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More Afrobeat – Tony Allen’s Groove on Fela’s Go Slow

I have been dawdling about with this and Miles Arntzen’s fab article in January’s Modern Drummer has reminded me to keep going with my learning about Afrobeat and Tony Allen’s drumming in particular.

Music is The Weapon Of The Future is an album I’ve been listening to quite a bit. On the track Go Show Allen’s juxtaposition of lightness and fearsome groove is almost too much to bear. I have been trying to get the feel of this track right for ages in the practice room and keep finding myself digging in too far. There is work to be done to develop the independence and fluidity to play this well.

This is the main groove that is established at the beginning of the track and I’ve written a few variations that focus on placement of hi-hat openings on different parts of the groove. This, along with the bass on 1 and 1e, is something I have found quite challenging in Tony Allen’s drumming. It’s light, light, light!


The following is a page of stuff to work the hi-hat. The first two grooves have 8ths on the hats which can help to establish the feel between the snare and bass before playing the full pattern.

Fela Kuti - Go Slow

You can download this as a PDF here – Fela Kuti – Go Slow.