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John "Jabo" Starks

Our last lesson, a tribute to Mitch Mitchell - Funk Connection, applied to the fusion of jazz and rock drumming in the song Fire by Jimi Hendrix originally recorded and released in 1967. Our focus was on the first measure of the phase (click here to review) in the Mitch Mitchell beat and how it may very well have influenced James Brown drummer John “Jabo” Starks in the song “Make it Funky” which was recorded in July of 1971.

In today’s lesson let's look at Jabo's beat in “Make it Funky”. Note how Jabo uses the bass drum to voice the “and” of beat 1 instead of the snare drum, and omits the bass drum on the “and” of beat four and instead places a ghosted snare beat on the "a" of beat four. The beats are so very similar between Mitch Mitchell and Jabo with one major difference other than tempo; Jabo's use of the open/closed high hat.

A "ghost note" is a term that means the beat is more implied then out right heard. It is created by very lightly tapping the snare drum. In most drum notation the ghost note will be placed within a parentheses or the note head may be smaller then the regular note heads.

This is a must master beat for all you funk fanatics.

 

 
 

 

 
 

© Copyright 2009 - 2011 by Mark Pryor

DRUM LESSONS IN SOUTH ORANGE COUNTY Mark Pryor Drum Instructor: Providing drum lessons for the communities of Aliso Viejo, Coto de Caza, Dana Point, Dove Canyon, El Toro, Foothill Ranch, Irvine, Ladera Ranch, Laguna Beach, Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, Lake Forest, Mission Viejo, Newport Beach, Rancho Santa Margarita, San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano and Tustin.