This week, a student asked me for some exercises to work on ghost notes. Ghost notes, if you aren’t familiar with them, are very quiet notes played on the snare drum. They give your grooves some peaks and valleys and help make things extra funky. The key to making your beats sound great when adding these ghosted notes is to make them super quiet, while your accented notes are, of course, significantly louder.
These two exercises will help you work on your ghost notes and your independence. The hi-hat should be played with accented quarter notes, using Moeller technique for maximum groove potential.
The first exercise is a two measure phrase with only one accented snare drum—beat “four” of the second measure. The second exercise is a one measure beat with “two” and “four” accented.
The hi hat plays eighth notes throughout.
Here’s the PDF for you: Ghost Note Central
The Gadd lick is a well known pattern, very similar to this one. (See example #2 from “Seven Gadd Licks,” else where in this blog). I am fairly certain that the first appearance of Gadd’s use of this lick was on Tom Scott’s tune, “Dirty Old Man,” from Scott’s 1975 album, “New York Connection.”
“Joe’s Garage” was released in 1979 and at the time, it is pretty well documented that Colaiuta was very heavily influenced by Steve Gadd’s playing. I believe that this “Dong Work” lick was inspired by the “Dirty Old Man” lick.
The basic premise here is to take 32nd notes, weave them between the hi hat, snare and bass drum and incorporate them into a groove. What makes these kind of patterns sound cool is that they are fully integrated into the groove of the song….they have a pocket.
Another great thing about licks like this is that they are distributed between multiple limbs in such a way that playing fast becomes very easy.
In order for this to sound good, you have to make sure that all the unaccented snare drum notes are ghosted.
So, have a look at the worksheet, and try this out. It’s sick. I promise. Here’s the link: Nasty Lick 43
There seems to be a lack of good material for students to work on grooves in 6/8, shuffles and triplet based feels in general. I decided to remedy that problem by publishing exercises for those needs right here on the trusty ol BANG Blog.
The first installment is this worksheet on 6/8. Download the PDF here: Basic Six Eight Rock Independence
More to come.
Check out this video of me using this lick live. You can “fast forward” to 2:51 into the video to hear just the lick…
A note for note transcription of the lick, which includes more details about the pattern and how to play it correctly can be found on the worksheet, “Nasty Lick 33,” which you can download by clicking on the following link: “Nasty Lick 33″
Hope you find this useful.
Steve has a number of great signature licks, seven of which are included here. Click on the link to the right to download the PDF:Seven Gadd Licks
Take ‘em to the practice room, then to the bandstand. Enjoy!
Welcome back to the BANG! The Drum School blog. Today, I’m posting a worksheet of 7 fills from none other than the grandaddy of rock drumming himself, John Bonham. If you’re new to drumming and you don’t know about Bonham, I urge you to check him out. Most, if not all, of today’s rock drummers will profess a love for the groove, chops and fills of the great Bonham. I myself am a disciple.
Even if you’re already a fan, perhaps you don’t know all of the fills included here. These 7 fills are just a few of my favorites. Not all of them are super difficult, but they are all super musical. Don’t forget to check out the recordings….these fills are best learned by looking at the transcriptions AND by listening to the recordings….and then by trying them out.
Certainly a few of these licks belong in your fill vocabulary if they are not already in your “tool box.”
You can download the PDF of this worksheet by clicking on the link to the right: Seven Bonham Fills
Have fun, check em out, and please, feel free to ask any questions or make any comments.
No doubt about it, Jim Chapin’s ground-breaking book, Advanced Techniques for the Modern Drummer, is an important tool for a beginning jazz drummer. I worked my way through a lot of it when I was first trying to learn jazz. However, I do think there are parts of the book that are confusing, and I would even go so far as to say that some of the book is a waste of time. Sorry if this sounds like blasphemy, but it is the truth.
That being said, I have updated what we used to be call “Lucky 13,” a worksheet that I had published on the previous edition of the BANG! website, to reflect my current thinking on what the beginning jazz drumming student should be working on when it comes to independence.
This sheet of 9 independence exercises, called “Essential Jazz Independence Part One,” gets right to the heart of the matter by focusing on learning to play triplet figures with one’s left hand vs the triplet jazz ride cymbal pattern that is played with the right hand (of course, reverse the hands if you are a lefty).
Here is the sheet for you to download. Just click this link to the right: Essential Jazz Independence Pt. 1
Have a look at the sheet….bring it into the practice room. Feel free to ask any questions. There are detailed instructions on the sheet itself that you can follow to help you along. Hope this is helpful.
The Tumbao bass drum pattern is a common figure, frequenty played by the drummer to match the rhythm of the bassist when playing Latin music. In this version of the pattern the bass drum plays on beat one, the “a” of beat one and on the “and” of beat two. The pattern repeats again on beat three (as you’ll see on the sheet). Another common way to play the rhythm is to omit beat one, as the bass player frequently does in this music. Having independence with your hands while your foot maintains this bass drum pattern is an important skill to have in your tool box if you are pursuing playing playing jazz in a modern setting. I was inspired to work on this after hearing Vinnie Colaiuta play this while playing with Chick Corea.
The method is completely logical, as you will see by looking at the worksheet that is attached. You can download the worksheet by clicking on the link here: Tumbao Independence Part One
The method is to maintain a common ride pattern with the right hand (here, the jazz ride cymbal pattern in a sixteenth note form), while systematically working through the common possibilities with your left hand.
Try it out….it’s hard work, but the pay off is big. A little further down the road, I’ll post some of the musical patterns you can play off the top of your head once you’ve locked down this independence concept.
Have fun, and please feel free to comment or ask questions.
Here is a pattern I’ve been using for years. Very simple concept: three notes with your hands followed by two notes with your feet. Repeat. My favorite way to use this pattern is as 16th notes. I’ve attached a sheet that spells out all of the details so you can start using this pattern in your playing right away. Enjoy, but use with care….this type of five note phrase is probably not for use with a Pop band…..
Click the following link to download the pdf: Four Nasty Five Note Fills
Feel free to ask me any questions. Just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Here’s a worksheet we’ve been using with students to get them started on the path of becoming a rock drummer. The sheet is available as a pdf file for download by clicking on this link:
It is easy to argue that the most important skill a rock drummer must have is to play grooves. It is also easy to argue that the most common grooves in rock are eighth note based. Therefore, if you want to be a rock drummer, and you’re just getting started, learn this sheet.
Here’s what the notation means. The top line, with the “X” noteheads represents the hi hat or ride cymbal, played with your right hand (we’re assuming you are right handed). The second space from the top represents the snare drum, played with your left hand. Finally, the bottom space on the staff represents the bass drum, played with your right foot on the bass drum pedal.
Any of the examples on the sheet can be counted correctly by saying “one and two and three and four and” sequentially while you play each of the eight notes in each example. In other words, when you play the first note in example #1, say “one,” and then say “and” when you play the second note and then say “two” when you play the third note and so on and so forth.
“Muscle through” these patterns very slowly at first by just literally doing what the notation says to do. For example, with beat #1, which is the beat in the upper most left hand corner of the sheet as pictured, if you simply do the following, you will be playing the beat:
1) play the hi hat with your right hand and the bass drum with your right foot simultaneously. (say “one” out loud while you do this)
2) play the hi hat with your right hand. (say “and”)
3) play the hi hat with your right hand and the snare drum with your left hand simultaneously. (say “two”)
4) play the hi hat with your right hand. (say “and”)
5) repeat the previous steps but substitute the words “three” “and” “four” “and” for each step in sequence. (“one” becomes “three”; “and” remains “and”; “two” becomes “four”; and “and” remains “and”)
6) repeat the above over and over, and space the notes evenly, and you’ll be playing the beat. start very slowly and practice the pattern until it becomes easy to play. then you can gradually speed up.
7) use this same process for all the beats on the page.
You will need to go deeper than this, but for a complete beginner, this is a really good way to get started. Have a go at this and if you have any questions about how to work through it, feel free to to ask.
Have fun with it.