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Michael Oloyede Afrobeat

Conversation With Afrobeat Drummer Michael Oloyede

I was very glad to have the opportunity to speak with drummer Michael Oloyede from Lagos in Nigeria who’s written a brilliant book on Afrobeat. The book covers technical exercises to help develop the coordination you need for Afrobeat drumming and specific groove patterns based on a wide variety of Afrobeat tracks. The book includes loads of audio examples of the patterns to help you learn them. I highly recommend anyone with an interest in Afrobeat and any drummer who… Read More »Conversation With Afrobeat Drummer Michael Oloyede

Offbeat 8th Note Groove Snare & Bass 16ths

Here’s an addendum to the recent video about offbeat 8th note grooves. Let’s add some 16ths on the snare and bass. Once you’ve got the hang of all that, try combining snare and bass 16ths. You can have hours of fun with this. The objective is to internalise these patterns and then learn to mix them up. Don’t forget you can vary the snare and bass 8ths too as demonstrated in the previous video. Maybe you can do that in… Read More »Offbeat 8th Note Groove Snare & Bass 16ths

Offbeat 8th Note Groove

Offbeat 8th Note Grooves

Once you’ve got the hang of a reasonable amount of standard 8th note rock vocabulary, it can be fun and useful to learn a whole load of variations for the hahat/ride pattern to allow you to spice up your grooves. One very common and popular option is to play offbeat (or upbeat) 8ths on the hihat or ride which means we’re playing just the &’s. It takes a bit of thought to get the hang of the coordination but if… Read More »Offbeat 8th Note Grooves

Can My Zildjian 20" Ride Cymbal Be Improved?

Can My 20″ Zildjian Ride Cymbal Be Improved?

I recently contacted master British cymbal maker, Dave Collingwood, if he could do something to improve my 20″ Zildjian Ride cymbal. I’ve been feeling a bit at a loss as to what to do with the thing since it seems to sound increasingly clunky and clangy as time goes by and the more I tend towards light playing. I put it on eBay but it didn’t find a buyer and each time I put it on a stand and tried… Read More »Can My 20″ Zildjian Ride Cymbal Be Improved?

Afrobeat Coordination Snare & Bass

Afrobeat Technical Primer Parts 1+2 – Bass & Snare

Here’s a couple of videos introducing some technical exercises that will help you develop the coordination required to play Afrobeat in a Tony Allen influenced style. These exercises are written for the ride cymbal in order to allow the focus to rest on the coordination of the hand patterns with the bass and hi hat without being too concerned with the sound of the stick on the hi hat which demands a more fine level of control on the hi… Read More »Afrobeat Technical Primer Parts 1+2 – Bass & Snare

Adding Fills To A Train Beat

Train Beat Basic Fills Vocabulary

Here’s a quick video explaining how to develop your fill playing for Train beats. The key thing is to drill a bunch of accent patterns (and ideally memorise them) at a slow tempo and in relaxed style. Once you can play them, add each one to a bar and a half of Train beat and play until you can seamlessly go from the backbeat snare accent on the &’s to the fill pattern. Work on each pattern individually and get… Read More »Train Beat Basic Fills Vocabulary

Why I don't talk about John Bonham

Why I Don’t Talk About Bonham – With Andy Edwards

Andy Edwards is a drummer, teacher, producer and YouTuber who I’ve somewhat innacurately described the Midlands’ Rick Beato. I had the opportunity to have a long conversation with Andy recently and bung it up on YouTube. We talked about the disproportionate deification of John Bonham and other untouchables and how our tendencies to worship some characters above all others can stifle our education, imagination and creativity. It was a fun chat and I am hoping to have more conversations with… Read More »Why I Don’t Talk About Bonham – With Andy Edwards

Left Handed Hihat barks

How To Play Left Handed Hi Hat Barks

I can’t for the life of me decide if I should write hihat as one word or hi hat as two words. What do you think? Here’s the lowdown on how to play the left-handed hihat bark as you might hear on Aretha’s Rock Steady where the master Bernard Purdie gave us the most famous example of the thing and on Bullet In The Head where Brad Wilk gives us the same but somehow dirtier and more lethal. Take your… Read More »How To Play Left Handed Hi Hat Barks