On Learning Someone Else’s Song

I finally own sheet music from a band I’m excited about — Led Zeppelin. “Whole Lotta Love” is one of my favorite songs, and even though there’s not that much drumming in there (the whole middle of the song is basically Bonham clicking the hi-hat and not much else), I’ve started learning it.

Bonham is really good. He keeps time with the hi-hat, and plays complex patterns on the snare and kick drums.

The trick that I realized will help me on this is to learn each pattern alongside the time-keeping, one at a time. So, I can play the hi-hat and kick easily, and the hi-hat and snare easily. Doing all three still leads me to throw notes in the wrong places.

I think that breaking a three-limb harmony into two separate two-limb harmonies will make it easier to memorize, and then I’ll be able to bring them back together.

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