It’s so amazing how this beat constantly changes without losing its intergity and flow. After analyzing the transcription, we see that actually there are 5 motives which are repeated several times throughout the first 16 bars and  there are other motives which appear just once. Take a look at the transcription. I marked each little phrase using a different colour.

So, What can we learn from this example?

A rhythm doesn’t need to be repeated exactly in the same way over and over again in order to groove and have a good flow. Mike Clark teaches us that as long as we play tight and remain in one time feel (in this case: straight feel), we can make many Rhythmical variations to our rhythm and still sound good. This concept could be applied to swing and other rhythms as well.

MIKE CLARK - Actual Proof







Mike Clark’s beat is one crucial element of this tune. “Actual Proof” wouldn’t be the same without this groove. Let’s listen to Mike himself explaining how he came up with his signature beat on Drum Channel1.




Herbie Hancock - Thrust

Line up:

Herbie Hancock - Fender Rhodes

Bennie Maupin - Flute                                                                                               


Paul Jackson - el. bass