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  • PAS Playlist: Richie Hayward by Scotti Iman

    by Rhythm Scene Staff | Dec 05, 2022

    Iman Playlist

    Richie Hayward is one of my top three drummers of all time and space. When I first saw him live with Little Feat in 2003, my jaw dropped, and my desire to become the world’s fastest pop punk drummer quickly receded into the ether. Richie commanded the grooves in Little Feat with an ease that seemed effortless but filled the room with joyous sound. He tended to phrase his grooves with the vocal line but never in a way that overpowered the music, just enough emphasis to add energy when needed. He was a true master drummer, and I’m happy that we have such a large catalog of his work to enjoy. Here are a few of those fantastic Feat grooves with a few others peppered in.

    “Dixie Chicken”
    Probably one of the more popular Little Feat tunes and rightfully so. Richie’s playing follows the vocals and adds slight, funky accents when necessary.

    “Fat Man in the Bathtub”
    This track always reminds me how locked in Richie and percussionist Sam Clayton were. The congas and kit were never fighting for attention; they really operated as a percussion section.

    “Feats Don’t Fail Me Now”
    Listen to this track and tell me that isn’t some of the funkiest hi-hat work you’ve ever heard.

    “The Fan”
    This is a great example of Richie letting the melody dictate how his groove should be phrased. The song being in 7/8 definitely really made Richie flow and open up a bit more when it came to timekeeping. Plus, those toms just sound fantastic.

    “Wheels of Fortune”
    Richie and John Hartman do a killer job double drumming on this track. Little Feat always had more of a New Orleans jazz influence, while the Doobie Brothers were a little more straight-ahead on the jazz side of things. I love how the Richie and John combo still keeps a touch of the laid-back feel while the song barrels forward.

    “Mercenary Territory”
    The solo section on this tune is the big thing to me. Richie doesn’t play a million things as the guitar solo grows. He just dials up the intensity a bit, knowing that the horns are going to have their time to shine.

    “Mama Mercy”
    Two things on this track that make it absolutely awesome: one, a very Doobie Brothers feel on the verses with the floor tom on beat 4, and two, the fills at the end are so NOLA groovy. It’s that classic Hayward way of driving the band while laying the beatback just enough that the grease shows.

    “Strawberry Flats”
    I love Richie’s bass drum tone on this track. The whole kit sounds clean, but there’s something about it that just hits me every time. The sixteenth-note hi-hats out of the blue 50 seconds in are a great stylistic choice that Richie just throws in easily.

    “Hamburger Midnight”
    Richie’s groove has a real “Footsteps in the Dark” vibe that is still as funky today as it was back then. Give Thundercat’s “Them Changes” a listen and see what I’m talking about. Plus, this is the only song I know of where a drum fill breaks up a fight.

    “Cajun Rage”
    When in my head I picture Richie playing, this groove is always the first to pop up. It’s a real stompin’, snare-crushin’ second line that’s a great reminder of the force that Richie was behind the kit. I can picture him opening his mouth on every backbeat and being fully in the zone with the tune.

    “Long Time Till I Get Over You”
    This track is a perfect example of Richie throwing in accents to add emphasis to the vocals and the melody line on the guitar solo. Take note that he just hits crashes and doesn’t play a million notes in between each one. Just simple touches put in the correct spots without unnecessary filler.

    Scotti ImanScotti Iman is an independent drummer and educator based in St. Louis, Missouri. When not teaching privately he plays with artists Cree Rider, SideCar, and The STL Rhythm Collaborative. More information can be found at Instagram (@scottiimandrums) or you can reach him at

  • PAS Playlist: Roy Haynes by Wayne Salzmann II

    by Rhythm Scene Staff | Nov 02, 2022

    Roy Haynes Playlist

    At 97 years old, Roy Haynes is perhaps the only living musician to have played with Lester Young, Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk, Sarah Vaughan, Chick Corea, Gary Burton, and dozens of other legends in jazz music. He has recorded over 600 albums, received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, has been inducted into the DownBeat Hall of Fame, and received an honorary doctorate from Berklee College of Music, among many other astonishing accolades. His crisp drumming style and sound is instantly recognizable and earned him the nickname “Snap-Crackle.” This playlist highlights some of the most exceptionally swinging tunes, intricate improvisations, and practically telepathic musical communication that was recorded during Haynes’ 70-year drumming career.

    “In Walked Bud”
    Thelonious Monk, Misterioso – Live at the Five Spot (1958)
    In a live recording where the audible audience can be distracting, Roy plays incredibly musically and takes a solo where he essentially plays the melody on the drums.

    “Sugar Ray”
    Roy Haynes, Phones Newborn, and Paul Chambers, We Three (1958)
    Haynes co-leads this hard swinging trio, and this tune features a bluesy melody and creative timekeeping while maintaining a steady medium tempo. The solo section features quintessential hard-bop style time and comping from Haynes followed by a beautifully stated drum solo before the return of the head out.

    “Sneakin’ Around”
    Roy Haynes, Phones Newborn, and Paul Chambers, We Three (1958)
    This track features an iconic Roy Haynes intro, integrated playing during the melody, and includes some very clear, tasteful, and melodic drum trades before the head out.

    “Our Delight”
    Roy Haynes, Phones Newborn, and Paul Chambers, We Three (1958)
    This entire record is a masterclass in trio playing. This track is no exception, featuring a brisk tempo, interactive comping, trades between the band, and a masterful drum solo.

    Sonny Stitt, Sonny Side of Stitt (1960)
    This is a very straight-ahead tune where Roy plays in a subdued, swinging style. The comping and time-keeping on this track is a great example of simple accompaniment without overplaying.

    “Hoe Down”
    Oliver Nelson, Blues and the Abstract Truth (1961)
    This track is a playful “call and response” style tune. The arrangement features the drums as an almost orchestral arrangement integrated into the melody. The solo section features crisp, interactive comping, and forward motion from the rhythm section.

    “Snap Crackle”
    Roy Haynes Quartet, Out of the Arernoon (1962)
    Certainly one of the most memorable drum intros of all time, this melody features orchestrated drum parts rather than traditional timekeeping. The time in the solos is swinging and straight-ahead for the most part. Haynes takes a chops-heavy solo over a walking bass line on this track.

    “Moon Ray”
    Roy Haynes Quartet, Out of the Afternoon (1962)
    One of his many great albums as a leader, this track bounces between a “two-feel” and swinging feel in four, and has an exceptional hook up between the ride cymbal and bass. Roy’s solo on this tune is over a walking bass line which gives it a very melodic vibe.

    “My Favorite Things” (Live)
    John Coltrane, Newport ’63 (1963)
    This rendition of the classic song maintains incredible energy and interaction for nearly 18 minutes. This recording offers great examples of how to play in three, and is recorded in a way that the snare drum comping is easy to hear.

    “Smoke Stack”
    Andrew Hill, Smoke Stack (1963)
    This piece features a classic intro by Haynes and is one of the more “out” examples on this playlist. The band abandons traditional timekeeping and formal structure and is playing in a much more “free” style.

    Chick Corea, Now He Sings, Now He Sobs (1968)
    Set at a blazingly fast tempo, this piece features classic examples of Roy’s “broken time” feel, and features incredible 12- bar trades between Haynes and Corea.

    “Question and Answer”
    Pat Metheny, Question and Answer (1990)
    This tune features a “rolling triplet” time feel in three from Haynes. He floats between traditional 3/4 swing and a dotted-quarter-note pulse throughout, and continually varies the triplet comping in new and interesting ways.

    “Yardbird Suite”
    Roy Haynes, Birds of a Feather (2001)
    This album is a tribute to Charlie Parker and features his compositions. Haynes plays some blistering breaks in the intro. This recording is a great example of Roy’s dynamic contrast between light cymbal playing and all-out cracks on the drums. His “broken-time” feel is on full display throughout the track, and he plays some killer trades with the band before the head out.

    Wayne SalzmannWayne Salzmann II is a drummer, educator, composer, and author who spent 12 years on the Jazz Faculty at the University of Texas at Austin. In addition to extensive touring and six studio albums with Grammy-winning guitarist Eric Johnson, Salzmann has performed/recorded with Steve Miller, Kenny Rogers, Kris Kristofferson, Christopher Cross, Joe Satriani, Mike Stern, Robben Ford, Chris Potter, Dick Oatts, Bob Schneider, UT Jazz Faculty, and the San Antonio Symphony, among others. He is a member of the PAS Drum Set Committee and teaches online and in person from his private studio in central Wisconsin. For more information, visit

  • PAS Playlist: Taylor Hawkins by Nick Costa

    by Rhythm Scene Staff | Oct 18, 2022

    Taylor Hawkins Playlist

    The drum community recently experienced a devastating loss with the unexpected passing of Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins. Already solidifying his presence on the next-generation Mount Rushmore of drummers, Taylor had a unique voice on the kit. Combining elements of Neil Peart, Roger Taylor, Phil Collins, Stewart Copeland, and Ringo Starr, he created a voice that was equally unique and versatile. From the Foo Fighters to Coheed and Cambria, to his own group Taylor Hawkins and the Coattail Riders, and even pop acts including Alanis Morissette and Miley Cyrus, Hawkins’ energy and versatility behind the drums made him more than the drummer in the Foo Fighters. He was a drumming icon. The following playlist is a prime example of his energy, versatility, and passion for the drum kit that will have you air drumming along as we remember this drumming giant.

    Foo Fighters, Sonic Highways (2014)
    Sonic Highways came to fruition as the Foo Fighters traveled to various cities throughout the U.S. After visiting Nashville and sitting down with various Nashville influences including Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson, Tony Joe White, and producer Tony Brown, the Foo Fighters headed to Zac Brown’s Southern Ground Studio to record “Congregation.” Starting out with a twangy guitar melody, Taylor jumps in shortly after, accenting the rhythm of the guitar to instantly hook the listener. He settles into a rock-solid groove that drives the verses, and gradually builds intensity as the song progresses through the verse, pre-chorus, and chorus. 

    “Times Like These”
    Foo Fighters, One by One (2002)
    Considered a throw-away record by some, One by One was the first Foo Fighters record on which Hawkins was permanently assigned to the drum throne. “Times Like These” starts out with an eighth-note driven hi-hat groove as the band alternates between measures of 4/4 and 3/4. The verses and choruses continue to have a groove based off the intro, with subtle alterations to give shape for each section. The bridge goes back to alternating between 4/4 and 3/4, with Taylor moving his dominant hand to the ride. Finally, Taylor drives the song home in the last chorus before crashing out for the outro.

    “Long Road to Ruin”
    Foo Fighters, Echos, Silence, Patience, and Grace (2007)
    Going back to a similar sound as in There’s Nothing Left to Lose, the Foo Fighters sixth record, Echos, Silence, Patience, and Grace, had them focusing more on melodic elements than on in-your-face loud guitars. “Long Road to Ruin” is a perfect example of said sound. It starts out with a spacious guitar melody on upbeats, which can have listeners flip the downbeat. Taylor drops a quick snare fill before laying into a groove that shows the listener where the downbeat is. The verse has an iconic Taylor groove, and the pre-chorus has snare accents on 1, & of 2, and 4 before filling into the chorus, which is a crash-driven version of the verse groove. Taylor sits out for the majority of the bridge, only to come in with simple tom hits that eventually build into a snare fill that projects the band into the guitar solo. 

    “Making a Fire”
    Foo Fighters, Medicine at Midnight (2021)
    The intro track to the Foo Fighters tenth album not only became a radio single, it did so while being in 3/4. Taylor grooves so hard that average consumera can bob their heads to it! That is a feat not many drummers can accomplish, but Taylor did it in a way only he could. 

    Foo Fighters, Wasting Light (2011)
    The first single off the seventh Foo Fighters studio album, “Rope” has all the Taylor-isms that rocked: driving eighth-note grooves throughout the verses, subtle fills accenting guitar rhythms, a chorus groove paying homage to Neil Peart, and even drum breaks (this was played on the radio, by the way). Oh, and Taylor is singing the verses, with Dave Grohl providing lower harmonies; more on that in a song later down the list.

    “I’ve Got Some Not Being Around You to Do Today”
    Taylor Hawkins, KOTA (2016)
    From his debut album released under his own name, KOTA is a short EP on which Taylor plays every instrument and sings. The song starts off with ambient guitar swells before Hawkins jumps in on kit with a groove involving flams for the backbeat. The first verse is a standard eighth-note groove, while the choruses are driven by the bell of the ride and a mix of the toms that accent the guitar rhythms. Mid-chorus there are two measures of 3/4 time with a fill that creates a two-over-three rhythmic pattern. Transitioning out of the chorus, he doubles the length of the fill to get the listener back to standard 4/4 time during the turnaround. The second verse intensifies with a sixteenth-note tom-driven groove, which elevates the section compared to verse one. The bridge starts out with a Brian May-esque guitar solo (again, played by Taylor), then transitions into the two-over-three accent pattern introduced earlier in the song as Taylor does what he does best. He finally transitions out of the bridge with drum breaks to ease the listener into the last chorus. If this playlist needed to be one song that showcased how Taylor approached music, this would be it.

    “Way Down”
    Taylor Hawkins and the Coattail Riders, Red Light Fever (2010)
    For the sophomore release of the group fronted by Taylor (making the name even funnier), Taylor provided drums and vocals. This song screams Queen mixed with that heavy rock sound Taylor is known for. With anthemic guitar riffs, layered vocals for a rock choir effect, and big, grooving drums, this is a song you crank up with all the windows down as you cruise on a beautiful sunny day.

    “Cold Day in The Sun”
    Foo Fighters, In Your Honor Disc 2 (2005)
    This might have been the first time Taylor was featured as lead vocalist on a Foo Fighters record, causing many to say, “Wait, Taylor sings?!” Looking back there are countless videos of Taylor singing Queen covers at Foo Fighters shows, and most are aware of his additional projects where he is the frontman. This song, however, introduced that side of him to the masses, as he provided vocals and rhythm guitar to the track (Dave Grohl is on drums). When performed live, there were times Taylor would sing and sometimes play guitar, or sing and play drums for this track. It’s a melodic, classic rock-esque vibe. 

    “Night Crawling”
    Miley Cyrus, Plastic Hearts (2020)
    Why is there a Miley Cyrus track on a playlist showcasing Taylor Hawkins? To showcase how versatile he really was! Providing drums to this 1980s-sounding track, the drums are like a drum machine. It’s the polar opposite to how we usually saw him (arms flailing, hair billowing in the wind with a big smile); instead, this is straight drum machine meat and potatoes that hits hard.

    Foo Fighters, In Your Honor Disc 1 (2005)
    Another staple Taylor Hawkins track, “DOA” starts off with just hi-hat accenting the backbeat, with a hi-hat opening on the & of 4 every other measure. The verses and pre-choruses are a tom-driven groove that helps transition to the chorus, which is part sixteenth-note hi-hat and a straightforward crash groove. The bridge is also driven with crashes, which at times accent the guitar rhythms, a staple in Taylor’s playing.

    Foo Fighters, Concrete and Gold (2017)
    In typical Foo fashion, this song rips. Untypical of Taylor fashion, he adapts a soca beat to this fuzz driven, distorted vocal song during the majority of it. To break it up, he switches to a ride-driven groove in the pre-chorus and first half of the chorus. In the second half of the chorus, he moves to the crash before playing the soca rhythm on the toms, then transitions back to the verses. Who knew soca could be so heavy?

    “Justice in Murder”
    Coheed and Cambria, Good Apollo I’m Burning Star IV, Volume II: No World for Tomorrow (2007)
    Taylor played on two albums released in 2007: Foo Fighters’ Echos, Silence, Patience, and Grace, and Coheed and Cambria’s Good Apollo I’m Burning Star IV, Volume II: No World for Tomorrow. At the time, Coheed’s new drummer couldn’t play on the record due to contractual obligations. Taylor agreed to step in and record using cues from their drummer, and the entire album rips. “Justice in Murder” showcases Taylor in a sound most are not familiar hearing him in, but when one listens to the macro they will instantly hear all the Taylor-isms. If him screaming “one-two-three-four” at the top of the track isn’t a dead giveaway it’s him, the drums scream louder to show that it is.

    Foo Fighters, There Is Nothing Left to Lose (1999)
    The first Foo Fighters record featuring Taylor is also the first (and only) record recorded as a power trio. Dave Grohl and Taylor share the drum throne on this record; “Aurora” is one of the tracks featuring Taylor on the kit. Taylor admitted in an interview this was the first track with the Foo Fighters he was proud of, and was one of his favorite Foo Fighters tracks. “Aurora” is mellow compared to the typical Foo Fighters sound, but it is beautifully layered with segments of driving grooves, solid fills, and even drum breaks that gave early Foo Fighters fans a taste of what Taylor was all about.

    Nick CostaNick Costa is an educator based in Philadelphia, a National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) candidate, and a member of the PAS Drum Set Committee. He is also an independent drummer, clinician, and drum technician with national and international touring experience. Nick’s primary focus as an educator is in drum set, teaching over 150 students weekly throughout the greater Philadelphia region. He has provided ways to integrate drum set studies into the K–12 music classroom for the School District of Philadelphia, and was a consultant for the PA Department of Education as they created and implemented the current statewide Modern Band curriculum. Nick has written and recorded lessons for Modern Drummer magazine, PAS’s Rhythm! Scene, and is an active session musician, engineering and recording drum tracks remotely from his studio. For more information, visit

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