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80's Rock Drumming

       Lesson 3 
           
        

      Roger Taylor (Queen)        

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Tico Torres is one of the top Rock Drummers of the 1980's and beyond.  He has been playing drums for Bon Jovi since 1983 and has played drums on almost every song, album and tour for Bon Jovi since joining the band.  Bon Jovi has released 16 studio albums, five compilations and three live albums. They have sold more than 130 million records worldwide, making them one of the best-selling American rock bands, and performed more than 2,700 concerts in over 50 countries for more than 34 million fans. Tico Torres as a member of Bon Jovi was inducted into the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2006, and into the US Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2018.

Torres was a jazz fan as a youth and studied music with legendary Jazz Drummer & Drum Educator Joe Morello (Dave Brubeck). In 1969, he played drums for the psychedelic rock band Six Feet Under. Before joining Bon Jovi in 1983, Torres had already played live with Joe Cerisano's R-Band aka Silver Condor in the New Jersey Rock circuit, and in the studio with Franke and the KnockoutsPat BenatarChuck BerryCherAlice Cooper and Stevie Nicks, recording a total of 26 albums with these artists. Torres was also one of the drummers auditioned by Kiss in 1980 after original drummer Peter Criss left the band.

Even though Tico Torres and Bon Jovi have many hit songs from the 1990's, 2000's and 2010's, for the purpose of this course we are only going to focus on drum parts from select songs from two albums from the 1980's, Slippery When Wet (1986) and New Jersey (1988).  For more info on Tico Torres click the Wikipedia Link below.

 

Level 4: 
 

Livin' on a Prayer - Slippery When Wet (1986)

  • Play all the main drum beats from the Verse and Chorus, also play the Signature Drum Fill.

VERSE:

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  • Tico Torres plays an 8th Note Rock Groove on the Hi-Hat for the Verse, with periodic variations on select measures, including opening and closing the hi-hat and adding two 16th notes.   He plays a Backbeat on the Snare on counts 2 and 4.  The Bass Drum Pattern does vary slightly too.  The Bass drum is played on counts 1 and 3, with a variation on the 4th measure changing the bass drum pattern to counts 1, 3&.

CHORUS:

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  • Tico Torres plays a Two Bar Quarter Note Groove for the Chorus on the Bell of the Ride Cymbal.  He plays a Backbeat on the Snare on counts 2 and 4.  The first bar the Bass Drum is played on counts 1 - &3.  Bar two the Bass Drum is played on counts 1 - 3&.

FILL:

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  • Tico Torres plays the same Fill numerous times throughout the song on the Snare Drum.  In the beginning of the song the fill comes out of the intro where Tico Torres plays Quarter Notes on the Bell of the Ride Cymbal.  The Snare Drum Fill is counted    3 e & ah - 4& and is played in Mezzo Forte (Medium Loud).

  • Listen to “Livin' on a Prayer” by Bon Jovi:  Try your best to play along to the song using what you learned from the beats and fills.  Actively listen to Tico Torres's drum parts, use your ears to help you learn and capture the feel of the song.  Have fun!

Level 5: 
 

You Give Love a Bad Name - Slippery When Wet (1986)

  • Play all the main drum beats from the Verse and Chorus, also play the Signature Drum Fill.

VERSE:

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  • Tico Torres plays a Two Bar 8th Note Rock Groove on the Hi-Hat for the Verse, Backbeat on the Snare on counts 2 and 4.  On the first Bar the Bass Drum is played on counts 1 and 3, the second Bar the Bass Drum is played on counts 1 - 3&     

  • *At the end of the second bar on count 4 the Snare Drum is played at the same time that you open the Hi-Hat, the Hi-Hat is closed on count 1 of the turn around as the Groove repeats.  Use your ears for this section to give the proper space and feel for the groove.

CHORUS:

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  • Tico Torres plays Quarter Notes on the Bell of the Ride Cymbal, with accents placed throughout on the Crash Cymbals, Quarter Notes on the Snare and Quarter Notes/8th Notes on the Bass Drum.  Use your ears and memorize the melody to assist with proper feel and placement.

  • The Beat is counted as follows  1 2& 3 4&  1 2 3 4&  1 2& 3 4&  |  1 2 3&4&

FILL:

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  • Tico Torres plays this fill a few times throughout the song.  The Fill is played on the Snare Drum and is counted  1 e & ah  2&  3&4&

  • Listen to “You Give Love a Bad Name” by Bon Jovi:  Try your best to play along to to the full song using what you learned from the beats and fills.

Level 6: 
 

Lay Your Hands On Me - New Jersey (1988)

  • Learn the Intro to Lay Your Hands On Me

INTRO:

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  • Tico Torres plays an epic Tom part for the Intro of Lay Your Hands On Me and repeats the same part for the full duration of the Intro.   He plays a Quarter Note pulse with his left foot on the Hi-Hat to keep time, Double Stops on the Toms and Floor Tom, Bass Drum on counts 1 and 3 and a Flam on the Snare on count 4.  

  • The Tom Intro is counted  1.  ah.  2.  &3.  4

  • Listen to “Lay Your Hands On Me” by Bon Jovi:  Try your best to play the Tom Intro along to the song.  For some extra fun, try playing the full song!

  • Make sure to check out other hit songs recorded in the 1980's by Bon Jovi, featuring Tico Torres on Drums:  Some of my personal favorites include Runaway, In and Out of Love, Wanted Dead or Alive, Never Say Goodbye, Raise Your Hands (was featured in the movie "Space Balls") and I'll Be There For You.

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