Drum Lessons with Jordan West: Reverb Learn to Play

Jordan West is a multi-talented drummer, singer, and songwriter. She's an LA-based studio musician, a drummer for hire, and the leader of her band Trackless.

Here at Reverb, we've partnered with Jordan to bring you a series of drum lessons that cover famous beats from all styles of music. From funky breaks to complicated jazz licks, Jordan will take them apart and walk you through each hit.

Check out the ongoing series below, and if you'd like to be notified of future episodes as they become available, please share your email address.

Season One

Learn to Play: Steve Gadd's "Flutter Lick" Drum Lesson with Jordan West

Gadd's flutter lick is played on the kick, snare, and hi-hat and sounds a lot like a spread-out paradiddle, with a lot of similar double-stroke techniques. Throughout his career, Gadd has played this lick in a variety of unique ways, but today, Jordan is focusing on the basics at the core of the groove.

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Learn to Play: The Meters' "Cissy Strut" Drum Lesson with Jordan West

"Cissy Strut" is a classic funk groove you've likely heard a million times, and perhaps have even tried to play yourself. But, as Jordan explains and demonstrates in the video, Meters drummer Zigaboo Modeliste's original groove is more nuanced than the straight-laced way it's often played by others.

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Learn to Play: A Stanton Moore New Orleans-Style Drum Lesson with Jordan West

With a nod to the Mardi Gras festivities raging in New Orleans this week, Jordan is breaking down a NOLA-style Stanton Moore beat. This beat can easily be played straight if that's the kind of style that you prefer. But the vibe in which she's going to be playing and teaching it is the swampy, New Orleans second line-style that Stanton Moore is most known for.

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Learn to Play: Carter Beauford-Style Herta Drum Fill Lesson with Jordan West

A founding member and drummer for Dave Matthews Band, Carter Beauford is known for his fluid drumming style that incorporates ambidextrous drumming techniques to get around the kit. Complementing his open-handed style is a penchant for herta drum fills—the characteristic of his playing that Jordan West is going to be zeroing in on today.

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Learn to Play: Using Drums and a Looper with Jordan West

For today's lesson, Jordan isn't teaching a specific drummer's style—rather, she's demonstrating how any drummer (regardless of genre or style) can use a looper to create something unique. What Jordan is focused on looping and layering today is vocals.

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Live Sampling with the Roland SPD-SX: Drum Lesson with Jordan West

Out of all of Jordan West's Thursday drum lessons from the past several weeks, it would be hard to single out a favorite. But that said, she's ending the series today with a really fun tutorial. Rather than teaching a specific riff or a famous artist's drum style, Jordan shows us one of the coolest things you can do with a Roland SPD-SX Percussion Sampling Pad.

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Season Two

Learn to Play: John Robinson's "When Love Comes to Town" Drum Lesson with Jordan West

Kicking off all that Jordan has in store for us this season is an episode exploring John Robinson's groove from "When Love Comes to Town" on Herbie Hancock's star-studded album, Possibilities. After tuning up the drums over at Shirk Studios in Chicago, Jordan starts her lesson by stripping Robinson's groove down to its bare bones.

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Learn to Play: The "King Kong" Drum Lesson with Jordan West

This week, Jordan is breaking down and teaching some variations on the "King Kong" drum groove. The beat was first created by Redbone drummer Peter Last Walking Bear DePoe. It has since become a popular beat among drummers not only for its funkiness but also its versatility.

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Learn to Play: 6/8 Latin Beat Drum Lesson with Jordan West

According to Jordan, this 6/8 groove is a "guilty pleasure" of hers, as she finds herself working it into almost everything she plays. The alternative time signature makes it sound super polyrhythmic and dynamic, even when it's played in a standard way without ghost notes.

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Learn to Play: Paradiddle-Diddle Drum Lesson with Jordan West

This week, Jordan is back with another paradiddle-focused lesson—this time, on how to play a paradiddle-diddle rudiment. Because of its versatility, the paradiddle-diddle is one of the rudiments that Jordan turns to most often in her playing, incorporating it especially into quick fills.

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Learn to Play: Single Stick Double Hi-Hat Drum Lesson with Jordan West

After two paradiddle-focused lessons—the first on a paradiddle-esque 6/8 Latin groove and the second on the paradiddle-diddle rudiment—drummer Jordan West is dedicating episode three to teaching players a useful technique for playing 32nd notes on the hi-hat with one hand.

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