Friday, September 18, 2009

Caravan Drum Patterns

My good friend and music educator Nick Fanner asked me about which drum patterns I like to use when playing the Duke Ellington/Juan Tizol tune "Caravan" and that I would recommend teaching to beginner/intermediate jazz drummers.

There have been many versions and approaches to this piece over the years, but here are some very basic patterns and a couple of variations which are relatively easy to learn and sound/feel reasonably authentic.

These patterns were all inspired from drummers I've heard over the years such as Art Blakey, John Riley, Stanton Moore, Shannon Powell and Peter Erskine.

Of course you can experiment with the left hand playing different combinations of drums and crosstick patterns among other variations.

There are also more specific foot patterns for these kind of grooves, but if you don't over emphasize the quarter note bass drum/hi-hat patterns that I've written out, they work fine.

Maybe not so authentic, but they work !


  1. I was wondering did you write the kick drum in wrong place at the staff ? I am not a drummer and I try to understand these patterns and perhaps try them If I first learrn where those instruments are at the staff. With google search I found out that there should be bongo drum under the first line (D-note). Confusing. Could you please be so kind and reply or make it clear here, please ?
    Best wishes,
    Harry from Finland.