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LHG: Roger's drumming style21 Jul 2003 00:00
One of the things I've always loved about the way Roger plays drums is the way he gives everything a loose feel, while remaining with the tight rhythms. The main example of this is the way he loosens the hi-hat whenever he hits the snare drum (and quite often also on a beat before the snare). Good examples of this are Dragon Attack, Fight From The Inside and Save Me.

I was wondering, is this style unique to Roger or are there others who also do it? I personally think it sounds great.
1.Sebastian 21 Jul 2003 13:51
as far as I know, he influenced a lot Taylor Hawkins, but I'm not good enough in drums to tell if they play similar
2.PD 21 Jul 2003 16:52
LHG, could you tell more examples? I admit I still don't get what is this loose feel about, probaly because I don't know much about drumming...

Talking about drums and Dragon Attack: What does make that percussive sound at 2:08?
3.LHG 21 Jul 2003 19:27
The noise at 2:08 is a vibraslap, part of the drum kit. I'll get back to you with some more in-depth examples of what I'm talking about with the loose feel.

Look here for info on a vibraslap:
ngfl.northumberland.gov.uk
4.LHG 21 Jul 2003 23:46

Right, I also don't claim to know a great deal about drumming, since I am by no means a drummer. But I do own some drum sheet music, and have always taken an interest in how the drums work as an instrument. But I don't know how clearly I can make this come across.

Here is some basic drum tab, showing the typical drum beat in 'Save Me', with the beats underneath. BD=Bass Drum, SD=Snare Drum, HH=HiHat, x=closed hat, o=open hat. Please note that whenever an 'x' follows an 'o' on the hi-hat line, it means the hi-hat is opened and hit, then closed quickly with the pedal.

HH|-x---x---o-x-x---x---x---o-x-x-|
SD|---------x---------------x-----|
BD|-x---------------x-------------|
    1       2       3       4


You can see here that whenever Roger hits his snare drum, he momentarily opens, and then closes the hi-hat with the pedal. This is one technique which seems to just be part of his natural playing style, but it also creates this lovely, unique "loose" feel to his playing, where the overall drum playing doesn't sound completely tight and rigid, and complements the feel of the song very well.

This technique is developed in a slightly more complex way with songs like Dragon Attack and Fight From The Inside. Here are typical drum beats from those songs, and I've also included a M=Maracas line.

DA:

M |-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-|
HH|-x-x-x-o-o-x-x-x-x-x-x-o-o-x-x-x-|
SD|---------x---------------x-------|
BD|-x-----x---x-----x-----x---------|
    1       2       3       4

FFTI:

M |-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-|
HH|-x---o---o-x-x---x---o---o-x-x---|
SD|---------x---------------x-------|
BD|-x---------------x---------------|
    1       2       3       4

Here, Roger also opens the hi-hat BEFORE the main snare drum beat as well as on the beat with the snare, which only adds to the loose feel of the drum playing. The maracas also help with this feel.

I hope this is informative. If you have any more questions I'd be happy to try and answer them. These are the only songs I could think of off the top of my head, but I'll listen a bit more sometime soon.

5.PD 03 Aug 2003 19:43
This is something that needs wide knowledge of other drummers' style. I can analyse guitarplaying bassplaying and harmonies, only becasue I have transcribed lots of those. Unfortunately I have never transcribed drums. I once thought that I would give it a try, but dropped the idea. Too bad there is hardly any Queen drum tabs to make the analysis/comparison easier. Your tabs and explanations are good starting points.
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