Learn to play Learn The Way It Is by Bruce Hornsby on Drums
Follow our step by step breakdown of The Way It Is to listen to every part and learn how to play it yourself. Want to take your skills even further? Download the Melodics app where you can access hundreds of lessons, track every hit and measure your improvement.
Featuring your favorite songs, Melodics creates bite-sized lessons that level up your skills on the drums.
Bruce Hornsby, born on November 23, 1954, is an American singer-songwriter and pianist known for his versatile musical style. "The Way It Is," released in 1986 with his band The Range, became a signature song for Hornsby, showcasing his blend of pop, rock, and jazz influences.
Learn the basic groove
Start with the basic two-handed hi-hat groove - starting with the right, use alternating hands to play the 1/16 notes, ending up with the right hand moving down to the snare on beats 2 and 4 (the backbeat). Play the kick on beats 1 and 3.
Add the kicks
Now add kicks on beats 1-a and 2-&, and an extra on beat 4-& every second bar.
Perform the track
Now play through the song with the two-handed hi-hat beat. Be aware that the kick pattern varies between the two bars in the previous step.
Melodics is the best way to build your musical skills
- Playing The Way It Is by Bruce Hornsby on drums poses a moderate challenge due to its complex arrangement, dynamic shifts, and nuanced fills that complement the intricate piano melodies. Drummers must navigate through various sections with precision in timing while adjusting their playing to match the song's diverse dynamics. While not overly difficult, the song provides an opportunity for drummers to refine skills in dynamic control and nuanced playing.
- To play The Way It Is on drums, focus on mastering precision in timing to navigate the song's intricate arrangement, develop dynamic control to match its diverse shifts, and practice nuanced fills that complement Bruce Hornsby's expressive piano melodies. Attention to detail, adaptability in playing style, and a solid sense of musicality are essential skills for a successful rendition. Regular practice will refine these skills and contribute to a polished and expressive drum performance.
- With a moderate tempo of around 111 beats per minute, The Way It Is allows drummers to explore expressive dynamics while upholding a solid rhythmic foundation.
- The Way It Is is characterized by a 4/4 time signature, providing a steady rhythmic foundation for Hornsby's evocative piano melodies and socially conscious lyrics.
- The Way It Is predominantly resides in the key of F# major, featuring six sharps: F#, C#, G#, D#, A#, and E#. This choice contributes to the uplifting and optimistic quality of the music.
You can navigate to where Songs are in Melodics via the [Explore] >[Songs] section of the app.
Anyone with Melodics and a MIDI drums, keys or pads instrument can browse and audio preview any song in the catalog for free. Currently, you must have a subscription for a Melodics Songs plan in order to access the learning and playing component of Songs lesson content.
- Melodics subscribers prior to our September 1st 2022 launch have a free upgrade to the Songs tier from your Standard plan (thanks for believing in us!). Missed the memo? Get in touch.
- For Standard Tier subscribers (post September 1st 2022) and Melodics free users: Check out Melodics’ plans to upgrade to Songs, visit melodics.com/plans
The high caliber to which our music team produce our renditions for each song and try to capture the original sound and spirit behind the music and artists is unparalleled in the world of music-learning apps.
It’s really important when you’re learning popular music that you get a proper chance to focus without distraction — that means no bad renditions, dinky instruments or shoddy vocal attempts allowed!
With Melodics, we want your experience of playing your favorite songs to feel authentic — like you’re sitting in with the band itself
Melodics launched Songs on September 1st, 2022 with 59 songs in the catalog. Across keys, pads and drums instruments, with multiple levels of difficulty for each song, that’s over 200 distinct lessons for songs to play, plus 1500+ lessons, exercises, courses and a Guided Path to get your skills up to speed!
We always have more Songs in production, and we’ll be doing more Song bundle drops regularly so the catalog grows and stays fresh.
Songs are only available to Premium plan subscribers. As a free user you can preview songs and hear how they sound by hitting the lesson audio preview. If you’d like an idea of how learning songs with Melodics can benefit your broader musical journey, check out our article on navigating your learning journey.