Friday, October 14, 2016

Transcription: Gerry Brown / School Days

Here's a funk/fusion classic: School Days, by Stanley Clarke, with Gerry Brown on the drums. Along with Weather Report's Teen Town, and Donna Lee, this was one of the most-learned fusion things by electric bassists more many years. Brown was a high profile session drummer in the 70s and 80s, and he's still busy doing big gigs. Here he's sounding rather Cobham-like, especially in the tom sound. Steve Gadd definitely won the great 70s tom sound war [note: that's not a thing] with his punchy, low, small-drum sound. The sound here is a little higher, more tonal... and to me more aggressive, actually. If you want to try it out, tune your drums medium to medium-low, with the bottom heads looser. Fiddle with it.

I've written out just the opening vamp, up to the 1:55 mark. It's one long crescendo of intensity:

Part of this will be a little difficult to read, where Brown plays cymbal bell with his right hand while playing the hihat and snare drum with his left. It's not difficult, it just looks bad on the page. We also have some extra sounds present: China/swish cymbal (whatever happened to riding on the swish cymbal?), and three extra tom toms, which I've put on the lines surrounding our normal tom tom spaces (which correspond with the A and E on a treble clef staff).

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1 comment:

Unknown said...

Riding on the swish knocker takes a lot of finesse Todd, I am still trying to get it right --- LOL. Peter Erkskine is pretty good at it. I guess I need to practice it more and more. Keep up the amazing blog, you have helped me so much through the years.