Groove Workshop: Josh Freese Hot Licks

“Can’t Change Me” from Euphoria Morning by Chris Cornell
Chris Cornell’s solo album Euphoria Morning features Josh Freese playing a number of cool drum parts that cleverly support the songs. In the song “Can’t Change Me,” he plays an odd time tom-tom groove in 15/8 during the Middle Eastern flavored intro and at several other points of the tune. During the choruses he plays a similar tom groove but at this point it’s in 12/8. During the verses and the rest of the song he plays a simpler hi-hat groove that’s unobtrusive and works easily.

Josh Freese

“Bring Me to Life” from Fallen by Evanescence
Evanescence’s debut Fallen features Freese’s unique stamp on every track. The first single, “Bring Me to Life,” has a two-bar pattern in the verse that feels semi-polyrhythmic, which proves that you don’t have to play something dumb for a song destined for radio. The bass drum plays a shuffle pattern under the snare backbeat up to beat 4 of the first measure, where it shifts an eighth-note later and continues the pattern over the bar line. Freese plays the chorus groove on his ride cymbal giving the sections a little lift and then plays a related half-time beat on his ride cymbal in the bridge, crashing with the snare to emphasize the laidback feel.

Josh Freese

“Emotionless” from The Young and The Hopeless by Good Charlotte
We see another side of Freese’s tasteful playing on Good Charlotte’s “Emotionless” – an introspective shoe-gazing ballad. Freese keeps this slow tempo interesting by playing brushes on his snare for the verses with a syncopated accent on the ah of 1 with his kick and the & of 2 on the snare. On the chorus he offers a simple Manchester/boogaloo groove on the ride.

Josh Freese
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