By Terence Higgins Originally Published In DRUM! Magazine's April 2010 Issue
Like Maceo says, “Make it funky. Make it funky!” and with this simple funk-groove exercise you will soon gain a new approach to making it funky. If you listen to drummers like Melvin Parker and Jabo Starks (James Brown), or Jamal Thomas of Maceo Parker’s band, then you already know exactly how funky this groove really is. This groove is most commonly played with the right hand over the left hand, or with an alternating sixteenth-note sticking pattern on the hi-hats. Here we are going to take a different approach by leading with the left hand playing the sixteenth-note pattern on the hi-hats, and the right hand playing the snare drum and all of the crashes. The key is to get those sixteenths tight and even. This open-handed approach will certainly help improve your feel.
Terence Higgins is a long-standing member of the legendary Dirty Dozen Brass Band and one of New Orleans’ funkiest drummers, specializing in second line, funk, and R&B. He also leads his own funk band, Swampgrease. http://www.swampgrease.com