Jost Nickel is one of the new breed of drummers emerging from Germany. A top session and tour player, like his friends and contemporaries Benny Greb, Marco Minnemann and the newly emerging Anika Nilles (one of Jost’s students), Jost is taking contemporary drumming in new directions. Still, the one thing he understands from playing jazz and fusion with Randy Brecker and Barry Finnerty, funk and dance with Seeed and Mousse T., or hip hop with chart topper Jan Delay, is that The Groove is what it takes to bring the band together, energize the music and make listeners move.
With so much expectation on the drummer to provide the groove and set the feel for the band, it is no longer just a matter of what is played, but how it is played. This is the focus of Jost Nickel’s Groove Book. He shows how to design grooves using various orchestrations including splits and switches, ghost notes, snare and bass drum displacements, linear groove concepts and much more.
“Players and listeners”, says Jost, “gravitate towards the groove because that is the center point. It’s the magnet. Without a great groove there is no feel, no movement, no music. And without being able to play great grooves, drummers will not get great gigs. So my book exists so players can learn and perfect their ability to groove, as well as create their own vocabulary of grooves.”
The mp3-CD included and reading text inserted really help to clarify the patterns introduced and then facilitate the creation of the drummer’s own patterns.
“This book”, adds Jost, “is all about grooves that sound great and are fun to play. Studying this book will also enable a drummer to play with a deeper feel, better time and more creativity. It aims at the enthusiasm drummers – and the musicians they play with – have for great sounding grooves.”
In addition to touring and recording, Jost, who studied at Drummers Collective in New York, is a tutor at the highly acclaimed University of Pop in Mannheim and the Music Academy in Hamburg. He made his international debut as a clinician and educator with performances at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention (PASIC) in America and the Montreal Drum Fest in Canada, as well as with feature articles and workshops in Modern Drummer (USA), Drummer (UK), Rhythm & Drums (Japan), Drums & Percussion (Germany) and other publications.