Article:2017/12 Groove Analysis: Gil Sharone

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Groove Analysis: Gil Sharone
Article on Gil Sharone and Heaven Upside Down drum patterns
Author Andy Ziker
Date December 2017
Source Drum!

Throughout Marilyn Manson’s new album, Heaven Upside Down, Gil Sharone showcases his ability to blend man with machine. Here are some key moments.


Sharone drives the verse with a repetitive pattern stressing the three side of the clave, builds tension in the pre-chorus, and then goes to a half-time feel in the chorus. “My approach is to keep the main pulse on the kit with what the programming is doing, and in the chorus, open it up to a heavy, almost funk-type pocket.”


“SAY10” combines Trap style programming (Roland 808 sounds with an emphasis on hi-hat rhythms, layered snare sounds, and sparse kick) along with acoustic drums. “The bass drum pattern and guitar riff in the chorus groove hard,” Sharone explains. “Very syncopated and bluesy but heavy at the same time.”


Sharone demonstrates how to make a rock ballad groove even at an extremely slow tempo (45 bpm). “It’s got a busy pulse to it, but it still manages to stay out of the way and make the song groove,” he says. “I really like playing slower songs that I can lay into but keep the space and dynamics strong.”


Although he changes what his right hand plays depending on the section of the song — here, he uses closed hi-hat — Sharone stays locked into a syncopated two-bar bass drum pattern to enhance its hypnotic vibe. “It’s all about staying out of the way of the vocals and keeping the song grooving. That’s pretty much the approach for the whole album and the last one [The Pale Emperor] we did. It’s not about unleashing tons of fills and flashy drumming. When an artist and producer are going for a certain vibe, it’s my job to provide that.”

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Drum Magazine Groove Analysis: Gil Sharone