Hello and welcome to a new series of blogs. In this and following lessons I will be sharing some of my favourite drum loops and grooves. I am going to mostly focus on more “electronic” genres as often these get overlooked as there isn’t always an actual drummer involved. Sometimes it will be a drummer playing the groove, other times it will be a programmed beat or a sample from another song.
Today we have the classic track by Most Def, Umi Says. This is a super funky groove that is basically a two bar loop except for a variation on beat four of the second bar, making it a four bar loop. Watch your dynamics with this one as it’ll make or break the feel of the groove and have some fun.
The second loop is a classic. Possibly THE classic loop. Of coarse, I am referring to the “Amen Break” from the track “Amen Brother” by The Winstons. This drum break at 1:26 of the song has been sampled and used in more songs than arguably any other break. Here the first two bars are the same and in the second two, there is a displaced snare and bass that give it a really cool feel, similar to song like “Cold Sweat”. A big feature of this loop are the 16th note bass drums. I have heard “amen” used as an adjective more than once when dealing with producers. They are usually looking for both a displaced back beat feel but also the bass drum pattern found in the first two bars. Have some fun with this one as you’d be surprised how many artists have used this break (Squarepusher, Prodigy, NWA, Venetian Snares, DJ Shadow, Dialling, Skream, LTJ Bukem, Lemon D, Goldie, Apex Twin, Roni Size, Erik B. and Rakim, Salt-n-Pepa, Amon Tobin and even David Bowie to name a few!)