Most Important Grooves?

MattRitter

Senior Member
I would assume that you try to accommodate students with specific requests though, at least at some level.
Absolutely! For example, I will sometimes have a person come in who really only wants to learn jazz. That requires a whole different curriculum. However, nearly all students want to play rock, with some people occasionally mentioning funk, hip-hop, etc. These styles are all pretty much based on quarter note grooves, 8th note grooves, 16th note grooves, and 6/8 grooves. So, by focusing on those rhythms, I can cover a lot of ground and work with students of varying interests. But yes, you are correct that each student must be treated individually. As an instructor, we need to consider not only the goals of the student, but also the student's personal strengths, weaknesses, and learning style.

I also teach some very young kids, which also makes it work a little differently, haha :)
You can say that again! I used to teach people of all ages. However, I found that teaching young children was radically different than all of my other work as a teacher. I eventually concluded that it wasn't really for me, so I now only work with students who are at least 12 years old. Most of my students are actually full-grown adults between the ages of 20 and 50. I guess you could say I'm specializing now!

Out of curiosity (I'm working on developing and solidifying my own curriculum) is there any chance that I could see some of your teaching material? Are you writing your own, or do you use other people's texts?
My curriculum is not currently based off of anything that is written down. Keep in mind that I started teaching in 1996, and generally do about 20 lessons per week. I have worked with about 500 students. With this type of volume over so many years, I have inevitably developed a system that is uniquely my own. It's a gradual thing that probably happens with most teachers after they've been at it for a decade or more. Of course, I do use books. My current favorites for teaching are The New Breed, Syncopation, and Understanding Rhythm. But these books are really just an adjunct to my core arsenal of exercises and teaching ideas, which are stored in my head. These exercises generally involve playing basic grooves and shifting the various elements to all of the different counts. I want my students to be comfortable putting the bass anywhere in the measure. I want them to be just as comfortable crashing on the "& of 2" as they are crashing on the 1.

It certainly sounds like a fairly unique approach, and its cool that you got some of the top guys to support it. Heck, If Garibaldi, Smith, Formularo, and others learned from it, I know I'll pick up a lot!
I hope you enjoy the DVD. Let me know if you ever have questions about any of the material in it. Best of luck!
 

toddbishop

Platinum Member
For jazz drummers:

swing
- slow (triplet and implied double time feel), medium, and up; w/sticks and brushes, swing, bop and modern interpretation
- shuffle
- 3/4

ballad
- moderate/swing
- straight 8th
- 12/8 feel

latin
- generic latin/mambo
- bossa
- samba
- afro 6/8
- calypso
- rhumba/bolero
- Elvin Jones afro; 3/4 and 4/4

other
- ECM; 4/4 and 3/4
- Blue Note
- New Orleans street beat
- generic funk; 4/4 and half-time feel
 

LukeSnyder

Gold Member
Absolutely! For example, I will sometimes have a person come in who really only wants to learn jazz. That requires a whole different curriculum. However, nearly all students want to play rock, with some people occasionally mentioning funk, hip-hop, etc. These styles are all pretty much based on quarter note grooves, 8th note grooves, 16th note grooves, and 6/8 grooves. So, by focusing on those rhythms, I can cover a lot of ground and work with students of varying interests. But yes, you are correct that each student must be treated individually. As an instructor, we need to consider not only the goals of the student, but also the student's personal strengths, weaknesses, and learning style.
I really like the idea of focusing on those core grooves, but using them in a broad application. Its sort of a top down approach, which I always like, haha. However, it does allow for treating students individually, as you said.

You can say that again! I used to teach people of all ages. However, I found that teaching young children was radically different than all of my other work as a teacher. I eventually concluded that it wasn't really for me, so I now only work with students who are at least 12 years old. Most of my students are actually full-grown adults between the ages of 20 and 50. I guess you could say I'm specializing now!
Its definitely a different world, I rather enjoy it though. I guess I'm "specialized" in teaching kids more than older students, haha. Every day presents its unique difficulties and opportunities, sometimes you have to struggle to get their attention, and other times they ask questions nonstop!

My curriculum is not currently based off of anything that is written down. Keep in mind that I started teaching in 1996, and generally do about 20 lessons per week. I have worked with about 500 students. With this type of volume over so many years, I have inevitably developed a system that is uniquely my own. It's a gradual thing that probably happens with most teachers after they've been at it for a decade or more. Of course, I do use books. My current favorites for teaching are The New Breed, Syncopation, and Understanding Rhythm. But these books are really just an adjunct to my core arsenal of exercises and teaching ideas, which are stored in my head. These exercises generally involve playing basic grooves and shifting the various elements to all of the different counts. I want my students to be comfortable putting the bass anywhere in the measure. I want them to be just as comfortable crashing on the "& of 2" as they are crashing on the 1.
Thats impressive to me, I have to keep my curriculum written down to make sure I don't stuff, haha. In fact, I'm in the process of compiling it all together in book form. I don't have the experience yet to rely on my own memory, I hope some day to reach that level, haha.

I hope you enjoy the DVD. Let me know if you ever have questions about any of the material in it. Best of luck!
Thanks Matt! Do a lot of drum stores have the DVD in stock? Or would I have to order through you?
 

LukeSnyder

Gold Member
For jazz drummers:

swing
- slow (triplet and implied double time feel), medium, and up; w/sticks and brushes, swing, bop and modern interpretation
- shuffle
- 3/4

ballad
- moderate/swing
- straight 8th
- 12/8 feel

latin
- generic latin/mambo
- bossa
- samba
- afro 6/8
- calypso
- rhumba/bolero
- Elvin Jones afro; 3/4 and 4/4

other
- ECM; 4/4 and 3/4
- Blue Note
- New Orleans street beat
- generic funk; 4/4 and half-time feel
Thanks Todd! Thats a great list, it fills in a lot of "gaps" in my concept of important grooves. I've forgotten about a bunch of the grooves on there, like Calypso. Thank you very much for reminding me!
 

MattRitter

Senior Member
Thanks Matt! Do a lot of drum stores have the DVD in stock? Or would I have to order through you?
Sure, plenty of drum stores carry it. Here in NYC, it is carried by two local shops plus Sam Ash, which is a national chain. However, I always try to make sure that my personal website offers the lowest price...generally at least $10 less than the other vendors. When the time comes for you to actually buy it, shop around, and be sure to check my site since that will probably be the lowest price. Thanks for the support! Hope you enjoy it.
 

LukeSnyder

Gold Member
Sure, plenty of drum stores carry it. Here in NYC, it is carried by two local shops plus Sam Ash, which is a national chain. However, I always try to make sure that my personal website offers the lowest price...generally at least $10 less than the other vendors. When the time comes for you to actually buy it, shop around, and be sure to check my site since that will probably be the lowest price. Thanks for the support! Hope you enjoy it.
Very cool, I'll probably pick it up through my favorite local store, but if they don't have it, I'll just order from your website. I'm sure it will improve my footwork drastically, can't wait to get into it!
 
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