If you’re a Rush fan, you’re most likely a Neil Peart fan. At the very least, you’ve been caught air drumming to Tom Sawyer more than once in your life.
“Taking Center Stage” is the companion book to the DVD of the same name. Written by Joe Bergamini, this book offers much more than your typical drum transcription book.
Instead of just giving you the parts as played by Neil, this book includes:
1. A chapter for every Rush tour from 1974 until 2012 that includes
an overview of the tour and the equipment that Neil was using for it.
2. A detailed diagram of the drum setup used during the tour.
3. The tour book pages where Neil discussed his current gear setup for that tour.
4. Discussions of the songs transcribed in each section with both an analysis of the parts played and a review of the song’s place and importance in Rush’s discography.
5. Transcriptions of the songs as performed on the Time Machine tour.
6. Photos of Neil and his kit used on each tour.
As a result, people who aren’t drummers can still glean a lot of information about Rush’s performance and compositions from a drummer’s perspective while drummers can learn information and techniques to improve their playing. For a person interested in “Rush,” the pictures alone are visually stunning.
One cautionary note would be to not pull out your old albums, put them on and play the transcribed drum parts. Trying to play “The Trees” in its 1978 form won’t work. Even though Neil has been famous for being able to recreate exactly what is on the recording in performance, recently he has been reinterpreting older compositions with subtle part modifications that more accurately reflect his current technical expertise.
Overall, as one can probably guess from my prior reviews of “Rush” material, I’m going to give this book a great review. I believe any drummer looking for ideas about how to set up your kit, develop parts, even take pictures of their gear, can use this book for information and inspiration.
Finally, the book is nice enough to take “center stage” on any coffee table and has on mine.
Tell us your favorite Rush rock out song!
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