Here’s a demonstration of Red Hot Chili Peppers Under The Bridge from the Trinity Rock & Pop Grade 2 Drums Syllabus.
As always with the early grades on the trinity rock & pop drum syllabus, we get a cut down version of the song here, but it’s still enough for us to enjoy playing it. Let’s have a look at some of the trickier bits of this song.
A Bridge Too Far?
There are couple of points in the song where the drums act as a bridge between parts of the song. The first one is where the drums first enter the song; there are 8 bars of guitar intro & then it’s 2 bars of just drums while the guitar sustains it’s last note. There is nothing to lock in with & nothing to help us with the timing. If you use the version of the song with the drums or the click, then it’s obviously easier; but to get a good idea of how your timing is, try the version without the click. Counting may be necessary!
The other time the drums act as a bridge is at the end of the first verse. At this point we’ve been playing for 10 bars and have a good idea of the tempo and how it feels, but the pattern features a slightly more complex left hand part… don’t speed up! Again, while working with the click this shouldn’t be too hard to nail, but try it with the version without a click to get a better sense of how well developed your internal clock is.
Rim Click, Upside Down Stick
One of the areas being assessed for this song is the quality of the rim click sound. To get the best sound from your rim clicks, hold your stick upside down (near the tip) and put the butt end of the stick over the rim of the drum. This will give you a fatter, meatier, fuller sound than if you hold the stick in the normal manner.
Once you’ve finished with the rim clicks you can continue to hold the stick upside down for rest of the song, or you can flip it back over -- but you may not want to increase the risk of dropping your stick on exam day. I know many drummers that play with the left stick almost permanently upside down so they can get more power into the back beat on the snare in loud playing situations.
Did You Cross The Bridge?
Most of this song is fairly straight forward, just make sure to focus on playing the rim click & bass drum together on beat 3 during the second verse. I don’t want to hear any flams.
The fills during the finale of the song are not difficult, but again, practice them with a metronome to make sure you don’t rush.
The 2018 version of the Trinity Rock & Pop Grade 2 Drums book is great to work through if you’re around 6 months to a year into your drumming career. You don’t have to take the exam to benefit from the book. The songs are great to work on & fun to play and will help to improve your drumming. In Singapore you can find the book at Robert Piano -- Paragon Shopping Centre (and probably their other outlets). It’s also available from Amazon if you’re happy to pay the shipping!
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