lessons

Dance Beats That Defined ’80s New Wave

The void following the first real punk movement left an audience craving something fresh, different, and a bit more commercial. The influence of MTV put a band’s image on an equal footing with its sound, and the post-punk era saw bands playing a variety of different styles that often got lumped together by record companies and marketed as new wave. Some of these bands played ska, others gloomy art rock or quirky pop. But with the appropriate fashion choices, an impractical haircut, and a catchy song, lots of bands were able to join the club. The movement continues to have an influence, leaving lots of pop bands and the entire goth movement heavily in debt to some of these bands. While the use of Simmons electronic drums, drum machines, and sequencers cannot be denied, this article will focus on songs recorded by human drummers during the new wave explosion.

“Whip It” by Devo

Who can forget Devo’s yellow jumpsuits and energy dome hats? Devo somehow merged performance art and music into a saleable commodity. Whether the lyrics are about pulling yourself up by your bootstraps or about S&M — I’ll let you decide. The fast two-handed groove that Alan Meyers played on the song uses a sticking of R RLR RL and makes this a tiring song to play. If you hate the song, focus your blame on MTV.

DRUM! Notation Guide

Drum Notation

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