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Learn to Play Zigaboo Modeliste’s Groove on Sailing Shoes

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 well as Lowell’s slide guitar.

Learning this groove will have you listening for flamming between the left hand and right foot in playing the ‘a’ of 2 and 4 and learning to shuffle 16ths. It also gets you internalising a 16th note shuffle feel.

Here’s a PDF with a transcription of some of the drumming from the intro, verse and chorus.