In 2012, American power pop band Pierce The Veil released their third studio album titled 'Collide With the Sky'. It spawned three singles. This chart is of the second single 'Bulls In The Bronx', and it features drummer Mike Fuentes in all his punk-fuelled glory.
Mike's drumming in this song features a whole bunch of 'gear changes' - different beats in the same time signature, but Mike changes how many kicks and snares are within the bar. This concept is based on the fact that, in a bar of music, most drum beats feature a kick on the downbeat (1 & 3) and snare on the backbeat (2 & 4).
For example, by putting double the amount of kick and snare in the same amount of time (kicks on 1,2,3,4 and snare on 1-an, 2-an, 3-an, 4-an), the beat sounds like it is now double the speed of the original beat.
Hence, we use the terms 'Time', 'Double-time' and 'Half-time' to describe this 'gear change'. In metal and EDM circles it is also called 'The Drop', and this usually describes the progression from a faster 'speed' to a slower one (eg: Double-time to Time, or Time to Half-time).
With this in mind, it is interesting to see how Fuentes uses this technique to change the feel of the song while leaving other elements such as dynamics alone. Whilst there are some changes in volume in different parts of the song, most of the way it's Fortissimo (super-loud), so using 'gear changes' in the song provides variety.
Here are the different 'speeds' Mike Fuentes employs in the song:
Intro: 'Time' - punk beat with kick on 1 & 3, snare on 1-a & 4, Verse 1: 'Double-time' - rock beat with kick on 1,2,3,4 and snare on 1-an, 2-an, 3-an, 4-an. Chorus 1: 'Time' - punk beat with eighth note kick and snare on 2 & 4. Verse 2 1st half: 'Double-time' - same as verse 1. Verse 2 2nd half: 'Half-time' - Half note china cymbal with snares on 2-an & 4-an. Chorus 2: 'Time' - same as 1st Chorus Instrumental section: 'Half-time' Awesome flamenco-esque section with kick on 1 and snare on 3, then back to 'Time' with kick on 1,2,3,4 and snare on 2,4. Bridge: 'Half-time' - tom-based beat with snare on 3. Chorus 3: 'Half-time' - Quarter note crash, eighth note kick and big fat snare on 3.
Note how the third chorus sounds decidedly heavier and even more satisfying than the first two - changing the beat to a 'half-time' pattern for the final chorus gives the song a sense of development and completion.
You should buy this transcription if you've never really had a crack at 'changing gears'. It's a worthwhile skill to have in your kit bag, and this is possibly the best example that I have transcribed. Happy gear changing!!
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