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Punk The Musical Approach History And Development Drummers Guide

The punk attitude and musical approach began to manifest itself in the mid to late 1960s in, arguably, UK Rock n' Roll groups such as The Rolling Stones, The Who, and early Kinks, and especially through the American groups MC5, The Stooges (fronted by Iggy Pop), The Velvet Underground (with Lou Reed), the very raw sounding The Seeds, and, again arguably, The Count Five and Blue Cheer. In the early 1970s, The New York Dolls (of the short lived "Glam" punk movement) and the Velvet Underground continued the trend. By the mid 1970s, The Ramones were playing high energy music which concentrated on rebellious posturing, both musically and lyrically. In 1977, the British group The Sex Pistols attained worldwide recognition with their pivotal album, "Never Mind the Bollocks Here's the Sex Pistols", firmly establishing the genre of Punk music and (hearkening back to MC5) bringing to it overtly political content. At the same time, the even more overtly political The Clash debuted with their influential "garage" sound album, "The Clash". The rebellious style of the Sex Pistols and The Clash gave rise to countless other UK and North American groups in the next wave of Punk known as "Hardcore", with bands such as the very political (anarchist) Dead Kennedys, MDC (Mega Death Corporation), The Germs, Circle Jerks, and Black Flag leading the pack.

In the 1980s, Punk entered the mainstream through groups like Generation X and the still active, more polished sounding The Clash. Perhaps, paradoxically, because of this mainstream acceptance the musical momentum of Punk soon dissipated, despite the 1984 hit movie "Repo Man" and its popular, all-Punk soundtrack. Despite its musical eclipse in the mid-1980s, the Punk subculture continued to flourish throughout the decade, providing Punk bands with a supportive (in spirit, if not financially) audience. Punk music and spirit had a great resurgence in the early 1990s with "Grunge" music and the success of the Seattle sensation, Nirvana. Grunge is to be (slightly) distinguished from Punk in that Grunge bands sometimes employ quiet acoustic passages interspersed with loud, Punk-style sections in their songs, often in a formulaic manner (brilliantly parodied by the Austin Lounge Lizards in their "Grunge Song"). Punk music thrives today through popular bands such as Green Day and Blink 182.

The latest Punk trend to emerge from the underground is being touted "Garage", with The Hives, The Vines, The Strokes and The White Stripes at the forefront. Musically, Punk is a relatively simple style featuring stripped down instrumentation generally bass, drums and one or two overdriven electric guitars, and a lead singer (almost always with no back-up vocals) and rhythmically and harmonically simple songs which are generally played fast and at ear-splitting volume. (The dynamic range in Punk songs varies normally if it varies at all, only from very loud to unbearably loud.) The distinguishing features of Punk drumming are that it's based on simple grooves and is almost always very loud. However, in spite of its simplicity, Punk music can be very challenging due to its loud and fast tempos, grooves and fills, all necessitating a high level of endurance for the drummer and other musicians.

Frequently, Punk drummers use a small, trashy sound sounding drum set. There are many grooves available depending on tempo and song style. There are several the most common types of Punk beats.

Punk has a large tempo range of 120-270 bpm, but tends to lean toward the faster tempos.

By Eric Starg. Eric is using Drum Pads manufactured by Roland Drums and Sonor Drums. Eric is an active member of Drum Solo Artist where he is answering drum related questions, and helping drummers with tips and advices.


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