Colin Woolway's Teasers

Blocker's Beat

Some fifteen years ago I did some study with Bob Armstrong. One of the things I liked about his lessons was his delightful habit of throwing little "gems" my way, drum figures that he's picked up over the years which he would demonstrate effortlessly. I would smile and nod and say, "Yeah, that's great", and then go home and scream and curse as I tried to persuade my hands and feet to produce something even vaguely like it. Most of the time my perseverance would pay off. Here's one that escaped.

It has a Samba feel to it, the bass drum and hi-hat playing the usual ostinato:

Now the right hand cymbal figure is a bit more difficult:

Got it? Okay, now the bit I have trouble with is the left hand snare syncopated pattern, which I will give you the first two bars of. The trick is not to "loop" the two bars, but to carry the syncopation on, so the cymbal implies a shuffle feel:

If I remember rightly, Bob attributed this teasing little groove to a drummer called Joe Blocker. Where is he now?