Beat Breakdown #27 - Richard Spaven - Spin

What are we learning?
In this episode of Beat Breakdown, we’re going to be looking at the drums to the live version of Richard Spaven and Jordan Rakei- Spin, played for Spaven’s performance on Vic Firth. This one is a 160 bpm banger with a super fast hi-hat ostinato and a lot of syncopated snare and kick patterns. The concept behind this groove is pretty simple in theory but it’s definitely one of the most difficult things I’ve learnt in ages and getting it up to speed was a real challenge. Start slow and get used to the groove before you gradually increase your tempo!

Break it down.
The hi hat ostinato is 2 16th notes followed by an 8th note, counted 1e+ 2e+ 3e+ 4e+. Within this pattern Spaven plays some super creative phrasing ideas between his snare and bass drum, follow through the notation and work out each bar one at a time really nice and slow, paying particular attention to which notes are played with or against the hi hat rhythm. Some of the bass drum phrases are really fast so again, it’s all about going slowly at first to build up some muscle memory and then gradually pushing it up there. Something that took me a little while to get used to is that the hi hat is accented on the ‘and’, this is subtle but helps to tie the groove together, this is more difficult to play than it appears so learning this will be a great exercise for your dynamic control! I have notated the main 8 bar phrase twice (the second time has the repeat symbol) with the only difference being the snare drum on the ‘1e’ of the very first bar. The first time round you don’t need to play it, but every other time it’s important to put it in their to finish off the snare phrase going over the bar line!

Download the notation below for free and have a go for yourself!

Notation: Beat Breakdown #27 - Richard Spaven - Spin