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Andy Ziker

Week 19: Bossa and Samba Using Left-Foot Clave

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I have played bossa nova and samba grooves dating all the way back to the 80s (during my high school and college years). Over the years, these beats have become an integral part of my toolkit. A few years ago, during a break at one of my corporate gigs, a man came out of the audience to ask if I too was Brazilian. He was impressed with my authentic sounding groove.

I'm not a native Brazilian, rather I'm from Indiana. I tend to take grooves such as the bossa and samba, experiment, and attempt to make them my own. The end result is often Ziker beat bastardization.

The following lesson is an example of this. I find these grooves to be fun, challenging, and useful. I apologize in advance if these patterns are offensive to anyone.

Recently, as I taught a bossa nova/samba lesson to one of my students, he asked me, "Why not add a left foot clave to this?"

“Hmmm...,” I thought. “Why not?”

Each of the subsequent grooves involves a 3:2 left-foot Brazilian clave (I realize that most Brazilian percussionists don’t believe that their music has a clave) and an orchestration of the partido alto rhythm around different sound sources (except for #3 and #5). Although I feel that the sound of the hi-hat chick best fits the light-but-intense nature of these grooves, you could also use a foot-operated snare drum, wood block, cowbell, tambourine, shakere, etc. I've used a tambourine attached to a hi-hat for the purposes of the following video lesson.


Here are quick descriptions of each exercise.

1. This is a pattern that I use quite often as a bossa nova: straight 8th notes on the ride cymbal, the partido alto rhythm as rim clicks.

2. Similar to #1, this pattern uses a broken 8th-note ride pattern involving ride bell notes. You can use the shank or tip of the stick to strike the bell.

3. This is a samba using displaced doubles between the snare drum and floor tom.

4. Here, the floor tom plays closed and open sounds, imitating the function of the surdo, a Brazilian bass drum instrument. Experiment with the sounds of the left hand on the snare drum. Try using rim shots, BZZzz strokes, and on or away from the center.

5. I recently saw Chuck Silverman play something similar to this in one of his YouTube videos, and I have begun to use it at my gigs. Something about how the groove flows is magical.

6. Now the partido alto is played as flat flams between the ride and snare drum, creating a more open feel.

Business Items:

• Absolute Music (located in the UK) is now carrying Drumset for Preschoolers.

• Here’s a promotional video that I made for Daily Drum Warm-Ups. I hope it doesn’t cause any driving accidents, job loss, or arguments with your hair stylist.

• Thank you Modern Drummer magazine for this blurb about the Drummer Stand. http://www.moderndru...-drummer-stand/

• Drumming icon Tommy Igoe on the Drummer Stand: “The Manhasset Drummer Stand is an elegant solution to an age-old drummer problem— floor space! By using the multi-angle clamp instead of a heavy traditional base, the drummer can not only set up his music stand at the best visual point for the gig, you also eliminate floor clutter and gain more space for your pedals and instruments. I’ll be using this a lot!”

Feel free to “like” Drummer Stand Facebook page at http://www.facebook....setDrummerStand

• I just received my author’s copy, so I suppose it’s safe to announce that the 2nd printing of Drum Aerobics is now available.

A few improvements/additions have been made:

1. Additional aerobic workouts for drummers.

2. Upgraded instructional tips.

3. Both CDs now come prepackaged with the Amazing Slow Downer. Example clips and play-alongs can now be looped, sped up, slowed down, and equalized.

4. A small ad on the back cover shows the front cover of the spin-off book, Daily Drum Warm-Ups.

• Milano Music in Mesa, AZ is now carrying the Drummer Stand. If you would like to see it in your local music shop, please request it!


• Thank you to Josh Gottry and Percussive Notes magazine for their review of Drumset for Preschoolers.


• Thank you to Virtual Drummer School, an international web-school based in Spain, for featuring Drum Aerobics on 22/06/12. http://www.virtualdr...?pg=2&17674

• Thank you to the AZ Republic/azcentral.com for this Spotlight piece. http://www.azcentral...andy-ziker.html

• Check out Jim Keating’s twist on a play-along from Drum Aerobics. Very creative!

• Aric Stack of Phoenix Music Lessons is now using Drumset for Preschoolers with his young students and carrying the book in his new shop in North Phoenix.

NOTE: If you like the this blog and its content, you can show me support (both economic and moral) by considering or telling others about my products. Thanks!


drumset_preschoolers3.jpgziker_drumscapes3.jpg ziker_aerobics.jpg ziker_warmups.jpg


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That's some good stuff right there!

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