In recent years UK drummer Kaz Rodriguez has made fans of drumming superstars like Travis Barker, Aaron Spears, Tony Royster and Chris Coleman and become the most talked about drummer in the industry.
Aside from his obvious talents behind the kit, this reputation is in no small part thanks to Kaz’s innate ability to write and produce brilliant backing tracks for drummers. A quick YouTube search of Kaz Rodriguez illustrates quite how many drummers are using his tracks.
You can read Kaz’s incredible story in this month’s Rhythm Magazine. We couldn’t include Kaz in the magazine without bottling some of that supreme talent for you to study too . In this world-exclusive lesson Kaz plays through the track ‘Thoughts’ from his Thoughts Vol 3 album, before talking you through some of the key drum parts in detail.
Pick up the April issue of Rhythm to read the interview and to get hold of full lesson notation, and download the Thoughts drumless backing track for free below.
Download Thoughts (94MB)
'Thoughts' track playthrough
Lesson 1 - verse groove
Here Kaz demonstrates the main verse groove of Thoughts. It’s a basic part based on Michael Jackson’s Billie Jean, but it’s important to get the feel right. Watch the video and try the simple version before moving onto Kaz’s more advanced version with additional hi-hat parts. Both beats are demonstrated at 110bpm and 140bpm.
Lesson 2 - chorus groove
Now it’s time to tackle the chorus groove which incorporates a cymbal stack. Again, Kaz plays it slow (110bpm) to ease you in, then up to speed (140bpm).
Lesson 3 - verse flip
Things get a little trickier now. For this lesson we’re looking at a time signature groove that goes in and out of time, from 6/8 into 4/4. Take a look at the video for a demonstration.
Lesson 4 - fill concepts
In the final section of the song there’s an opportunity to improvise. Here, Kaz demonstrates a multitude of fill options for you to try out. Remember, Kaz wrote these songs so that drummers of any level can experiment, so above all else have fun and find your own voice.