John Stanier: Play These Loops!

A few months ago I turned 30 [Editor’s note: Remember, this was written in 1999]. This means absolutely nothing to me (not to mention the fact that everyone thinks I’m 24 – big deal) except that I remember a period a long long time ago called “The ’80s.” In the early part of that decade a lot of studio drummers freaked out because everyone thought machines were taking over. This was the era of Linn Drums, 808s, and – who could forget? – Simmons pads! Generally speaking, this was a pretty atrocious era in music, but I could never understand why people were so against programmed drums.

It’s 20 years later, and I’m still amazed at a lot of the attitudes musicians have towards sampled or looped drums. I think more people should be a little bit more open-minded when it comes to beats. In some ways I understand the purist attitude toward drums regarding the human element, but I can’t help but like something if it sounds good and makes me feel a certain way. After all, it’s all in the rhythm.

The following are some of the sickest loops I have ever heard, and I dare you to attempt to play them. Don’t forget to play these at the correct bpm. And good luck (you’ll need it).

DRUM! Notation Guide

john stanier