General tips on syncopation and groove? I am about 2.5 years in and just started really going off grid a bunch and would love to hear some perspective from a master of groove such as yourself. Your percussion is heavenly and I assume it is mostly from feeling it and playing it but was wondering if you had any advice? Much love

Ott responded on 06/13/2018

It's all about feel really. I've no idea why certain patterns and sounds appeal to me, I just do what feels natural.

My very first musical instrument [when I was 13] was a drum kit and I've always thought like a drummer. Matt [our drummer and a drum teacher] reckons I'd be pretty good if I learned some technique and practiced a bit.

Something I always do when recording percussion is play the song as a whole take and try to play an arrangement that pushes and pulls with all the other instruments. I try to set up relationships between the different elements, so that the darbuka is [say] related to the snare and the djembe is conversing with the bass synth.

Just whacking in some drums and hitting quantise, or clicking them in with a mouse, will deliver consistently mediocre results all day. Playing your parts in like a proper musician pays dividends every time.

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