The other night I played a gig and there was one groove I played that felt really good to me. I noticed that the people I was playing with were really digging it too. It was an Elton John tribute show and the tune was “Tiny Dancer.” The groove I played was definitely more Keith Carlock than Nigel Olsson (Elton’s long-time and most frequent drummer), but it felt so good that I wanted to figure out how to get more use out of it. Here’s what I played:
I felt a bit boxed in with the groove as it was. Yes, it was working, but I didn’t feel free to play my bass drum anywhere I wanted. When faced with a situation like this, I usually devise some practice material to solve the problem.
And hence, “The Ghost Note Groove System #1” was born. I’m taking a Gary Chester-ish approach here, by taking a hand pattern as the basis for a groove and working on bass drum independence against it.
This first worksheet is a PDF with 16 independence exercises and you can download it here: The Ghost Note Groove System 1 Part 1
The bass drum variations selected here were chosen more for musicality than for completeness; I wanted to get just a sampling of the type of independence I’m seeking to figure out the validity of the system.
This does the job. I have a feeling I’m going to like where this takes me, and if so, you can expect some deeper and more complete worksheets on this topic down the road.
Let me know how you like this stuff.