Copyright, Cultural Stagnation and the Amen Break

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.

Omar Hakim groove

April 21st, 2007

This is the opening day groove for Respect the Groove. This came from a tape of what I believe is Kazumi Watanabe with Omar Hakim This is the main groove of Molasses Run from the Weather Report Procession album. I first heard this on a tape that my friend Nathan Norman gave me many years ago. It’s still one of my favorite grooves. Thanks, Nathan!

I’ve found that you get the best feel when you emphasize the beats on the hi-hat. Also, adding ghost notes on the snare will help move it along too. And although Omar plays the two accented snare hits on beat four in the first measure with the left hand, I like the extra bite you get from using your right hand to play it. How about you? Let me know which works best for you.

Launch Day

April 18th, 2007

Welcome to Respect the Groove. The website that helps you get in the groove.

Every type of music has groove. And every type of music can fall victim to ego, poor time, bad interpretation, etc. When these factors become part of the mix, groove is compromised. No matter what kind of music you play or what instrument you play, groove is essential to making the music work. RespectTheGroove.com is where drummers and other musicians can go to get back to what makes music feel good to all involved.

Why “Respect the Groove“? Without a clear respect and understanding of the groove for any particular song, the music suffers. Therefore, you must … Respect the Groove.

I will be periodically posting examples and analysis of new, old, simple, complex, and sometimes unusual grooves. Feel free to comment, copy, re-edit, or discuss in the forum (coming soon) on the examples.

Thanks for stopping by,
Lee Jeffryes

P.S. On Saturday April 21 I”m teaching a clinic to high school students about rudiments in drumset playing and groove. The official launch of RTG is that clinic. I”ll be giving away the first RTG shirts and generally spreading the word that a groove reference site is available.

Original RTG Welcome Screen