The Band – The Weight – Trinity Rock & Pop Grade 1

Ladies & Gentlemen, The Band:

The Band – The Weight – Trinity Rock & Pop Grade 1 Drums

The Band were an extremely talented group of musicians who played with Bob Dylan amongst others. Bob Dylan, and other musicians they played with, always introduced them simply as “The Band” so when they decided to strike out on their own they took “The Band” as their name.

The Weight is probably the most well known of their songs and is ranked as #41 in Rolling Stone magazine’s Top 500 songs.

This song is fairly straight forward to play & if you are doing the exam you’re given a lot of freedom to choose what to play. The initial pick-up fill is defined for you, but the rest of the fills are up to you. The groove for the most of the verse is also up to you.

The tempo of this song is fairly slow at 74 bpm. You should practice playing the groove with a metronome at that speed and even slower to work on playing confidently at that speed. Slow speeds are tough to play at securely as there is a lot of space for you to place your notes. I would suggest counting all the eighth notes as you practice. Generally the slower the tempo, the more you count; The faster the tempo, the less you count. If I’m playing at 40bpm, I’ll be counting 16th notes; at 150 bpm I’ll be counting quarters & at 300 I’m just counting beat 1 of each bar.

For the first verse I chose to repeat the 2 bar pattern from the first  2 bars of the verse for the duration of the verse. This seems to fit quite nicely, but it’s not the only option, you may want to experiment with other simple rock beats to see if you can find something that sounds good to you.

For the fill at the end of the first verse, you want to start it on beat 3 so it doesn’t overshadow the vocals. If you’re struggling for ideas, here’s a few for you. The first one is the fill I play in the video:

drum lessons singapore
Verse Fill Examples

The chorus groove sees us playing the snare on all 4 beats with a bass drum happening on the & of 3. It’s a simple groove to play, but really helps to drive the chorus and adds a nice dynamic to the song and contrasts nicely with more laid back feel of the verse. Don’t forget to hit your snare a little harder here to get up to the forte dynamic. The chorus sees us stopping on the and of 1 of the 4th bar and letting the vocalists shine. This is where you need to count as the bar of 3/4 can make coming back in tricky. I suggest listening to the song a load of times and just counting & clapping along with it to get familiar with how it sounds in relation to the time.

The final bars see us playing a figure that’s very common… crashing on the & of  2 and then filling out the rest of the bar. I recorded myself playing this song 6 times and every time I did different fills. I would encourage you to practice it the same way. Don’t get stuck on just playing the same fill every time. Practicing with a variety of fills will help your flow on the kit and make you more responsive in real life playing situations. Here’s some fills you could try (create some of your own too!) The first two are the ones I played in the video.

Drum Lessons Singapore
Chorus Fill Examples

This is good song to learn for practicing playing slower tempos and working on your fills. Levon Helm, the drummer and one of the singers, is considered one of the best song drummers and has a great feel, you can learn a lot from trying to emulate him so be sure to check out the original.

The 2018 version of the Trinity Grade 1 Rock & Pop book is great to work through if you’re still in the early stages of your drumming journey. 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!

Don’t forget to check out our youtube channel & subscribe for more videos!

If you’re in Singapore &  haven’t had a free trial lesson with us, sign up for one here!

Michael Jackson – Billie Jean – Trinity Rock & Pop Grade 1

Here’s the Trinity Rock & Pop version of this classic track from the King of Pop, Michael Jackson.

Michael Jackson – Billie Jean – Trinity Rock & Pop Grade 1 Drums

This is one of the those songs that really shows that it’s not what you play, but the way that you play it. On the original track Ndugu Chancler plays a drum beat which is probably the first beat almost every drummer learns. It may be simple, but you can’t help but dance when you hear it coming out the speakers. That is down to how it was played. Listen to the original track & record yourself playing this groove until you can make it sound as good as Ndugu Chancler does (it may take a while!).

As with other songs on the Trinity Rock & Pop Grade 1 syllabus, we get a shortened version of the song here & they have crammed in as many drum fills as possible. Most of the drum fills are straight forward, but there is one fill (at 53 seconds in the video) that just doesn’t feel natural. If you’re working on this song for the exam, I would suggest listening to the demo version a lot to allow this fill to seep into your brain and make it feel more natural. Counting bars during the chorus will also help (it’s on the 8th bar of the chorus).

This is a fun song to play, and nailing the groove on this song will greatly benefit your drumming.

The 2018 version of the Trinity Grade 1 Rock & Pop book is great to work through if you’re still in the early stages of your drumming journey. 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!

Don’t forget to check out our youtube channel & subscribe for more videos!

If you’re in Singapore &  haven’t had a free trial lesson with us, sign up for one here!

Queen – Another One Bites The Dust – Trinity Rock & Pop Grade 1

Here’s another track from the Trinity Rock & Pop Grade 1 Syllabus and one of my favourite songs: Another One Bites The Dust by Queen.

Queen – Another One Bites The Dust – Trinity Rock & Pop Grade 1 Drums

As with all the songs on the Trinity Rock & Pop grade 1 syllabus, this is a shortened version of the song. We get the intro, a verse, a chorus and then the outro. However in this short space of time we get more drum fills than there are in the original version of the song!

If you listen to Queen playing this song live, you will hear drummer Roger Taylor adding more drum fills to bring the track to life a little more on stage. In the studio, songwriter & bassist, John Deacon, wanted the song to be focused more on the groove & had Roger Taylor just play a bar of the groove and then looped it around to achieve drum machine like precision. The one machine gun like drum fill was then added later.

This version of the song requires a mix of both the studio and live performance. You want to focus on getting a very consistent groove during the intro and verse and then the fills in the chorus help to bring the song to life a little more.

The main problem with this song is the first drum fill at the end of the verse. In the original song, this fill starts on the ‘ah’ of 2 – after the singing has stopped. In this version, the fill starts on beat 1. If you are used to the original song, this feels very strange. Counting bars during the verse, ignoring your instincts and just starting the fill on beat 1 of the 8th bar will help to get this fill in the right place. It takes a few run-throughs for this to start to feel normal.

The 2018 version of the Trinity Grade 1 Rock & Pop book is great to work through if you’re still in the early stages of your drumming journey. 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!

Don’t forget to check out our youtube channel & subscribe for more videos!

If you’re in Singapore &  haven’t had a free trial lesson with us, sign up for one here!

Mark Ronson Feat. Bruno Mars – Uptown Funk – Trinity Rock & Pop Grade 1

Uptown Funk was a huge hit for Mark Ronson & Bruno Mars, now it’s part of the Trinity Rock & Pop Grade 1 exam. Here’s David’s attempt at the Trinity Rock & Pop version of the song:

Bruno Mars – Uptown Funk – Trinity Rock & Pop Grade 1 Drums

Here’s a few things to focus on when trying this song:

  1. The opening snare hits on the 4th bar need to perfectly in sync with the horns.
  2. The main groove of the song features the bass drum playing a strong quarter note pulse. This is very common in dance music. Be careful not to flam the snare and bass on beats  2 & 4 as this will kill the groove and no one will want to dance to your version.  Take time to practice the groove slowly and record yourself playing the groove – be honest with yourself, did you flam? Keep working on it until you don’t!
  3. Speaking of flams; we also don’t want any flams during the 3 bar build up fill after the breakdown. Work on getting your snare, tom and bass perfectly together while building the crescendo – and don’t speed up as you get louder!
  4. During the end of the song there is one drum fill on the snare repeated multiple times. Practice this fill with a metronome until you can do it with out any variance in tempo. This fill, like the earlier snare hits, needs to line up perfectly with the other instruments that are playing the same rhythm. Make it tight!
  5. The final drum fill is an over the bar line fill, meaning it starts in one bar and carries on throughout the next one. This can feel strange if you are not used to going over the bar line with your fills. Use a metronome and slow it down to 50-60 bpm. Count. Repeat until perfect. Slowly speed it up. Don’t panic!

This is a fun song to play and offers the chance to work on some skills that will help you play many other songs in the funk/dance style.

The 2018 version of the Trinity Grade 1 Rock & Pop book is great to work through if you’re still in the early stages of your drumming journey. 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!

Don’t forget to check out our youtube channel & subscribe for more videos!

If you’re in Singapore &  haven’t had a free trial lesson with us, sign up for one here!