Grooves

How To Play The Train Beat

Here’s my latest video. It’s an introduction to playing the train beat. Making videos is quite challenging and I intend to keep them coming as much as a way to learn the skill as to offer my take on whatever areas of drumming I think I can do justice to. Hope you enjoy this. Check out the post I did that has a bunch of exercises to expand and embellish your vocabulary with the train beat – http://joethedrummer.com/the-train-beat-sheet-1/

Playing Ghost Notes In A Shuffle Groove Like Reelin’ In The Years

I’ve been listening to Steely Dan’s Album Can’t Buy A Thrill a lot lately and two songs really stand out. One is Dirty Work, a very laid back, greasy and dark tune with a funky groove. The other is Reelin’ In The Years which bounces along beautifully, driven by Jim Hodder’s light and fluffy shuffle with ghost notes. It’s so good I’ve listened to the song about fifty times since Sunday. Shuffles are interesting. Despite being a very common feel,… Read More »Playing Ghost Notes In A Shuffle Groove Like Reelin’ In The Years

Developing Coordination With Afrobeat Drumming

I’ve been spending a fair amount of time working on my Afrobeat chops. I’ve been listening to a lot of Fela Kuti and his artistic descendants such as Antibalas and Abayomi Afrobeat Orquestra. I am slowly starting to grasp the complex style of Tony Allen’s drumming in particular and it’s a lot like developing jazz chops. Anyway, I wrote myself a sheet of exercises based on Tony Allen’s first groove of Afrobeat. There’s a bunch of tricky stuff I wanted… Read More »Developing Coordination With Afrobeat Drumming

The Drum Bits For James Brown’s I Got You

Here’s a quick guide to the main drum grooves for James Brown’s I Got You which should be in any drummer’s repertoire, if you ask me. Melvin Parker played drums on this classic soul number. Download the sheet music PDF here – Essential Components of I Got You by James Brown And here’s a video with me doing each bit nice and slow:

The Train Beat Sheet #1

I recently wrote a bunch of basic exercises for learning the “Train Beat” which is popular in country, rockabilly, R&B and so on. You can play it straight, you can swing it, it goes nice with brushes or hot rods and you should work until you can play the song at the bottom of this post. Work first on all the snare drum parts with foot pattern A. Then, when you’re comfortable with each pattern play through them in sequence.… Read More »The Train Beat Sheet #1

Lady Marmalade Drum Lesson

I am finding myself doing video lessons and bunging them up on Youtube for students in various contexts. Here is a lesson on the famous groove for Lady Marmalade by Labelle, played originally by drummer Herman “Roscoe” Ernest III. First, let’s watch him explain the groove’s provenance. The clip is off a DVD called New Orleans Drumming which has Herlin Riley, Johnny Vidacovich, Earl Palmer and Mr Ernest all holding forth on drumming. It’s one of the best drumming videos… Read More »Lady Marmalade Drum Lesson

Drum Lesson – Pharrell Williams’ Happy

Here’s a video wot I knocked up for a couple of students demonstrating the beat for Pharrell’s Happy which seems to be popular with the kids these days. It looks a lot better than the previous effort due to a lighter environment but I really need to sort out the audio since at the moment I’m recording it all on my Q3 camera and then boosting the talking bits to fit in with the drums, hence all the noise when… Read More »Drum Lesson – Pharrell Williams’ Happy

This Is The First Afrobeat Drum Groove According To Tony Allen

And I suppose he’d know something about it… I highly recommend watching both of the following videos. The audio is not fantastic but there is a demonstration of some typical Highlife drumming and how he added a left foot hihat on the 2 & 4 and then he shows us the first groove of Afrobeat. When I first tried playing Afrobeat, I found that playing 16ths on the kick on 1 and 1e and 3 and 3e is particularly challenging… Read More »This Is The First Afrobeat Drum Groove According To Tony Allen

More Tony Allen – Fela’s Teacher Don’t Teach Me Nonsense

Important Addendum: The drummer on this album is not Tony Allen, I shoud have checked the credits. It was made after Tony Allen left Fela Kuti’s band. In a recent post I linked to the Fela Kuti Bandcamp Account. I was immediately drawn to the album called Teacher Don’t Teach Me Nonsense and was delighted to hear the album’s title track open with the same groove that my first Afrobeat related post about Ariya Astrobeat’s African Kings has in its… Read More »More Tony Allen – Fela’s Teacher Don’t Teach Me Nonsense