Difficulty LevelIn this free drum lesson I’ll be showing you an extract from the Book Greatest Drum Beats Of All Time teaching the famous drum beat from the song Cissy Strut by The Meters, performed by Zigaboo Modeliste.


Cissy Strut” Drum Beat Demonstration

View the video on YouTube HERE – Learn How To Play Drums Song Cissy Strut Video Drum Beat Lesson (The Meters & Zigaboo Modeliste)


Why It’s Great

Cissy Strut captures the essence of New Orleans funk with Ziggy’s irresistible syncopation and patented second-line rhythms, emphasising the last half-beat of the bar. Inspired by the marching jazz bands of the city that played in funeral processions, Ziggy’s drumming is guaranteed to make people move their feet.

Cissy Strut Free Drum Lesson Zigaboo Modeliste


How To Play It

Occurs during the first verse. This drum beat can be thought of us being a linear style drum beat. Most of the sound sources (hi-hat, snare etc.) are struck on their own, and not at the same time, creating a line of single notes that flow from the beginning of the bar to the end.

What makes this beat so great to listen too is the fact that Zigaboo plays in a quasi-swung/quasi-straight style. This means that all of the sixteenth notes have a swung lilt to them that is neither straight nor swung but rather, in between. It also makes imitating the feel of this groove particularly tricky.

The hi-hat on the ‘e’ of beat 3 is ghosted (played quietly) right before the second hi-hat note which is accented. If you find the accents too hard then work on playing the basic pattern first and then add the dynamics in later, bearing in mind that it’s the dynamics that help to give this groove such great feel and sound!

It’s recommended when learning this groove that you are able to count the rhythm written above the notation first, in the swung/straight manner. This will help you when it comes to placing the notes into their correct spacing within the bar. If you can count the drum beat then playing it is that much simpler!


Other Bars Of Interest

Cissy Strut Free Drum Lesson Zigaboo Modeliste


How To Play It

This groove occurs during the second verse. A second ghosted hi-hat note is added on the ‘+’ of beat 2 in this variation creating a flow of uninterrupted swung sixteenth notes all the way through the bar. Again, if you find the dynamics tricky then only apply them after you have the basic pattern down.


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