The Russian composer Igor Stravinsky once said that “Good composers borrow; great composers steal.” I bet the same could be true for drummers. I do know that there’s more to be learned by listening to drumming greats than by any other method. It’s also good to have someone show you the “how.” Saxophonist Michael Brecker showed the following to me. It’s the way that Elvin Jones used to play triplets around the drum set. First, Ex. 1 shows the most common way it’s done. Then, Ex. 2 shows how Elvin did it (note the sticking). Add accents for musical phrasing and spice — that’s nice!
Peter Erskine has played with Weather Report, Steps Ahead, and the Stan Kenton Orchestra, and holds an honorary doctor of music degree from Berklee College Of Music. http://petererskine.com