'In the pocket' with Salle de Jonge How sound, timing and groove make the music 'In the pocket' with Salle de Jonge - How sound, timing and groove make the music Dutch drummer, producer and multi-instrumentalist Salle de Jonge is a young and vibrant factor in the Dutch music scene. While writing and recording the new album of Soul star Sabrina Starke, Drummerszone recorded him during his clinic at the Musicfair Musician's Show in The Netherlands.

For Salle, who is playing in the major leagues in Holland, drumming is about sound, timing and groove. His grooves are asked for by many of the biggest producers in the industry. For Remo, he hosted one of the Remo Sandlane Sessions, he was the first drummer for Martin Verdonk's acclaimed Master Sessions, and he is preparing a clinic tour for Remo, Sakae and Zildjian. An introduction to a drummer who knows about producing music, playing live and how to manage all that being in the business is about.

Salle's approach
As a drummer Salle doesn't need much, as you can see from his setup in the videos below. For him, music and making the groove do not start with an amount in instruments; Salle's work is all about dynamics, the feel and the intention of the groove that is fitting -right there- in the pocket of the music. This approach and his style are close to what drummers like Jojo Mayer, Benny Greb and Richard Spaven are about. It is all about giving it more of that fluid type groove and creating that different level of playing, sound and intention.

Getting that tight feel and that tight groove down, that is the basis from where Salle starts. And that can be pretty straight forward as well: he is already happy with just a Hi-Hat, a ride and a floor tom next to his Sakae bass drum.

Salle plays Sakae drums, the steady drum brand that used to make the drums for Yamaha. Sakae drums are really a great choice in sound if they match the music you play. Even the Tedeschi Trucks band ship both the Sakae drums and Zildjian cymbals abroad on tour for drummers JJ Johnson and Tyler Greenwell. Sound matters, and it is what defines you as a drummer. You can hear Salle playing his Sakae drums in the videos below.

During his clinic, Salle covered the topic of 'in the pocket' playing: diving deeper into playing dynamics in the groove, playing the feel in time zones around the pulse and covering the intention of that groove. He demos these difficult time-feels before, on the beat, and after the beat in the 'groove demo' video below.

Even more interesting is how he showed how you can play cymbals in different ways, producing just as many different sounds. He is one of those drum-engineers that can hearable pull off cymbal tricks like that on a record as well.

The videos
Below are four videos of Salle playing and demoing grooves and sounds in different musical settings. Note that Salle wrote all the songs and tracks himself, including Sabrina Starke's hit song Milk & Honey. Salle is official endorsee for Remo, Zildjian and Sakae Drums. Below the videos you find a list of the gear Salle uses most during his recordings, sessions or shows.

Cali Haze - Salle de Jonge
Opening the clinic with this groovy piece he wrote. Check the marvelous variations in time and how Salle plays around with it.

Milk & Honey - Sabrina Starke (Sabrina Starke/Salle de Jonge)
Milk & Honey is the fourth song on the self-titled album 'Sabrina Starke'. For comparison with what Salle plays in the video, we added the Spotify track below the video as well.

Groove demo - Salle de Jonge
The part where Salle demos how different grooves, technique and time have a huge effect on how the music sounds and is experienced. Notice how he always keeps the focus on the groove, rather than playing heavy chops.

'Zad You?! - LeslieNielsen (Salle de Jonge)
From the album 'Nailticket' of Salle's band LeslieNielsen. High-level-grooving-madness from a drummer's mind!

Salle's most memorable albums so far
  • Sabrina Starke (Sabrina Starke)
    roles: producer, arranger, writter, recording artist
  • So Unreal (iET)
    with engineer/producer Russel 'the Dragon' Elevado (D'Angelo, Erykah Badu, Al Green)
  • Nailticket (LeslieNielsen)
    roles: arranger, writter, recording artist
  • Shirma Rouse Sings Aretha (Shirma Rouse)
    roles: arranger, recording artist
  • Chocolate Coated Dreams (Shirma Rouse)
    roles: arranger, writter, recording artist
Salle's Gear
Besides his Remo, Zildjian and Sakae gear, Salle also uses a huge list of other brands in drums hardware, sticks and software in the studio. Here is a small inventory...

Sakae Trilogy shellset
  • Maple/Poplar/Maple 3-ply shells
  • 20" kick
  • 12" tom
  • 14" floor tom
Sakae snare drums
  • 13"x7" Bubinga
  • 13"x6.5" Black over Brass
  • 14"x8" Bubinga
  • 14"x5.5" vintage Rhythm King
Zildjian Cymbals
  • 20" Rennaissance Ride
  • 20" Crash of Doom
  • 17" hats (A Custom Crash bottom, Constantinople Crash top)
Remo Heads
  • Suede Powerstroke batter
  • Smooth Powerstroke Reso for bass drum
  • Vintage Emperor top & bottom on the 12" tom
  • Vintage Ambassador top en bottom for the 14" floor
  • Remo P77 or Controlled Sound X Black Dot on the 13" snares
  • Remo Vintage Emperor on the Vintage 14" snare
  • Remo Controlled Sound X on the 14" Bubinga
  • All snare sides have the Remo Black Suede drumheads
Sticks & Such
  • Zildjian Mini Ball
  • Vic Firth SD2 Bolero (which is the same stick)
  • Regal-Tip Brush
  • A variety of rods, mallets etc.
  • Ludwig Atlas Flatbase series
  • Tama Iron Cobra with many different beaters, mostly the Denmar fluffy-beater
  • Pearl Roadster with felt seat
Add Ons
  • Home made 'sizzlers' (sink chain with a key ring)
  • shakers & tambourines used on the hi-hat (as in the videos)
  • moongel
  • Hardcase and Gewa
  • Macbook Pro with Logic Pro X & Akai MPC Software
Studio Gear
In the studio Salle also likes to use a lot of vintage snares & kits:
  • 1963 COB Radioking
  • 1966 Rogers Dynasonic
  • 1964 Pearl President set (20/12/14)
  • Sonor Delite (1st series) with that great 18" kick

  • Vintage 60's Zildjian Avedis Series with 20" rides, 14" hats, 16" hats, 13" hats
  • Dream Bliss Series: 21" ride, 19" & 20" crashes

  • ...and: "Whatever it needs to get the job done with the right sound."
videos (4)
video panel
images (6)
featured artists
featured brands
featured music
featured releases (5)