T Nation

Any Drummers Out There?


I've been teaching myself how to play the drums for about a year now and I'm finding that it's easier for me to learn certain songs and techniques if I have the tabs to a song to read along with listening to the song itself.

I've been able to find a ton of tabs from 911tabs.com and a few other sites, but I'm having a hard time finding the drum tabs for funk and jazz; most of these sites have a ton of rock but not a whole lot else.

If there are any drummers out there, do any of you have some tabs for some funk/soul/r&b? Specifically:

Mother Popcorn by James Brown
I Got The Feelin' by James Brown
Fame by David Bowie
Express Yourself by Charles Wright
anything else by James Brown and/or the JB's with Jabo Starks or Clyde Stubblefield on drums

Thanks in advance.


Ass-To-Mouth or it didn't happen.


I fucking knew that would be the first response. Fuck it, I deserve it. How long until someone gives me the tabs to the song "Slit His Fucking Throat"?


Am I the only drummer on this whole God-forsaken site who likes funk/soul? No Clyde Stubblefield or Bernard Purdie fans out there?


i am a drummer, but i don't have tabs for you. sorry.


Dude, I'm a guitar player and I have to say that those two have influenced my playing.

Q: How can you tell the stage is level?
A: The drummer is drooling from both sides of his mouth.


Lol! With a name like SteelyD I figured you'd be a big fan of Bernard Purdie. I've been trying to figure out the Purdie shuffle and I have some tabs for different variations of it, as well as the tabs for "Fool in the Rain", but that shit is tough, especially since I've never taken a formal lesson. I'm probably developing all sorts of bad habits, but I figure with no formal lessons I'll also be able to develop my style and technique more. Right now that stlye consists of a lot of punctured heads and I have a tendency to snap the sticks in half when I play accented rim shots like Stubblefield. I even go through 2Bs pretty quickly. Fuck it, the easiest part is playing with Bonham-esque power. The hardest part is playing with his level of control and dynamics at the same time.


What exactly do you mean by ''tabs''? Are you referring to written sheet music of the drum parts, tablature for the guitar parts, or a chart with the head and changes?

I'm a bit confused as to what you're asking here.


Tabs are like sheet music, but simpler to read. Same as sheet music for guitars vs tablature for guitars. Drum tabs just use simple symbols to indicate notes on different drums. Usually it's something like an open circle on the bottom line for the bass drum, the next line is for the floor tom and so on. The top line is for the hi-hat and then they'll add extra lines for the hi-hat when it's played with the left foot.

A lowercase x indicates notes on the hi-hat with either an uppercase X for an open note on the hi-hat, or a larger O for an open note. An X above the highest line is for the crash. Each line will have usually have a letter at its left margin to indicate which drum/cymbal it is. B for bass DB for double bass, FT for floor tom, t for the rack toms, F for a flam, (g) for a ghost note, D on the snare line for a drag, hh for hi-hat hhF for hi-hat played with the left foot, C for crash R for the ride. Each measure is a specific amount of dashes, depending on what time signature the beat is in. Each dash represents 1/16th note, 16 dashes to a measure for 4/4 time.

I don't know how to read regular sheet music, so drum tablature is easier for me to deal with.


1: Get a teacher
2: Have him/her review your technique
3: Learn how to read music
4: Now you can buy drumming books like the patterns series by Gary Chaffee, "Stick Control" by George Lawrence Stone, "The New Breed" by Gary Chester.
5: Practice every fucking chance you get.

Want to be a good drummer? Do the above, and listen to every genre of music, emulating what happens in the drum section, be it latin, jazz, or straight up funk.

Good luck!


DB -

Last year there was a YouTube video that someone put together from a bunch of videos of people playing. "Pretty" Purdy was the drum piece. The video that they cut up is actually pretty informative and entertaining to watch.

Let me see if I can dig it up.


Found it.

"Mother of All Funk Chords":

Purdie Vid:

Who wouldn't want this guy for a drum teacher? LOL. Awesome.


Ugh, sounds like a mess. Best thing to do is to learn to read music.

I suppose someplace out there someone may have transcribed these tracks and converted them to 'tablature,' but when I was in school, we did it ourselves, if we were doing some kind of playalong thing. Transcribing charts is a good way to get the feel of a certain drummer, but it can get hard, depending on what you're transcribing.

Anyway, here's a link I found, maybe there's something there for you:



Also, this.

Once you can learn to read music you will open up a whole new world of resources to help you with styles and such. If you want recommendations of good methods books, PM me and I'll give you a list.


  1. Don't need to take lessons, just need to practice more. A lot of drummers have never had a formal lesson, John Bonham being one. My playing has progressed very quickly as is.
  2. see above
  3. Definitely do need to do this
  4. need to do 3 so I can do four and make better sense of "Led Zeppelin Drumming Techniques" a book someone gave me
  5. I practice every day

I already listen to everything from Mongo Santamaria to Miles Davis to James Brown to Steely Dan to Parliament to Led Zeppelin to Tool (which makes me want to quit the drums) to NIN to Elvin Jones.


X2 on the New Breed, my first and only instructor used it for lessons.

I hardly play much anymore cause I don't work straight afternoon shift, no one was ever around when I would practice. I changed jobs recently and have days off during the week so I am able to make noise again without getting the stink eye from my neighbors...all accept one. He swears it's louder in the winter with the frozen ground. Guitar with headphones on has been my music fix for a few years now. I much prefer drums but it's tough on your family when they're home.

SteelyD that video was awesome, that shuffle will be in my head all day lol.

Two metal drummers I've been really impressed with lately are the guy from Gojiira and the guy from Bring Me The Horizon. Not sure if your into that stuff though.

Another drummer who I like alot but isn't a household name is John Stanier from Helmet, love his style.

How do you keep two drummers in time?

Shoot one!


Lessons could help to speed your progress. Also, having someone else critique your playing might help you from developing bad habits such as bad posture or pick up good habits such as conservation of movement.
You might want to look into rudimentary drumming to help build stick control.
Both of the books mentioned are really good. Alex Acuna made a really good video on automating movement and playing multi-rhythms.

Best of luck.

What do you call a drummer whose girlfriend just broke up with him?



Ha! I see the coincidence, but "SteelyD" has nothing to do with "Steely Dan" :wink:

Here's some Purdie Dan.


I don't think you quite understand the need for good technique. Find a good teacher, I guarantee you, you won't regret it.


Because the more you practice, the better your technique has to be. And the better your technique is, the more can you practice, and the faster you will progress.

You implying that because John Bonham never had a formal lesson, then you shouldn't either, is an argument that I don't quite understand. Are you saying that you have the same talent that John Bonham ( or Dennis Chambers, for that matter) had?

I'm speaking from experience when I am giving you advice here, and am only trying to help.

Good luck again with your drumming!


You're right. Maybe I should look into some lessons. I do think that I have a natural talent like Bonham and Chambers did, but not to nearly the same extent. For whatever reason I've been able to keep perfect, steady time since the first time I sat down at a kit. It's the multi-limb coordination that doesn't come as easily to me. Polyrhythms are a long way off, although I'm starting to get the hang of a certain part in "Eulogy" from Tool that's a basic polyrhythm. "Sober" has been a tough one for me to pick up. Fuck Danny Carey.