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WORKSHOP

InsideCissy Strut
And Beyond
By Todd Bishop

ANTICIPATING THE BROKEN, linear playing of the 70s and 80s in


an incredibly loose, earthy way, The Meters Cissy Strut, per-
formed by the venerable funk master Zigaboo Modeliste, would
make anyones short list of historys funkiest drumming pieces.
Galactic drummer Stanton Moores new DVD and book, Groove
Alchemy, offers a valuable new insight into the Cissy Strut
groove. With information he gained through interactions with the
master himself, Moore reveals the unusual, frequently misinter-
preted stickings behind the its deep feel.
The following lesson expands on where Moore leaves off. It is a
method for beginning to explore and improvise based on Model-
istes approach in this song, and using Ted Reeds definitive Pro-
gressive Steps To Syncopation book as a rhythm source.

In the original groove, Modeliste plays a lin- Zig strutting his stuff
ear pattern largely using natural sticking,
in which the right hand lands on the eighth-
notes (on the downbeat and on the &s), and
the left hand on the following sixteenth-
notes (the es and ahs). Heres an example
Ex. 1
of this from the A section of Cissy Strut,
stickings courtesy of Stanton Moore. Ex. 1

Ex. 1 L R R R L L R
To begin, lets do a little warm-up from
pages 1011 of Syncopation, played in cut Ex. 2 L R R R L L R
time on the hi-hat. The right hand plays
quarter-notes, and the left hand plays Ex. 2 L R R R L L R
any written &s. Heres an example of
Ex.
Ex. 21 R L R R R R R L R R L R R R L R L R L R L R R L
using the first four measures of the 20 Bar
Exercise (Reed, p. 11). Ex. 3 R L R R R R R L R R L R R R L R L R L R L R R L
Ex. 3 R L LR RR R R RR L R RR L L R R RL L R
Then make a basic half-time-feel funk R L R L R L R R L
groove out of this by moving the right hand Ex. R L R R R R R L R R L R R R L R L R L R L R R L
Ex. 32
to the snare drum on beat 3, and adding
the bass drum on beat 1.
Ex. 4 R L R R R R R L R R L R R R L R L R L R L R R L
Ex. 4 R L R R R RR RR LL RR RR LL RR RR RR LL R
Once this feels comfortable, apply the R L R R R R L
L RR LL RR LL R
R R
R L
L
same concept to the one-measure synco- Ex. 4
Ex. 3
pated patterns (Reed, pp. 3031, 3337),
then to two- and four-measure excerpts Ex. 5
from the eight long exercises (pp. 3845), Ex. 5
and finally to the complete long exercises. R L R R R R R L R R L R R R L R L R L R L R R L
To help illustrate the concepts involved, Ex. 4 R L L R R
Ex. 5 R R R L L R R R L L R L R L R L L
our first source phrase will be a modified
version of a well-known passage.
Ex. 6 R L L R R R R R L L R R R L L R L R L R L L
Ex. 6 R L L R R R R R L L R R R L L R L R L R L L
Ex. 6 R L L R R R R R L L R R R L L R L R L R L L
86 DRUM! November 2010 drummagazine.comEx. 5
Ex. 7 R L L R R R R R L L R R R L L R L R L R L L
Ex. 7 R L L R
R R R R R L
L L R R R L
L L R L
L R
R L
L R
R L
L L
R L L R R R R L R R R L R L
D173_86_88_Workshop_v2.indd 86 9/10/10 11:36:46 AM
Ex. 7
L R R R L L R
Ex. 2 L
L R
R R
R R
R L
L L
L R
R
Ex. 21
Ex. L R R R L L R
Ex. 22
Ex. L R R R L L R
L R R R L L R
Ex.
Ex. 221
Ex. 2 R L R R R R R L R R L R R R L R L R L R L R R L
R L LR RR R R RR L R RR LLR R RL L R
R L R L R L R R L
Ex. 3 R
R L
L R
R R
R R
R R
R R
R L
L R
R R
R L
L R
R R
R R
R L
L R
R L
L R
R L
L R
R L
L R
R R
R L
L
Ex.
Ex. 321
Ex. R L
Ex. R L LR
R R
RR R
R R
R RR
R L
L R
R RR
R L
LLR
R R
R R
RL L
L R
R
R L
L R
R L
L R
R L
L R
R R
R L
L
Ex. 33 R L R R R R R L R R L R R R L R L R L R L R R L
Ex.
Ex. 332
Ex. 3 R L R R R R R L R R L R R R L R L R L R L R R L
R RL LRLR RRRRR RR RR LL RR
R RRR LL LRR RR RRL LL R
R
R L
L RR LL RR LL R
R R
R L
L
Ex. 4 R R LL RR R R
R R R
R R L
R L RR R L
R L R R R
R R L
R L R
R L
L R L
R L R
R L
L R
R R
R L
L
Ex. 3
Ex. 42 R RL LR R R
RR R
RR R
RR R
RR L
LL R
RR R
RR LLL RRR R
RR R
RR LLL R
R L R
RR L
LL R
RR L
LL R
R R L
First, play the pattern on the hi-hat with Ex. 4 R L R
Ex. 4 R L
R R R R R L R R L R R R L
R
R
L
L R L R L
R
R
R
R
L
L
Ex.
Ex. 443
both hands, again using natural sticking:
Ex. 4
The right hand plays on the beat while the R RL LR R RR RR RR RR LL RR RR LL RR RR RR LL R
R L
L RR LL RR LL R
R R
R L
L
left plays the &s. Play the snare drum on Ex. 5
beat 3 with the right hand. If the pattern Ex.
Ex. 435 R L R
Ex. 55 R R R R L R R L R R R L R L R L R L R R L
contains a rest or tied note on beat 3, in- Ex.
Ex. 455
Ex.
sert a snare hit as in the second measure
Ex. 5 R L L R R R R R L L R R R L L R L R L R L L
of the example.
R L RL RR RR RR RR L RR LR L
L R R R
R LL R LL RR LL RR LL RR LR L
Ex. 6 R R LL L L R R
R R R R
R R R
R L
L L
L R
R R
R R
R L L
L L R L
R L RR L
L R
R L
L L
L
Ex. 5
Ex. 46 R L L R
Ex. 6 R L L
Ex. 6 R L R RR R
R RR R
R L
L L
L R
R R
R R
R L
L L L R
R LL RR L
L R
R L
L L
L
L R R R R R L L R R R L L R L R L R L L
Ex. 566
Ex.
Ex. 6 R L L R R R R R L L R R R L L R L R L R L L
Then add the bass drum on beat 1. R
R LL L L R
R R
R R
R R
R R
R L
L L
L R
R R
R R
R L
L L
L R
R L
L R
R L
L R
R L
L L
L
Ex. 7 R R LL L L R
R R
R R
R R
R R
R L
L L
L R
R R
R R
R L
L L
L R
R L
L R
R L
L R
R L
L L
L
Ex. 756 R L L
Ex. R R R R R L L R R R L L R L R L R L L
Ex. 77 R L L
Ex.
R R R R R L L R R R L L R L R L R L L
R L L R R R R R L L R R R L L R L R L R L L
Ex.
Ex. 776
When this feels comfortable and youve Ex. 7
got it grooving nicely, introduce some R
R LL L L R
R R
R R
R R
R R
R L
L L
L R
R R
R R
R L
L L
L R
R L
L R
R L
L R
R L
L L
L
basic bass drum variations. Start with the Ex. 7
Ex. 6 R L L R R R R R L L R R R L L R L R L R L L
following patterns, or similar ideas of your
choosing. Ex. 7

R L L R R R R R L L R R R L L R L R L R L L
Ex. 7

Ex. 8
Then combine bass drum patterns to Ex. 8
make two-measure phrases. Here is Ex. 88
Ex.
this concept applied to one- and two- Ex.
Ex. 88
Ex. 8 R L L R R R L L R R R R R L L R L R L R L L
measure hand parts.
R L L R R R L L R R R R R L L R L R L R L L
Ex. 9 R R L
L L
L R
R R
R R
R L
L L
L R
R R
R R
R R
R R
R L
L L
L R
R L
L R
R L
L R
R L
L L
L
Ex. 8
Ex. 9 R L L R R R L L R R R R R L L R L R L R L L
Ex. 9 R
Ex. 9
R
L
L
L
L
R
R
R
R
R
R
L
L
L
L
R
R
R
R
R
R
R
R
R
R
L
L
L
L
R
R
L
L
R
R
L
L
R
R
L
L
L
L
Ex. 899
Ex.
Since youll often play these grooves in 4/4, Ex. 9 R L L R R R L L R L R R R L L R L R L R L L
be aware of how the rhythms will convert R
R L
L L
L R
R RR R RL L L LR RL R RR R
R R
R L
L L
L RRL LR RL LR RL L L L
into eighth- and sixteenth-notes. Ex. 10R R L
L L
L R
R R
R R
R LL L
L RR LL R
R R
R R
R L
L L
L R
R L
L RR LL RR LL L L
Ex. 10
Ex. 89 R L L R R R
10R
Ex. 10
Ex. L L R RR R RL
LL LL LR
R RL
L R RR
R R
R R
R L
L L
L R
RRL
L LR
R RL
L LR
R RL
LLL LL
R L L R R R L L R L R R R L L R L R L R L L
Ex.
Ex. 10
10 9
Ex. 10
R
R L
L L
L R
R RR R RL L L LR RL R RR R
R R L
R L L
L RRL LR RL LR RL L L L
Ex. 11
Next, well develop the linear style used Ex. 10
Ex. 911R
Ex. L L R R R L L R L R R R L L R L R L R L L
in the original groove, using this passage Ex. 11 11
Ex. 10
Ex. 11
11
from Syncopation.
Ex. 11R L L R R L R R R L L R L R L RL L R L R L R
R LL LLRR R LR L
R RL RR L L R LRR L RR LL LL RR L R L RR LLR L
Ex. 12R R L
L L R
L R R
R L
L R
R R R
R R L
L L R
L R L R L
L R L RRL L L
L R
R L R L
L R L R
R
Ex. 10
Ex. 11R
12 L L
Ex. 12R
Ex. 12 L L R
R R
R L
L R
R R
R R R L
L L
L R
R L
L R
R L
L RRL L L
L R
R L
L R
R LL R
R
R L L R R L R R R L L R L R L RL L R L R L R
Play the hand part on the hi-hat as before, Ex. 11
Ex. 12
12
with a snare drum hit on 3. Add the bass
Ex. 12R L L R R L R R R L L R L R L R L L R L R L R
R
R L
L L
L R
R R
R L
L R
R R
R R
R L
L L
L R
R L
L R
R L
L R
R L
L L
L R
R L
L R
R L
L R
R
drum to any gaps to make a continuous R
R L
L L
L R
R R
R L
L R
R R
R R
R L
L L
L R
R L
L R
R L
L R
R L
L L
L R
R L
L R
R L
L R
R
eighth-note rhythm. Ex.
Ex. 11R12 L L R R L R R R L L R L R L R L L R L R L R
R L L R R L R R R L L R L R L R L L R L R L R
R L L R R L R R R L L R L R L R L L R L R L R
Ex. 12
R L
R L L R
L R RL
R L R
R R
R R L
R L L
L R L
R L R
R L
L R
RLL L
L R
R L R
L R L
L R
R

Add to that a bass drum hit on beat 1 of


Ex. 12R L L R RL R R R L L R L R L RL L R L R L R
every other measure ...

R L L R RL R R R L L R L R L RL L R L R L R

drummagazine.com November 2010 DRUM! 87

D173_86_88_Workshop_v2.indd 87 9/10/10 11:36:47 AM


WORKSHOP
Ex. 13
... then on every measure

Ex.
Ex. 13
13
It should be noted that in this method, Ex. 13R L L R RL R R R L L R L R L RL L R L R L R
Ex.
Ex. 13
13
the bass drum is inferred from the hi-hat
part. In actual playing it will often be the Ex. 14
other way around, with the hi-hat filling in R
R L
L L
L R
R R
R L
L R
R R
R R
R L L
L L R R L
L R
R L
L R
R L
L L
L R
R L
L R
R L
L R
R
Ex.14aR L L R R L R R R L Ex.14b
L R L R L R L L R L R L R
around a bass drum pattern predetermined R L L R R L R R R L
L L R L
L R R L R L L R L R L R
to fit the song. You can practice this by
Ex. 14R
Ex. 14 L L R R L R R R L R L R L L R L R L R
Ex. 14 L R R L L R L L R R L
converting familiar grooves to this style Ex. 14
Ex. 14
(14a) ... becomes (14b).
Ex. 15
L
L R
R R
R L
L L
L R
R L
L L
L R
R R
R L
L
Ex. 15
15 L R R L L R L L R R L
Ex. L
L R
R R
R L
L L
L R
R L
L L
L R
R R
R L
L
Ex. 15
Here are some options for displacement of Ex.
Ex. 15
15
the backbeat when there is a rest or tied
note on beat 3. Experiment with these as
you work through the exercises.

Ex. 16

You can also experiment with catching Ex. 16


Ex. 16
snare hits with the left hand. On Cissy Ex. 16R L L R RL R R R L L R L R L RL L R L R L R
Ex.
Ex. 16
16
Strut, these notes are generally not
ghosted. Play them nearly as strong as Ex. 17
the backbeat.
R
R L
L L
L R
R R
R L
L R
R R
R R
R L
L L
L R
R L
L R
R L
L R
R L
L L
L R
R L
L R
R L
L R
R
R L L R R L R R R L L R L R L R L L R L R L R
R
R L
L L
L R
R R
R L
L R
R R
R R
R L
L L
L R
R L
L R
R L
L R
R L
L L
L R
R L
L R
R L
L R
R
Ex. 17
Ex. 17
Ex. 17R L L R RL R R R L L R L R L RL L R L R L R
Finally, you can make a fill at the end of a Ex.
Ex. 17
17
phrase by moving the hands to the snare
or toms, as in measures two and four. Ex. 18R L L R R L R R R L L R L R L R L L R L R L R
R L L R R L R R R L L R L R L R L L R L R L R
R L L R R L R R R L L R L R L R L L R L R L R
R
R L
L L
L R
R R
R L
L R
R R
R R
R L
L L
L R
R L
L R
R L
L R
R L
L L
L R
R L
L R
R L
L R
R
Ex.
Ex. 18
18
Ex. 18R L L R RL R R RL L R L R L RL L R L R L R
From here you can start improvising by Ex.
Ex. 18
18
combining the previous concepts and add-
ing accents, hi-hat splashes, drags, and R
R L
L L
L R
R R
R L
L R
R R
R R
R L
L L
L R
R L
L R
R L
L R
R L
L L
L R
R L
L R
R L
L R
R
other embellishments. R L L R R L R R R L L R L R L R L L R L R L R
R
R L
L L
L R
R R
R L
L R
R R
R R
R L
L L
L R
R L
L R
R L
L R
R L
L L
L R
R L
L R
R L
L R
R

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