Jonathan "Sugarfoot" Moffett: Leading Drum Grooves With Your Foot (FULL DRUM LESSON)
Every time I play the songs that brings me back memories, of times on stage and his. Presence, here on earth and presence, in concert with me so I miss my dance partner but, when I play the songs it brings back good memories not, bad yeah. I love doing it. That's. What drove me to I love get a reaction from Michael from adano it stays direct, like every you know I know I'm doing something right you know. Drumming. Is is. A power. You mean granted with but, all all the talent is the power that you've been gifted with. All. Right man, thank. You so much. Yeah, Jonathan. Sure MA. Cuckoo. Well done well. Done thank, you so much for coming to Dromio the, pleasure to be in glad you invited me yeah well anytime man that we've, been chatting back and forth for quite a while I think and I'm glad, we finally got the opportunity to come to, bring you out here and to showcase some, of your skill and experience now, Jonathan if you guys don't know who Jonathan Moffatt is, he's. A legend, that he has been the touring drummer with Michael Jackson furs whole many years but not just Michael Jackson you've also toured with Janet, Jackson George. Michaels, Madonna, even Elton John like you, have quite the resume I've, been blessed I've been blessed I say I have the greatest manager of all time and of always I have, God as my manager, I say I'm the greatest agent, if. All of that you can have I have Jesus Christ as my agent so all, these things I say that because all these things came to me it, wasn't like I had to go out and hustle in audition, and, run a lot of chicks auditions, all the time everything time the phone ring from, somebody hurt me had a different show with, a different artist it would just come to me real, and he just wanted me to do it it wasn't like a big audition, situation, except for a couple of times you know with Bruce Springsteen and, Billy. Idol you know the audition kind of thing so but. Other than that you, know I saved my manager my agent was on point. Yeah it's it's amazing and all the experience, that you've had from playing massive, shows recording.
With Some of the best artists we're. Gonna pick your, brain today in today's lesson the, lesson title, is all about from the bottom up how, you lead your grooves with your foot and you, have an amazing foot, I'm just been watching your technique from down here so I really want to dive into that before, we do they'll make sure you follow Jonathan, online you can find them on Lana's website it's. WWJ. M, DB. World. Or. You can find them socially at Instagram and Facebook it's at Jay, Moffett mjm. Can. Also find them on YouTube which is just his name Jonathan, Sugarfoot Moffett so make sure you follow him because he's posting a ton of great videos and clips and news and updates you've got some cool things happening, - yeah. I'm trying to embark on different. Things that promote myself, more and now I was little that's about it for more truly enjoying. The ride of the shows and the tools and the records and stuff and I said you know what I need to start really, promoting my own craft in my own sound because I have music that I'm gonna be introducing soon of my own original arrangements, and writing song writing and producing, so, I still need to talk promoting some things on my own at this point in time you know yeah and so working at my brand but prior to doing working for 39. Years professional. Now and working. The elements of the marketing of my brand so I'm doing more of that now and with my a beautiful, partner Amira I saw me of my fiancee she, does social media and she's from Silicon, Valley and and she's. Been helping me branch out and reach the world and, the wonderful ways so it's been a blessing, well you're killing it they're absolutely killing it make sure you follow him Instagram, and Facebook @j, Moffitt, mjm, before, we get into it I got to get you to play another track do what I do another another, tune for us yeah I like to do that all right let's do it.
Killer. Job that was amazing thank you very much say cool sitting right here and watching you, play these groups songs that I've listened to for so many years, I'm time again and I'm watching the drummer play them so it's very cool got me reminiscing, of the times with Michael you know when, I played it when he was there in the physical so yeah. Every, time I played their songs it brings me back memories, of times on stage and his. Presence, here on earth and presidents. In concert was me so I called. Him my dance partner so I miss, my dance partner but, when I play the songs it brings my good memories a bad one so yeah I love doing it awesome, awesome, well. Let's pick your brain a little bit if that's cool just talking. About your. Foot technique and, how, you developed, it how that has kind of been brought into the, the shows that you played and the songs that you've recorded. First. Up how, did you get the nickname sure. Well. I started. Playing when I was when I was six years old and I I really want to be a bass player so my father asked me my brothers we, want to play music and my. Brothers being older they got first choice so. My, first, brother said the guitar to my dad okay fine great my second brother says bass. Guitar that's, a band that's the one I wanted don't. Then. Only the other thing I knew was drums so. When, you got, to my name we didn't call me up and Jonathan what you want to play someone. For a guitar you, say oh we can't have all guitars yeah somebody, got to play something different I see all right I'll play drums, mm-hmm, it was like the little boy thing and if our patrons, because that was really the only other of instrument I was, find of that I knew and science, that stuck with drums in a way but. Finally so after after learning our rudiments, and and the coordination and a challenge mentally, and physically it was to, accomplish, the beats and everything, so honor I took. Like nine, months of snare, drum only with a private teacher at his home and Saturday nights and and my. Brothers and I he they took the lessons and so, I wanted. To be that basic, layer still was the within me so when I learned start learning records off of records especially.
It All typed them all town records with James Jamerson senior, who was for lithic with his fingers he was amazing in it very musical and things, moving and just. Making melodies anyway, I I, related, that to the bass drum because of the low in frequency, of the bass in the basement, rump so I started, running the records I say would be really even, better if it was more full, these songs were more for bottom, end so, what I started doing I'm learning, the songs I'm learning the beats but, I started also hearing and picking up on the bass lines and figures so. I started, combining the, baseline, figures which, was sometimes the most times out of line but the bass drum bass drum was more simple and, a bass lines filled in and it sound so full so, I start moving and doubling what the bass was doing so and to, be able to do that I had to get my foot really fluent to do both patterns you know so that's how to time, learning, different records different songs and learning, the bass and the bass drum parts, it became one fluent cohesive, thing and it, became natural to me to do that you know as. I'm listening these songs and, stuff so and then acting, with exiting, with the bass drum as well so, that. Developed, my style of playing from the bottom up sort of speaking and. For. My desire to have been a bass player which I never learned a really play I had basis of some fun I'm so loving I, just never got to practice again right so I found, out the drums were my first love instead of bass but, I still got face so. I include, them in my patterns in my playing, getting. Fluent through all the years of learning these songs and combining both parts, and it became a natural thing you know some some fingers and things I had to work on outside, of us on the record you know roughs and different things on the bass drumming and in. 30-second, nose corners sixty-fourth, nose different kind of things so, I had to work on those figures and transitions, and where the placement praised, them in the groove I'll demonstrate some of those in a little bit but. That's. How I got the foot the name for Sugarfoot and that name came in the second band I was with my. Brothers and I had a band when I was young very young they're gonna be 10 years old that, have been called the Cavaliers, a New, Orleans Louisiana where, I'm from and we. Play clubs there was a club called the desert sand and, a, very very popular club but. That was this ten year old boy and so. What they would do they heard of it heard us audition, him they see like this so this guy this kid is too young but the owner said okay we gotta have guys will, tell you what you bring him into the back door and. Sneak your bin and they brought my little kid in there and and it'd be okay long as you keep your eye on him no let him go back to bar well.
Then For those my mother and father was support very supportive, and they said long she don't go by the part I don't let the women get it, so. I said long as you go by the bar get your drinking and bad things like that it's fine you guys keep our eye on it my brothers, so I will play this gates little kid you know and my big sticks and my drum your drum kit and then, that we. Finished sneak out the back door and, load up drums in the car and, you, know I was so tired and look here that was Lee across my brother's laps in the backseat and and, kind, of fall asleep or fake falling asleep and, listen to them say all oh look you was killing it tonight oh so he sound great I'm like what I listening. You. Know I'm just thinking it all playing like I'm sleep but, I did do that but but then they handed, me some money I was freaked $5 or whatever it was I see what's this for and, I said this is where you pay now so you could pay for this and it was a shock to me I'm like you kidding me I'm like you can't really get paid yeah you do this I love doing this I was, just doing it for fun they said no you do it pays so that's how I start off that, band my brother's own band, wanted. To play in this other nightclub, was very popular and so. That, club owner said no he's too young to play that he can't play there so, if we can't take the bank cause he's too young so, my brother's fired me brother. And got this other friend, of the instrument, to, play with them to play that club and. I was so disenchanted, my own brother's fired me I had to name, on a bass drum the Cavaliers, with this sword and I put you something like masking, tape to make on I'll, create this bass drum here and I was so proud of it you know and that's, when they fired me and, so I didn't want to be in advance anymore. There, was another local band named. The spectrum, and, live, never lived nebari and the leader of the band knocked on my door, my mother's door and saying, hey we want you to play juggles us we heard you play we, love the way you play we need a drummer and I said I would if he had no bands no I'm tired of getting fired and stuff like that so anyway, he talked me into going it's just coming jam with us and we see it works out you know maybe, you could just play with us until we get somebody else so, I was adamant not being, against Tobin I said okay I'll come play with you guys and chicas, somebody went, to this house nearby not too far away and set.
Up And we played and we jammed and you were like oh yeah it's great your footage is amazing so I'm like thank you thank you but I'm still not Johnny Ben nothing bad you join, your band I won't be in a band sure yeah so he said well say, well I'll tell you what everybody. In the band has nicknames, and, we got to give you a nickname so I'm saying alright eighth, Duke. Yeah you know yeah it'll, get like this or something like that crazy you know Titan. Never and, he said ok I know we call you your foot is sweet we call you sugar food that's it what no I don't want you to answer, this sugar food say oh yes you guys say I'm not asking this I like I'm a destination, I don't, want that name and they say no you're gonna answer to it every. Show I'm announce you announce you as sugar food and nobody gonna know your real name, and now like ha man this is messed up that's awesome so that's how the name shows, they started mousing into a mere sugar for that chosen, at the club's and people knew sugar would and I walked down the street and he said sugar for the hydrogen ignore yeah, and. Then I took, a long time even out here I must tell you this shortly. Recently. Last week people, don't know sugar foot in Jonathan Moffat is the same person we. Accounted that fiance. Night last, week I thought it was two different people you're kidding I'm not kidding you well I love I love I love the name I think it's it's great especially talking. About your foot you know you have such a sweet foot thank you I think it's really cool I'm glad that you accepted, it. We. Can call you sugar. Michael. Called me please and all the brothers call me foot that's great that's great well let's let's let's talk about that your foot then let's in them show us your technique. Talk. A little bit about how you developed, it okay, um, basically I developed it as I explained it by listening to the Bulls parts and then I start getting into more quantize, kind of figured. So. If. You didn't hear what you were saying over top he was playing a little bit loose then you were quantizing. Tightening it up a little bit they're more like 16 rounds up to 16 to 32 second. Notes in so I'll do any more like 1664, snow was kind of tight or real almost, like rough doing. Those nose picking like I like a rough. Well. That's my coin my it's, quite I call it quiet eyes in the group you know the figures, then, might make them loose a tighter and just closer together of those so. What kind of technique would you call that for your foot. This. Somebody, told me once said that they, thought I was with a tap dancer, at one point and decided to play drums but. Trust, me I'm not a tap dancer and if you asked me to do that across the front row I'll mow em all over the whole front wheel falling into the audience I cannot, tap this but. If you want to call it tap-dancing on the drums and on the bass drum yes I related. To that but, it's. Just I'm gonna tell you something it's the physical, action of it but. The physical action comes from the spiritual, action and the, mental action, I hear. The figures in my head I feel, it, and have these like emotional, photograph, in my spirit, so. To make me recognize, what kind of figures it is and the, emotion behind that figuring that uh that, pattern right. And I what I do is in my signal, goes to my body to, try to work out the coordination, of recreating, that what I'm hearing and I'm feeling is always a combination through, trifecta, so to speak the body the, spirit and the mentality so. You, cannot, play what you cannot think of you, cannot play effectively. Emotionally. With you can't feel so. It's a, triad. Whatever you want to call it it's a three-part, in, my physical sense of playing three-part, spiritual, thing you, know so I would feel it and I will come up with a pattern like that you know or different. Other patterns I do, like the funky blues shuffle'. And. I'll come up with those kind of things so it's, I'd say the. Most important, things look listen to drum especially, if you want to call me unusual, that I use the bass drum or listen. To drummers like myself and, there's a lot of other drums that got, quick feet you know right but. Is another Sugarfoot was, Ricky Wong. We used to play with this band out of Washington, okay well well my my. Usefully with the Miles Davis as well he, got a fat foot fast foot - no I don't know his technique, but we were similar in styles, so, I mean listen to drummers that have a different.
Situation. In life and of the life of playing drums and try, to learn some of that thing to just be distinctive, from other drummers those, are the things that are such a part you can play a million things but the. Artists are looking for somebody with a stick distinctive, seal that's, different that makes it feel really great or this, unique. Pattern, of playing, a style of playing you, know that's. What artists are mostly looking for those kind of things and people who are disciplined that don't overplay and is according to the artist what it is now but many artists are allowing. More free. Playing freestyle, playing when I was coming through, Michael, Madonna al George Michael Elton John John, was more jamming rock and roll but but George Michael Madonna, and Michael Jackson and the Jackson brothers you couldn't play the stuff that the drummer is allowed to play now I, came. From the discipline, world whereas it's, all about the vocalist and about the words and the music and melody and this song the. Total adductors about the song so I can. Do a lot of things but I don't because it's not necessary, you know so. I, just but I focus on taking. The the techniques, that I have and making, them simple, and make them be punctuation, or. Accentuations. Or highlights. Within the grooves that I'm playing by, drawing a few rows rough kind of things in there drawing, a few of, different patterns on colors. If you notice I play I'll use a lot of colors and accents of a hat but emphasize, patterns, you know did I think of that. Mimicking. The shaker on shaky, body I want. To be starting something as a shaker on there but, I'm mimicking, listen so it came, into my spirit okay I'm a highlight that because it's a good element now playing that hi-hat thing in conjunction. With the foot thing moving so much it's a deeper concentration. That you should have or can't have you, know for the younger drummers out there professional, drums they know a lot of this stuff but for, the younger drop incoming drummers and developing drummers these are things I'm explaining to you so yeah, well, you mentioned there's kind of three aspects, of it to buying this or the spirit and then and then physical side of it let's, talk about how you'd practice, out how do you practice your mind a spirit or develop that how is that something you can even do or is that just with experience, mm yes I would, say it's. Hard to, unless, you develop. And learn from, drummers much, again once again like myself who feel spiritual, when I play I'm feel spiritual, and people recognize. That that's why a lot of artists hire me because it feels the spirit of um my groove you know feel with an attitude you know you can play like, Billie Billie Jean is perfect example Billie, Jean is basically, is this very simple beat as I.
Like. That now. When I play it the difference in in dugu I played on the record so I'm gonna give you once again this is the, pattern of Billie Jean. With. Emotion. I. Recognize, what I'm doing an assist to describe this is I'm. Holding the bass drum back just a hair fraction. That, gives it that emotion. I know snare and, hats are pretty, much on but. The bass drum that defines, where the funky lives I know nobody, likes like, Billie Jean is so simple it's so much space you. Must remember what's. In space, there. Is space so. All in that space I have to play around to fill in on Billie Jean is I, fill it in with emotion, not figures and another rhythm patterns I don't, know nothing but keep it straight like that for Michael but, I feel in that space of hold the holes between a kick, and a snare with. The emotional space and that makes me feel the, late I kick back just a fraction. And it gives an attitude, and spirited meaning, you, know and it makes people feel because you feel you see them Bobby oh oh, yeah oh I'm, talking about yeah, you hear the feeling if you know in the back so. That's. About playing with the emotion right, when you when you fill in the space with a lot of notes and stuff like that it's hard to make it emotive you know you can't feel, it as much you know it becomes more science in which is incredible, amazing which, I agree but I'm about the spirit of music is about the groove I'm more of a groove this person, right, so you're. Holding your bass drum back a little bit just and it's not that I'm thinking I'm gonna hold it back a little bit that's what I should do just feeling it it's a motion for my family should settle because I'm using to identify that, my emotion, my spirit, and, know where would this subtle here and that's, what I feel. It and that's what one, of the things they got me to work on with Michael you know that that, aspect especially building, thing was his the most important, song to play live and he said nobody plays like put like you because, that's your spirit it's just it's, just different you know and, stuff. So because. I focus. On spirit, when I'm playing everything in spots period I mean there's techniques and different things I'm and colors, and some, fast, things but, as. Far as the proof and when I'm there to play for the patterns, I'm playing about the spirit and about you know communication, because the first language is drums in a world a band you, know and this is just an advanced technique, of language.
Right, In terms is the first very, first language, to use for, communication yeah, you're right I love. It I love it yeah what about the physical, side though I know, we were talking a little bit in the back before, the lesson about what you did to develop a dub well what do you recommend for drummers. Out there to develop that. Kind of feel or that even the power and the endurance of the speed well. First. Of all you have to have patience, you have time you can listen to other drummers that inspire you some of the things I'm doing some, patterns, that others drummers, are doing on the bass drum and and, only, hands as well but just got it it's not going to just snap on a like a light switch and come to you you gotta spend time with, the drums very. Important. You. Have to spend, time with. Your instrument, a lots. Of time to. Get to know it and it to get to know you and, you, become one to, become one so. You can express together, and really and the emote together to the audience that's listening to that you, know paid money to come see you stuff. But I think the most important thing is to spend time with your drums not, so much with a band yet but. Now all the time you can with your instrument. So you can become one with it and, develop, the vocabulary. With it you, know and then you what pose can speak as one, so, I think practice, isn't my was my favorite, time and, I was just getting there just thought somewhere and in some way eventually you, know spend. Time with my drums and get to know it you know my instrument, and be one with it so, um you. Know I just can't. Advise that more to, trying to do that and and, trying to develop your style learn from other records and other people too like I did you know but then always add something here and there and in places, that you feel that just color here would be nice and it's all good great you know our twist it around and make it yours and if eventually from adding all the different styles all the people that you you, study to listen to and practiced on you, become you develop.
Your Own language in, drummer then people identified, as your sound and you become somebody else, we studying and, listening to tried to be got my eel so, that's, another thing I expressed to try to make it individual, this is we're all individuals, and we're trying to make our own sound our own voice and our own language on our instruments, and it's. A fun thing to do to discover yourself it's. A really great and enjoyable, thing to do and discover and I can do this I can say what I want to say it will on, my instrument, you know that's why I have fun doing I could express myself at will I love it the, song want to be starting something you played in the very beginning that's got a very active bass drum pattern, I remember when I tried to play that for the first time I'm like how the heck how, you do that how did you develop that well. I knew the song was there and I mean that it was a big hit and I knew Michael wanted this of course had to replicate this thing live so, I listened, to the song and studying and I noticed that the pattern on the drums was. Was really cool and different and, as I mentioned earlier that hi-hat, part is basically mimicking, the shaker. So. I felt that that would that should be accentuated more, in the record and in the live performance so I started doubling it and W but don't be, ond that the bass drum part is like this let me show you how. That's. What's on the record it's. Simpler I felt. That for, live it has to be more energetic, has, to move more I said, and then knowing, my my. My, favorite, thing to do is just mess with the bass drum farce is I said, I'm gonna add another built another, bass drum beat in there to fill it in and it becomes one continuous. Thing more or less now, this is what I did to it to. Make it move more I wanted to be keep pumping, and moving and excite, Michael Moore so I do like this I. Filled. In that space at home with, another beat that helped it be continuous, I'm like a hypnotic thing, you, know chanting, kind of thing and then, I of course I added that accent tuitions, on the hi-hat to mimic the shaker you. Know so that's how I developed it in order, to to a better, emotional. Sing live keep. Excite, Michael Moore and he turned around he's like yeah yeah he. Liked that push it like to be pushed in this is his artistic, abilities, come up and do things he didn't think he was gonna do him so why, don't we were talking he said yeah at first you had a trouble play the whole thing in, one go you'd have the endurance how did you push through that threshold and what kind of tips can you give us to. Get that kind of speed in control but I did that at home you know you, know and developing before we started the tour rehearsals and stuff like that I, was. Speaking earlier about the, when. You're playing in all genres you know we all have it I had it in the beginning when I do my locomotive, thing beat and. When, I do just want, to be starting something be it was a you feel that burning sensation and you yes, and then, your ankle you know and you start feeling and you start struggling more and and, but I I found to do once. Again be. Patient nothing. Comes quickly enough nothing comes easy that's difficult so. I stopped. Practicing and that's all going for a while but. Then and after they 64, bars or whatever like that I start feeling the fatigue in it and also another important, thing is to do it with definition. And power all, the, time now, my foot is doing dynamics, you know what I do.
Dinah. It's kind of swinging a little bit but do it in other words you don't want people to think you did that as a mistake you, want to know that I meant to play that that way and that's why you hear it that way so, my thing was to play with authority. Don't make it light make it strong it's got to be strong so, it won't sound like a mistake oh you barely doing it you got to be very powerful we were strong because it's, got to command the distressed, of the band and commanded stage they're, counting on the drummer to be the strength of the banner string to the artist so I was, not only practicing. The figures, I was, practicing. In with deep concentration of, having, power and authority playing. The figures which, gives more burn and, said that you want to get out that bengay that like, a bomb yeah, attack of mine the. Copper fiddle, is something you gotta gets up what's up all day that thing's burning yeah it's on fire but you, you you work with it you work with it and I found that each day as I push myself push myself through the burnout oh man I can't. Do it over but I'm gonna do it longer I go a little bit longer and then every day I would do a little bit long and I next day I do a little bit longer a little bit long and then there's like that all, scary, threshold. When. It burns so bad, you, see my legs about to fall off you. Know you, know there's. Brush fire in my in my calves Emily yeah. So um call the firemen but anyway you get, into that point that ceiling, of that I found. That if you get behind there that's the worst it can be there's got to be something bright on other side of I think I can keep this going so I thought it working, on concentrating, as des, instead of on the burning, I'm figured, out a psychological. Sing concentrate. On the figure, that you're, trying to accomplish and do if, you can't think about man in my leg is burning a friend I can't take this oh man what am I gonna do a kid I kind of stopped a got a stop but, distract. Your mind it's, all power, of the mind is a powerful man. It's really you don't know what's inside your head, right. This, is a computer, man and it's adjustable, it's, flexible, and you, can control, you supposed to control and you can control it if you learn how to distract. Yourself and, the, power of the distraction. It's, very very beneficial and, beneficial, ways a positive, way so I learned, to distract, my burning, sensation, on my foot by, saying I've got to keep this figure going no matter what they're. Counting on me so I would feel the burn until I can I'd like I, had to just stop I got to stop and I said no I'm not gonna stop the will came here it comes on you after if you can get past that to the certain point of the threshold, wall then. You know then, you let it be supplemented. With the will to do I'm gonna do this I know I'm not gonna stop I gotta push past it and you're gonna suffer a little bit but, I guarantee you in a bit of time you. Know whatever is different, from everybody, you know it takes me how people ask me how long it takes you took you to get to that point of the threshold get beyond it or get, to be continuous, through the pain and I said I can't say that for certainly this because it's different with me then, it's gonna be different with you from, individual, to individual, but you can stand your threshold, of pain tolerance you know what Thomas you can stand as diff opposed to where I can stand you know I can stand a quite a lot I've, taught myself to mentally, to put, the barrier, up there and and, think, think, and feel beyond, that and keep.
The Concentration I can say distract myself what, the concentration, of the gig for the job and what I'm doing the pattern, and so, I distract, the pain from that that's what you have to learn how to do control, your mind body, and physicality, and, your. Body you can control with some mind control, by, thinking or something you know something different, you know you'll. Feel the pain is still there but when you distract your mind if focuses, really intently on the other thing that the high-hat part the snare part the time part, you know then, you realize delay my footage trip like I feel like not my foot Sugoi but I'm thinking. Of what I'm doing with the high hand in other parts so, the power the mine is what I'm trying to say it's, very, very powerful. And very beneficial to you if you have spent time with yourself who did drone and push, yourself. You, know don't be afraid of, pain what's, funny I get a lot of emails from students that I'll say I started, practicing on then I started hurt so I stopped you, know that's how you got you want to keep pushing through that right that's why you develop. You. Want to play solo I want to see this in action again, I've been talking about your foot your your your technique and how you practice some place. A little solo so we kind of see what you do let me do something I do all the time everybody know me about the scalded, locomotive, and I'll do that and it's sort of continued pattern, like want, to be starting something but, this is I come, from New Orleans I was playing this beat and and. Once again I added more Beach to it to make it more continuous, and, this is look motor. The. Whole time I could have done it DoCoMo. I filmed it and I felt, it and recorded it I've, done it for 43, minutes straight, you're kidding I got it on video I saw holy, working. On my concentration. So. If you guys won't know how to practice your foot technique do that for 45 minutes straight oh yeah. But. Anyway that's what part of what that was developed from that. Technique got burn burn burn trying, to keep that thing going yeah, but I heard that figure that's just new virtually. It was possible, I could do it yeah but, of course I didn't start a flea it's slow just now I should play faster than that really, but then my younger you know yeah. Sure sure I'm, not gonna make my sole look back in front of you guys all right, that's. Fast enough for you right now yeah it's great okay, obviously. With with technique you just put the time in you listen to a lot of Records but listen, to the bass try to add a lot more. Burning. Or pushing, through the burn that threshold yes, all that kind of stuff but you one thing I haven't asked you about yet is you, talked about leading grooves, with your foot don't. Talk a little bit about that like your approach to writing and you have a really cool blues, shuffle, a funky blues shuffle that I want you to show us and maybe explain how you lead that you put how you think of creating groups from the bottom up yeah. I'm from New Orleans and mostly the only, instruments, are known from that foot therefore in a strong, foot. Syncopated. Foot all the figures in New Orleans are usually very, syncopated, you, know so. I I, grew up in that style and, of course you know always knows that blues and chairs played. Some blues down there I'm not the most verse - listen. To some jazz but. I was so caught at the R&B and pop and funk you know and, so but, I do know a little bit, of jazz but anyway I de Franchi blues thing I develop, off of strangely. Enough off of, line of family stones. Sex, machine they, got this song called sex machine right so on ii when i played in the clubs with my bands, in New Orleans they, wanted me to take a soul so I had to figure out this thing to take a solo with so, basically it's, a pattern that I do and as, similar to the result of record it's built in foundation off that was on the record but, I started doing a shuffle, thing with the bass drum and, it goes like this.
Awesome. Thank you so much quick little doubles up thirty-second. Notes almost yeah. Yeah. Yeah, so, I can see like your hands are basically doing the same thing everything's led from that foot, yes exactly leading off with the foot it's, more ground, based kind of figuring and your experience you see a lot of drummers that start from the top yeah, summers, in my error in naming today a hand. You, know the. Speed and power, of the hands you know single. Notes double bass double, nose I'm sorry but, the New Orleans a new way I grew up listening to be enough to find out the bass I could, put the leading with my foot so moving, those kind of things right patterns. Or maybe. The. Top of my head where, did that start off with the base Joe. Very. Cool base. Time base trim things like that changes, the whole way you probably write, an approach, exactly. Yes there's a different kind of thing you know and to, make. Melodies. With the feet get your foot you know right trying to do that I think melodically, with my foot my foot patterns, you know hmm. Like also stems from wanting to be a bass player too and you singing, you did a cool little uh a groove when. We were doing sound check and you came back into the city you're humming a song to him when you see a great song I started writing right there I'm sorry that'd be spot don't actually what that beat was I can't remember I always think of the things off the top of my head and then I heard I guess you're recording or whatever and I heard it and I'm like wait a minute a single. Bass line for that and such thing a melody to it writing at the time I didn't have nothing to record so it's, gone in the air no no we recorded, it man oh cool yeah 70 fantastic, yeah if I could make something out of that it was funky those Google yeah so, before, we can wrap up there's some questions I'll get to but what, kind of tips can you give to the beginners out there or even the intermediates, we're really wanting to fellip that, funky foot and to take that approach from the bottom up what kind of advice can you give them same thing as I did listen to bass players learn bass players figures, combine, that with the basic figures that it's, on a record when I learned be accurate for the record after, you get that down you got the record pattern you know that you're necessary to do the gig or whatever start experimenting, on your own and learning the bass patterns, and incorporating. In the beginning leading off with the basics the base nose starts before the bass drum. Pattern. Starts, off a little bit before the kick drum hits do, that do whatever base them. Do. The leading lead off things like that or things after the bass pattern you know after the drum pattern and incorporate, those in and, actually. Will match with the bass player you basically in full force on what he's doing right another. Thing I just just listening, to you play acoustically, here you're not just playing one note on the bass drum you play or at one volume deer. Dynamics, are all over things you see it yeah because it's music it's not just one volume, stedfast. You know it's got to be dynamic to make it float and feel that's what a fuel comes from the dynamics, of things now, pay a lot of time. Yeah. Just like that it makes the song mm-hmm. And, a lot. Of our students, and a lot of drummers up that they all like exercises. And sheet music but the one cool thing I like about your approach is and we talked about this earlier you don't actually read. Sheet music you. Know I don't read it all unfortunately, that's not bragging, it's nothing to brag about I'm actually you know kind of embarrassed about it because all these years I've been professional, for 38 39, years, I should say and I never heard to read music and I should, do that I do intend, to take that up but I was working so much, yeah and it.
Was Working for me working somebody, so I say oh okay I don't need to do that now I do that later and it became later became later if he came to now and, I had something I do want to tack on, it. Prevents me from doing. A lot of work in the movie, soundtracks, you, know a lot of jingles and stuff there that's done for commercial, stuff like that but I did, new work with Richard, Marx on his son jingle, house of doing songs. For radio suffering, Patrick Leonard who I started with him we're doing jingles, as well then we turn over the Patrick with Madonna, records you know Richard Marx were doing three of his albums but, and it was patient because they wanted my feel in my style and my touch my approach but, I do advise, you learn to read music and, know, how to. Read because if he gets you more work broader across to the studios in a big time, but, it just really, cool is here, that. You didn't have those exercises. Of those books that you went through you just listen to music and. You just practice you played right. Well it was about desire, I've heard what they were doing on a record I say my thing was I, said if, they can do it I can do it too yeah you, know I felt. As though I'm. Capable, of doing it in replicating, with doing all I have to do is copy what they did and have, the determination, to get I'm gonna get this I'm, gonna get this I'm gonna how much time it takes I'm, gonna spend the time because I want to get better at what I do I want, to I want to get prog almost feel and see progress and hear progress, of my playing and. People to appreciate what I do that's the main, reason why we play we play for self-gratification. But. The, real reason why we play because we want to play in front of a lot of people see, what they feel about what we're doing I'm. Irrelevant to them and do they enjoy what I'm doing in my poison language of music you know my style do they hear me do they enjoy it, am I getting a reaction from them and that's very rewarding you, know that's better than money better than anything you know I'm, so I mean that's.
What Drove me to but I love getting reaction from Michael from Edano and stays back, look at me so you know I'm doing something right you know and from the audience when I see them bobbin and Weavin you know and, even I figure I say that drumming in, music especially drumming, is is. A power, you've been granted with but, all all the talent is the power that you've been gifted with you, know I just a from God I believe in God so it gives you an anoint you with something, to, preach set you apart and give. You advantages. In life and I feel the power of what I do I can play Billie Jean as simple as it is you. Know and it may not impress a lot of drummers but all the people in the audience is gonna be, and. I. Can look for this back in the top bleachers, of the stands and people are, dancing yeah, and especially on, the break down with Michael dancing, is just he and I we dance partners and he's just he and I at the end of the song and I, realized, and recognized, the power of, that, beat that. People are doing like this, Michaels. Dancing, now he's thrilling he's a real thriller he's throwing them but they're not dancing his feet like this the beat I mean that's the to his dance they're not bobbing their heads at his dance moves they bobbing the head and hands to my drum blades and I feel a sense of power of that is that I can move you you're, sitting no, maybe have them not, not have my work for this person can we play some big stadiums like 130,000. Sometimes crazy looks like to me ill half a mile yeah but you could see the people at the farm most reaches to the bleachers and they're moving and, I, said my power is that I can make them move without. Weighing my hand physical evil on them that's crazy, it's the power of the Spirit in us yeah then, I can I can move animate, them from, that far away that's, very, special very special I love it I love it I wish we could go on for the two hours because I have so many questions I'm. Gonna get to a couple questions, the students have if that's cool yeah and then what kind of rap pop Brian. Frazer more is watching. He says Sugarfoot he says how did you maintain your career for 39 years and killing. It like. I said I have the best manager, agent. Anyone. And everyone has and, can have our, God is my manager and. Jesus Christ as my. Savior. And my agent, because. My. Career is sustained, so long because. Things. Were directed, to me you, know I put in time with my playing and I believed in my playing that's why I'm still here okay, I don't say I just all on faith, it's. About my playing I believe in myself I believe my playing but. I do feel, the presence of something beyond, me, or, hanging around hover around my career that makes these things possible because, people out of the blue would call you, know even when I just finished one thing here comes another call all I think about when I got were cameo I said man I'm be yourself the new single was on a radio into a car I'm like saying man it's the great drag man man, I would always wit though my family I said I wish I could play with them I've always want to play with that thing that time I'll do some great beats I could play that stuff pretty good and then I said no but I can and, they said why you can't do it I said man the. Leader of the band is the drummer man I can't believe he's leaving the band and he's singing and I'm gonna do that make. Me he's already he's got this job and, he's leader he never give a bad job two, weeks later the phone ring Larry Blackman was on the phone calling. Me, and, I said miraculous things and say, hey Johnny, hey I would like you to play with cameo cameo. You, the drummer you, said yeah yeah Johnny I can't I got I've gone up front now I'm a friend of front now I need a drummer you know and I need you to come on you know come with me I said why and he said tomorrow I need you tomorrow we're in the middle of a toured I need you right away I saw you with the Jacksons at the Omni theater in Atlanta I need you to come right away I said Wow so far this thing that's pathetic happened, yeah all, the time they know I think of somebody and then I'll get a call from that person you, know so it's, a power beyond me and like. I said I have the greatest, managers, an agent there you go Brian if you want to keep.
Going For 39 more years get his man now, you get that have the faith keep the faith even believe this. Question from Bram II one, of our members and I'm, know we're gonna get this question on YouTube and for everyone else watching he, asks how important is it for what, you wear on your feet for, the bass pedal and what do you prefer, oh yeah. That's very important, I wear. Smooth, leather sole shoes like these some shoes, I did so plate up and he so kind, of curved up its a toe look like the witch shoes and with the rise and, the one that got crushed by the house they, look terrible don't look at Alone's they can't all you got the foot camera oh god yeah see these raggedy shoes but, anyway they look terrible but they're so comfortable they feel like I'm you know I can't play barefoot and. I can't play in tennis shoes or sneakers what everyone called I can't play because they my technique, is slides it's almost like, spoke, earlier people, want someone actually bought the tap-dancing thing I slide, off the pedal to the left but when I'm doing a faster figures I'm like doing this and someone, else will say if your foot sounded like a cannon bubble. Of a printer you know something like that printing needs printing and printing but it's a sliding technique that I use and I need the smooth, sole of the shoe to. Be able to do that technique you, know and I prefer, to play thin. Sold, smooth. Leather bottom, shoes, yes very. Important very important yeah and if you see his shoes because he's playing you. Got your heel up a lot of yes I can see a little band right where your toes go. I. Love it yeah, two. Last questions cool. Drummer. Viking asks was that opening solo taken, from the concert this is it when, you play it after want, to be starting something I know, I was just something of top of my head I just think it just said ghost, I said I want to do a solo after that didn't. Pry anything is just just making something up like that and you. Know of course this. Is just foolish trying to be fluent you got to practice also one. Thing I did to practice so and I was gonna coming up and growing up was that I don't. Want to have to think too much when I'm playing or doing solos all of this stuff I did what the times and stuff was on a spirit moment I've done it before but, not in the same combinations, I wanted to be like water you turn the faucet on you, see the stream of water but you don't see the drops that's, why my thought process, and it's so physical I want it to be you can't see the drop would you see the stream of my float so, and I wanted to be you have access, to do that at any time at, any any, song. Valid, or whatever I have that fluidity so I used to practice that I get on the drums of hit something and then go for it-it's another thing and another, thing aspect, of developing, that is if you play a pattern of figure you. With every figure of funk groove or whatever fan on your playing, there's rhythms, with n rhythms, the body of rhythms so, you listen to the predominant. Rhythm or the one that's more attractive or. Pleasing. Or impressive. So you take, a body of rhythm then you you you. Take. That inserted. Rhythm within that phrase you, make it another pattern right so you keep learning how to do that and taking something within another rhythm and making a pattern on it and it, grow it grow it and add things to a grant thing soon there's a rhythm in there you grab that and edit it out in your mind and then you start, doing that it's a totally. Different pattern, and then, stop growing and adding things and pretty. Soon you'll be very fluent, at playing because, that's how I started doing it you know I just think to what I'm playing in the middle spaces of what I'm playing that's searching for rhythms within rhythms and, I take, that rhythm within a rhythm making a whole nother rhythm with it I love it you know on it I wouldn't know last. Question about technique, or about your pedal sorry this, is from oak grooves he just asks how tight or loose do you keep the tension of your pedal and does it matter to you actually, this is not this is not my pedal, unfortunately. For me that's why I struggled a little bit tonight today. As my, pedal got lost last week at rehearsal. My fellow had eight years of playing and breaking in and, but. My, spring was loose, as it can get without falling, off they were so smooth they're so incredible, but this is the pedal that we had here that from the back line so. Nobody. Struggle for me but rather than my pedal but it smooth this is the federal but, my, real element isn't when I have my stuff and I didn't touch to sprain, distress, the springs touch, it at all I didn't touch the beater just, anything I just got only stop playing with your.
Pedal At home if you still had it what was the tension be like on that Oh very, very loose and and. That comes from not me adjusting, things I take a DW, 5000, turbo pedal out of the box put, it on there and I can play. In time it loosens, up his stretches and gets more flexible, and I can say I had eight years on a pair of broken. Insoles, my favorites, of all time same spring you never changed Sperry, number Springs crazy, brain and my best friend so I lost my bedroom. Anyway. This was a good fitness is a good pedal but you know is not my total, element, so it's good it's good those great pedal I'm. Gonna ask I know we didn't kind of talk with us but I want to do one more solo for us is that cool mmm-hmm sorry. Awesome, yeah and then afterwards we'll do one more song mmm, all right so take, it away would, everyone open solo yeah okay. How. Do some simple stuff. What, am I supposed to say that, was insane, thank you there's many times in my dramas just on the floor that was so well done man thank you thank you so much didn't. Mean to put you on the spot but man did you ever deliver thank. You good as you guys know yes yeah so. I don't even know where to go from the thank you so much for coming out very, welcome thank you having me my dress yeah I wish we could do this for. Another couple hours but we, got to wrap it up here guys for, all the drum, yo members who are watching thanks. For coming, out we're gonna be filming a couple exclusive, things for with Jonathan, course, on breaking, down some iconic Michael Jackson grooves and we'll try to dig in more to his technique, talk. About some of your tour experience and unless it's gonna be a lot of fun do. You have anything lots of other things to say to the community out there before we wrap up, find. Your greatest passion, follow. That to your end of your dreams that's. What happened for me there's a little kid and. It's felt like this was amazing for me to be that's why I've done nothing else but this all.
Of Our life you know so on it. Led me to, my. End. Of my rainbow and. Spent, a lot of time typing, finding a great time of my life so it's, really rewarding when you can say I spent my life the way I wanted to do it and I. A great ride along the way I continued. Many more years I have plans to and. I want you to enjoy yourselves, as much as I enjoyed mine, pursue. Your dreams work, hard at it it's, there for you reach out and grab it.