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The R&B/Soul tune, "Supernatural Thing", by Ben E. King was first released as a single back in 1975 where it reached #1 on the R&B charts. This single version of the tune, with Jimmy Young on drums and Carlos Martin on congas, is typically referred to as "Supernatural Thing - Part 1". The LP version of this song, entitled "Supernatural Thing - Part 2", appears on the Atlantic Records album, Supernatural, King's ninth album (eighth studio album).

Besides the 1975 version, I've also notated the reissue version "Supernatural Thing" as heard on the Teddy Pendergrass & Friends album, Soul Box (1997).

Both grooves have a similar New Jack Swing feel with only slight differences in the Hi-Hat part and backbeat voicings. I've notated the swung sixteenths as dotted rhythms for the ease of reading, however the actual swung feel is closer to a sixteenth-note triplet.

Supernatural Thing

In the original 1975 recording (LISTEN), the backbeat on two and four is with the Snare drum and a (mounted) Tom Tom. In the 1997 reissue recording (LISTEN), only the Snare plays the backbeat on Beat Two while the backbeat on Beat Four is with the Snare and a Floor Tom. The open Hi-Hat only appears in the reissue version, while in the original recording the swung sixteenths start up again after the backbeat on 4. Also notice the slight weight emphasis on the upbeats within the Hi-Hat part, especially right after the backbeats.

Whatever version you choose to play (you should actually be working on both), this is a great drum groove and certainly one that should be in every versatile drummer's rhythmic vocabulary.

Bart Elliott

Bart Elliott is a degreed professional musician currently residing in Nashville, Tennessee. His 40 years in the music industry, over 100 albums to his credit, as well as his understanding of contemporary and classical music, makes him a complete and skilled master musician. A highly sought after drummer and percussionist, both live and in the studio, Bart is widely known as a top music educator, visual artist, consultant and gifted teacher, appearing as a guest artist and clinician throughout the USA and abroad.

Bart Elliott is the founder and sole proprietor of DrummerCafe.com — established in December 1996.

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