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Remember the first time you heard “Enter Sandman” by Metallica?

Or maybe you’ve never heard the song at all.

It’s one of the most popular metal tracks of all time, but those outside the metal or rock world might not recognize it.

The last time Larnell Lewis came out to Drumeo, we challenged him to write a drum part – on the spot – to a song he’d never heard before (click here to watch) and he blew everyone away.

This time, Larnell wanted to try a style he’s not known for playing: metal!

If you want to see a fusion drummer try to play one of the most popular metal songs of all time, don’t miss this video (you can skip to 9:33 if you just want to watch Larnell play).

When learning a song, he practices active listening, which includes looking for these things:

  • Song form: How many measures are in each section?
  • Tone: How does the song feel? Is it aggressive or calm?
  • Specifics: Any shots you should look out for?

Larnell takes an analytical approach and breaks down all the details, noticing patterns and themes and how the different instruments play off each other. Because of this, he can already hum the chorus’ melody and drum part after only hearing the song once, and remembers most of the structure as well.

While he’s known for his great drumming skills, he also has excellent listening skills and a strong memory. Larnell knows what to prioritize when learning, so he’s able to learn quickly. You can learn how to do it too!


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