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
Here’s my latest video about the train beat. I made on years ago intending to follow up with a series of snare and bass drum variations. I wasn’t very productive YouTubewise though and it’s been waiting for me to get into the process seriously. The Covid thing has been a strong motivator for me to produce regular video content and so the world is about to get more Train Beat related video education content stuff. Here are a couple of… Read More »Train Beat Lesson – Basic Snare Drum Variations
I watched this video recently on YouTube by a bloke called Jai Es who talks about a lot of stuff I think is very important for drummers and not discussed as often as it should. It’s a great run down of fundamental drum technique with a great deal of focus on posture, relaxation, attitude and flow. Jai addresses the mental and spiritual aspects of musicianship and drumming in particular as well as discussing the importance of maintaining your health in… Read More »Live, Loud & Drum Healthy Vol. 1
I’ve been listening to Steely Dan’s Album Can’t Buy A Thrill a lot lately and two songs really stand out. One is Dirty Work, a very laid back, greasy and dark tune with a funky groove. The other is Reelin’ In The Years which bounces along beautifully, driven by Jim Hodder’s light and fluffy shuffle with ghost notes. It’s so good I’ve listened to the song about fifty times since Sunday. Shuffles are interesting. Despite being a very common feel,… Read More »Playing Ghost Notes In A Shuffle Groove Like Reelin’ In The Years
Damon Albarn is a pretty lucky guy since his rock star status allows him to play with musicians of the calibre of Tony Allen. Having said that, he’s quite good at songwriting and Go Back from the album Film Of Life is really good. On the album version of the song is this intro which I just realised is absent from the radio version of the song which is available on Youtube. I guess it’s a good reason to get… Read More »Drum Intro For Tony Allen’s Go Back From His Latest Album
I just came across this video by Rob Brown on a subject I’ve not seen covered much before – the big rock ending or Trash Can Ending (not a term I’ve heard before but will adopt, albeit as Dustbin Ending). I tend to leave it to chance which is a bit risky because there’s the possibility of making a horrible mess. Rob’s ideas here are clean, sound great and can be combined to great effect. I am going to get… Read More »Trash Can Endings – Another Cool Lesson from Rob Brown
Here’s a quickie – Ash Soan is releasing short videos with little ideas to try out, lots of fun and interesting things. This one demonstrates his way of producing the effect of the delayed cross-stick or hihat sound that is very common on reggae recordings. Ash has an app for Android and Apple gadgets called Drum Hub where you can access more material, it’s worth checking out.
Here is a page of exercises I wrote tonight for a student who is developing their right foot. We worked on playing two sixteenths using heel-up and heel-toe. I thought it might be useful to post the sheet up here. I would start playing at 60 BPM to ensure that all the strokes are lined up. Count out loud and think about the balance between bass snare and cymbals. Play the bass sixteenths nice and even. Bass Drum 16ths –… Read More »Bass Drum 16ths Excercise