In this youtube clip, Steve Jordan talks about the push and pull that creates the feel of rock ’n’ roll. I think this is the best three minutes of info out there! Since there’s a lot of information in this video, here are my notes:

“There’s a swing to it.” Steve plays an English version of a twist beat and then plays The Mercy Beat — Ringo (The Beatles). “Ringo was swingin’ his ass off!”

Rock ’N’ Roll is based on the straight eighth notes against the dotted eighth notes. Little Richard (piano and one of the originators of rock ’n’ roll) played the straight eighths. You’ve got to have an element where somebody’s shuffling against the straight eighths. [That somebody is the drummer.]

Earl Palmer (drummer with Little Richard, among others) is one of the inventors of rock ’n’ roll. His favorite drummer was Max Roach (jazz drummer icon).

Charlie Watts (drummer with The Rolling Stones): Elvin Jones (another jazz drummer icon).

Mitch Mitchell (drummer for Jimi Hendrix): All he wanted to be was Elvin Jones.

That’s the secret weapon in Rock ’N’ Roll.

So, learn how to swing/shuffle if you want to be able to play rock ‘n’ roll. (That’s my two cents!)


  • Kimberlee Bell Posted October 24, 2017 1:11 pm

    Great video, love this explained and demonstrated. For drummers, when you can play straight and then play around with the dotted eighth notes swinging just a little then bringing it to the extreme is a really great way to learn how to change the feel and groove (getting in the in-between). I wish I would have learned this concept starting out…thanks for sharing – keep the blogs coming

    • gregorytechdrum Posted October 24, 2017 1:23 pm

      Thanks, Kim! Steve’s explanation is just so great, and being able to hear him play it is wonderful. I, too, wish I had figured this out much sooner.

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