Practically any place modern drummers place the hi hat in ostinato situations can trace its roots to Max Roach.
Why? It was Max who was the “grandfather” of odd meters. Want to play in 3? There’s a Max beat for that. 5? 6? 7? Check!
Which brings me to the primary subject of this week’s lesson: why does it sometimes feel awkward to play the hi hats on “2 and 4”? (This is a question I got asked in Thailand.) The reason, I realized, is that sometimes you have to play phrases that don’t conform neatly to 4 beats. Well then, where are you supposed to play the hats?
I dealt with this issue somewhat in the lesson “How to (Really) Play Jazz Drums”, and I have templates for it in my course, but it wasn’t until recently that I realized all these “logical” ways of playing the hi hat have analogs in Max Roach beats. Could studying Max be a shortcut to comping in modern music situations? As a student of Marcus Gilmore and Justin Brown, I have to say of course.
Anyway, you’re probably here for the transcription.
And for the comment thread this week, what challenges you when you’re trying to play backbeat grooves like Keith Carlock, Jojo/Mark/Zach (the KimYe or BenIfer of our time?) or Nate Wood? I’m doing the first of my collaborations of this fall/winter with Gabe of the excellent channel Drum Beats Online, and we want to tackle phrasing in modern backbeats. Hit me with your questions!