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

For last week's drum lesson, Jordan broke down a drum groove called the "King Kong" beat, first popularized in the 1970s by Redbone. The groove is very paradiddle-like when played straight, but Jordan also taught drummer David Garibaldi's interpretation, which works in ghost notes for a funkier rhythm.

This week, Jordan is back with another groove that gets funkier with added ghost notes. 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.

As Jordan demonstrates, the standard grove is broken into three main components: the right hand is generally played on the ride cymbal, the back beat is played with the left hand, and the kick can be played in either a 4/4 or 6/8 feel. Once players are comfortable with this, Jordan demonstrates how you can start incorporating ghost notes around the kit for added nuance.

Follow along with Jordan's full lesson above, and stay tuned for another drum lesson next Thursday right here on Reverb.


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