Tagged: steve gadd

Video: Making Linear Drum Loops in Reason 6

One of my most popular blog posts is the one I wrote a few years ago entitled “Linear Drumming for Dummies“.  It’s a concept made famous by Steve Gadd (he’s no dummy) and oddly enough, Wikipedia references this very blog when talking about the most widely discussed song featuring linear drumming, Paul Simon’s “50 Ways To Leave Your Lover”.

In the video below, I demonstrate how to create linear drum loops from non-linear sources. In this case, a straight forward indie rock loop. By using slice edit mode in Reason 6, along with ReDrum, I’m about to deconstruct and then build up an entirely new groove:

Rocking The EVOC

I had good intentions of recording a rather straight ahead, Gadd-esque linear drum loop. In fact, that’s pretty much what I had… before I reached for the vocoder:

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Old School Vocoder
Old School Vocoder

Loop #111

With a delay set to a dotted eighth note and the EVOC 20 filter (my SIGSALY is in the shop) heavy in the mix, I give you some tripped out, space funk.

The Settings
The Settings

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102 BPM

The Best Video I Couldn’t Embed

Earlier today I was unpacking some boxes of random percussion gear and stumbled across a frame drum that I’ve been neglecting for the past few years. I purchased this particular drum about ten years ago when I was studying South Indian music with the great Jamey Haddad.

After tuning up the drum and attempting to make my fingers translate complicated rhythmic phrases into actual music, I decided to Google Jamey to see what he’s been up to. When I left college, Jamey was touring with Paul Simon (drumming alongside Steve Gadd). Not a bad gig. Well, it turns out Jamey has relocated from NYC to his home town of Cleveland, Ohio. He still keeps a busy touring and teaching schedule and now has the luxury of recording his vast arsenal of drums and percussion from the comfort of his own home studio.

Jamey Haddad
Jamey Haddad

While checking out his website, I came across one of the best fifteen minute videos about music I’ve ever seen. In this brief clip, Jamey touches upon all of the important things that he passed on to me over a decade ago. I’d outline these things in more detail here but I think it’s better for you just to watch the video and take it from the man himself. Unfortunately, I’m not able to embed the video directly into my blog (and it doesn’t seem to be on youtube) but you can see it by clicking here and watching the first clip. Then, if you really want your mind blown, move on to the second clip (KOSA Performance). Live drum looping at its best.

The Paradiddle

Continuing my hugely successful rudiment series (0 comments and counting), today we take a look at one of my favorites:

The Paradiddle

Paradiddles
Paradiddles

I tend to think of the paradiddle as “the popular kid” of rudiments. Unlike less popular rudiments such as the ratamacue or the single drag, it’s the captain of the football team and the homecoming king. It’s class president and it just landed a full ride to Stanford. It dates all of the hot girls and never gets ID’d when buying beer. You want to hate it… but damnit, it looks and sounds good.

Here is a clip of Steve Gadd getting down with some paraddidles (and paradiddle-diddles).

Loop #46

Today’s loop is nothing but straight-up paradiddles (the exact same sticking shown in the example above). My right hand is on the ride cymbal (with some accents on the bell) while my left hand is on the snare with accents on two and four. I took great care in tuning the drums and placing the mics prior to recording, only to mix it to sound like it’s coming out of a clock radio.

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109 BPM

Linear drumming for dummies.

Steve Gadd - Linear Lifetime Achievement Award
Steve Gadd - Linear Lifetime Achievement Award

Linear drumming is a style of playing where no two limbs hit at the same time. These grooves are typically broken up between the snare, kick, hi hat and toms, creating a unique, lilting feel. One of the most popular examples of linear drumming is Steve Gadd’s performance on Paul Simon’s “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover”. If you really want to impress the guy behind the counter at Guitar Center (the one with the phonytail) with your mad drumming skills, be sure to get this beat under your belt:

50 Ways to Leave Your Lover
50 Ways to Leave Your Lover

Pop music and Guitar Centers aren’t the only places you can utilize linear beats. They also lend themselves well to funk music. David Garibaldi made the 70’s funkier (is that even possible?) with his slick, intricate linear grooves. Just check out some of his albums with Tower of Power, especially “Bump City” and “East Bay Grease”. With songs titles like “Social Lubrication” and “You Got To Funkifize”, I don’t feel the need to explain any further.

David Garibaldi - Linear fo' Life
David Garibaldi - Linear fo' Life

Loop #18

This beat originally started off as a very basic, 8th note linear groove…. then I decided to start playing with delays while mixing. I timed the delay to occur a dotted eighth note after the original attack, which resulted in an interesting, syncopated feel. To take it one step further, I panned the delay left to right (à la Stewart Copeland) and inserted a low pass filter.

Preview Here:

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Download the Logic session here. (40MB)

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83 BPM