New Breed Primer
Have you ever checked out Gary Chester’s book The New Breed? It is fantastic. I love introducing The New Breed concepts to my students that want to learn rock/funk grooves, but the exercises are just too difficult for beginners. So I wrote New Breed inspired “Primer” exercises to give my younger students a shallower entry point to Gary Chester’s concepts.
While most rock/funk study books present their groove exercises in full notation, Chester has separated his groove study into two parts: Systems and Melodies. The Systems can be thought of as an Ostinato (a repeated pattern played by one or more limbs), and the Melodies are a series of progressively difficult rhythmic ideas to be read by the bass drum while playing any given System. I have simplified Chester’s groove method in two ways:
- I have replaced the more complicated Systems with five ostinatos that every drummer should be familiar with, and
- The full page Melodies are replaced with 12 one bar bass drum patterns that are commonly used in rock and funk grooves.
What makes Chester’s approach to groove study so valuable, is that it is much more applicable in the real world. It is rare that you get drum charts that notate what all the limbs should be playing. More often, you will get a rough outline related to the bass part, or the harmonic rhythms of the band. So if you want to sound like a good reader on a gig, it is better that you spend much of your groove practice time constructing grooves with less information. The New Breed method embodies this “less is more” concept, while at the same time methodically revealing and focusing on groove coordination issues you may be unaware of.
If you understand The New Breed method of groove study after the description in the 2nd paragraph above, then you will only need the “New Breed Primer” PDF below. If further clarification is needed, you can find all of the ostinato and bass drum applications spelled out in the “New Breed Primer Notated” PDF.
Make sure you pick up Gary Chester’s “The New Breed” once you are ready. It has so many invaluable practice suggestions not discussed in my despription.
New Breed Primer
New Breed Primer Notated