The Lindy Beat
The Grooviest of Early Rock ’n’ Roll Grooves
by Rich Redmond
The classic rhythm we’re exploring this month has weathered the test of time since first appearing in the early twentieth century. The pattern is associated with the jazz dance called the Lindy hop, which originated in Manhattan’s Harlem neighborhood in the 1920s and was a very popular form of dance during the swing era of the late ’30s and early ’40s.
The Lindy drumbeat, which came to be one of the most common feels in early rock ’n’ roll, evolved out of the swing shuffle and features strong snare accents on beat 2, the “&” of 2, and beat 4. You can hear this infectious groove everywhere from surf rock to the Foo Fighters, and it can played straight or with a triplet-based shuffle feel. Practice the following examples using both interpretations.
For transcriptions of the beats demonstrated in the the video, check out the complete article in the February 2015 issue of Modern Drummer, available here.