Trailing Triplets – Why Worry – Dire StraitsSteve Ley
'Why Worry' is the mid-album ballad on Dire Straits' double-grammy winning album, Brothers in Arms (1985). A shaker/wood-block maintain and color the time through the first two-thirds of the song, before Omar Hakim launches into the dynamic drum part in the concluding instrumental section (starting 6 minutes in).
The most distinctive part of this groove is the use of sextuplets played softly on the snare, simmering beneath the strongly accented notes. This technique infuses the laid-back song with a jazzy looseness that lifts the final section.
The notation can look confusing at first glance, so let’s break down the beat into 3 steps.
Step 1: right hand and bass drum.
Tap an eighth note pulse with your right hand and strongly accent beats 2 and 4.
Step 2: add an off-beat accent with the left hand.
Add a strong accent on the ‘e of beat 3’ with your left hand.
Step 3: add trailing sextuplets with the left hand.
Add two left taps after every eighth note, played with the right hand.
A shaker emphasizing the quarter-note pulse is present throughout the song. You could substitute this for the hi-hat w/foot to mark the pulse.
There are plenty of variations in this section, but after learning the core rhythm you will be able to experiment freely with the concept. Enjoy!