Watch the Down and Dirty: 3 online guitar lesson by Chris Buono from Guitar Cubed
When it comes to the drums and bass Down and Dirty is just that. The bass has got some gain-y grit added to already phat tone and the drum loops are John Bonham huge that were probably mixed more from the ambient room mics thus attaining their “When the Levee Breaks” sound. Looking at the kick drum pattern it’s a real simple affair (though not as barebones as Duffy’s Edge) that the bass jumps all over with simply slamming down the root of the changes on those 16th pairs on the downbeat of beats 1 and 3 for the most part.
Throughout Guitar Cubed much attention has been paid to the kick, but this time around there needs to be some focus on the cymbals. In the first 8 bars it’s all about the bashed open hi-hat on most every downbeat quarter note pulse. The shear badness that approach breeds was the basis for Guitar 1 & 2’s nastiness. As the 12 bars enter into the final four in bar 9 the cymbal muscle is handed over to the ride, which the energy there is matched by the doubling of chords and ten-ton riffs in the rhythm guitars.
As far as the feel goes there’s not a swing 1/8 in sight—no shuffle here, people. One of the things to take away from Down and Dirty is the freedom to reinterpret something as guarded as the blues. As long as respect is shown to the core makeup of a style, you have the artistic right (and sometimes responsibility) to, as Sly Stone would say, “take the music higher.”
Note: at 0:30 I make mention of the bass “drum” and kick drum locking up. What I meant to say was BASS and kick drum, not bass drum. SORRY!