Matt Byrne: A Metalhead Funks It Up

By Matt Byrne

Originally posted in DRUM! Magazine's April 2005 Issue

Some time ago, I read a book that is essential for any aspiring drummer to have as part of his/her library — Jim Payne’s Give The Drummers Some. It highlights some of the greatest drummers spanning the funk, R&B, and soul genres of music. Being in a straightforward metal band, you might not expect me to be interested in types of players. I can only say this: to be the best drummer you can be, you have give respect to all genres of music, and immerse yourself in all styles of playing.

That being said, let’s pay homage to a basic funk beat. These are three examples of a basic paradiddle between the feet and hands. The first example leads with the foot, the second with the hand. The third example is the same pattern as the first, however the hi-hat is cut to half time and the accents and ghosts are different.

To really feel the pocket, it’s all about executing the ghost notes and the accents. In these examples they are written on the snare, but try displacing the ghost notes throughout the beat on the hi-hat, ride, or kick drum. Funk drumming is all about having a really strong backbeat and a deep pocket. Relax, have fun with it, and for God’s sake, go buy that book!

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