Drummers: how hard is it to accurately play "Hot For Teacher"?

The “favorite drummers” thread got me thinking about this one. Is Van Halen’s “Hot For Teacher” considered insanely difficult by drumming folks? Or is that constant bass roll more of a trick that once you get it down, it’s not too tough?

He’s tripping sequenced drum machines for many of the riffs, kinda like The Edge does on guitar…

It’s not insanely tough to my knowledge vs. the standard list of great drum parts, but IANAdrummer…

I’m going to need a cite for that.

If this kid can perform it straight, as it looks like he is, then I bet Alex can do it straight, too.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PqUQE_1UK_g&feature=related

In this YouTube clip, the guy teaching the opening states “obviously Alex used tons and tons of overdubs on this…” and proceeds to show a way to replicate the sound with a straight kit…

I found a couple of other teaching sites that lay out the beat pattern but don’t comment on multi-tracking or drum machines. I read it in a guitar magazine years ago - can’t remember which one. I’ll pass on more if I find it…

There’s a lively discussion about this here, but there’s a couple of guys who state that DRUM! Magazine had an interview where Alex states he used multiple tracks and triggers.

Thanks for the answers, all. I imagine this intro would sound a lot different on a stripped-down kit.

Thanks **puly **- I knew it wasn’t just in my head…

And **bordelond **- don’t be so sure. Stuff you do in the studio often has to be assembled differently vs. how you play it live. From a guitarist’s standpoint, think of it this way: on the VH tracks, there is almost always an Eddie rhythm track behind the Eddie lead track to fill out the sound. However, live, Eddie just plays and either AVH and Michael Anthony / now Wolfgang fill in the sound, or Eddie just plays lead in a way that fills in the sound. As an audience member you would likely barely notice it. I suspect the same is true for Alex - he has a few sequencers he can trigger to set off extra drum lines and couple that with an approach and pattern that sounds full and “sells” the overall feel of the intro…

True enough … but with those sequencers, that’s not a “stripped down” set. Imagine that AVH sat behind something that looked like this, except with a second bass drum added.

Yep - I hear you. But I have also seen my drummer rig two kick pedals up to the same bass drum so he can fake double bass runs, while at the same time play weird patterns on the toms and snares that end up sounding like he’s Neil freakin’ Peart but there’s only a simple trap kit beneath him. In other words, you can “sell the feel” of a big kit if you use a trick or two (i.e., the double kick pedal) coupled with good technique.

Watching folks like my drummer and then jazz players who stick with simple kits makes me wonder why some players end up with 'leventy-twelve drums arrayed around them - less is more and you can do more with less if you try…

Again, I am trying to speak from a general musician standpoint - I am sure drummers can speak to how this manifests with percussion specifically…