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
In my latest video I explain the groove for Dua Lipa’s massive hit, Levitating. It’s a cool disco number with a four-to-the floor beat that should get any foot tapping. Here’s the PDF. Check it out here:
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
This is the final post of a four part series of exercises to help develop your coordination with Afrobeat drumming inspired by Tony Allen’s first Afrobeat groove.
Here’s a quick guide to the main drum grooves for James Brown’s I Got You which should be in any drummer’s repertoire, if you ask me. Melvin Parker played drums on this classic soul number. Download the sheet music PDF here – Essential Components of I Got You by James Brown And here’s a video with me doing each bit nice and slow:
And I suppose he’d know something about it… I highly recommend watching both of the following videos. The audio is not fantastic but there is a demonstration of some typical Highlife drumming and how he added a left foot hihat on the 2 & 4 and then he shows us the first groove of Afrobeat. When I first tried playing Afrobeat, I found that playing 16ths on the kick on 1 and 1e and 3 and 3e is particularly challenging… Read More »This Is The First Afrobeat Drum Groove According To Tony Allen
Blimey, making a video is not easy. Kudos to all those who do such a great job on Youtube. Anyway, here’s my demonstration of the main bits in Hard To Handle according to The Black Crowes. It’s intended for the students attending the band workshops I am putting on with my colleague Rodrigo but it might be useful for anyone wanting to learn the song.
Important Addendum: The drummer on this album is not Tony Allen, I shoud have checked the credits. It was made after Tony Allen left Fela Kuti’s band. In a recent post I linked to the Fela Kuti Bandcamp Account. I was immediately drawn to the album called Teacher Don’t Teach Me Nonsense and was delighted to hear the album’s title track open with the same groove that my first Afrobeat related post about Ariya Astrobeat’s African Kings has in its… Read More »More Tony Allen – Fela’s Teacher Don’t Teach Me Nonsense
She got the money and I got the honey Rich Woman by Li’l Millet & his Creoles is a brilliant New Orleans R&B song I had to learn for my recent Astrojets gig at Ain’t Nothin’ But in Kingly Street. The groove is slightly quirky and the feel is amazing. There is little or no variation throughout the track. The drummer according to this source is Bartholomew Smith. Covers of this song were done by Canned Heat (whose version sounded… Read More »Groove Lesson – Rich Woman by Li’l Millet & his Creoles