Hot Licks: Double Bass On Record

Simon Phillips

As a teenager, Simon Phillips got his first big break playing for the stage production of Jesus Christ Superstar and has evolved into a first-call sideman for dozens of artists like The Who, Jeff Beck, and Judas Priest. He was obviously influenced by Billy Cobham’s style and large drum set, but he had a more rock-oriented sensibility.

Phillips played drums on Jeff Beck’s There And Back, which featured an insane double bass shuffle named “Space Boogie.” If playing a double bass shuffle is hard, playing one that alternates sections of 7/4 with 4/4 is even harder. Like Cobham, Phillips also plays open handed but leads his double bass patterns with his left foot. So in this regard, Phillips is more like a left-handed drummer playing a right-handed kit. Throughout this tune, he plays some ridiculous single stroke tom runs, and like Cobham on “Quadrant 4,” also plays a traditional jazz ride cymbal pattern on top of his double bass work.

DRUM! Notation Guide

Simon Phillips
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