independent and unofficial
Prince fan community site
Sun 20th Oct 2019 2:18am
Welcome! Sign up or enter username and password to remember me
Forum jump
Forums > Prince: Music and More > Prince's drumming skills
« Previous topic  Next topic »
Page 1 of 2 12>
Reply   New topic   Printable     (Log in to 'subscribe' to this topic)
Author

Tweet     Share

Message
Thread started 09/14/19 6:46am

lurker316

avatar

Prince's drumming skills


In another thread debating how many instruments Prince could play, there was consensus that Prince was a great on guitar, bass, keyboard/piano, and drums. Obviously I can name tons of songs that illustrate his mastery of the guitar, bass and keyboards. And obviously he was a peerless innovator of drum programming in the '80s.

But was he great on live drums? (By "live" I talking about an accoustic drum kit in the studio, not a performance in front of an audience.) I can think of a few songs where he was very competent on drums, but I can't think of any where he blew me away. When I think of "great" drummers I think of Mike Bland and John Blackwell.

Which of his songs do you think have the best live drumming (i.e. not drum machine programming) by Prince himself?




 Reply w/quote - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #1 posted 09/14/19 7:13am

SPYZFAN1

The "Parade" album. I think the first three songs (on the album) were laid down on drums by him (with no interruption). "Tambourine"and "I'm Yours" is great too.

 Reply w/quote - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #2 posted 09/14/19 7:20am

percy28

lurker316 said:


In another thread debating how many instruments Prince could play, there was consensus that Prince was a great on guitar, bass, keyboard/piano, and drums. Obviously I can name tons of songs that illustrate his mastery of the guitar, bass and keyboards. And obviously he was a peerless innovator of drum programming in the '80s.

But was he great on live drums? (By "live" I talking about an accoustic drum kit in the studio, not a performance in front of an audience.) I can think of a few songs where he was very competent on drums, but I can't think of any where he blew me away. When I think of "great" drummers I think of Mike Bland and John Blackwell.

Which of his songs do you think have the best live drumming (i.e. not drum machine programming) by Prince himself?







Good question

Here’s three of the top my head
, tambourine - groove .. tight and very funky, disciplined and in the pocket
Lady cab driver - just stank playing
I’m yours - great parts . At 19 that is some serious groove and fills playing

The reason why is a great drummer is not his speed or fills it’s his feel .
Everyone mentions his funk rhythm guitar playing which is world class , well his grooves are similar on the drums .
He knew what he needed and executed it . That’s what it is !
 Reply w/quote - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #3 posted 09/14/19 7:21am

lurker316

avatar

SPYZFAN1 said:

The "Parade" album. I think the first three songs (on the album) were laid down on drums by him (with no interruption). "Tambourine"and "I'm Yours" is great too.


Aren't those all programming, not live drums?



 Reply w/quote - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #4 posted 09/14/19 7:47am

sulls

avatar

Drums on the God instrumental work well for that song
"I like to watch."
 Reply w/quote - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #5 posted 09/14/19 8:25am

jaawwnn

avatar

Uptown; Tambourine; Musicology...


I mean, he was never more than a competent drummer on the face of it, you'd have him in your band if that's all he did but he wasn't changing the face of the planet with his drumming skills. He had great feel though didn't he?

 Reply w/quote - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #6 posted 09/14/19 8:41am

masaba

Four, Crystal Ball, Junk Music
 Reply w/quote - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #7 posted 09/14/19 8:46am

jaawwnn

avatar

masaba said:

Four, Crystal Ball, Junk Music

Yeah! God i'd forgotten about the entire Flesh sessions.

 Reply w/quote - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #8 posted 09/14/19 8:52am

coldasice

SPYZFAN1 said:

The "Parade" album. I think the first three songs (on the album) were laid down on drums by him (with no interruption). "Tambourine"and "I'm Yours" is great too.


Yes they are
 Reply w/quote - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #9 posted 09/14/19 8:53am

coldasice

lurker316 said:



SPYZFAN1 said:


The "Parade" album. I think the first three songs (on the album) were laid down on drums by him (with no interruption). "Tambourine"and "I'm Yours" is great too.




Aren't those all programming, not live drums?




Live
 Reply w/quote - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #10 posted 09/14/19 9:11am

OldFriends4Sal
e

avatar

moderator

lurker316 said:

SPYZFAN1 said:

The "Parade" album. I think the first three songs (on the album) were laid down on drums by him (with no interruption). "Tambourine"and "I'm Yours" is great too.


Aren't those all programming, not live drums?



The Parade album was all live drums, with some embellished electronic drumming.

That album is timeless

#IDEFINEME #ALBUMSSTILLMATTER

A Liar Shall Not Tarry In My Presence
I will make you cyber shit in your pants!
What's the matter with your life
Is poverty bringing U down?
Is the mailman jerking U 'round?
Did he put your million dollar check
In
 Reply w/quote - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #11 posted 09/14/19 9:11am

MarshallStacks

avatar

Interesting that there appear to be few, if any, examples of his live drumming on his 90s and 21st century releases, to see how/ if he developed, as he definitely did on his other three instruments. I mean, he drums on the track FUNK in 2007, but it's all kinda processed. Would be cool if the vault eventually reveals some clear examples of his live drumming from the later years. cool

But yeah, that's him on Irresistable Bitch, God (instrumental), New Position and Crystal Ball, so some major funk chops and feel going on there.

Reminds me I really need to hear the Flesh sessions that leaked a few years back. I hear he's all over the drums on those.

 Reply w/quote - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #12 posted 09/14/19 9:14am

OldFriends4Sal
e

avatar

moderator

Prince's drumming was Wild & Loose Tricky and on the Line

And for me it is why his purple sound was unique

.

So I don't know if Tambourine was done straight through or pieced together, but that is my favorite example of Prince's drumming. Now is Darling Nikki live drumming because that one would be my first. Same vibe as Tamborine.

.

Everywhere(Rainbow Children)!!

#IDEFINEME #ALBUMSSTILLMATTER

A Liar Shall Not Tarry In My Presence
I will make you cyber shit in your pants!
What's the matter with your life
Is poverty bringing U down?
Is the mailman jerking U 'round?
Did he put your million dollar check
In
 Reply w/quote - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #13 posted 09/14/19 10:05am

fishwillbite

avatar

Irresistible Bitch and Crystal Ball are my 2 favourites
PIPS! Eurgh...
 Reply w/quote - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #14 posted 09/14/19 10:34am

TrivialPursuit

avatar

lurker316 said:

SPYZFAN1 said:

The "Parade" album. I think the first three songs (on the album) were laid down on drums by him (with no interruption). "Tambourine"and "I'm Yours" is great too.


Aren't those all programming, not live drums?


Susan Rogers tells a detailed story about it being live drums. He came in with his pieces of notebook paper. He taped them to a couple of stands and told her to just keep recording. He had laid out the skeleton and arrangment of the songs on the paper. So he played thru "Wendy's Parade", "New Position", "I Wonder U", and "Under The Cherry Moon" on drums. Then he went back and played bass all the way thru, then added a keyboard, or guitar part.

So it was the first four songs, not three. And it was live drums.

What's more interesting is that "New Position" dates back to 1982, but we've yet to ever hear that version. The Parade version was recorded as part of those 4 songs, making it a new version of the track.

This experience will cover courtship, sex, commitment, fetishes, loneliness, vindication, love, and hate.
http://bit.ly/1D3FG2U
 Reply w/quote - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #15 posted 09/14/19 10:44am

Wolfie87

OldFriends4Sale said:



Prince's drumming was Wild & Loose Tricky and on the Line



And for me it is why his purple sound was unique




.


So I don't know if Tambourine was done straight through or pieced together, but that is my favorite example of Prince's drumming. Now is Darling Nikki live drumming because that one would be my first. Same vibe as Tamborine.


.


Everywhere(Rainbow Children)!!



No way!? That is some stunning drum work.
 Reply w/quote - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #16 posted 09/14/19 12:03pm

MarshallStacks

avatar

Wolfie87 said:

OldFriends4Sale said:

.

Everywhere(Rainbow Children)!!

No way!? That is some stunning drum work.

Actually, that was John Blackwell, who was the only drummer on that album smile.

As Princevault says, I quote -

' The track is based around a drum pattern created by John Blackwell when Prince was out of the studio. When John Blackwell returned to the studio the following day he discovered that Prince had created an entire track using the pattern.'

 Reply w/quote - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #17 posted 09/14/19 1:39pm

donnyenglish

Two Words: Junk Music
 Reply w/quote - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #18 posted 09/14/19 1:54pm

mbdtyler

There's something slightly off-kilter about most of his 70's and 80's drumming that I've heard, like he's just slightly ahead of the beat but also flying by the seat of his pants? It feels slightly amateurish, like you can tell drums weren't his primary instrument, but he still managed to hold it together in a way that sounded cool. The breakdowns in songs like "Irresistible Bitch" and "Tambourine" are a good example of this.

 Reply w/quote - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #19 posted 09/14/19 5:43pm

OldFriends4Sal
e

avatar

moderator

mbdtyler said:

There's something slightly off-kilter about most of his 70's and 80's drumming that I've heard, like he's just slightly ahead of the beat but also flying by the seat of his pants? It feels slightly amateurish, like you can tell drums weren't his primary instrument, but he still managed to hold it together in a way that sounded cool. The breakdowns in songs like "Irresistible Bitch" and "Tambourine" are a good example of this.

Morris Day is on drums 4 Cloreen Bacon Skin, that drumming is like 99% the same as Irresistable Bitch. I always wondered........

#IDEFINEME #ALBUMSSTILLMATTER

A Liar Shall Not Tarry In My Presence
I will make you cyber shit in your pants!
What's the matter with your life
Is poverty bringing U down?
Is the mailman jerking U 'round?
Did he put your million dollar check
In
 Reply w/quote - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #20 posted 09/14/19 5:48pm

OldFriends4Sal
e

avatar

moderator

TrivialPursuit said:

lurker316 said:


Aren't those all programming, not live drums?


Susan Rogers tells a detailed story about it being live drums. He came in with his pieces of notebook paper. He taped them to a couple of stands and told her to just keep recording. He had laid out the skeleton and arrangment of the songs on the paper. So he played thru "Wendy's Parade", "New Position", "I Wonder U", and "Under The Cherry Moon" on drums. Then he went back and played bass all the way thru, then added a keyboard, or guitar part.

So it was the first four songs, not three. And it was live drums.

What's more interesting is that "New Position" dates back to 1982, but we've yet to ever hear that version. The Parade version was recorded as part of those 4 songs, making it a new version of the track.

UTCM is so piano heavy I almost forget there are drums on that one. It almost sounds like someone playing a timbrel instrument.

.

I remember reading Lisa asked Prince if they could New Position out the vault for Parade, glad it happened.

#IDEFINEME #ALBUMSSTILLMATTER

A Liar Shall Not Tarry In My Presence
I will make you cyber shit in your pants!
What's the matter with your life
Is poverty bringing U down?
Is the mailman jerking U 'round?
Did he put your million dollar check
In
 Reply w/quote - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #21 posted 09/14/19 6:39pm

rnb

I would say I'm Yours, Bambi, Sexy Dancer, Lady Cab Driver and the first Madhouse album should answer anyone's questions on Prince's proficiency on drums!
 Reply w/quote - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #22 posted 09/15/19 12:32am

fishwillbite

avatar

rnb said:

I would say I'm Yours, Bambi, Sexy Dancer, Lady Cab Driver and the first Madhouse album should answer anyone's questions on Prince's proficiency on drums!


All great choices. Lady Cab Driver is actually just live snare work. The kick and hi-hat are programmed drum machine. So prince just sat in front of a snare drum for that one. Actually a pretty innovative idea!
PIPS! Eurgh...
 Reply w/quote - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #23 posted 09/15/19 7:22am

steakfinger

OldFriends4Sale said:



Prince's drumming was Wild & Loose Tricky and on the Line



And for me it is why his purple sound was unique




.


So I don't know if Tambourine was done straight through or pieced together, but that is my favorite example of Prince's drumming. Now is Darling Nikki live drumming because that one would be my first. Same vibe as Tamborine.


.


Everywhere(Rainbow Children)!!


Morris Day player drums on the Time records. Morris Day is also the drummer on Darling Nikki.
 Reply w/quote - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #24 posted 09/15/19 7:25am

steakfinger

percy28 said:

lurker316 said:


In another thread debating how many instruments Prince could play, there was consensus that Prince was a great on guitar, bass, keyboard/piano, and drums. Obviously I can name tons of songs that illustrate his mastery of the guitar, bass and keyboards. And obviously he was a peerless innovator of drum programming in the '80s.

But was he great on live drums? (By "live" I talking about an accoustic drum kit in the studio, not a performance in front of an audience.) I can think of a few songs where he was very competent on drums, but I can't think of any where he blew me away. When I think of "great" drummers I think of Mike Bland and John Blackwell.

Which of his songs do you think have the best live drumming (i.e. not drum machine programming) by Prince himself?







Good question

Here’s three of the top my head
, tambourine - groove .. tight and very funky, disciplined and in the pocket
Lady cab driver - just stank playing
I’m yours - great parts . At 19 that is some serious groove and fills playing

The reason why is a great drummer is not his speed or fills it’s his feel .
Everyone mentions his funk rhythm guitar playing which is world class , well his grooves are similar on the drums .
He knew what he needed and executed it . That’s what it is !


The only live drum on Lady Cab Driver is the snare drum. The kick and taborinve are a drum machine. Still funky as hell, however.
 Reply w/quote - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #25 posted 09/15/19 7:50am

lurker316

avatar

steakfinger said:

OldFriends4Sale said:

Morris Day player drums on the Time records. Morris Day is also the drummer on Darling Nikki.



Source?



 Reply w/quote - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #26 posted 09/15/19 9:08am

joyinrepetitio
n

avatar

One song that highlights Prince's drumming skills is Junk Music! 20 plus minutes of Prince savaging the skins!
__________________________________________________
2 words falling between the drops and the moans of his condition
 Reply w/quote - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #27 posted 09/15/19 10:04am

TrivialPursuit

avatar

steakfinger said:


Morris Day player drums on the Time records. Morris Day is also the drummer on Darling Nikki.


This experience will cover courtship, sex, commitment, fetishes, loneliness, vindication, love, and hate.
http://bit.ly/1D3FG2U
 Reply w/quote - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #28 posted 09/15/19 12:45pm

GaryMF

avatar

Isn't Morris playing durms on Irristible bitch (Like Cloreen Baconskin)?

.

.

And isn't Darling Nikki mostly Linn?

rainbow
 Reply w/quote - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #29 posted 09/15/19 12:59pm

OldFriends4Sal
e

avatar

moderator

GaryMF said:

Isn't Morris playing durms on Irristible bitch (Like Cloreen Baconskin)?

.

.

And isn't Darling Nikki mostly Linn?

THAT is my question too. But Morris isn't credited if he is.

.

Darling Nikki sounds like live drums with linn. Listen to the unedited version.

Computer Blue is live drums too with linn(Bobby Z).

#IDEFINEME #ALBUMSSTILLMATTER

A Liar Shall Not Tarry In My Presence
I will make you cyber shit in your pants!
What's the matter with your life
Is poverty bringing U down?
Is the mailman jerking U 'round?
Did he put your million dollar check
In
 Reply w/quote - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Page 1 of 2 12>
Reply   New topic   Printable     (Log in to 'subscribe' to this topic)
« Previous topic  Next topic »
Forums > Prince: Music and More > Prince's drumming skills