Atavachron – Allan Holdsworth Style

"Atavachron" is the title track from Allan Holdsworth's classic fusion album, released in 1986. It was his first album which featured the SynthAxe — a guitar-like MIDI controller.

Ostinato Three Funk

This groove features a slick ostinato 3 pattern on the ride cymbal that is no walk in the park. There are ways to change the groove while maintaining its funkiness. Check it out!

Stripping the Ghostly Funk

This groove nails a host of embellishments, but what happens when you strip them away? Check it out!

Grooving Sixteenth Rock with Funky Rolls

This rock groove plays alternating sixteenth notes between the ride bell and hi-hat. The snare remains on the classic beats 2 and 4 while the hands do the embellishing.

Syncopated Bass in a Rock Shuffle

Enjoy this 2-bar groove that lays down some syncopated bass and ghosted snare strokes for flair.

Syncopated Hi-Hat and Bass Drum – Drum Beat

We borrowed a technique used by Rodney Holmes in the Santana song Smooth to create this syncopated groove.

Funk Rock Fusion – Drum Beat

This fusion drum beat conceals the one with multiple layers including the open hi-hat, bass drum and slick rim knock pattern.

Hot For Teacher – Van Halen – Shuffle

This 4-measure (repeated) section is heard at the tail end of Alex Van Halen's famous drum intro – right before his guitarist brother, Eddie, joins in at 0:22.

I’m Tweeked / Attack of the 20lb Pizza – Vinnie Colaiuta

This excerpt is taken from melody section [0:37 to 1:12] of "I'm Tweeked / Attack of the 20lb Pizza" from Vinnie Colaiuta's self-titled album (1994).

F.T.B. – Robert Glasper – Beat

This microscopically complex beat played by Damion Reid, sets the tone for Robert Glasper's tune "F.T.B." It features rapid 32nd note paradiddle-diddles played between the hi-hat and snare (beginning on the 'e' of beats 2 and 4). Meanwhile, the bass drum anchors the feel – sounding on beats 1 and 3. The drum part evolves organically throughout the piece while maintaining a relaxed vibe.

Seven Days – Sting

This inventive groove was played by Vinnie Colaiuta throughout the verses of Sting's 1993 song, Seven Days. The core rhythm is based on eighth notes grouped in 3s and 2s - marked with a bass drum hit on beat 1 and cross stick (rim knock) on beat 4. The hi-hat is accented on the odd numbered beats: 1, 3 and 5 in the first measure and the even numbered beats: 2 and 4 in the second. This creates an alternative 'slow 5' pulse spanning 2 measures, evening out the odd meter and making it more relatable to the listener.

Which Voicing #8 – Angel of Death Drum Break – Slayer

Dave Lombardo's drum break preceding the final chorus in Slayer's 'Angel of Death' is one of the most revered moments in heavy metal music (4:23). 6 evenly spaced flams were played on the toms – over a rapid 16th note roll with the bass drums. The two-measure lead in has been included to give the fill context. Which voicing do you prefer?

Which Voicing #7 – Fred – Tony Williams

This example was taken from Fred, a classic track from Tony William's 1975 album, Lifetime. In this section (0:07-1:07), the hi-hat ostinato was played consistently, while the bass and snare drums were played using variations of this basic beat. Which notation style do you prefer?

Rock and Roll – Led Zeppelin – Intro

This is the famous (and often bewildering) intro to the song Rock and Roll by Led Zeppelin.

50 Ways to Leave Your Lover intro – Paul Simon

Steve Gadd's distinctive linear groove introduces the song and underpins verses in this classic track, recorded in 1975.

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