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Thread: Can Neil "groove"?

  1. #1
    Moderator Sean's Avatar
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    Can Neil "groove"?

    This chap seems to think not. After reading the rest of his thoughts on the band though he seems to undermine any credibility he has anyway.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/entertainment...rrated-drummer

  2. #2
    Jefferson James
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    This guy appears to be a tool-fist.

  3. #3
    Studmuffin Scott Bails's Avatar
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    Trolling + ignorance =
    Music isn't about chops, or even about talent - it's about sound and the way that sound communicates to people. Mike Keneally

  4. #4
    The question is not, can Neal groove. The question is, should he. "Groove" within the parameters of what Rush do would just sound like bad meter (which happens on occasion, actually).

  5. #5
    Member Phlakaton's Avatar
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    One end of the spectrum right there. Dude just has a lot of hate inside.

  6. #6
    Member Phlakaton's Avatar
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    Oh - and groove... I've heard him do it here and there... Digital Man is in the ballpark a bit... wait... that is more of a swing thing. Shucks... have to dig around. Dont recall him grooving on much - more plotting.

  7. #7
    Studmuffin Scott Bails's Avatar
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    I always thought "Animate" had a great groove.
    Music isn't about chops, or even about talent - it's about sound and the way that sound communicates to people. Mike Keneally

  8. #8
    Oh No! Bass Solo! klothos's Avatar
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    OK, as a professional musician, I will tell you what I think (because you asked) without reading that first:

    Can Neil play? Absolutely! Can he groove? Well, absolutely. If I was going to put him under a micro-scope, I would say he is somewhat mechanical. It should be known that I have only heard him in the framework of RUSH, who's body of music seems to be composed with having "mechanical precision" implied as part of the composition, so he is actually doing his job.

    But to call him a "One-Trick Groove Pony" based solely on RUSH's body of work is foolish.

    I personally have never met a drummer with Neil's skill level that hasn't been able to walk into a "Jazz Jam" or "Blues Jam" and lay down a thick Phat Groove for me to lock into (I play bass and have hosted either/or over the years)......So, with that said, even though I haven't seen him do anything else, I am just referencing my personal history when meeting guys like him so I would certainly lean to the side of "I am sure he is fully capable of laying down any groove with whatever degree of Phat-ness it calls for at anytime he wants"

    YMMV

  9. #9
    Member Yanks2014's Avatar
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    Does it really matter? And who decided "groove" is what makes a drummer great, or if it's needed in every song? I love Peart's drumming, whether is has groove or not.

  10. #10
    You would need to define groove first.

    Peart has little of the funk\blues\jazz\soul derived influence in his playing that are usually attributed to someone having a groove based style for a rock drummer.

    He's more of a technically sound "straight" rock player in his influence.IN that area he does play beats that sound right for the music and allow it to flow along and sound good as an ensemble.

    personally i'm not a big fan of his feel\playing or Rush, but i think he was an appropriate sort of player for the style of music they were doing.I wouldn't have wanted to hear him in Led Zeppelin or Back Door.

  11. #11
    Oh No! Bass Solo! klothos's Avatar
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    I just read the article...Apparently, the author seems to think that "Groove" lay somewhere in the range of "Groove = R&B Groove" and "Groove = Pocket Drumming"....This guy is an idiot.....

    ..........or he is a Troll-genius, because a lot of people will repost this on various sites and his blog will be a total advertisers "click-fest" soon

  12. #12
    Highly Evolved Orangutan JKL2000's Avatar
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    I wish the internet hadn't made everyone feel free to write.
    "Actually, throughout my life, my two greatest assets have been mental stability and being, like, really smart...not smart, but genius....and a very stable genius at that!"

  13. #13
    Peart grooves all over Xanadu, IMO. He just doesn't do it for the whole song. La Villa Strangiato too.

    FWIW, if the only Rush I ever heard was the Roll the Bones album, I'd probably think that they sucked, too. I realize that he listened to the good stuff eventually, but still. The negative first impression had been made.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by JKL2000 View Post
    I wish the internet hadn't made everyone feel free to write.
    Why, because the guy presents an opinion you don't agree with? To a certain degree, I happen to agree with the guy's main premise being that Neil is overrated. Neil's a top notch drummer and a passable lyricist (occasionally a really good lyricist), but no way he is the greatest thing to happen to music the way his disciples make it seem like.

    I rather like Rush, or at least, I like the old Rush, the stuff from the 70's and early 80's. I'm not as keen on the post-Signals albums, but there's some good stuff in there, too. But I do understand the criticisms of the band, ie Neil's frequently nerdy lyrics and the mechanical nature of his drumming.

    And it's always astounded me that Neil is the "star" of that band. I remember back about 12 years ago, seeing this video someone put up on line, a computer animation version of Neil playing YYZ. I remember thinking, "Where's Alex and Geddy?". To me it's always been Alex and Geddy's contributions that make the band musically interesting. And would people please stop criticizing Geddy's singing?! Everyone keeps talking about how high he sings, like they never heard Robert Plant, The Bee Gees, or Frankie Valli. And he hasn't sung like that in something like 30 years, anyway.

    The thing that impressed me with Neil was that when the band decided they needed to expand their sound, he had added chromatic percussion instruments to his band. He's one guy who has truly earned the "drums and percussion" credit you see on a lot of records. He went from being "Just a drummer" to being a guy who had to actually spend time thinking about "the keyboard player's department" (as Bill Bruford once described the issues of melody and harmony).

    But beyond that, I tend to prefer drummers like Christian Vander, Tony Williams and Elvin Jones, when it comes to "virtuoso drumming". And for rock drumming, I'd still rather listen to Charlie Watts, Keith Moon, Lee Kerslake, Roger Taylor and Ian Paice.

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    Quote Originally Posted by trurl View Post
    The question is not, can Neal groove. The question is, should he. "Groove" within the parameters of what Rush do would just sound like bad meter (which happens on occasion, actually).
    bingo. I hear people critcize Carl Palmer a lot because his playing in ELP had no "feel" to it, which seems to me like someone who is really missing the point of what ELP was about.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarGeek View Post
    And would people please stop criticizing Geddy's singing?! Everyone keeps talking about how high he sings, like they never heard Robert Plant, The Bee Gees, or Frankie Valli. And he hasn't sung like that in something like 30 years, anyway.
    He was actually quoting a Pavement lyric from 1997. I don't know if, by not referencing the source, he was either passing it off as his own or if he was assuming that his audience would recognize it. I happen to like Pavement a lot, but I would still say that if he has an audience that generally knows their Pavement lyrics, that he was pretty much preaching to the choir insofar as being critical of Rush (though I would also add that this audience would probably have issues of their own insofar as identifying groove-approved drummers among the ranks of their favorite bands).

  17. #17
    Oh No! Bass Solo! klothos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarGeek View Post
    Lee Kerslake.
    My personal favorite drummers are Vinnie Calliuta, Dennis Chambers, and Dave Weckyl

    ...but one of my all-time absolute fave rock rhythm section is Lee Kerslake (drums) and Bob Daisley (bass)..Those two guys together were magic!

    I also dig the phat groove of Phil Rudd and Cliff Williams -- it may be simple, but they lay it down PHAT, even fatbacking the grooves to give it a little funk

  18. #18
    Everybodys entitled to their oppinion .Ginger Baker says in his documentary that John Bonham couldn't swing a cat!

    As for Peart I think he's a bit robotic but still a great drummer! As Rush"s music became less complex so did his drumming ! I recently saw a Rush tribute band called Bravado & the Geddy clone said the music is very easy to learn & play !

  19. #19
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    Neil Peart is an amazing drummer. If the band he played with needed a "groove", I'm certain he could provide it. He's been a drummer for over 40 years.

    Matter of fact, Peart DOES groove with Rush on occasion.

  20. #20
    Words of a douche. How can anyone possibly give a shit what he thinks about anything?

  21. #21
    Member Vic2012's Avatar
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    Can Neil swing? I'm sure he can, and does. Rush just isn't a band that "swings" much but they do rock (or used to ). Can Neil play with the same looseness and swing of Bill Ward? Yeah, I guess he could. He's technical and precise, so I guess he can do whatever's asked of him. I can't imagine Neil in Black Sabbath though. Just wouldn't fit. (and now all the wisecracks and eyerolls start ).

  22. #22
    If Rush were a dance band, this would be a valid criticism, but since they aren't its pretty much the standard douchebag criticism of any musician with a high degree of proficiency that plays complicated music. I've heard this same argument applied to the Dregs, Eric Johnson, King Crimson, Yes, etc.

  23. #23
    Neil was a game changer when he came on the scene- it was like what Eddie Van Halen did to the guitar; it's wasn't that he was absolutely the best drummer in rock when he came out with Rush, but he was the best and most original drummer a lot of kids had ever actually heard at that point in time, and he brought a sound to his playing that had never really been around before. A generation grew up believing he was basically GOD on drums because he was such a transformational influence and you can trace a direct line to a style of rock drumming that is now the norm. So it's easy for some Web d-bags to come along 30 years later and say, "What's so great about that guy?" because they don't have any perspective. Well, that's what, punk.

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by trurl View Post
    Neil was a game changer when he came on the scene- it was like what Eddie Van Halen did to the guitar; it's wasn't that he was absolutely the best drummer in rock when he came out with Rush, but he was the best and most original drummer a lot of kids had ever actually heard at that point in time, and he brought a sound to his playing that had never really been around before. A generation grew up believing he was basically GOD on drums because he was such a transformational influence and you can trace a direct line to a style of rock drumming that is now the norm. So it's easy for some Web d-bags to come along 30 years later and say, "What's so great about that guy?" because they don't have any perspective. Well, that's what, punk.
    Spot on with your reply! People post this crap about The Beatles or any massively influential artist because they weren't around when they hit or they flat out don't like the genre. I don't like country music so I keep my mouth shut about county artists. He should have done the same.

  25. #25
    Member Phlakaton's Avatar
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    Neil has his own place for me (a huge influence on my drumming)... he's not the best outside his comfort zone though - meaning - to my ears something like a straight jazz swing isnt his strong suit... but he can do it.

    Robert Wyatt... now there is someone who could play a lot of cool stuff but outside forums like this nobody would really know or care about him.

    Vinnie (like a lot of people) is my all time favorite. What an alien.

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