Vinnie Amico of moe.: License To Jam

Groove Analysis

Moe. has been writing music for two decades, and in that time they’ve mastered the art of the jam, creating memorable songs evoking everything from modern pop to ’60s psychedelia that have all the ingredients one expects from their genre; funky grooves, good hooks, and lengthy guitar solos! Drummer Vinnie Amico brings much of the funk to the band offering some unusually angular, unpredictable grooves.

This track features a funky groove with an unusual hi-hat rhythm and a surprising snare note played on the ah of 3. There’s not much ghosting in the snare part so all the notes are played at a consistent volume. The second line of the transcription shows a simpler groove that Amico uses to let the rhythm breathe a bit. At the beginning of the guitar solo he changes his groove a little by playing all the &’s and ahs on his hi-hat and simplifies the snare part.

DRUM! Notation Guide

vinnie amico

For this song, Amico plays another unusual pattern with a normal snare note on count 2 but then shifts to a syncopated rhythm that accents the ah of 3 and the & of 4. The second line begins with the tasty fill he uses to lead into the next section, which is a bit reminiscent of the great yet underappreciated ’60s band Blind Faith. This part is played on the ride and uses a Latin-flavored tumbao pattern that places the dominant pulses on 1 ah (2) & 3 ah (4) &. The last section of this excerpt has offbeat snare and tom hits that do not follow the main guitar riff but instead offer a more interesting and contrasting rhythmic counterpoint to it. He ends this with a build into the guitar jam.

vinnie amico

For this melodic song, Amico plays a simple pop groove that complements the tune. The interesting stuff happens at the outro at 2:55. At this point a new angular guitar riff in 7/4 occurs and unlike the previous song, this time Amico plays the same rhythm on his snare and floor tom for a couple of measures. From this he launches into an odd groove on his kit that still suggests the rhythm guitar part while he adds subtle variations to it as the song slowly fades.

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