John JR Robinson

John "JR" Robinson won a Grammy in 1983 with Rufus and Chaka Khan for Ain't Nobody. The drum groove on the title cut, "Ain't Nobody," was actually played by a LINN Drum Machine. It's a great groove — harder than it looks — and something JR had to learn to play live ... as many cover-band drummers are also faced with doing at some point in their careers.

Aint Nobody

You'll notice that the only difference between the verse and chorus drum grooves is the added HiHat notes in the chorus. In fact it is this chorus groove that poses some interesting coordination challenges between the Kick drum and open HiHat parts.

Suggestions to learning and tightening up this groove ...

  • Practice slowly and with a metronome.
  • Get the coordination down with consistency in the sound production (e.g. open HiHat) before increasing the tempo.

Rufus & Chaka Khana — "Ain't Nobody"

After working on this groove for awhile, and listening to the original track, you'll come to appreciate even more the flawless groove and feel that JR lays down live on "Ain't Nobody."

Now watch JR perform this tune live!

Recorded on August 2, 2010 (with permission) in Nashville, TN during the 2010 DW Woodology Tour.