Popular pop/rock songs with really intricate guitar playing or drumming.

Being interested in the guitar and drums but having no musical ability whatsoever, I am looking for examples of common songs where the guitar or drums are really intricate. Obviously excluding songs by Satriani, Malmsteen and their drumming counterparts. By “intricate”, I mean the opposite of songs where the guitarist’s right hand strums while the fretboard moves from “all fingers together” to “all fingers together in another place” every ten seconds. I would like examples where the guitarist has all four fingers on different strings sometimes, you know, really intricate. Hope this post makes sense.

I don’t know much about music or musicians but Mark Knopfler’s guitar at the end of Sultans of Swing makes me swoon. Is that the kind of stuff you mean?

If that is what you are looking for, listen to Chet Atkins.

For some reason, I’ve always found most of Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness by The Smashing Pumpkins to intricate drum work, but I don’t know how accurate that is…and I’ve read that Tool has intricate drum work as well.

Pretty much anything by Steely Dan, especially the “Aja” album has examples of both intricate guitar and drum work.

Depends on what you are looking for…

Sweet Child o’ Mine has an intricate opening riff…

Message in a Bottle has a difficult riff…

If you are looking for drumming - Aretha Franklin’s Rock Steady doesn’t get much better…

Need more to go on to give you a more precise answer…

Steve Howe keeps pretty busy playing several kinds of intricate during “Roundabout” by Yes. Is that the kind of thing you mean?

For intricate drums, try Rush. Neil Peart is a drum god. For particular mention, I single out his drum solo called “The Rhythm Method,” which you can find on at least one of Rush’s live albums (I know it’s on “Different Stages”). That thing is amazing. Here is a nice shot of one of his latest drumkits.

I love love Carter Beauford’s drumming for Ants Marching, the Dave Matthews Band song off of Under the Table and Dreaming. A pretty basic song that comes alive due to the drums.

I second Mark Knopfler/Dire Straits, esp. in Sultans of Swing and Tunnel of Love.

Also, Elliott Smith has some really nifty fingerpicking in songs like Killing A Southern Belle, Angeles, and Memory Lane.

And of course, if you go into blues rock, Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan, etc. have plenty in their catalog to choose from.

Neil Peart, Carter Beauford, Stewart Copeland and Bill Bruford are all excellent.

Bruford’s musicality strikes me the most on “Close to the Edge” and “Heart of the Sunrise” (both by Yes).

Carter’s great, especially for an open-handed drummer. I guess some people just learn that way.

I love Neil Peart, I love Rush, but he will probably never hit my top 5 list of my favorite drummers. I’d better explain in a separate thread, if one comes up.

There are plenty of ways of using all four fingers (and sometimes the thumb too) without being particularly intricate, but I think we know what you mean.

A lot of Johnny Marr’s playing with The Smiths would count. To name a couple of songs: This Charming Man has a sort of hi-life thing going on, What Difference Does it Make has a clever/tricky riff, pick a song, lots of good stuff there (if you can stand Morrisey’s voice of course).

Odds are you won’t have heard this but if you want the full What the bloody hell is going on here? and How can they keep that together? experience. Seek out Discipline* by the Belew/Bruford version of King Crimson, in a dictionary of rock music under ‘intricate’ it would just have: “Discipline, by King Crimson”.

*I know I plugged this in the time-sig thread but I recon everyone should give it a listen.