Keith Carlock Lick-Inspired Groove Drum Lesson

Keith Carlock Lick-Inspired Groove Drum Lesson

Thanks for checking out this Keith Carlock drum lesson! You can find other great, free drum lessons throughout my blog. Also, sign up to my mailing list to receive a free drum lesson every month. Head to my drum lessons page and sign up at the bottom of the page.


Keith Carlock Drum Lesson


As seen on his Drumeo lesson (check it out here), Keith Carlock breaks down his favourite lick which is based on the Paradiddle-diddle. To keep things brief, what he’s done is add two sixteenth note bass drums before the sticking. This makes the overall lick a sixteenth note-based phrase rather than a sextuplet, which is originally what how the Paradiddle-diddle is played.


What I’ve done in order to come up with this particular groove is fairly straight forward. I’ve taken the bass drums and placed them at the end of the sticking, that’s about it! Now, with regards to how I’ve orchestrated the sticking, this has to do a bit more with trying to get a tribal kinda vibe, the way Eloy Casagrande does. Watch the video below, and I think you’ll get a good idea about what I mean at around the 2:10 mark.




As Keith Carlock’s drum lesson reinforces, and rightfully so, we should try and make things we learn into our own thing… To give them our own spin! My book Concepts provides you with tools to help you put your own spin on licks, chops and grooves.


drum book

My book Concepts helps giving licks, chops and grooves your own spin. Check it out!


Also, if you’re interested in learning drums with me, check out my drum lessons.




Thanks again for stopping by, and enjoy!


Stay safe,


Nick 🙂

Drum Beats Online: Massive, Wide Open Snare

Drum Beats Online: Massive, Wide Open Snare

Thanks for checking out my free drum beats online! Explore my blog to download other free drum loops, and sign up to my mailing list to receive a free drum loop every month. Head to my remote recording sessions page, and sign up at the bottom.

And of course, if you’d like drums for your project, get in touch! I record for artists and producers all over the world. You can also reach me on my Instagram page, where I post the latest samples and clips from the latest sessions I’m working on.


drum beats online

Check out my remote recording session page if you’d like live drums for your songs


About this free drum beat

This groove is inspired by Led Zeppelin’s When The Levee Breaks drum beat. Of course, it’s got my own twist to it, with a big, wide open snare and a linear vibe to it. It was recorded in a massive empty, untreated office so the natural reverb makes the groove sound huge. I also really like how the hi hats give the groove a degree of elasticity.


I’ve called it Your Phatness coz it sounds it’s a big, big groove that you can use for lots of styles. I came up with whilst noodling between lessons. I got inspired, so decided to record it and offer it as one of my free drum beats online. So you can chop it up as you please and have fun with it. This groove is cool because you could use it to write tons of stuff. It’s feels great, so go make some music!


Sometimes a simple groove is all it takes to get creative juices flowing! You never know when you might need a groove to inspire creativity!


Get this and other free drum beats online on my blog, or sign up to my mailing list to receive them straight to your inbox (head to the bottom of the sessions page)!




Thanks again for stopping by, and enjoy!


Stay safe,


Nick 🙂

Alice In Chains’ Dam That River Drum Chart

Alice In Chains’ Dam That River Drum Chart

Thanks for checking out this drum lesson on Alice In Chains’ classic 1992 track Dam That River. Read some of the background below, make sure to read the tips that will help you nail the song’s feel, and download the free PDF transcription below.



Alice In Chains are one of Rock’s great bands that came out of Seattle in the 90s. Their heavier, darker sound compared to their peers helped them stand out in the scene. This was, in part, thanks to original singer Layne Staley whose lyrics about drug abuse were autobiographical and direct. Sadly, Staley died in 2002 from an overdose; found dead in his flat a week or so after his passing.


Alice In Chains Dam That River

Alice In Chains released their second album Dirt in 1992.


The band have continued to produce excellent music with singer William DuVall, who replaced Staley in 2006. Initially playing only live shows, DuVall has been a permanent member, recording the band’s first album since Staley’s death, the acclaimed “Black Gives Way To Blue”.


Alice In Chains Dam That River

Alice In Chains: (left to right) Jerry Cantrell, Sean Kinney, Layne Staley, Mike Starr



Staley, however, left us some brilliant work to enjoy. Dirt, arguably the band’s best album, is a classic, featuring awesome songs including the punchy Dam That River. A tune that’s not only down right heavy, but beautifully simple, at least on the drums!

Drummer Sean Kinney delivers a no-frills performance, that’s straight to the point. It supports the guitar riffs in all the right ways, keeping it simple as most often is the best thing to do! In fact, my band The Mercy House, covered Dam That River to celebrate Layne Staley’s anniversary (check out the multi cam video). I tracked the drums along to the music so as to retain Sean Kinney’s time feel, which is tight, but nice and loose!




I’ve transcribed Sean Kinney’s performance and parts on Dam That River pretty much note for note. Some of the fills on the guitar solo section I’ve left a bit more open to interpretation, so you can add your own spin to them. And, whilst the track might not be the toughest to play, it’s certainly oodles of fun! Here are some tips to help you nail the vibe.


3 bar phrases

It’s not as obvious upon casual listening, but the main riff (which opens the song and is the basis for the chorus) is a 3 bar phrase. Being aware of this will help you feel groove better as you’ll be paying attention to the phrasing and structure a bit better.


Quarter note feel

Verses are played on the hi hats loose and slushy, so keep your left foot nice and relaxed on the pedal. This will make your hi hat notes sustain between beats, helping to carry the groove. Also, notice how, at least to my ears, Sean Kinney seems to open the hi hats slightly more on the last quarter note of every verse (except where the flam is played).

Similarly, during the intro and choruses, we’re “crashing” on the ride cymbal, accenting on the down beats (the quarter notes). Sean Kinney may have played quarter notes on the ride, but I have chosen to interpret this as eighth notes with the aforementioned accents.


Guitar solo section

The guitar solo section is really interesting as we got some bars in 2/4 to help change up the phrasing. Also, pay attention to how the beginning of each phrase during this section starts with the bass drum on 2+ on the 2/4 measures.





  • If you’re interested in learning to play more songs like this, or in other genres and styles, check out my drum lessons!
  • Check out my drum book “Concepts”, it’s got tons of fun ideas to help you take your drumming to the next level. Find out more here!