» 2007 » September Respect The Groove

Archive for September, 2007

Dennis Chambers groove

Monday, September 24th, 2007

Last week while I was trolling YouTube for new drum videos I stumbled across the Dennis Chambers In The Pocket video of John Scofield’s So You Say. For those of you who want to hear and know deep pocket grooves, Dennis is the man to check out. Dennis kicks off the tune with the groove I’ve transcribed below. For reference, you can watch Dennis play the groove with John Scofield, Gary Grainger, and Jim Beard over at YouTube. You should also checkout the studio version of So You Say on John Scofield’s CD Blue Matter.

I’ve transcribed the opening 8 bars so you can play this one too. I played it through twice in my video: once at 80 bpm and then again more up tempo at 102 bpm. (It wasn’t until I finished the video that I realized that 102 is just a bit under the tempo Dennis plays it in his video. Oops!) Well, I think you get the idea.

A message about interpretation. The cowbell in this groove can make or break the feel. If you just pound out each cowbell note, you’re not going to get a very satisfying sound. Listen to the YouTube video closely to see how Dennis plays it and how I play it. I over emphasized the strong and weak hits a bit to make them clearer. Use your ears to pick up the subtle differences of the accented and non-accented notes. Good luck.

Choose your transcription:
On-screen chart
So You Say printable PDF

Copyright, Cultural Stagnation and the Amen Break

Friday, September 21st, 2007

The Amen Break. Even if you don’t know what that is, you’ve likely heard it countless times. This 4-bar drum break from the song “Amen, Brother” on the B side of the Grammy Award winning “Color Him Father” by The Winstons is the groove that has most frequently been sampled for use in Hip-Hop, Jungle, and so-called drum and bass music. It is still in wide use today. This commentary and analysis from Nate Harrison (the video, I’m certain, was added later to make the recording suitable for YouTube and therefore reach a wider audience) details the history of the Amen Break and the many artists who used samples of the break as the basis for new compositions. Harrison also looks into the ramifications of copyright law in relation to creativity and pop culture.

This is pretty informative. Give it a listen. (There’s nothing to see in the video except the vinyl spinning.) I think he’s right about the stifling of creativity under heavy copyright law.