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Musicians at work – Part 1

Chad Smith plays “Break My Heart” by Dua Lipa

Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith contributed the drum track for Dua Lipa’s “Break My Heart”. At the beginning of the YouTube video, he says that he visited his friend Andrew Watt, the producer of Dua Lipa. He said they were just talking about how this song needed a live drum track! And Chad said: Let’s go!

In music production, drums are mostly programmed. It costs nothing and you don’t have to set up and adjust microphones and select several recordings, cut them and then ultimately quantize them back into the clock grid through the computer.

But Dua Lipa and Andrew Watt probably know that a real musician on a real drum kit is a different kettle of fish! And when Chad Smith from the Red Hot Chili Peppers comes to visit…

I find it interesting that Chad is fooling around and singing and making jokes here, but you also see something else. Right from the introduction of the track, he’s waving his arms around, implying that he’s playing a “4 on the floor” – that is, banging the kick drum on every quarter of the beat, which is considered the easiest exercise. But listen carefully: you can set your watch by this kick drum. And furthermore, every drum note sits and thunders in an absolutely perfect manner. You can also see this in Chad’s highly concentrated facial expression. He may be underchallenged, but he gives his all. It’s a real pleasure for me to watch.

Have fun!

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