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

Here at Reverb, we're excited to kick off another season of drum lessons with our good pal and excellent drummer Jordan West. Last season, Jordan explored grooves from drummers like Steve Gadd and Stanton Moore, as well as how to use auxiliary tools along with the drums, like a looper pedal and a Roland SPD-SX sample pad.

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. One of Jordan's favorite drummers, John Robinson has a long and impressive resume, featuring work with artists like Michael Jackson, Natalie Cole, Madonna, Daft Punk, Lionel Richie, and Eric Clapton, just to name a few.

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. Once players feel confident with the basic beat, Jordan explains and demonstrates how the triplet feel of the rhythm is built out by doubling your hits and bringing your right hand over for the backbeat.

Jordan also demonstrates some flourishes that she likes to use, like keeping the hi-hat open on the off-beat. She also notes that when playing the groove straight, it's best to keep the ghost notes as soft as possible, but when going into a fill, it can be fun to bring the ghost notes up and use them as transitions.

Be sure to watch the full lesson above, and stay tuned for another drum lesson with Jordan West next Thursday right here on Reverb.


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