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The Early Rock Music History And Development Drummers Guide

Rock music in all its variations is arguably the most popular, identifiable, and universal style of music throughout the world. Due to the enormous number of Rock n' Roll composers, musicians, and bands, it is impossible to cite every major influence in this genre. The names of many 20th century popular music styles were originally slang terms with sexual connotations (e.g.

Swing, Jazz, Bop). Rock n' Roll is no exception. In the early 1950s, as jazz became more of a listening music played by small ensembles, audiences sought music which provided an unwavering and obvious pulse for dancing.

This factor, as well as the appeal of a lead singer emphasizing lyrics and the advancing development and use of electric instruments (guitar, bass, etc.) played with high energy, and with a heavy drumming backbeat, all contributed to the beginnings of Rock n' Roll. Though Alan Freed, an early 1950s disc jockey from Cleveland, Ohio, is often credited with coining the term "Rock n' Roll", it can be traced back much further, at least as far back as the song written by Richard Whiting in 1934 entitled "Rock and Roll.

" The style really didn't come into its own, however, until the 1950s. A series of early hits, including "Sixty Minute Man," by the Dominoes, and several by Bill Haley and the Comets (notably "Rock Around the Clock"), grabbed the attention of American youth. As the new music gained popularity, musicians such as Antoine "Fats" Domino, Little Richard (Richard Penniman), and Chuck Berry emerged as its stars. In addition, with Elvis Presley's phenomenal rise, Rock n' Roll produced its first superstar. The music continued to gain popularity throughout the remainder of the decade with such artists as Sam Cooke, Buddy Holly, Richie Valens and many Rockabilly musicians, such as Carl Perkins, rising to prominence. By the early 1960s, Surf music had become very popular, and by the mid 1960s, Soul Music, and more especially "The Motown Sound", were also very popular.

These driving forces of early and mid 1960s pop music firmly established Rock music's signature "straight" feel as opposed to the "swung" feel of the Jazz bands of the 1930s and 1940s and West Coast and Jump Blues, made popular in the 1940s and early 1950s by artists such as T-Bone Walker. By the 1960s, Rock n' Roll had also found a large audience in Britain, inspiring the formation of many British bands and the "British Invasion" of the U.S. music scene. "Beatlemania" and the Beatles' continuing success were perhaps the best indications of Rock n' Roll's universal appeal and lasting popularity. "The British Invasion" also coincided with an emphasis on bands rather than individual musicians.

But, paradoxically, some of the more famous names in drumming history came to prominence in this period: Ringo Starr (The Beatles), Charlie Watts (The Rolling Stones), Mick Avory (The Kinks), and Keith Moon (The Who). The mid to late 1960s saw a proliferation of Rock bands with prominent drummers, including Cream (Ginger Baker), The Doors (John Densmore), Jimi Hendrix (Mitch Mitchell and later Buddy Miles), and The Grateful Dead (Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann). By this time, Rock drumming began to deviate from a simple and recognizable beat to include more challenging rhythms and fills requiring greater technical skill, with the "concert drum solo" becoming a common feature of Rock performances. By the beginning of the 1970s, several bands had become well established: Led Zeppelin (with prominent drummer John Bonham), Deep Purple, and Black Sabbath-that are considered founders of the Heavy Metal style. Another category that had attained wide popularity by the early 1970s was Progressive Rock, a style of music and drumming characterized by lengthier compositions, odd time signatures, and an even higher level of musicianship.

By Eric Starg. Eric is using Drum Hardware manufactured by Premier Drums and Yamaha 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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