Author: Garibaldi, David
Date published: January 1, 2012
I'd like to share with you some simple ideas that evolved from a jam session at a soundcheck with. Tower of Power. These grooves felt so good that I thought I'd pass them on.
On the road, we usually have a fairly routine schedule-at least as routine as it can be while roarning around the world in a funk band. Generally, we do three to five shows in a row followed by a day off, which is usually spent traveling to a faraway city for the next series of shows. Each day there's a memo (the "Sheet of Lies") listing the following day's events: departure time, crew schedule, band schedule, soundcheck time, dinner and show times, and so on. We travel regularly on show days, unless we have to go a particularly long distance. In that case, we travel overnight on our tour bus.
Believe it or not, we still rehearse. This usually happens at soundcheck, which for us is a combination of a traditional soundcheck, a rehearsal (if necessary), and a jam. We're always working on our music-whether that's tweaking arrangements, learning new songs to be added to the live show, or developing ideas for songs to be recorded. The daily jam has been going on since my first day in the band and has provided us with source material for many of our songs. It's an important part of the inner workings of Tower of Power.
Here are some of the grooves that developed out of one of these jams. Example 1 is the basic idea, and Examples 2-9 are variations. Examples 10 and 11 are some extra things that weren't part of this particular jam, but they're pretty cool. As always, the key elements here are patience and precision. If necessary, disregard the tempo markings and focus on making the exercises comfortable for you. Practicing with a metronome is a must, and you should make sure that your ghost strokes are light and transparent.
Just in case you've forgotten (or you're new to my methods), here's a graph that describes the two-sound-level concept that's a key component in my approach to drumming. The dynamics of the music being played always determine how you interpret these levels.
If you have any questions, I can be reached through the Tower of Power website, towerofpower.com. See you next time, and enjoy!