Groove Of The Month – March 2018

“Express Yourself” – Charles Wright & The 103rd St. Rhythm Band – 1970 – James Gadson – 92bpm

This month’s groove comes to us from the king of the funky 16th note groove James Gadson and the classic “Express Yourself” recorded by Charles Wright and the 103rd St. Rhythm Band. This is also the same tune that is the base sample for the N.W.A. tune of the same name. Using both songs could set up easily as a doorway in to the way that sampling has evolved throughout the years, this one being a clear example of a sample used as whole and then ’sweetened’ with a drum machine.

In true to form fashion, this Gadson groove has running sixteenth notes on the hihat, except for the 4+ which is an open hihat eighth note. Snares are on 2, 2a, 3e, and 4. Kicks are on 1, 1a, 3, 3a, and 4&.

As you’ll see in the beginning I do the intro groove which alternates between a variant measure that emphasizes the e’s and a’s, and the main groove.

What would you like to see for groove of the month? Leave a comment below or send us a tweet @musiciansnotes with the hashtag #GOTM. As always you can play along with our previous grooves of the month with our spotify playlist embedded below. If you haven’t yet, make sure you check out Drew Weber’s recently posted “Drummers You Should Know” on “Ndugu” Chancler that goes so much deeper than “Billie Jean.” Also, have you seen the posters in our shop? Stop by and pick up a poster of  the four stroke types and our new Keyboard Range finder poster. Both of these are ideal for your teaching studio or classroom. Other than that be sure to like, comment subscribe, all that stuff. Let’s hit it!


Groove of the month is a monthly column dedicated to drumset beats that generally do not fall into my standard teaching patterns. They tend to be interesting beats that function on a few different levels, that way the beat can be used with many different students for many different reasons


avatar Otto (134 Posts)

Jeremy Otto wears many hats. He is a music educator, composer, performer, recording engineer, and hack writer. He holds a Bachelor of Music in Music Education from Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan. When he's not teaching you can find him doing any of the other aforementioned activities.