Billie Jean

by Michael Jackson

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"Billie Jean" as recorded by Michael Jackson

Drum sheet music transcribed by James Morton. Immediate PDF download.

3 page chart - $4.99

Difficulty Level: Beginner Genre: Classic Rock, Pop

Recording engineer Bruce Swedian: “I recorded the drums, (played by drummer Leon ‘Ndugu’ Chancler) with as tight, and powerful a drum sound as I could come up with. Of course I put Ndugu’s drum set on my plywood drum platform. Also at this time, I had a special kick drum cover made that covers the whole front of the kick drum. There’s a slot with a zipper in it that the mic fits through. When the kick drum mic is in place, in the slot in my drum cover, I zip the opening tightly shut around the mic. In my estimation, the result of the song ‘Billie Jean’, is a perfect example of what I call ‘Sonic Personality’. I don’t think there are many recordings, where all you need to hear is the first few drums beats, and you instantly know what song it is. Great albums always start with great songs. ‘Billie Jean’ is just such a superb song! Of course, Michael wrote “Billie Jean”.

Performance notes: In the late ’70s and ’80s, a drum recording technique that was frequently used was the recording
of the drumset tracks first, with the drummer playing a basic timekeeping track. Then fill and crash overdubs were
overdubbed later. Lionel Richie and Steely Dan did this, as well as Michael Jackson, here on “Billie Jean.”

Quality Transcriptions You Can Count On

All the drum sheet music found on this page and throughout the site are full, note-for-note transcriptions transcribed by James Morton--long-time professional drummer, author of over a dozen books with Mel Bay Publications, and creator of the "Rock Charts" column formerly found in Modern Drummer--over the course of his 40+ year career.

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I have been using the Classic Rock Drum Charts collection for many years. There is nothing better to practice and rehearse to, than these charts transcribed by James Morton.

Michael Sheahan

from Waddell, Arizona