Learning Licks #12 - Grizzly Bear

What are we learning?
Grizzly Bear are one of my all time favourite bands so I was stoked to notate this one! Chris Bear plays like no other drummer with an almost orchestral approach to his grooves and fills, drawing upon all the different textures that the kit has to offer. This is demonstrated brilliantly in the ender to their ‘Shields’ album, ‘Sun In Your Eyes’. I have notated the album version of the track but when played live, Chris Bear improvises his fills differently each time- check out the video above!

What is he playing?
These licks are based around 16th note triplets with a combination of RLL and RLRL stickings with a lot of different ghost note and accent combinations! My advice for this one would be to listen to the track a few times and just lock in with Chris Bears loose and fluid way of playing, it’s all about the feel! Once you have learnt the first 4 bars of the chorus, you’re almost there! The following bars repeat the same rhythmic ideas but with a few variations along the way!

Things to watch out for!
Throughout all of the 16th note triplet fills, Chris Bear is keeping time with an 8th note stepped hi-hat, this coordination can be quite difficult if you’re not used to it. A good exercise to help with this is playing an 8th note stepped hi-hat and going between 8th notes, 8th note triplets, 16th notes and 16th note triplets as a single stroke roll (RLRL) over the top. This will help you to get familiar with the way that the different note values work together.

Download the notation below and have a go!

Notation: Learning Licks - Grizzly Bear

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