Common – Like Water for Chocolate

I can’t believe this record is almost twenty years old.

It’s packed with great beats by Questlove and others. The track “Heat” samples Tony Allen, Fela Kuti’s one-time fellow band member and co-founder of the Afrobeat genre.

Here are some beats from the record. – Beck

Download the free pdfs HERE.

STYLES

There are lots of materials out there on different styles and drum grooves. The sheer amount of method books and sheet music can be overwhelming.

I put together a PDF to provide a basic overview of grooves that are used in different styles.

You can download it HERE for free.

Whether you are a drum teacher or are learning by yourself , I hope you find it useful.

10 Fills Every Drummer Should Know


10 Fills every drummer should know. Inspired by Stephen Taylor. I added/modified some fills, and of course, it’s more than 10 because some have variations…. “17 drum fills every drummer should know” just doesn’t sound as good. 😉

  • Use a metronome for the exercises and notice the spots where you tend to speed up/or slow down – aim for cconsistency.
  • Practice the fills by themselves first, then add one measure of groove before the fill, then three.
  • Once you’re comfortable with the fills as written, try to come up with your own orchestrations, while adhering to the fill sticking/rhythm

Rates & 16th Note Variations

As a drum teacher I’ve noticed that one of the most difficult things for beginner drummers is to switch rates, e.g., to go from triplets to 16th notes, and moving between different 16th note variations.

This short exercise is designed so you can play along with me (or the click only), get comfortable with counting, and develop confidence in switching beats while keeping the tempo.

Try to keep a steady quarter note pulse on the bass drum during the exercise.

If you’re wondering about the sticking of some of the variations, you can find them in my PDF Kick Start.

– Beck

Ps.: I posted both play-alongs in the educational section on my website.

 

16th Note Hi-Hat Variations Loop

Here’s a cool exercise one of my teachers shared with me, a long time ago:

  • You play 14 different 16th note variations on the hi-hat, one per measure, while keeping a continually repeated pattern (ostinato) on the bass drum and snare.
  • The bass drum syncopation includes a note on the “a” and “&” of the beat one and two, which makes it more challenging, coordination wise.
  • If you struggle with the independence between bass drum and hi-hat, try to play the variations over a four on the floor beat (quarter notes on the bass drum) first, and work your way up from there.
  • Focus on clarity, consistency, and groove. Make sure all the notes land in the right place.
  • Practice to an 8th or 16th note metronome, to identify where there’s a tendency to push or drag.
  • Practice each measure individually before putting them all together in a loop.

For a lot of people this is a hard exercise — it definitely is for me.

Its benefits are many: improved timing, coordination, and being able to stay in the pocket while transitioning between different variations, are just a few that come to mind spontaneously.

Remember: Slow, steady, and relaxed wins the race!

 

16th Note HH Var Loop.jpg