The ultimate in groove, feel and style, R & B has become extremely popular over the years and with good reason too. R & B drumming is all about playing tastefully.
R&B drummers don’t care to showcase how fast they can play or how hard they can hit. They just want to groove. If grooving is your thing, then R & B drumming lessons could be your thing as well.
R&B is also known as ‘soul music.’ This is because R & B musicians focus on putting themselves into their music, not just their talent. You can play a million miles per hour, but if you lack in the taste department, then your playing will falter.
A good reason to learn R & B styled drumming is not only to learn to groove more fluidly, but also to teach yourself when, and more importantly where to showcase your hard earned speed. Without a proper understanding of tastefulness, we end up with a bunch of drummers playing blast beats over everything, and although for some music that is okay, the majority of music believes otherwise.
First off before we get to our example, you have to learn that to be able to play with feel, you must first learn to control your feel. If you put too much power into your strokes and your accents blend seamlessly with your regular notes, I suggest you take time before approaching R & B drumming to learn to better control your power.
If you can’t keep time, you can’t groove. If you struggle to keep a steady rhythmic pulse, it is important that you practice with a metronome to build of your foundations.
As the drummer, you are not only the Keeper of the Tempo, you are also the instrument that all of the other voices tend to build off of. Keep this in mind when approaching this style, because if you are struggling, your fellow musicians will struggle as well.
This example is a fairly simple R & B groove. It may sound very familiar to you, as many musicians have capitalized upon this very groove.
Pay close attention to the notes, and more importantly their spacing. I gave a simple, two voice linear patterns that is meant for you to be able to build off of. Notice the dotted quarter note, and make sure to let the note ring to its full length.
If you don’t, your time signature will fall up short, as you will be an eight note of. This will not only throw you off, but as stated earlier, it will throw your fellow musicians off.
When adding fills or other voices keep in mind that R & B is about groove; don’t let yourself get too carried away, because if you add too many voices you will make the piece overly gaudy and sacrifice the feel. Heavily influenced by blues and funk, R & B has a similar goal; the expression of emotion. You want your listener to feel what you feel, to think what you think.
When adding further voices, mostly cymbals, try implementing different drumming rudiments, such as a flam or a drag tap. This will help you to tastefully spice up the piece.
Above all, have fun playing. Practice this piece at least an hour a day, adding your own voices and techniques. Soon you will be able to build it into something entirely new.
#1 – How to Hear a Funky Bass Pattern And Come Up With the Groove to Go Along
Have you ever wondered why some drummers could listen to a bass pattern or a guitar rhythm and miraculously come up with a groove that fits the music perfectly? We are going to show you how to do that exactly here…
#2 – R&B And Motown Beats And Exercises
If this is the first time you heard of motown, the name by itself does sound like a great deal. But what exactly are Motown drumbeats? They are patterns that sound upbeat and energetic and the best thing is that they aren’t difficult to play.
#3 – Let’s Get Ready to Rumble With the Go Go Beats Rhythm
The go-go beat is a sub-genre of funk music. The key to mastering the syncopation that is predominant in go-go rhythms is to take things slow and practice with a metronome.
#4 – Hip Hop Drum Beats And Exercises
The hip-hop style is strongly revolved around the bass guitar and drummer as they work hand in hand to create the underlying groove for the vocals. One of the most important thing to note is that the beat must be simple and consistent in nature so that focus is not taken away from the vocalist.
#5 – Half Time Groove Beats That You Can Use to Change the Feel of a Song
The ½ time groove is one of the best ways to take your drumming to a higher level. What does it mean? In essence, half time simply means that you divide the pulse of the groove by half.
#6 – Drumming Coordination Solutions to Increase Your Agility
Perhaps one of the most common problems that drummers face usually have to do with coordination of your limbs. Here’s a couple of exercises that you can do to increase limb independence and overall agility.
#7 – 4 Things to Help You Drum With Groove And Captivate Your Audience
In this lesson, I will be touching on details on creating your own drum beats, improvise with different techniques and help you spice up your playing. Let’s drum with groove now…
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