Friday, December 13, 2013

Groove o' the day: Tiki Fulwood — Red Hot Mama

Another GOTD by my favorite Funkadelic drummer, Tiki Fulwood. The tune is Red Hot Mama, from Standing On The Verge Of Getting It On, by Funkadelic, of course. The groove for the verse:

The song consists of a one-measure vamp on the verses, plus a two-measure chorus, played four times. As the song develops, Fulwood moves to the cymbal, and the bass drum part gets denser, with more variations. He also plays 8th notes on the hihat with his left foot when he plays the ride cymbal, which I haven't included in the notation:

The first thing young drummers learn to do to mature their funk feel, and distinguish themselves from those primitive rock & roll meatheads, is to accent the hihat, usually on the beat:

Once learned, it's easy to fall into doing this routinely, without thinking about the musical effect. But you can hear that on this song Fulwood plays his right hand dead even and strong, and it sounds great. For that matter, the ghost notes on the snare drum, the obsession du jour of Internet drummers, are entirely absent— aside from a few embellishments, and the fills, he plays the snare drum strongly on 2 and 4, with no filler. Also pay attention to the sound he's getting out of the snare drum; it's very strong, but it is definitely not the generic harsh crack currently in favor.

Audio after the break:

The intro to this is not entirely SFW, by the way:

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