Diddling the Baiaó

Gary Novak on Chick Corea’s “Discovery”

by Daniel Bédard

Over the years, Chick Corea’s bands have featured a lot of great drumming talent. Steve Gadd, Dave Weckl, Roy Haynes, Jeff Ballard—all of these players brought exciting rhythms to the drumming world. We’re going to focus on a song from Corea’s Time Warp record featuring Gary Novak on drums. More precisely, we’ll take a look at the groove he played on the song “Discovery.”
The Baiaó
Novak’s groove is based on the Brazilian baiaó rhythm, which can be described as a cousin to the samba. Baiaó is mostly defined by its ostinato foot pattern, which differs from samba. Here is the main foot pattern.
Diddling the Baiao 1At 0:51, Novak plays alternating 16th notes on the snare, doubling the second 16th with his left hand. This pattern reminds me of a percussionist playing the tamborim, a small tambourine-shaped instrument from Brazil. Try playing the notes softly to create a nice flow.Diddling the Baiao 2

The Variations
While working on this groove, I came up with some variations based on diddles. These helped me get comfortable and creative with the original pattern.

Diddling the Baiao 3

Now we’ll play two consecutive diddles, which creates a six-stroke roll.

Diddling the Baiao 4

Diddling with 3s, 5s, and 7s
I then used the same concept and started playing diddles in groups of three, five, and seven. This created quite a coordination challenge, as it takes longer for the pattern to resolve. Here are two-bar examples of each grouping.

Groups of ThreeDiddling the Baiao 5

Groups of FiveDiddling the Baiao 6

Groups of SevenDiddling the Baiao 7

Bass Drum Variation
Gary also plays some bass drum variations throughout the track. Here’s one you can use while playing the patterns we just discussed.

Diddling the Baiao 8

I strongly recommend that you pick up a copy of Time Warp, as there are a lot of other amazing tracks with Novak’s fiery drumming. He’s one of the best drummers out there. Have fun with these exercises, and happy practicing!

For more on Canadian drummer/educator Daniel Bédard, visit