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Scott Kettner Writes About His Latest Maracatu Clinic

Dear fellow drummers, percussionists and SABIAN players,

I’m writing to share an awesome clinic experience I just had at Syracuse University on Feb 6th where I conducted a drum set and percussion clinic for my upcoming book “Maracatu for Drumset and Percussion”. I’ve conducted many workshops and clinics at Syracuse University over the past 6 years and it has been an honor to have the privilege to keep going back and sharing my music with them.

In the drum set clinic I shared a lot of new music from my upcoming book. The clinic explored the evolution of the drum set by analyzing New Orleans Second Line and Mardi Gras Indian grooves and how they relate to the Afro-Brazilian Maracatu rhythms. We began by exploring the maracatu and second line rhythms and instruments in their traditional context. Using 4-way coordination and groove technique we applied these polyrhythmic voices melodically around the drum kit and discussed concepts for applying these rhythms in a jazz, funk and rock context. One of the main topics was taking a traditional maracatu snare drum groove and distributing the right hand to the high hat or the ride cymbal while keeping the exact same sticking pattern from the groove in tact. I love this part of my clinic because this is when I get to hear my SABIAN cymbals sing. I was using my HHX Manhattan Jazz hi-hats for this clinic, which offer a really nice crisp sound that cuts through really well if I’m playing with other percussionists. These hi-hats are perfect for playing Brazilian music because often times I am playing with 2 or 3 other percussionists and I need the HH cymbal to cut through. My ride cymbal is a 20” Artisan Symphonic with rivets. I love doing this exercise in my clinics with this cymbal too because it sings so nicely and has a wide spread but still maintains enough stick definition that is important to keep driving the time forward in Brazilin music.

The percussion clinic was also off the hook. There were about 50 students in attendance from the Samba Laranja Brazilian percussion group from the university led by Josh Dekaney. A lot of the drum set students came to this clinic, which is exactly what I was hoping to see because I always emphasize the importance for drummers to learn how to play the rhythms on their traditional instruments before playing them on the kit. I also went deep into my book in the percussion clinic and taught them a new arrangement based on Maracatu Nação Porto Rico, a traditional maracatu group from Recife, Brazil.
I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it. Remember to always have fun learning what you love and don’t be afraid to experiment with your SABIAN set up by playing any groove you hear and distributing your hands around the cymbals and kit!

For more information about Scott and his new book, visit: www.scottkettner.com.


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