lessons

The Paranoid Mind Of Black Sabbath’s Bill Ward

“Rat Salad”

This track is Ward’s “Moby Dick.” That is, it’s a drum solo masquerading as a song, à la John Bonham on that Zeppelin classic. The guitars play along with cymbal hits, as seen at the beginning of the solo section and also in the middle of this transcription. Ward shows off two of his characteristic skills: his fast single-stroke rolls ripping some killer accented thirty-second-note snare rolls throughout the solo, and also his quick flams that travel across his drums and are separated by bass drum notes. Regrettably, the solo is just too long to transcribe in its entirety.

DRUM! Notation Guide

Bill Ward “Fairies Wear Boots”

This track has some tasty fills that Ward plays between the guitar and cymbal crashes on 1 ah. Because the tempo is slow, the first sixteenth-note fill around the kit feels almost like eighth-notes. The next fill uses a linear-triplet fill played RH LH RF over and over, and was a staple of many other popular drummers in the era, such as Carmine Appice and John Bonham. If you haven’t mastered that lick, master it you must! The next fill shows some more of Ward’s use of quick thirty-second-note singles, as does the final measure.

DRUM! Notation Guide

Bill Ward

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