A lot of rock drummers don’t get a chance to play a waltz. Because jazz drummers are more exposed to African-influenced styles, it is more common to play meters in three or six. Playing in three or six always grooves more when you imply two or four with it. My approaches to most dance-style waltzes fall somewhere between basic backbeats on 2 and 3 combined with a finesse we find in jazz styles. When we play around with placing the backbeat in different places, we make it more musical and “conversational,” which gives the other bandmembers more interactive opportunity. Have fun with the form. Repeat and play A and B sections how you like. You can swing it, play it straight, or phrase somewhere in-between to fit your style.
Medeski Martin And Wood drummer BILLY MARTIN (aka illy B) has recorded more than 60 albums with Bob Moses, Iggy Pop, John Scofield, The Lounge Lizards, Dave Burrell, and many others. billymartin.net