400 – [Daniel Glass Show]: 5 Things You Don’t Know About John Bonham, Pt. 1

Many consider John Bonham to be the greatest rock drummer of all time, but in our attempts to capture his magic in our own playing, we often overlook key aspects of Bonzo’s sound and style. In the first of a two-part series unlocking Bonham’s secrets, Daniel focuses on influences and set up.

What’s covered in this session:

  • A look some specific elements that John Bonham borrowed from the following swing, jazz and early rock drummers:
    • Swing legend Gene Krupa.
    • Super technician Buddy Rich.
    • Bebop great Max Roach.
    • Little Richard’s Charles Connor.
    • Funk master Bernard Purdie.
  • Daniel explains how knowing more about the above list will make you better at playing like Bonham.
  • Daniel shows how Bonham’s upbringing helped him employ the “American pulse” in his work with Led Zeppelin, a particular feel that your Bonham-style grooves must incorporate.
  • A breakdown of Bonham’s gear and recording set up, including several key features that most drummers miss right off the bat.

Resources/Links/People Mentioned:

  • Spotify playlist that includes all the songs featured in this episode.
  • Daniel Glass plays “Carouselambra” at the 2015 Bonzo Bash.
  • Charles Connors’ drum intro to Little Richard’s 1956 classic “Keep A’ Knockin” was the basis of Bonham’s “Rock and Roll” intro.
  • Bohnham’s hi hat pattern on “When The Levee Breaks” reflects what Daniel refers to as the “American Pulse.” If you aren’t capturing this pulse when you play this groove, you’re not doing it correctly.
  • Bernard Purdie’s famous halftime shuffle was the inspiration for Bonham’s groove on “Fool In the Rain.”
  • Bonham’s classic solo on “Moby Dick” showed influences of Max Roach and Joe Morello.
  • A photo of John Bonham reveals much about his gear choices. Notice the large, unmuffled bass drum with no vent hole.
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