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

Last week, we caught up with Jordan West at Rax Trax Studios for her lesson on the jazz drum great Steve Gadd's famous "flutter lick." This week, our series continues with Jordan teaching how to play the drum part from The Meters' "Cissy Strut."

"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 above, Meters drummer Zigaboo Modeliste's original groove is more nuanced than the straight-laced way it's often played by others.

"It's not wrong—there are no wrong notes in jazz. But... technically it's wrong," Jordan says. Luckily for us, she's here to correct that.

Jordan slows the groove way down for us and breaks it into two parts, the A and B sections. She suggests that drummers work on perfecting each part alone before putting them together and speeding them up. After the lesson, Jordan plays us out to "Cissy Strut," demonstrating how mixing it up with some of the variations that Zigaboo intended can remind us of why we fell in love with the song in the first place.

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