Below you’ll find links to a selection of my video lessons.
All these video lessons have accompanying notation, and either excerpts or full tracks (minus drums) available. Any issues downloading the notation, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org & I’ll email you the notation PDF.
In lesson one we look at groove construction, analysis of sticking patterns and musical application.
In lesson two we continue our exploration of groove construction, analysis and application but with a different groove and style, and in a slightly different context, including how to get multiple sounds from one drum.
In lesson three we expand our work on groove concepts with some double kick groove construction, looking at methods of practicing and playing broken 16th note double kick grooves under three different hand patterns. * This is part one of a two part lesson
In lesson four we get our second dose of double kick groove construction, this time spicing things up with sextuplets. * Part two of two.
In lesson five we apply a deconstructive approach to odd time signatures, I break down some odd time grooves, put them together and demonstrate ways of counting and then augmenting the patterns. * Part one of two.
In lesson six we put all the parts together and complete the parts and track we started in issue five. *Part two of two.
In lesson seven we take a rhythm for the snare drum, take it to the kit, look at an approach to practice in this area, and augment the subsequent groove with what are essentially everyday sticking patterns – aka rudiments!
In lesson eight we take it up a level, dissecting an approach to phrasing in the context of a metal groove.
In lesson nine we explore the first of a two part session on left foot independence: Laying some foundations.
In lesson ten we explore building on the foundations that we laid in Left Foot Independence part one, with some cool little developmental exercises and musical patterns.
In lesson eleven we look at creating textures with basic components of the kit, as well as inter-limb dynamics, touch, musicality and tone production.
In lesson twelve we look at how to communicate with a writer and re-create programmed beats. I’m using a track called ‘Under The Weather’, which I recorded with a band called 12 Stone Toddler as an example of this.
In lesson thirteen there is exclusive footage from a clinic I did with Luke Flowers in Brighton, 2012, featuring an almost full-length performance of my styles piece from that evening.
In lesson fourteen we continue our work under the Groove Concepts heading by looking at some creative uses for the paradiddle & some of its inversions. Nice grooves & fills here, people!
Lesson fifteen is the first in a two-part lesson looking at phrasing and how to get multiple phrases, grooves, chops & solo ideas from one sticking pattern. This lesson introduces the sticking and some foundation setting exercises, along with creating different phrases from the one idea.
Lesson sixteen is the second in a two-part lesson looking at phrasing and getting multiple phrases, grooves, chops & solo ideas from one sticking pattern. This lesson expands on the content from the first lesson by introducing multiple fill/chop & groove ideas.
Lesson seventeen is the first in a three-part lesson looking at & developing the Mozambique rhythm. * Part one of three
Lesson eighteen is the second in a three-part lesson looking at & developing the Mozambique rhythm, this time combining it with some other well known Latin-style rhythms to create a bit of a hybrid groove. * Part two of two
Lesson nineteen is the third in a three-part lesson looking at & developing the Mozambique rhythm, this time using the Mozambique rhythm as a basis for a more fusion style groove – you’ll need your wits about you here! * Part three of three.
Lesson twenty: In this lesson we’re going to take a look at 70’s rock/jazz fusion and we’re going to do that in the context of the great Tony Williams and his fusion group The New Tony Williams Lifetime.
The original trio, Tony Williams Lifetime, formed circa 1969, went a long way to paving the way for Jazz/Rock fusion as we know it today, and although perhaps unsurprisingly it was rejected at the time by many a ‘die hard’ jazzer, the debut album ‘Emergency!’ is now looked upon as a fusion classic.
We’re going to break down a groove from the track ‘Fred’, it’s one of those ‘must learn’ grooves – one that has many uses but a groove that also presents many technical challenges.
Lesson 21: In this lesson we’re going to take a look at Reggae, and we’re going to do that in the context of the great Carlton Barratt who rose to prominence as the drummer for The Wailers, who of course ended up as the backing band for Bob Marley.
Carton Barratt featured on all the albums recorded by The Wailers through this period and due in no small part to the world-wide appeal of Bob Marley, went on the popularise the one-drop rhythm, going a long way to setting in stone its place in contemporary popular music. There are many prototypical examples of this beat, however, some of the best and most audible from a production perspective, in terms of more ‘modern’ day production, can be found on Bob Marley & The Wailers ‘Legend’ and Natural Mystic’ albums.
We’re going to break the rhythm down, have a look at different feels and build it back up in the context of the rhythm itself, whilst also having a look at a slightly different groove at the same time — the Steppers, aka ‘four on the floor’.
Lesson 22: In this lesson, we’re going to take a look at hip-hop. Hip-hop, like any of the other styles/genres/sub-genres that we’re looking at in this series of lessons, is far reaching and wide ranging in its mix of influences and rhythmical gold that is on offer for us, the drummer. Rather than look at the ‘usual’ stuff, I’m going to use a fascinating groove that was originally in a track called ‘Reign of Terror’ by a great UK hip-hop act called ‘Gunshot’.
Replicating this type of pattern on the kit, opens up the kit and forces us to think about the logistics or recreating such a groove, and reminds us that there is a wealth of great music out there, past and present, that’s more than worthwhile exploring.
Take this slow, be patient and aim for consistency, feel and spot-on timing – the centre of the click is what you’re aiming for with this.
Lesson 23: In this lesson, we’re going to take a look at shuffling, specifically the Texas Shuffle in the context of Rhythm & Blues. Late last year (2013) I took on a load of work that involved nothing but shuffling, with a blues trio. Suddenly there was a lot of left hand work going, shuffling with different swing feels (or degrees of swing if you prefer) & it got me thinking that it would be a great subject for a video lesson because of the shuffles importance as a groove and feel in contemporary music. Understanding the shuffle and being able to swing are two very important factors as a musician.
Some of this session is about understanding technically how it works with the right and the left hand, e.g. there are more economical ways of playing than others – but that’s nothing new & nothing unique to this subject – most of it is in the feel and musical application. How good it sounds and how well you can control it at a cross range of tempi, depends on how good, or effective your technique is.
When you get into this, you’ll find there are many different ‘types’ of shuffle & feels to match, & it can all get very confusing at first. The best single piece of advice anyone can really give you here is simply to listen to the records, find out who played on them, learn to play them, get some mates together & jam it out. Get out & play music in this style & find your own voice within it — then you’ll have it. Sometimes we come across rhythms, grooves and feels that past theoretically what they actually are, are hard to quantify — this is music, just enjoy it!
Lesson 24: In this lesson we’re going to take a look at soul, but a very specific groove & one that is not talked about widely speaking, as much as many others in this genre. This groove, originally played by Ed Greene – a truly great session player who has played on many, many great records with many defining artists — is from the Barry White song “I’m Gonna Love You Just a Little More Baby”.
Part of learning an instrument is learning other people’s parts, and part of that is learning to emulate their time feel and sound, all as part of the learning process. Time-feel in particular is something that is unique to each individual – which is what makes it so hard to emulate. Remember the goal is to develop your own voice, and your own sound through a study of others.
Sooner or later we all have to look at how to break down parts and ideas in order to build them up and break down independence barriers & that’s part of what we’ll look at this month.
Be patient with this and try to really sit on the groove for long periods at a time in your practice.
Lesson 25: In this lesson we’re going to take a look at Classic Metal in the shape of a defining groove and set of fills, and we’re going to do that in the context of Dave Lombardo and his playing on the end section of Slayer’s ‘Ghosts of War’.
Dave’s drumming style and interpretation of other styles has influenced most metal drummers — and a lot of drummers further afield — around today.
We’re going to look at developing single stroke based fill patterns around the kit, the logistics of getting around the kit and how to develop getting power into your stroke at speed.
Copying other peoples playing, trying to emulate their feel and the sound of their equipment is such a valuable part of the learning process for us as musicians that it’s hard to get across just how important it is in one paragraph but remember the goal is to develop your own voice and your own sound through a study of others – the world doesn’t need another Chris Aldler, Pete Sandoval, Lars Ulrich or Dave Lombardo – it needs YOU!
Be patient with this, it takes time, but with focus and commitment you’ll get there — quicker than you think as well.