Gil Sharone: Riding The Bell

In this lesson we're going to look at a staple hi-hat variation from Lloyd Knibb of The Skatalites. This is a Latin influenced pattern Knibb played on the bell of the hi-hat to add movement and spice to the ska feel.

For readers who are unfamiliar with the sound of this pattern, listen to Neil Peart play a similar variation on Rush's "YYZ." The difference is that the push and pull of the ska feel doesn't change, but instead keeps a swung foundation while the straight bell pattern is played on top.

Ex. 1 is the basic ska beat. Be sure to pay attention to your hi-hat on 2 and 4 while playing the bell pattern in Ex. 2. Finally, we combine the ska beat with the riding bell pattern in Ex. 3. I can't overstress the importance of listening to the original recordings from this era, especially by The Skatalites. You'll hear this pattern all over the place.

gil sharone
gil sharone
chad smith