1. Practice the groove until you know it.
2. Practice the groove until it’s top of mind

Many of my students have worked hard learning a variety of rhythms that I have shown them.
Unfortunately, at different times when I have asked them to demonstrate certain grooves for
me, they can’t deliver. I see them trying to remember how the lick is played only to find
themselves at a loss unless I show them once more. The point here is simply, what is the use of
learning anything on drums or any instrument, if you can’t call it up when you’re asked to do so,
such as being asked to play something on stage in front of an audience. If you haven’t got it
there, then you don’t have it! Having a bag of tricks is useless if you can’t open the bag!

In jazz circles you might often here one musician turn to another player and say something like,
“Yeh, that drummer has great chops”. He would most likely be saying this, because he has
heard the drummer play a variety of tunes not just one song.

As a drummer, I love to sit in at the local Blues Jam here in Victoria. It gives me the chance to
not only play with a some great musicians but also to test myself on how well I can contribute to
the groove for any song they throw at me and the selections can be quite varied sometimes.
The piece could be a straight ahead rock tune, or maybe a shuffle rhythm. Other times it may be
a song where the band is looking for a “Latin” flavoured groove or a “Funky Motown” feel. The
point is as a well-rounded drummer you need to have your chops together to provide what is
needed and not go searching for it on the bandstand.

It seems more and more these days we are seeing a fusion of Latin rhythms finding their way
into contemporary Rock and Jazz music. For a drummer this means being able to adapt. Listen
to anything by Santana who was one of the first to introduce the Latin feel into rock back in the
late 60’s and you will hear what I am talking about.

If you want to be recognized as a good drummer then learn to play a variety of styles. Make
sure you can play and know the difference between a Samba, a Cha-Cha, a Beguine, a Bolero, a
Waltz and a 6/8 blues. Become the drummer with “The great chops” that they are all talking

If you’re serious about learning drums call me for your first lesson. If you have friends interested
in learning drums, give them one of my “free lesson certificates” as a Christmas present.
Contact me at 250-721-2113 or bcasson@speakfilm.com or at Tempo-Trend Music at 250-384-2111

Cheers, Barry