BY STANTON MOORE | FROM THE WINTER 2018 ISSUE OF DRUM!
In this lesson, we’ll cover a few go-go-inspired beats that I’ve come up with over the years. Go-go is a regional style of funk that developed in the Washington D.C. area. If you’re not yet familiar with go-go make sure to check out Chuck Brown and Trouble Funk for starters.
Ex. 1 is a fairly linear approach to go-go, but is probably not what you would play in a traditional go-go situation. We wrote a tune around this beat and named it “Go-Go,” and it became the first tune on Galactic’s first record. On the record I played the right hand on a muffled snare with the snares turned off, but here I’ve written it with the right hand on cowbell.
Ex. 2 is a more straightforward approach to go-go. The right hand plays straight eighth-notes while coming from the hi-hat to the snare on beats 2 and 4. The left hand plays the syncopated cowbell part.
As I felt comfortable with this groove, I inadvertently started adding doubles on the right (Ex. 3), and then got a little more adventurous with some open hi-hat notes on the left hand (Ex. 4).
In Ex. 5, we “Garibald-ize” these ideas by adding Swiss triplets where it makes sense.
Once you get comfortable with these, try moving the left hand between different sound sources within the same bar with the goal of sounding like you are a percussionist accompanying yourself.
STANTON MOORE is the drummer of New Orleans funk band Galactic. His 2010 book/DVD Groove Alchemy explores the roots of funk drumming, and in 2016 he launched his own subscription-based instructional website StantonMooreDrumAcademy.com.