Stanton Moore: Playing Over The Shoulder

Galactic was recently on the road with the Sno Core tour featuring Les Claypool’s Fearless Flying Frog Brigade, Lake Trout, and Drums And Tuba. There was a lot of cross-pollination and many musicians sitting in with each other’s bands. Some nights we would get either Jay Lane from the Frog Brigade, Mike Lowrey of Lake Trout, or Tony Nozero of Drums and Tuba. They would sit down behind the drums and I would play floor tom and either ride cymbal, a second hi-hat, cowbell, mixing bowl, tambourine, or anything else I could find to hit with my right hand.

The following are examples of some Mardi Gras Indian-influenced grooves between the right and left hand. They sound great over a funk or street beat groove with another drummer sitting in on the kit.

These grooves also work well when sitting down at the drum kit. You could play the left hand on the snare with a cross-stick and put the right hand on the floor tom, cowbell, tambourine, etcetera. You could play the baion bass drum pattern when you play this way.

I developed these grooves by doing this style of “playing over the shoulder” with my friend Kevin O’Day. There were many nights in New Orleans where I walked into a club and he’d be playing. He would call me up on stage to play over his shoulder until we switched places mid-song. Then I would sit in at the kit and he would play over my shoulder.

This style of double drumming can be a lot of fun. Try it out with a drumming buddy and remember not to overdo it. Think of this as more of a percussive supporting role than as a drum solo.

stanton moore