riding is done on the crash cymbal (it sounds like a 16")- during those sections he tends to play 8th notes on the hi-hat with his foot; I've mostly left that out except where it's integral to the part. Accents are for shape, rather than absolute volume— accents are just louder than the surrounding notes. The 2 and 4 on the snare are always pretty strong.

2023 update: John DeChristopher interviewed Andy Newmark about recording this song: 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Awesome interview. Carly loved his drumming.