In the room when it happens
December 13, 2017 5:12 AM   Subscribe

Andrés Forero, drummer for the musical Hamilton, demonstrates his drum parts from two songs in the show.
posted by thelonius (12 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
 
I don't know anything about percussion, but that is so cool! I'll be honest, I hadn't given too much thought to the instrumental parts of Hamilton because the words are SO MUCH, and it's neat to see how it all fits together. Thank you for posting!
posted by bowtiesarecool at 7:56 AM on December 13, 2017 [1 favorite]


What is on top of his hi-hat?

Actually I just want to hear the cymbals in isolation in general, I'm curious about the one with the ball chain, and the holey one, and what range of sounds you can coax from them.

(Also this guy has such a busy body when he's drumming, that would drive me CRAZY (as a bassist who stands next to drummers). Like it is stressing me out just watching!)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 8:26 AM on December 13, 2017 [1 favorite]


As someone who has basically listened to the first half every two days (thanks to requests from a toddler), its interesting to hear the new casts' vocal customization. At first I thought it was LMM, but he changes it up, and Burr's and Angelica's voices are clearly different. After listening to the cast recording for so long, you start noticing different features of the lyrics and music, so now I'll listen for the drums next time! He must be exhausted every night.
posted by Hermeowne Grangepurr at 9:01 AM on December 13, 2017 [2 favorites]


What is on top of his hi-hat?

I had not even noticed that. No idea.
posted by thelonius at 9:21 AM on December 13, 2017


What is on top of his hi-hat?

Pretty sure that's a shell shaker.

I'm curious about the one with the ball chain

That's a "sizzle chain", which, um, pretty much does what's described on the tin - the cymbal produces a long "zzzzzzzzzzzzzz" kind of sound. The chain's a way to get that sound out of any cymbal - the other way to get a sizzle is to drill holes in the cymbal and install rivets, which of course means you can't really UN-sizzle the cymbal. Kinda surprised you haven't run into it before, it's pretty common with jazz drummers.

and the holey one,

Drummers/percussionists might well disagree with me, but I don't think the holey one does anything super-specific, it's just one of the ways cymbal manufacturers "tune" their cymbals. (I think the general idea is that holes = less mass, so a cymbal can have a sharp attack, lots of "splash", and a quick decay when you hit the edge, but still has enough mass near the bell to get a distinct "ping" when you hit it there.)
posted by soundguy99 at 9:22 AM on December 13, 2017 [1 favorite]


Pretty sick.
posted by scottatdrake at 10:22 AM on December 13, 2017 [1 favorite]


Thanks for this post; I pay attention to a lot of drummers, but I’d never heard of Forero. It's fascinating to watch – it reminded me of the videos of John Entwistle’s isolated bass tracks as he plays, for example, Won’t Get Fooled Again. To me, the most impressive thing is that he's not in the room where it happens, he’s down in the pit, having to accompany fast-moving, fast-talking people he can only see on a tiny monitor. The musical director sums it up well in that Modern Drummer article: “He plays busy without being distracting, he plays powerfully without bashing, and he plays creatively without begging for attention.” None of that is easy.

I loved how he plays both on and around the click, and his quotes about it: “I have a great relationship with the click. Either you make friends and you make peace with it and respect it, or you learn to hate it... The click doesn’t lie... And if the click dies, you get emotional, you get nervous.” And I was interested to read that his great inspiration, at the start, was the pianist Glenn Gould. It made me think back to when I was interviewing Chick Corea, many years ago, and he said he'd been inspired a lot by Fred Astaire.
posted by LeLiLo at 11:01 AM on December 13, 2017 [3 favorites]


That looks really difficult- having to remain focused and alert all through that.
I wouldn't have the concentration. (not to mention the skill)
posted by MtDewd at 4:38 PM on December 13, 2017


"Kinda surprised you haven't run into it before, it's pretty common with jazz drummers."

Well I've SEEN it before, I just haven't PLAYED with it before, and I was kinda focused on his cymbals. :D
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 6:08 PM on December 13, 2017


...this guy has such a busy body when he's drumming, that would drive me CRAZY (as a bassist who stands next to drummers). Like it is stressing me out just watching!)

Reading about his car accident, “severe enough that he had to learn to walk again," or listening to him describe how at that point he didn't have the strength to hold a drum stick for more than a second, you realize it's a wonder he can move at all, let alone so well.

After watching his Hamilton demonstration video a few more times, I noticed that during the second song – at 6:05, and for a longer stretch starting around 7:20 – he's actually playing his leg. Because he has to keep the tempo going, but also can't drown out the soloist on stage? Anyway, Forero seems like a really good guy. With, as MtDewd says, incredible concentration.
posted by LeLiLo at 6:57 PM on December 13, 2017 [1 favorite]


It's interesting that the click track is quarter notes for the first song, but eighth notes for the second
posted by vibratory manner of working at 10:47 AM on December 14, 2017 [1 favorite]


Yay, another excuse to share my favorite Ham4Ham (and I'm still disappointed that the play-off medley didn't make it onto the Hamilton Instrumentals).

And, fun fact! Angelica in the newly-announced second tour cast is the wife of the concertmaster of the New York production, who's in the video above.

(And yes, I may *still* spend too much time clicking on the Hamilton tag on Tumblr; what of it?)
posted by Sweetie Darling at 4:41 AM on December 15, 2017 [1 favorite]


« Older Harry Potter and the Portrait of What Looked Like...   |   A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments