All you can eat drums – Neil Peart Drum Solo
This is from the first show of the second leg of the Rush Time Machine Tour
The drum solo you’re performing on the current Time Machine tour – how would you say it differs from past solos?
“Well, as I said, it’s much more about improvisation. When I did the Anatomy Of A Drum Solo DVD, and that was only five years ago, I defined myself as a compositional drummer, and my longtime teacher, Freddie Gruber, would say, ‘When I watch you play, you’re composing.’ So I accepted that. OK, cool, I’m composing. But then I thought, No! I want to be an improviser, and I’ve worked very hard at that. It’s an art. You don’t just play whatever comes into your head; you have to be very deliberate about what you do. That’s the way I look at it: I improvise very deliberately, and I try not to repeat myself. That’s been a very big change in my playing over the last five years, and I’m moving more and more towards improvisation.
“It doesn’t just happen, of course. You have to practice…and trust yourself. After 45 years of playing, I had to learn to trust my instincts at a very basic level. Certain patterns would recur, but I’d force myself to set them up differently or conclude them differently. ‘Wait a second…I did that last night. I’m not going to do that tonight.’ In a way, like I said before, you have to think like an editor. A producer is in my head selecting what I’m doing. It’s a whole different level of thinking. And then, of course, there’s that great jazz saying: ‘If you make a mistake, do it twice!’ [laughs] It takes a while for all of this to become second nature, but I’m working on it.”