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In this free drumeo edge drum lesson, Larnell Lewis takes you through some of the main aspects to consider when developing a swing feel on the drums for playing rhythm and blues (R&B): funk, soul, gospel, and hip-hop, authentically. Larnell Lewis also discusses how to develop a light touch on the drums while keeping the intensity level up, using drum rudiments creatively, and foot technique.
Listening to a lot of music that swings is as important as taking time to study this type of feel on the drums. If you don’t know what to listen to, check Kim Burell’s Everlasting Life (1998), Dominiq’s The Glory Town Project (2007), and anything from James Brown to get started. Listening to jazz and blues records is a great option as well. As for drummers, Steve Gadd, Jeff Porcaro, Teddy Campbell and Calvin Rodgers are great players to study when it comes to learning about swing-feel.
We highly encourage you to use those records as play-along material as well. Try to replicate exactly what and how the drummers are playing: their feel, dynamics, intensity and touch. Focus on burying each stroke they play. This will be a great way to develop an authentic swing feel on the drums.
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