Drum sheet – Michael Jackson – Beat It

Artist : Michael Jackson
song : Beat it
Album : Thriller – 1982
Style – Tempo – Signature – Length : Pop-rock – 140 – 4/4 – 04:19
Musician : Jeff Porcaro
pages : 2
Version : Album
Level : Intermediate

SKU PBTMJBI Category Tags , , ,

Beat It“, one of Michael Jackson‘s most iconic tracks, stands as a testament to his musical genius and his ability to blend different genres into a cohesive masterpiece. For fans of the song’s driving drum patterns, the creation of “Beat It” is a fascinating story that showcases the collaborative spirit of music production and the innovative use of technology and talent.

The song was born out of Jackson‘s desire to create a track that fused rock with his signature pop sound, aiming to appeal to a broader audience. Jackson wrote “Beat It” with the intention of delivering a strong message against violence, inspired by his own observations of life in the city and the senseless violence he saw among young people. He wanted the song to encourage listeners to walk away from fights rather than engage in them, encapsulated in the powerful chorus, “Don’t wanna be a boy, you wanna be a man, You wanna stay alive, better do what you can, So beat it, just beat it.”

The drum sound in “Beat It” is particularly notable for its driving beat and complex rhythms, which were groundbreaking at the time. The drums were programmed by Michael Jackson and producer Quincy Jones, using a Linn LM-1 drum machine, one of the first drum machines to use digital samples of acoustic drums. This choice was pivotal in achieving the song’s distinct sound, blending the mechanical precision of the drum machine with the organic feel of real drum sounds.

To add a rock edge to the song, Jackson and Jones decided to recruit Eddie Van Halen, a legendary guitarist known for his work with the rock band Van Halen, to perform the guitar solo. Van Halen‘s contribution, recorded free of charge as a favor to Quincy Jones, added a raw, powerful dynamic to the track, perfectly complementing the drum patterns and the rest of the music.

Beat It” was recorded and mixed at Westlake Recording Studios in Los Angeles, a place where Jackson recorded much of his album “Thriller“. The song’s intricate production involved layering sounds, experimenting with synthesizers, and meticulous attention to detail in the mixing process to ensure that every element, especially the drums, stood out clearly in the final mix.

When “Beat It” was released in 1983 as part of the “Thriller” album, it became an instant classic, receiving critical acclaim and commercial success. The song’s innovative fusion of genres, along with its powerful anti-violence message, resonated with a wide audience. The drum patterns in “Beat It” not only underscored Jackson‘s musical versatility but also left a lasting impact on the music industry, influencing the production techniques of future generations.

For fans of the drums in “Beat It“, the song is a shining example of how creativity, technology, and collaboration can come together to create a timeless piece of music that transcends genres and generations.

1 review for Drum sheet – Michael Jackson – Beat It

  1. wildingstephen (verified owner)

    Excellent transcription. Very easy to follow especially for an inexperienced reader like me.

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