Book Reviews
Drummer Cafe 20th Anniversary
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Led Zeppelin: Presence - Platinum DrumsLed Zeppelin: Presence Platinum Drums draws from more than 30 years of documentation, interviews, and recorded footage. These drum transcription books deliver unprecedented accuracy, with vintage Zeppelin photographs and historical forewords by Guitar World magazine’s editor-in-chief, Brad Tolinski, that chronicle the history of one of classic rock’s greatest bands. This songbook series includes accurate drum transcriptions that will help drummers learn the genius behind John Bonham’s iconic grooves and fills. Drum notation keys are also included.

Presence is the band’s seventh studio album. Released in 1976, it is arguably the band's darkest and most personal, and it continued the rock band’s trend of reaching No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and reaching Multi-Platinum status in the U.S. Titles include: "Achilles Last Stand" • "For Your Life" "Royal Orleans" "Nobody’s Fault But Mine" "Candy Store Rock" "Hots on for Nowhere" "Tea for One".

Led Zeppelin: Presence Platinum Drums is now available for $19.99 each. Also available are albums I-V from the Led Zeppelin Platinum Drums catalog. Pick up your copies at a local music retail store, or buy them today through the Drummer Cafe.

REVIEW

In Led Zeppelin: Presence Platinum Drums, the book starts out with a nice historical forward from Guitar World magazine's Editor-in-Chief, Brad Tolinski, complete with vintage Zeppelin photographs.

As I've mentioned in previous reviews, the Platinum Drums transcription series continues to have some of the best published John Bonham transcriptions to date, yet the "unprecedented accuracy" claim just doesn't meet my standards or the standards I've set for my own John Bonham transcriptions.

Several examples of notation mistakes I found:
  • In the 4-bar channel/turnaround sections between the verses of "Candy Store Rock", the Cymbal crash on beat 2 of each measure is incorrectly notated as being on the Cymbal Bell. This occurs in measures 15-18, 27-30, 39-42, and 71-74.
  • In "Nobody's Fault But Mine", there's quite a few time signature mistakes and inconsistencies throughout the transcription. Measure 64 of the transcription should be a 4/4 bar, not 3/4. In the breakdown section which begins in the fifth bar of every verse, the transcirption is not consistent in how it interprets the measures. The time signatures and number of measures is correct in the breakdown which occurs after Verse 2; one measure of 4/4, one measure of 2/4, two measures of 4/4, then one measure of 2/4. The breakdown section after Verse 1 (transcription measures 37-40) and Verse 3 (transcription measures 98-101) is written out as four measures of 4/4. This works, but is inconsistent with the more accurate Verse 2 breakdown (transcription measures 50-54) which better outlines the phrasing of the guitar/bass riff.

I didn't take the time to check every single transcription in the book, just the two I've already mentioned previously that contained errors, plus "For Your Life" which appears to be accurate, although I would argue there's a few missing ghosted Snare notes in the bridge section (eg. transcription measure 51).

Despite these mistakes, I would still recommend this drum transcription series to all Led Zeppelin fans and those wanting to further study the drumming styles of legendary drummer, John Bonham.