Matt Cameron: King Animal Grooves

matt cameron

Photo: Ross Halfin

Soundgarden fans will be very happy that the band is back together, has a new record, and that drummer Matt Cameron is doing what he does best: creating interesting drum parts for tricky songs.

“Black Saturday”

The drums come in with a funky groove for the 4/4 chorus of this song. The verse at 1:12 is something else entirely, cycling meters from 7/8 to 6/8 and then 4/4. As always, Cameron creates parts that make all these changing meters groove and never feel odd.

DRUM! Notation Guide

matt cameron

“By Crooked Steps”

The drums enter this song (which Cameron wrote) with a simple yet slamming groove in 5/4. It’s not hard as odd-time grooves go, so it might be a good one to learn if you’ve been afraid to swim in the deep end of the pool.

matt cameron {pagebreak}

“Worse Dreams”

Transcribing this challenging song was a bit of a nightmare with its virtual obstacle course of changing time signatures. The 15/8 verse drum groove is based on a hemiola (3:2 polyrhythm). It has a steady rim-click pulse on the eighth-notes with a dotted quarter-note bass drum pattern underneath; the sixteenths Cameron plays on the hi-hat serve to glue everything together. From here it gets trickier, with shifting bars of 3/4, 4/4, and 21/16 before returning to the comparatively simpler 15/8 groove. If you space the sixteenth-notes evenly while attempting this, you should emerge unscathed.

matt cameron

Click here to read our exclusive interview with Matt Cameron about the making of King Animal.