How to play Space Cowboy on Drums

Drum Songs

INTROduction:

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.

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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.

Verse
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.

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.

Notes
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

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