Song Deconstruct

We’re Not Gonna Take It – Twisted Sister

My First Song

I’d like to share with you the significance of this particular song. Way back when I started playing drums my teacher asked me to give him a song I’d like to learn.

I chose We’re Not Gonna Take It by Twisted Sister.

This page is the actual lesson scanned from the book he used to teach me that song along with other lessons on note values and the music staff, the year was 1985.

The version he taught was slightly different from the song however this is where it all started for me.

It took weeks to get right so don’t worry if you cannot play it at first. Hence the reason I’ve broken it down into 2 lessons. In this lesson I’ll take a practical approach to building your skills on one surface then we add complexity as we go.

Lesson Introduction

During this lesson, we break apart (De-Construct) the song in order to learn how to put it back together. You’ll learn a lot more than how to construct this beat. Exercises have been extracted from the beat and adapted around the kit. By simplifying the beat to one surface you’ll gain an understanding of it before adding layers of complexity as we go.

Note: This lesson is not intended to chart the whole song, rather to teach you how to construct the introductory beat.

Level: Intermediate

Pre Requisite: Basic Understanding of Note Values.

 

Steps:

The steps we take to build this lesson will be broken down into these parts:

  1. Revise the Finished Product
  2. Play Kick and Snare on a single surface
  3. Add Hi-Hat on quarter notes
  4. Play complementing sticking patterns
  5. Convert patterns into beats
  6. Play Full Beat With Intro Fill

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Video Lesson Part One

Video Lesson Part Two

Step 1: Revise The Finished Product

The Beat

Let’s take a look at the introductory beat as played.

Tempo = 149 bpm

Score & Audio

Step 2: Play Kick and Snare on a Single Surface

We simplify the beat by bringing the kick and snare parts to one surface, the snare.

Use a metronome with a tempo of 90 bpm, adjust as required.

Score & Audio

Bar 1 & 2 Using Snare Drum

  • Play the above drum pattern using both hands
  • If required, play bars individually

Repeat each exercise at least 20 times before attempting the next.

Step 3: Add Hi-Hat on Quarter Notes

We simplify the beat by bringing the kick and snare parts to one surface, the snare.

Use a metronome with a tempo of 90 bpm, adjust as required.

Score & Audio

Bar 1 & 2 Using Snare Drum & Hi-Hats

  • Add only Hi-Hat using left foot counting 1 – 4.
  • Try adding Kick Drum using Right Foot counting 1 – 4.

Repeat each exercise at least 20 times before attempting the next.

Step 4: Play Complementing Sticking Patterns

Let’s substitute the Bass Drum for the Right Hand.

In other words, the right hand will play the Bass Drum parts, the left hand will play the snare drum parts all on one surface.

R = Bass Drum Parts
L = Snare Drum Parts

Score & Audio

Now Leave the left hand to play snare drum and move the right hand to the floor tom.

Repeat each exercise at least 20 times before attempting the next.

Step 5: Convert Patterns Into Beats

For this step, we introduce the Bass Drum to play along with the Floor Tom, in other words play exactly what the Floor Tom plays as per the previous exercise.

Score & Audio

By now as long as you have practiced the patterns you would have a basic understanding of the beats being played. You should be competent in playing all exercises using both hands and bass drum along with Hats on Quarters. If not, revision is key to mastering this beat.

Right Hand Quarters

Move the right hand to the Cow Bell or ride cymbal using Quarter Notes, you get this section right, you’re playing the beat.

Cow Bell with Snare

Full Beat

Now add the Kick Drum as per previous step to play the beat in full without the intro fill.

Step 6: Play Full Beat With Intro Fill

The first pattern you’ll hear of the song is an intro fill involving the toms and bass drum, if played on a single surface it’s played as a single stroke four as per Percussive Arts Society Rudiment 2.

If not done so already, practice the single stroke four on a practice pad accenting the last stroke.

The Full Beat With Intro Fill

As revised in step 1, here’s the full beat including the single stroke four fill as played in the song, repeat bar after the initial intro fill as its added to the end of the second bar.

 

Extension Exercises

We’ve created extension to this exercise as a free Download.

Conclusion

This concludes our lesson on deconstructing We’re Not Gonna Take It by Twisted Sister. If at anytime you cannot complete a step, revise the steps leading up to it until you can understand it. We are also available should you have any questions, let us know via our contact page.

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