What are we learning?
In this episode of Beat Breakdown, I’ll be breaking down the intro groove to Ezra Collective- Mace Windu Riddim. The drummer on the track, Femi Kolioso, is killing the jazz scene in London at the moment and this groove perfectly demonstrates why.
Break it down.
This beat takes influence from drum and bass grooves, such as the classic ‘Amen Break’, and puts it into an uptempo, jazz setting. There is a snare back beat on ‘2’ and ‘4’ and 8th notes on the hats with some fast doubles on the bass drum and a lot of ghost note variations!
To get this beat down, I’d focus on playing ghost note variations on the snare, particularly focusing on playing pull out stokes (ghost notes leading into the back beat). Books such as ‘The Break Beat Bible’ and ‘Groove Alchemy’ are filled with wicked exercises focused on this and would be great resources for any drummers looking to improve on this style of playing!
Some things to watch out for are the 32nd notes on the snare at the end of most bars, this can be played as a double stroke with your left hand, leading into the next bar. There is also an extra hi hat played on the ‘a of 1’ during the groove, to get this down, practise playing similar grooves and matching your hi hat to your bass drum pattern. Whilst it can sound quite subtle, it can be difficult to get the coordination down if it’s a new concept for you!
Once you’ve got the groove down, also have a go at improvising with the ideas and creating your own grooves based on the playing of Femi Kolioso! Notation below!