So let’s continue to develop our coordination with Tony Allen’s first groove of Afrobeat. Now that we can play a bunch of different ride and snare patterns, it’s time to do some work on the left foot. A unique aspect of Tony Allen’s style is the way he creates an interesting interaction between his hi-hat foot and his hi-hat hand patterns. I missed this facet of his playing when I wrote my first sheet of exercises for myself. You will have noticed already when playing the ride variations that playing the hi-hat foot on 2 and 4 and then changing the hand pattern adds really cool textures to the grooves. I find that varying between heel up and heel down allows even more scope for different colours.
Now we’ll work on varying the pattern played by the hi-hat foot. Once you get the hang of doing this with the right hand on ride, play the same again on the hi-hat (I recommend starting with the ride so you can focus on articulating the hi hat foot beautifully). I think many of us have neglected to explore the possibilities of the hi-hat foot and I found that working on this stuff has opened up lots of interesting possibilities in my funk and rock playing as well as helping with my jazz skills.
Without further ado…
Download the PDF here – Variations On The First Afrobeat Groove – Left Foot Patterns