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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

Groove Lesson – Rich Woman by Li’l Millet & his Creoles

She got the money and I got the honey Rich Woman by Li’l Millet & his Creoles is a brilliant New Orleans R&B song I had to learn for my recent Astrojets gig at Ain’t Nothin’ But in Kingly Street. The groove is slightly quirky and the feel is amazing. There is little or no variation throughout the track. The drummer according to this source is Bartholomew Smith. Covers of this song were done by Canned Heat (whose version sounded… Read More »Groove Lesson – Rich Woman by Li’l Millet & his Creoles

Playing From The Foot – Rob Brown Lesson On Tightening Your Groove

Here’s an idea I know about already but I didn’t know I know about it. I play from the foot but I can’t say that I’ve ever articulated this to myself, it’s just something I do that probably relates to playing a lot of funk, or something. Anyway, a great video from Rob Brown explaining how focussing on the placement of our bass drum strokes will tighten up our grooves.