Drum Sheet – The Police – Message in a Bottle

Artist : The Police
song : Message in a Bottle
Album : Reggatta de Blanc – 1979
Style – Tempo – Signature – Length : Rock – 150 – 4/4 – 4:51
Musician : Stewart Copeland
pages : 4
Version : Album
Level : Advanced

Message in a Bottle” by The Police is a timeless classic from their 1979 album Reggatta de Blanc. This song is renowned for its captivating rhythm, compelling lyrics, and, particularly for drum enthusiasts, the masterful drumming of Stewart Copeland.

The genesis of “Message in a Bottle” began with Sting, the band’s lead vocalist and bassist. He composed the song during a period of relative isolation, reflecting on themes of loneliness and the search for connection. The lyrics tell the story of a man stranded on an island who sends out messages in a bottle, hoping for a response from the outside world. Eventually, he discovers countless bottles washed ashore, realizing that others share his feelings of solitude.

Stewart Copeland’s drumming on “Message in a Bottle” is a standout feature, demonstrating his unique style and technical prowess. The song opens with Andy Summers’ iconic guitar riff, but it’s Copeland‘s drumming that gives it its driving force. Known for his intricate hi-hat work and syncopated rhythms, Copeland brings a dynamic energy to the track. His ability to combine reggae influences with rock elements creates a rhythmic complexity that elevates the song.

The recording process of “Message in a Bottle” took place at Surrey Sound Studios in England. The Police, working with producer Nigel Gray, aimed to capture the raw, live energy of their performances. Copeland’s drum parts were meticulously crafted, featuring a blend of tight, crisp beats and fluid, inventive fills. His use of the hi-hat, snare, and kick drum is particularly notable, creating a rich tapestry of sound that drives the song forward.

Message in a Bottle” was first performed live during The Police‘s tours in the late 1970s. One of the most memorable performances was at their concert at the Hammersmith Odeon in London. The song quickly became a staple in their live shows, appreciated for its infectious rhythm and powerful chorus. It was also performed at various significant events, including their set at the US Festival in 1982 and during their 2007-2008 reunion tour, where Copeland’s drumming continued to captivate audiences.

For drum enthusiasts, “Message in a Bottle” remains a masterclass in blending technical skill with musicality. Copeland’s ability to infuse the song with both precision and flair underscores his reputation as one of the most innovative drummers in rock music. His contribution to the track is a key reason why it continues to resonate with listeners decades after its release.

Sample drum sheet of Message in a Bottle by The Police


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