In this article you’ll learn how to improve your snare drum accents and ghost notes using a couple of the Soul Vaccination drum grooves from Tower of Power’s self-titled 1973 record. You can download a free PDF with some of the grooves at the end of the article.
David Garibaldi’s most definitely one of my favourite drummers. His playing with Tower of Power, such as the Soul Vaccination drum grooves, What Is Hip, or Oakland Stroke have been a great way to improve my drumming! Learning his grooves has many benefits which, to me, have been the following:
David’s sound and time feel are very groovy, and I definitely want more of that in my life! There’s a very organic quality to David’s playing which really resonates with me.
Musicality / Creativity
His unconventional and creative approach shows that grooves can still be musical and catchy without a 2 & 4 backbeat. And not just that, but paying attention to the rhythmic layers he creates gives us a new perspective on what it means to groove!
Speaking of rhythmic layers, the tricky nature of these which he creates with the kick, snare and hats are great to open up our coordination. It’s fun to pay attention to the interplay between different elements.
When I started learning other Tower of Power songs like What Is Hip and Oakland Stroke it reinforced the need to identify rhythmic sequences. The Soul Vaccination drum grooves are great to develop this further.
Soul Vaccination technique: Snare accents v. Ghost notes
From a technical perspective, the Soul Vaccination drum grooves are great way to improve our snare drum dynamics, in this case: ghost notes and accents.
#1 Keep your snare hand close to the drum head
This will help you deliver smooth, clean tap strokes that aren’t too overbearing… These should be a detail, not a main feature.
#2 Play the tap strokes nice and relaxed
This feeds directly from the previous point. Keeping the tap strokes low means you put less effort into playing them, so make sure your hand and wrist are tension-free.
#3 Prepare accent strokes in advance
As you start getting familiar with these Soul Vaccination drum grooves, you should start anticipating the accents. Preparing to play these accents in advance means you’ll play more relaxed and fluidly.
#4 Play the accents as rim shots
The main reason for this is that you’ll get a loud and full-sounding backbeat with minimal effort. As you’re keeping the tap strokes low, you won’t have to swing for an accent from very high.
If you’d like to develop your technical skills with a teacher, have a look at my drum lessons.
Similarly, if you’re after a book to help you improve your creative skills around the drums, check out my drum book Concepts!
Download the free PDF from HERE.