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“All My Life” by Foo Fighters, Drum Cover

by Omar on May 25, 2010

in drum cover


Welcome to a ‘drum cover’ edition of The Paradiddler!  This time around we’ll discuss my cover of Foo Fighter’s “All My Life”.

A lot of time had gone by between covers.  I had my drums put away, so I did a lot of thinking, mostly about how I wasn’t playing!

Anyway, I started to make a list of the songs I wanted to cover (eventually).  Playing covers, for me, strikes a balance of learning from the pros and making practicing (and playing!) fun.

It was fun to come up with this list because it makes you start preparing in your head how you’re going to play certain parts.  Will you play it as originally recorded, or will you add a certain flavor to make it your own?  Sometimes that decision may not occur during the planning stages, but during the performance itself.

But let me digress a bit.  After I made my list, I decided that I would play “Smells Like Teen Spirit”, by Nirvana.  I chose it more for the energy and passion that Dave Grohl exhibited when playing it, and because it’s fairly simple to play since the drum phrasing doesn’t change throughout the song.  But that simplicity is deceiving.

When I sat down to play this song, for some reason my timing was all over the place!  It’s my favorite Nirvana song, the energy is off the charts, but I just wasn’t feeling it.

So while I was dealing with this frustration, I scrolled through my ‘set list’ and I found the Foo Fighters’ “All My Life”.  Another favorite of mine (plus another Dave Grohl connection), I decided to sit down and just play to it, and it felt good right away!  It felt very natural right off the bat, and it was loads of fun to play.  So I decided then and there that I would publish this cover instead.

My goal is to try to play to the original as close as possible while incorporating a few subtle changes.  I like to think of those changes as how the drummer might play the song on another night of a tour.  Even though he changes it up, it still sounds like him.  I’m just another night on the tour.  🙂 (See “A Perspective on Drum Covers”)

The main differences between my cover and the original is the splash in the middle of the song (at the end of the second verse), and during the chorus I played the ride cymbal with straight eighth notes, instead of accenting with the bell of the ride.  There are other differences both in playing and with the video effects, just to change it up and make it a little more interesting.  I’ll let you figure them out!

Something I did differently this time around also is to publish the video before writing the accompanying article (I usually do both simultaneously).  I posted the video on a couple of drumming forums so people could see my take on the song, and give me some feedback on my playing.  I got some very good feedback, and I may do it this way going forward.  I’ll include the links here so you can also benefit from the observations.  Of course, you the reader can chime in as well!

So that’s the scoop!  Like I said before, if you have comments, suggestions, kudos 🙂 , leave them here.  Happy drumming!

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