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Wally Schnalle: Linear Grooves

Back somewhere in the 1980s it became somewhat in vogue to play “linear grooves.” And as with all fads, it was overworked for a while, but it left its mark. Most good drummers have been playing a combination of linear and what I call “harmonic” playing from the invention of the drum set. Linear drumming involves playing only a single instrument at a time — just like whistling a melodic line (it’s rather tricky to whistle two notes at a time). Harmonic drumming involves playing two or more instruments simultaneously. Think about what you play in a normal groove. It’s usually some combination of both of these concepts. But you may not have thought about the linear approach previously, so here are a few grooves I like playing that should help get your creative juices flowing.

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