Basic Beats: Louie Bellson

Basics of Contemporary Beats and a Classic Bellson Solo

By Louie Bellson Published December 7, 2009

Video Clips from The Musical Drummer (DVD), by Louie Bellson

Louie Bellson is one of drumming's greatest legends. He pioneered the double bass drum set while still a teenager. In a career spanning 60 years he performed with the greatest twentieth century musicians such as Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Ella Fitzgerald and hundreds more. He appeared on hundreds of recordings and became famed as a composer, and wrote more than a dozen drum and percussion books, including " />The Musical Drummer.

In Video 1 he demonstrates a basic pattern with a backbeat on 2 and 4 that works in a wide range of contemporary music. Video 2 is a treat—an absolutely killer Bellson solo. Check it out. Both clips are from The Musical Drummer (DVD).

Louie Bellson clip #1

Louie Bellson, clip #2

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About The Author
Referred to by jazz critic Leonard Feather as "one of the most phenomenal drummers in history," the late Louie Bellson had a reputation for expressing himself on the drum from the time he was three years old. He played and/or recorded with such greats as Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Benny Goodman, Tommy Dorsey, Harry James and many others. As a prolific composer/arranger, his compositions and arrangements spanned a broad spectrum of music from jazz to symphonic works. He was one of the pioneer instrumental and band clinicians, giving selflessly to the music education community, and was the author of a number of books on drums and percussion.

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