I finally got around to completing (more or less) the series of YouTube videos I started a while back in which I provide a ten step introduction to playing the drums aimed at absolute beginners. I’m going to add a couple more parts to include a song with stops and maybe a “what to do next” bit where I suggest how to proceed. Part 1. Learn to play a basic 8th note beat with bass on 1 + 3. Part… Read More »How To Play Drums For Beginners
I got a request from A YouTube viewer to do a Dr Feelgood song and I was delighted to oblige. I think Brillaux et al’s She Does It Right is one of their best and is a great exercise in playing a nice brisk tempo. It’s pure rock n’ roll and needs to be done tight, crisp and energetic. Enjoy. Download the PDF with drum bits here. Look at my beautiful handwritten quickie chart here.
This is funny, I’ve just discovred that putting the word SLOW into the title of a YouTube video is a guaranteed path to obscurity. Why do we fear the slow so much? It’s one of the best ways to learn anything. Playing slowly allows us to assimilate new vocabulary in a relaxed an leisurly fashion. Playing slowly allows us to be aware of the way our bodies respond to different layers of coordination. Playing slowly allows us to observe how… Read More »How Practicing And Playing Slowly Can Help You Learn Drums
It’s Tony Allen’s second pattern of Afrobeat as presented to us by the master himself. I love Tony Allen’s drumming and Afrobeat music in general. The style is quite challenging to play and I guess it qualifies as a hybrid of jazz and funk or swing coordination with a funk sound, maybe? Listen to Fela Kuti, Ebo Taylor, Dele Sosimi, Antibalas, Abayomy, The Shaolin Afronauts, Tony Allen, of course and so on and so on.
So many people getting their start on drums seem to grab a chart and attempt to learn to read and play note-for-note renditions of some person’s transcription of what was played by a drummer on a recording. With most pop and rock tunes, the drummer didn’t “compose” what they played by writing it out on a bit of manuscript paper and then read and play it. That would be ridiculous and no fun at all. So why should we attempt… Read More »How To Really Play Hey Joe On Drums
I finally made a YouTube video in which I explain how to go about playing Tony Allen’s first pattern of Afrobeat. It’s the first of a series of videos I’ll be making on the subject. Download a PDF here with a transcription of the pattern and a breakdown of my breakdown of the groove, so to speak.
Getting off to a great start to 2023 with this fantastic tune written by Allen Toussaint and performed by Lee Dorsey and many others. I first heard Everything I Do Gonh be Funky performed by Dr John with the Dirty Dozen Brass Band in the TV series Treme which was a gritty drama made by the guy who did The Wire about life in New Orleans. A great deal of the show focused on the life of musicians in the… Read More »Everything I Do Gonh Be Funky – New Orleans Groove
Do you want to know how to play a 12/8 blues feel? Texas flood is a great introduction to playing 12/8 beats which means you’re playing a ride pattern in 8th note triplets. In this extended video I demonstrate the way the lovely Chris Layton plays the groove and fills on the original recording of the song. We’ll look at the ride pattern with skip notes, the bass variations and a few examples of the fills Layton plays throughout the… Read More »How To Play Stevie Ray Vaughan’s Texas Flood On Drums
My latest YouTube video outlines an exercise that can help you develop your improvisational skills using accents. This method is pretty easy to get going whatever your level of ability, you just need to be able to combine softer and louder strokes or taps and accents. The trick is to start with the simplest thing you can do in a relaxed way. In this case we start playing 16ths as taps and then add a few accents, first with the… Read More »How To Improvise On Drums Using Accents
Zigaboo Modeliste is one of the true forefathers of funk drumming and in this YouTube video I explain the groove he plays on Robert Palmer’s Sailing Shoes. The song was written by the great Lowell George and was on the Little Feat record of the same name. Palmer’s version of Sailing Shoes appears on his 1974 debut album, Sneaking Sally Through The Alley. The song is brought to life here by Palmer’s energy and the Meters’ awesome funky backing as… Read More »Learn to Play Zigaboo Modeliste’s Groove on Sailing Shoes