Have you noticed the trend lately? Listen to all the hit songs that have a lot of ghost notes and drags across the snare. Songs like “Realize” by Colbie Caillat are a prime example of the snare drag. You don’t realize (pun intended) it but if you listen carefully the drag of the snare drum sets the mood for the whole track. Victor Indrizzo played the drum tracks on Cailliat’s “Coco” cd and he did a masterful job. For those of you that don’t know, ghost notes are usually notes played on the snare drum in between the hits on 2&4 and are usually played at a lower level than the 2&4 back beat hits. This technique causes suttle rhythmic movement that when done properly really make a drum track groove.
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Clyde Stubblefield on drums. Listen carefully to Clyde’s use of the ghost note. Notice the volume differences between the backbeat and the ghost note. You should also notice he never plays one fill, he just grooves his arse off. Clyde plays exactly what’s needed for the song. These two song examples bring another technique to light, When Clyde hits the back beat on the snare drum he hits the rim and the drum head at the same time commonly know as a rimshot. It causes a greater attack and more excitement in the track almost like the snare is talking to you. When victor plays the back beat he hits the center of the snare drum without hitting the rim. It produces less attack and a warmer sound. It really fits the mellow tone of the track he is playing on.