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Thursday, January 19, 2012

Results from Neil Peart fills poll

This survey was all about Neil Peart fills. I decided to open it up so people could add additional fills to the list. This made it more interesting, but also made it more difficult to count votes -- because I couldn't always tell which fill someone was referring to. Because of this, I had to drop some of the options people had added.

The Results

1. Tom Sawyer solo fills - 30%

You could say these are probably the most important fills Neil has ever played. "Tom Sawyer" was the song that launched Rush into popular culture and expanded Rush's audience considerably. (This was the song that captured my attention.) As I wrote about these series of fills on my "Top 10 Fills" page:

Who can forget this drum-solo-within a song? The first fill is trickier than it seems (if you watch the Archives studio video, Neil actually skips a tom on the way down). The second is the famous "quadruplet" with a triplet feel.

Here's Neil talking about the difficulties of playing "Tom Sawyer." There's also a clip of him playing it around the time it was recorded (at Le Studio):

2. Natural Science solo fill - 18%

This was the big surprise -- as I didn't have this on my original list (but it should have been). This is the kind of fill that happens so fast, you're left wondering what just happened. I had to slow it down to really understand what was happening. Neil would go on to use this same approach for solo fills in songs like "YYZ" and "Leave That Thing Alone." 

Watch Neil play "Natural Science" on the Snakes & Arrows tour:

If you're looking for more about what Neil's playing here, I recommend watching Ray Harber's lesson on "Neil Peart's four note grouping." The part about the "Natural Science" fill comes in around the 7-minute mark.

3. Vital Signs - Fill at the end of the song: 11%

This has always been one of my favorite fills because of the level of excitement it brings to the song.  

Here's what Neil Peart had to say about "Vital Signs" and this fill in his article, "Notes on the Making of Moving Pictures."

Conceptually, this song was an attempt to bridge the gap between the primal appeal of the rhythmic reggae "bounce" and the electronic energy of high-technology music. As a drummer, this gave me the opportunity to begin as a simple "groove" player, and then grow through various developments into the "overplaying show-off type" toward the end! I drew on many influences throughout this progression: notably the works of Creme and Godley, Ultravox, The Police, the great things that Michael Giles did with early King Crimson, a healthy dose of good old hard rock, and a little Caribbean influence.

Here's a version of "Vital Signs" with isolated drums. You can really hear how much they tweaked the drum and cymbal sounds.

Full results:

Fill Votes Percent
Tom Sawyer (solo fills) 31 30%
Natural Science (solo fill) 19 21%
Vital Signs (fill at the end) 11 12%
Leave That Thing Alone (solo fill) 8 9%
La Villa Strangiato (solo fill) 5 5%
The Camera Eye (into last verse) 5 5%
The Spirit of Radio (leading to the second part of the song) 4 4%
YYZ solo fills 4 4%
Red Barchetta (after guitar solo) 3 3%
Armor and Sword (before the chorus reprise at the end) 3 3%
Between the Wheels (solo fill) 3 3%
The Digital Man (opening) 2 2%
Time Stand Still (opening fills) 2 2%
Freewill (after the "each of us" section) 1 1%
The Enemy Within (last opening fill) 1 1%
Total votes 102  


Thanks to everyone who voted!

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posted by AndyO @ 5:24 PM   0 comments