Ex 10-13 Creating cool & funky grooves
In most western music, the quarter-note pulse is the foundation for the flow of time, pretty much the basis of all rhythmic phrasing. The role of the snare drum has evolved to provide the backbeat in most forms of rock, funk and blues styles, and conventionally beats 2 and 4 of the bar are where the snare backbeats sit. But by moving the backbeats around, you can create some seriously funky grooves, and these displaced backbeats are common in funk tunes like Herbie Hancock’s ‘Chameleon’, or James Brown’s ‘Cold Sweat’. Moving the backbeats around can confuse the listener into thinking the downbeat of each bar is in a different place, so it’s very important that you remain fully aware of where the ‘1’ falls, whatever displacements you may be incorporating. Always practise with a click!
Example 10 is a practice groove. Concentrate on keeping an accented quarter-note pulse in the hi-hat line for an added challenge.
Example 11 is similar to the famous groove that Clyde Stubblefield played on the James Brown classic ‘Cold Sweat’.
Example 12 is essentially the ‘Amen Break’, from Gregory C Coleman’s groove on ‘Amen Brother’ by The Winstons – the most famously sampled break as heard in drum’n’bass grooves.
Example 13 is like David Garibaldi’s groove on Tower Of Power’s ‘Oakland Stroke’. This is an extreme example of backbeats being played anywhere but at beats 2 and 4 – so take it slowly!