Donny Gruendler

February 2013

Jobbing Drummer

Popular Play-Alongs

Part: 4: Dance-Rock

by Donny Gruendler

 In the last three play-along articles (July and October 2012 and January 2013), we focused on developing the proper performance technique, groove vocabulary, and sound to play alongside Top 40, pop-punk, and synth-metal tunes. In this month’s installment, we’re taking a look at a dance-rock chart titled “Hella Drums.”

This tune has a twenty-four-bar AAB form, with each letter representing an eight-bar phrase with a particular melody, chord structure, and groove. The A section features a two-bar straight-8th groove with a tightly closed hi-hat and an occasional opening on the “&” of beat 4.

The B section uses the same drum pattern, but now the hi-hat is opened slightly on each 8th note, for a looser, more sloshy sound.

Here’s a demo mix of the complete tune with drums (download).


Here’s a mix minus drums for you to play along with (download).


Here’s the drum chart to the tune “Hella Drums.” (Click links below to open images)


Be sure to check out the complete article in the  February 2013 issue of Modern Drummer for additional tips on how to play this tune.