Bagby Triplets

By Danny Gottlieb Originally Published In DRUM! Magazine's July 2010 Issue

We recently lost a legendary drummer and icon of the Miami jazz scene. His name was Steve Bagby, and he was a big influence on any drummer who attended the University Of Miami during the past 30 years. I was lucky enough to have studied with Steve way back in the ’70s, when I attended UM as an undergrad. I often heard him play with Ira Sullivan, Joe Diorio, and the Bakers Dozen big band. I remember one triplet pattern he played for me, which he mentioned was similar to things he enjoyed in Tony Williams’ playing. I never forgot the lick, and we’ll never forget Steve. I mention it in his honor. It’s basically triplets played between the hands, with the middle note on the bass drum. Ex. 1 starts with two bars of time, followed by the triplet exercise played between the floor tom and snare. Ex. 2 moves the hands between the floor and rack toms. Ex. 3 substitutes the hi-hat for the bass drum. Ex. 4 uses one bar of bass drum on the middle beat, one bar of hi-hat. It’s a fun little pattern that can be used to great effect. And as Steve would encourage, please use these basic rhythms to develop your own musical ideas.

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