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    I'm going to say it outright: I have wanted to play "Drill" for a very long time, but am ultimately befuddled. Really. To explain...

    Pretty much everyone here knows (or should know) the basics of "Drill" by heart, backward and forward: Bass harmonics, palm muting, kick, hi-hat, chant. But what else is going on? Even on the ultra-bare-bones studio version, Graham throws in multiple small melodic fragments (the most notable being the post-"verse" descending figure). By contrast, on the ABIAC bonus version and the Peel session, there are a myriad of little parts weaving in and out. There are even a few actual chords, most of which I think are minor (see "(A Chicago) Drill").

    Really, what's going on? Has anybody else here ever tried to tab this song (excluding the endless rows of Xs)? What do you have? What have you not? Anyone willing to trade information and theories is welcome.
    I'm not really a musician, but isn't the point of Drill that there's no set way to play Drill? Couldn't you do what sounded like Drill to you?
    True. But I'm particular, I suppose, even if I am somewhat defeating the purpose.

    Really, my only concern is how to start it off. After a certain point, attempting to "play 'Drill'" is irrelevant, as it basically becomes anything and everything that it could or might be, with the beat - or the bass, or the guitar, or the lyrics - always at the heart of it all. But, The Drill excepted (and accepted), it usually begins in the same basic way.

    (Plus, in all honesty, at least one of the musicians I deal with on a regular basis would probably grow faint if I answered any question of key with "what do you think it sounds like?" My actual answer would be - based on my own observations - something like "start around D minor, then forget about it", though I don't think that would worry them much less. And this is only if I can coax our drummer - the one who so despised "Madman's Honey" - into playing something this repetitive... In short, I'm screwed.)
    Maybe this might give you some ideas...

    Bruce's bone dry comments crack me up every time... classic English reserve meets overbearing American effusiveness.
    Mixtil is quite right. Slavishly re-creating the Drill is sort of missing the point. I note the Spanish Drill was somewhat shorter than usual and the call and response vocals have been shuffled around. The Camber Sands Drill had hardly any vocal at all until the very end.

    However, if you want to get 'the sound' I think the key to it is getting a sort of delay effect going on the Bass with a short delay time so it slaps back and you get that Dugga Dugga Dugga rhythm going. I think its got a Chorus effect on there as well. Get the drummer doing that insistent pattern that Robert plays and off you go..Drill away!
    I did, indeed, see that video. It's brilliant in so many ways.

    I guess I give the impression of wanting to imitate the original, or at least some variant, a point which I would deny fervently. What I really want to know is more philosophical: What is "Drill", anyway, and when are you playing it? Is it defined by its parts or its whole? Or, letting it speak for itself:

    "How's it with you?
    What's your form?
    Your outline, shape, contour?"

    I think I'm drilling myself into insanity.
    I think I'm drilling myself into insanity.

    You said it...
    What I have always loved in the original recording is the insane growl of the "lead" guitar - I couldn't even say for certain it is guitar, it has that sort of Chris Squire "feed the bass through both guitar and bass amps" roar.

    All the "official" live recordings I've heard have toned this down somewhere into the background. The only sort-of exception is the infamous Suzanne Somers Drill, which I would love to hear with good sound and not YouTube-mangled.

    I know that doesn't contribute much to solving the proposed question, but if I were at a show where someone attempted Drill, that's what I'd be hoping for.
    Wire have 'reset' Drill to 1985 for current touring versions.
    "Wire have 'reset' Drill to 1985 for current touring versions. "

    On "resetting 'Drill'": I have a recording of the 1985 Museum Of Modern Art show. The "Drill" from that night (first ever!) is like being beaten to death in time to Italo-disco. In a good way. The guitar effects, however muffled, are great, as is the (possibly unintentional) slapback/chorus on Colin's vocals. Just so very classic.
    Relentless Garage gig : dugga dugga dugga.

    THATS the lowdown.
    My hand still hurts from bashing in time to the kick drum on drill. It was maximum dugga.
    Drill isn't a song, it's a state of mind .... maaaannnn! (And yes I do dugga!)
    it starts off like rondo by the nice.
    Another Drill intro-alike:

    British People in Hot Weather - The Fall
    M-6-Ster by Half Man Half Biscuit (opening track on 'This Leaden Pall')- Half Drill Half 12XU
    Hmm... "12XU" as maximum Dugga.... Isn't it anyway? Just let the hi-hat out a bit longer and you've got it. Of course, Wire knew that already.

    How wonderfully appropriate that the two songs Bruce speaks/spoke most highly of among Wire's opus are/were "Drill" and "12XU".