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

Last week, Jordan West kicked off the second season of her Drum Lessons series with a lesson on John Robinson's "When Love Comes to Town." This week, she's 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 and was featured prominently on the group's song "Prehistoric Rhythm," off their 1970 self-titled album. It has since become a popular beat among drummers not only for its funkiness but also its versatility.

With all of the various ways the beat can be played and interpreted, Jordan demonstrates a few different approaches in her lesson. She first shows the standard, very linear way of playing the groove, which just involves using the snare to fill in the gaps without any overlapping left- and right-handed hits. Played this way, the groove sounds clean, with a paradiddle-like feel.

Jordan, however, prefers David Garibaldi's interpretation, which involves adding a little ghost note with his left hand that overlaps with both the kick and the hit-hat. This makes the groove more difficult to play, but it sounds much funkier and more dimensional.

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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