In our daily practice routine, we should dedicate time to listening, studying, and playing the grooves and fills that marked the history of the drum set. That’s an essential part to improve our drumming.
“Lenore” by Chick Corea, from the album The Leprechaun (1976), is one of the most iconic and creative Steve Gadd drum recordings. In the A section, Steve plays a funk-samba linear groove with an open approach to the drum set. The first backbeat is anticipated of one 16th note, giving the groove a funk feel. That’s a key element of a funk-samba drum beat. The bass drum, floor tom, and hi-hat parts create a samba-oriented groove.
On the third beat, he plays a ghost note on the floor tom. I saw many transcriptions on the web missing this essential detail, which is audible slowing down the track. As notated, the sticking on the first two beats is an inverted paradiddle between the floor tom, hi-hat, and snare.
During the B section, he creates a compromise between a linear and a traditional straight-ahead drum groove. The linear pattern occurs between the hi-hat and the snare while the bass drum is in unison with the hi-hat. The bass drum part is a classic eight-note pattern 3+3+2, similar to the Brazilian baião foot ostinato. In the piano solo section, Steve plays some tasty variations, adding ghost notes, backbeat displacements, and open/close hi-hat licks.
Every drum fill is musical, perfectly suiting the feel of the tune. There’s a lot to be inspired by, and Steve’s ability to apply rudiments to the drum set is legendary.
The complete drum transcription for “Lenore” is now available for purchase. Includes in a printable PDF file the note-for-note drum transcription (sticking for every groove and fill included) and a notation key. Keep on drumming!