Analyzing Neil Peart’s Drum Solo on Time Machine Tour: Love For Sale

This morning I was remembering a very special solo that I had the privilege to see Live: The Time Machine Tour’s Drum Solo.

It is known that Time Machine Tour features the same tracklist on every presentation, beggining with The Spirit Of Radio, and so on… But between Caravan and Closer To The Heart, there’s this drum solo which lasts 8 minutes. It has 7 different parts, from my point of view, and I made my analysis:

I . Intro

A straight pattern on the foots and a classical Neil’s rhythm development on the hands (a plenty of toms playing, and a few oddtiming chops) with some slight electronic drums samples…similar to the R30 tour’s solo: Der Trommler.

II . Intro to nature

There’s this mysterious sound on the back of the solo, which sounds like a deep rainforest with some New Age style (kinda reminds me to the “Apocalypto” movie) while he still developes the solo.

III. Syncopated drumming

Starting with a syncopated pattern on the ride cymbal, he trades the pattern between the drums, while he continuous another pattern on the foots and nature sounds keeps coming out from the Roland pads …and a grand finale on the finishing of this part. Marvelous.

IV. Switching to electronics: Prologue to Nature.

This is by far my favorite part of this ‘overture’: He switches from the acoustic drums, to another part of his huge drum kit: Fully electronic drums, and here’s why I call it Nature: You see, while Neil hits every pad at the perfect time, there are some cricket sounds, a shaker sound on the left foot and very strange noises that fits awesomely on the solo, it’s amazing.

V. Nature

It beggins with a determinated african rhythm, not just harmony between nature sounds, it’s more like drums on a ritual, with a few panflute leads and a lot of trading patterns between each different drum sound.

What I love the most about this part is the way how a drummer can give a touch of nature using electronic drums (normally, electronic implies electro samples, not nature) in a world so devastated by nuclear wastes, global warming, and deforestation… Maybe Neil’s intention was only to show how it all beggins (like a Time Machine) or just to show musical creativity on a world class tour. But it has a deep meaning to me.

VI. Back to acoustics: Prologue to Love For Sale

Starting with some big band samples on the electronics, Neil developes this part of the solo, as a prologue to Love For Sale, by Cole Porter, I read that this song was released on a popular Brodway Musical called The New Yorkers. The mainframe about this prologue is to remember how contemporary drumming began, with swing drum solos (Gene Krupa, Papa Jo Jones, Buddy Rich stuffs) with a Big Band accompanying it. Very interesting concept.

VII. Love For Sale

Neil Peart has a close relationship with this song, when he produced the Buddy Rich Tribute “Burning For Buddy” (featuring the Buddy Rich Big Band and 18 of the best drummers in the world, like Joe Morello, Marvin Smith, Dave Weckl, Matt Sorum, etc etc) he asked Steve Gadd (drummer for Eric Clapton, Paul Simon and many many more) to play this tribute to Buddy, in a studio… And later on, used the same tracks with the big band that Steve used on the occasion. He got the original tapes back, to perform this beautiful part of the Time Machine Tour. It leaves me a Back To The Future sensation :P.

The most striking thing about this part of the solo (considered by many as the main part) is the background animation shown on the concert, is an animation of a robot with several arms playing the drums, with shiny cymbals and everything created using softwares. Tandem Digital made a gorgeous job on this animation, because it’s perfectly timed, everytime Neil hits a cymbal or a drum, with the animation.
Here’s the original animation uploaded by tandemdigital:

What I also like about this Love For Sale reprise, is that I enjoy the fact that Neil’s drums sound like rock drums and not like a jazz and vintage kit, because the whole idea of this Time Machine Tour is to bring the past to the present, classical Rush songs.

And this drum solo teaches us that… perfectly! By interpretating things from all ages. A drum solo for warming up and getting the fans ‘in the mood’ for what would come next, which is Nature.. when it came the begging of man, and later on, the jazz thing, which I recall: brings the past to the present, and at the same time makes a tribute to the american people who saw Rush growing. This is so much fun.

Here’s the drum solo that I luckily saw live on Oct 17th at Estadio Nacional, in Santiago de Chile (thanks menopulus for the great quality recording and uploading)

Well, that’s basically it 🙂 I’ve concluded my analysis, I hope you’ve enjoyed it. See’ya everyone !

– Marcelo.

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Soldier’s Poem

If there’s anything that I am absolutely sure in this world, is that I enjoy listening to Muse.. And particulary, today caught my full atention this song called ‘Soldier’s Poem’… It’s impresive the way how they could turn what seems to be a romantic ballad, into a small piece of literature about war; in those years where U.S soldiers where wounding in the oriental side of our planet, this song really captures the whole feeling of missing that so many of them had and the memories of the ones who passed away… This Soldier’s Poem blows me away.

By other side, the emotional touch that it inspires to me, leaves a mark inside my feelings, it kinda makes me love again… Something.. I don’t know what it is, but it feels like harmony. (:

– Marcelo.

Soldier's Poem

About today

Today resulted to be an uncommon day, I went to the school’s church in the morning (I don’t believe in god, but I was asked to play, and I never reject a chance to do a performance, specially if it includes my friends, as today :D) but unfortunately, I went there and we were cancelled at last minute, because it wasn’t the right ambience on the celebration for playing one of our songs composed on last year, and there wasn’t the right amplification neither.. Too sad, but right.

Later on, I was supposed to go with Gabriel, one of my best friends in the world, to Viña del Mar… But he cancelled the trip as well. We were going to check out a few bass amps in a major music store there, but he wasn’t able to go, because he had to take care of his place.. Too sad, but right as well.

Anyway, my plans may have been frustrated by fate; but i don’t know… It resulted to be a good day after all, really relaxing and I liked it. I saw my friends on a sunday morning and then I took a walk through the town.. What else can I ask for in a Sunday?

So… What’s the moral? Simple.. Enjoy little things from life! What’s the matter if things don’t go the way you want… Just smile and accept the situations, ’cause everything has a reason to be… And it all will be great at the end 😉

– Marcelo

Slight change of plans

As I said on my previous post, I’d write out every little detail from my begginings to the goal… Make my living out of music; but today I realized that if I write out only about it… It’d be kinda repetitive, because it’s a complex path, and it requires months between significative progress. So, I decided to write about my daily living 🙂 whenever I’m in the mood to write and let the world know about me… I will! It’s my blog after all.. Nothing more and nothing less.

P.s. I will start adding pictures and getting a better look in my blog in a few weeks… It’s horrible by now, but it will be great, I can assure u that (:

First word

Hi 🙂 as I said in my “about” section, this is my lifetime blog (maybe not lifetime, but it’s a project that will last through a plenty of years) and what you are seeing right now is my first post !

Allow me introduce myself, because so far… I am a stranger for you.

My name is Marcelo, I’m a chilean regular student, musician, visionary and human being, with a pretty odd life, sometimes it rocks, but it never sucks… I love what I do, I love my life (even when sometimes things don’t go the way I’d love to) I love my friends and making great music.. Whether it’s Jazz, Rock, Pop, you know.. The most important is to compose and let your imagination and inspiration flow with the people’s spirit. I got no girlfriend, no daddy and no big fortune. A normal human after all, but with a great talent for music (and english as well).

I play mainly the drums and composing, but I’m learning how to play the piano and the guitar, I love this so much !!

Wanna know my goals?

Well, basically this blog will help me to stick to my dreams… The biggest one, is to make a living out of music. When I was 11, I started playing the drums, and I knew inmediatly my purpose in life: Music, music and more music… And of course, share it to the world !

By this time, I am 17 years old.. With a looong way until I can make this true. I want to study music 🙂 and make a globalized innovation in contemporary music.

My original goal (by now is a dream), is to study music at the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston, i have the guts, the talent, and the discipline for making this real… But I don’t have enough resources (neither my parents) for taking my dream to reality. But, I have faith… Maybe in miracles.. Maybe in fate. But I know I’ll finally make a living out of music 🙂

By the way, I speak quite well spanish and english, in case you’d like me to reply in one of the two languages.

Feel free to comment or suggest as you want! Everything will be greatly appreciated by me and other readers… Thank you !

– Marcelo Pineda Durán .