I wanted to start the new year looking at different drum grooves. I’ll be updating new grooves and ideas here on a regular basis.
Since completing the MA course, I’ve taken a little time out to go over some of the grooves that really helped to develop my playing and tried to expand on these. One of the grooves I wanted to share today is from a Paul Simon track called ‘Late In The Evening’, featuring legendary drummer Steve Gadd.
Below is the groove. CLICK HERE for a .PDF version.
During my MA, my drum teacher brought this track to my attention after I mentioned to him that I was interested in exploring world and Latin music a little more. It was a fantastic place to begin on the journey down the world route, and it also helped tremendously with independence. Furthermore, it is a very versatile groove which can be used and applied in various musical scenarios.
Ok, so here’s how it sounds:
It may sound obvious, but the key to this one is to start very slow and play it right. I remember getting a rough idea and then trying to speed off with it – each time the groove would fall apart or stutter. The right hand stays on the rim of the floor tom, and the left hand alternates between the floor tom and the high tom. Bass drum and pedal hi-hat are on each beat in the bar.
I just worked on the hands first of all, and once I had the pattern down I added the bass drum and hi-hat chick on each beat. Muscle memory should eventually help retain the pattern with enough practise and at that stage the groove can be sped up without compromising the sticking clarity or feel.
The groove itself has a linear feel and the first beat of the groove is the only time that both the right and left hands play together. If you keep this in mind, and remember that the right hand stays only on the rim, it should seem a little easier when trying to piece it all together.
A final few pointers on this one – The drum solo is the same as the verse groove but the right hand moves to the ride bell instead. Gadd will also fill over the toms from time to time keeping the same sticking pattern, but moving both hands over the toms.
Anyway! well worth learning, lots of fun to play so do have a go. Keep it slow to begin with, and good luck!