Ninjas! In this lesson we’ll be learning how to play Space Cowboy by Jamiroquai which was the lead single from their 1994 release The Return of the Space Cowboy. The single reached #17 in the UK charts but the album version (the one we’re learning) is very different with a far more interesting drum part and structure.
Space Cowboy features a mid-tempo sixteenth note groove that drummer Derek McKenize lays right in the pocket. The pulse is solid and there are loads of bass drum syncopations, hi-hat opens and rolls which give the track a super funky flavor.
If you take a look at the verse on the pdf you’ll notice sixteenths on the hi-hat, a backbeat on the snare and the bass drum falling on one, the a of two and three. The hi-hat is played clean and opens on the a of three and e of four. The fill coming out of the verse has a crash on the a of beat four which follows the band and sets up the chorus.
On the chorus of the tune there is more movement on the hi-hats and bass drum which takes the energy up a notch. Just watch for the skips on the hi-hat and try to make them sound as clean as possible.
This track is quite long and due to it’s slight improvisational nature there is a lot of grooves and tricks to learn. It can be deceptively difficult to play so a bit of time spent with this one will work wonders for your sixteenths and your technique in general.
Now Kill It! DN
If you really want to improve your drum skills then check out Mike Michalcow’s Drumming System. This comprehensive training package covers everything you need to progress from complete beginner to seasoned professional.
Just starting the drums? Check out the Rock Drumming System where you’ll discover how to play beginner-to-advanced beats, fills and more whether you read sheet music or not!