Video Lesson: World Groove Independence Mash-Up with Mike Johnston

This excerpt is taken from the complete article that appears in the January 2016 issue, which is available here.

Rock ‘N’ Jazz Clinic

World Groove Independence Mash-Up

Improving Facility With Afro-Cuban Inspiration

When I began writing my latest book, Groove Freedom, the goal was to gain flexibility both within my students’ grooves and my own. As I practiced the book’s systems, I realized they helped with independence as well as with groove. This allowed me to approach future systems differently. I started mixing things together that were previously off limits.

This lesson is an example of that approach. When I started working on world grooves in my teens, I learned quite a few traditional hand patterns and foot ostinatos from Cuba, Africa, Brazil, and the Caribbean. Until recently, it never occurred to me to treat them as drumset rhythms without a cultural association. Once I made that leap, I started to mix and match to improve my independence on the kit.

Check out a video demo below.

Michael Johnston

For the complete lesson with transcriptions, check out the January 2016 issue, which is available here.

Learn about the January 2016 issue of Modern Drummer featuring Neil Peart