One concept I have strongly emphasized and will continue to emphasize in my seminars and blog articles is that, praise music is a genre unto itself with its own set of distinctives and nuances. If a musician wants to play praise music, then it is up to him or her to learn what this genre requires. (I would apply this same principle to the other genres as well.) On the same token, it is up to those musicians who have the knowledge and experience in the praise genre to teach the younger and less experienced musicians what those distinctives and nuances are. Among all the instructional DVDs for praise drummers that I have seen so far, the 2008 instructional DVD by Carl Albrecht entitled, Drum Grooves For Worship does that best job of teaching praise music distinctives and nuances for drummers that I have seen thus far.
Before producing this DVD, Carl spent several hours doing research on the top 100 CCLI songs and sub-dividing those songs into 7 distinct groove patterns. In addition to this DVD, Carl also published his research observations in writing and gives a much more detailed account of each song that he listened too. These observations are available on pdf that you can down load from his website, http://carlalbrecht.com/wp-content/uploads/Drum-Grooves-For-Worship.pdf. In this pdf, Carl not only gives you the different groove patterns, but he indicates the ideal tempo for each of the songs, as well as the kick patterns for the verses and choruses. This pdf could be used as a cheat sheet for those younger, inexperienced drummers who are learning the different praise songs.
Here are the 7 grooves that Carl has identified:
Groove #1 – Straight 8th note feel (17)
Groove #2 – 8th note w/ filler 16ths - Alternative Rock Feel (26)
Groove #3 – 16th note “Train feel” – Rock or Latin (20)
Groove #4 - 8th &/or 16th note feel in Ballad Style (27)
Groove #5 - 6/8 Majestic Feel (7)
Groove #6 – Shuffles or Swing feel – Triplet minus the middle* (1)
Groove #7 - Odd Time Grooves – . - 5/4 - etc. etc.(3)
Keep in mind that a praise drummer needs to learn as many different groove patterns as possible in order to be as versatile as possible. However, a good praise drummer should learn to master these seven grooves first and then move on from there.
Another thing to keep in mind is that this list of groove patterns are the top groove patterns of CCLI’s top 100 for 2008. I am quite certain that in a few years there will be new songs in CCLI’s top 100 that weren’t there in 2008. My best guess is that the first five groove patterns will more than likely still hold their existing places. I am not so sure about the last two, we will just have to wait and see.
As for the DVD itself, I found Carl to be very articulate and telegenic. He conveyed all of his points very well and all of his points were very relevant for praise drummers. Carl demonstrated groove patterns covering well over a dozen different songs. One thing I found very interesting is that Carl did not use any instrumentalists to accompany him while demonstrating the different groove patterns. Instead, he sang or hummed the songs as he played the grooves. This is not necessarily a bad thing. In Carl’s case, he happens to be a fairly decent vocalist in addition to being a good drummer and percussionist. So for him, the singing and humming actually worked.
In addition to teaching the seven basic grooves patterns of praise music, Carl also gave a lot of practical advice for praise drummers in regards to developing good practice habits. Drum Grooves For Worship is an excellent teaching video for all praise drummers at any level. I highly recommend it, I was not disappointed with my purchase of this product.