This excerpt is taken from the complete article in the August 2015 issue, which can be purchased at:


Beware of the Chi-Ga-Da!

Exercises for Harnessing a Powerful Funk/Fusion Sticking

by Rich Redmond

The main sticking used in the exercises in this article, RLL, is very popular in funk/fusion playing styles. The hands are split between the snare and the hi-hat. As you’re working through the grooves, drastically differentiate the dynamics between the accented and unaccented notes to make them sound and feel smooth and powerful. Keep the unaccented notes close to the head, and try nailing rimshots on the accents. When executed correctly, the sticking gives you the groove monster that I call the chi-ga-da.

These grooves can be used as the basic beat for an entire song, or they can be peppered onto sections that need more drive and percolation. Practice applying the bass drum patterns included here, but any rhythm can be used for the bass drum. Practice the exercises using an even subdivision as well as a swung hip-hop feel. Also experiment with opening the hi-hat at various locations, and try playing the hi-hat part on a rim, the ride, a crash, or a cowbell. Go!

For transcriptions of the beats demonstrated in the video below, check out the August 2015 issue of Modern Drummer, which can be purchased digitally or in print at:

Learn more about the August 2015 issue