Drummer Talk

Transcription – “Who Are You” by The Who

Long before CSI got its hands on it, “Who Are You” was one of The Who’s most memorable tunes. A song with an epic scope and hints of Steve Reich minimalism, the drums range from pulsing groove to manic fills.

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Performance notes:

The track opens with a synth introduction before blisteringly fast loose hats enter. Be sure you’re playing all the accents and dynamics!

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Verse 1 opens up with a huge half-time groove. Keep those kicks energetic and don’t get sloppy. Also, be sure you nail those fills at the end of the phrases.

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The chorus kicks back into double-time and things return to their frenetic pace.

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Verse 2 and Chorus 2 are the same as the first with their alternating half-time/double-time feels. Again, phrase ending fills need to maintain the energy.

You can take a quick break at the huge 21 bar instrumental break after the second chorus. Don’t fall asleep, though. The punches need to come from outer space and land like a bomb!

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After some light tom fills with soft mallet and another breakdown, things come in huge with monster triplet fills to set up the return to the double-time chorus to take us home.

The biggest challenge of this track comes from its alternating half-time/double-time pulse as well as blinding tempo. This requires a lot of stamina (of which Keith Moon had plenty) so tape your headphones to your skull and dig in.

Difficulty level: 7/10

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