Ninjas! In this lesson we’ll be learning how to play Sunday Bloody Sunday by U2 which was the opening track from their 1983 release War. The single didn’t have an impact on the charts but it certainly did on music as a whole. Critics rate it among the best political protest songs and it was named the 268th greatest song by Rolling Stone on their list of “The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time”.
Sunday Bloody Sunday features a sixteenth note military style groove played between the snare and hi-hats. The hi-hats are played dirty with the shaft of the stick and the bass drum plays four on the floor throughout. The beat should be played with some aggression and a hard edge to capture the political nature of the song.
During the verse the snare drum hits are quite sparse appearing on the and of four on bar one then the and, a of four on bar two. This two bar pattern repeats three times. The last two bars of the chorus are played on the hi-hat and crescendo with slushy hats leading into the next section.
The chorus of the song is much the same as the verse but with more frequent snare hits. Try to bring up the energy and volume when you play the chorus to give it a boost.
This track doesn’t have an obvious structure or repeating pattern to it so working with the sheet music will keep you at the right place. There aren’t any big fills or section changes either so focus on getting the many variations of the groove technically sound and bringing the right attitude to the song.
Now Kill It! DN
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