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RIP Charlie Watts

O Riley

Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2021
Messages
85
What a Star.
Very sad to hear this news.
Rest in peace Mr. Watts, you will be missed.
 

Triburst

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 12, 2006
Messages
4,346
Examples of Charlie's "less is more" drumming are all over the Stones's albums. For a brief time, the studio footage for "Sympathy for the Devil" was on YouTube. This is one of the few remaining clips still up. It shows the brainstorming sessions they did, as they built the song into the classic it became. You see (and hear) Charlie trying several different techniques to settle on the right one. Even though congas and maracas were being used, eventually he decided to lay a stick across his snare and tap and use his other stick on a closed hi-hat, off hand tom, and light crash cymbal for emphasis on each measure. Very few drummers would not have taken a massive "solo" to a song like this, but thanks to Charlie -- it worked.

And the finished product:


RIP, Charlie. You earned it.
 
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jrgtr42

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Joined
Mar 24, 2005
Messages
2,173
A drummer friend in the '80s pointed out to me that Charlie never hit the snare and hi-hat at the same time.
Cool.
Yeah, someone pointed that out to me ages ago too (not as far back as the 80s, though...)
Pulling that hi-hat hit off puts more emphasis on the snare crack.
 

Keefoman

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Nov 4, 2009
Messages
525
Yeah, someone pointed that out to me ages ago too (not as far back as the 80s, though...)
Pulling that hi-hat hit off puts more emphasis on the snare crack.
Not competely true as he didn't start doing that until about '73 or so. To begin with it wasn't consistent, but later on in the '70s it became somewhat of a signature of his. Still later on, there are examples of him playing the hi-hat together with the snare in parts of songs. I guess for variation and/or effect.
 

jrgtr42

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Joined
Mar 24, 2005
Messages
2,173
Not competely true as he didn't start doing that until about '73 or so. To begin with it wasn't consistent, but later on in the '70s it became somewhat of a signature of his. Still later on, there are examples of him playing the hi-hat together with the snare in parts of songs. I guess for variation and/or effect.
Agreed - early on he was more.... tradtional, I guess? But (and I haven't listened carefully for a while) he was doing it a bit early on, but yes, later it's his signature thing, other than a few places, like you I guess for effect.
 

Keefoman

Active member
Joined
Nov 4, 2009
Messages
525
Another fun fact is that Charlie started using traditional grip holding the sticks. He then went to matched grip, probably due to him needing to hit the snare harder to be heard over the screaming crowd. In the late 60s the PA systems got considerably better, and he went back to traditional grip.
 
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