What are we learning?
In this episode of Learning Licks, we'll be breaking down the playing of Moses Boyd during a Moses Boyd Exodus Live set for Boiler Room. Moses is another player at the forefront of the London jazz scene and his paying in this clip will show you why!
I have written out an exercise sheet to help you to understand the concepts used to create this groove and it's variations, finishing with one of the many tasty fills that Moses plays in this performance! Please feel free to download this and refer back to your sheet music as we continue!
What is he playing?
The main groove (and a lot of the fills and variations) is based off of a 16th note sticking pattern between the bell of the ride and the snare drum. It's super important that the left hand on the snare is played as ghost notes, with the exception of beat '3' of every bar- giving the groove a back beat. For the most part, the sticking pattern remains the same but it's the orchestration that varies, for example in ex. #2 and #3 where we get the toms involved in the second half of the bar and in ex. #4 where there's a short linear pattern between the toms and bass drum!
In exercise #5, I have notated a 5 bar phrase from the song, where Moses plays combinations of 16th notes and 16th note triplets to create a dramatic build up back into the groove. Watch out for the ghost notes and experiment with allowing your dynamics to crescendo as you play the final groups of 16th note triplets on the snare before the groove continues.
Things to watch out for!
To play this groove convincingly, I would highly recommend starting with just the sticking pattern between your snare and ride bell and playing slowly with a metronome until you've built the muscle memory to add in your bass drum pattern (always played at the same time as a right hand on the bell) experiment with this and have some fun creating your own variations, as well as the ones on your sheet!
In the fill, the groups of 16th note triplets are best played as Paradiddle- Diddles, so if you are still working on this rudiment- take the time to get it solid and don't rush the process! Remember that this is a complex piece of drumming and practise makes permanent so it's worth nailing it slowly but correctly from the beginning!
Download the free drum transcription below, check out the playing of Moses Boyd and have some fun!
Transcription: Learning Licks- Moses Boyd Exodus