“Iko Iko,” popularized by New Orleans legend Dr. John, is basically a 3/2 New Orleans clave pattern on the snare drum and bass drum. This is a great go-to if a bandleader turns around and says, “Give me a New Orleans feel.” Once you feel the groove, experiment with variations around the kit. Check out some variations in the video above.
This is the second lesson in our series this month featuring a set of New Orleans grooves from Stewart Jean, program chair for drums at Musicians Institute in Hollywood, California.
- Add some rolls to the end of the second bar
- Keep the bass drum pattern and add some call and response with the snare
- Try playing the right hand on the bell of the ride cymbal