Groove Of The Week #12

Here’s groove of the week 12:

Groove of the week #12 is a pretty funky 2 bar pattern featuring a 16th note bass drum, 16th note hi-hat embellishments and, those awesome sounding open hi-hats on beats 3 & 4 of the 2nd bar. This groove reminds me of pop-funk grooves that you hear from from artists like Prince or Terence Trent D’arby.

Learn The Groove

The first step in learning this groove is to play a simple version of it with just an 8th note hi-hat pattern. Try this beat first:

The basic beat
Start with the basics

The next step is to add in the 16th note hi-hats in the middle of the groove. Note that the left hand just slots them in between the eighth notes on the right hand. Your right hand doesn’t need to change at all.

Add in the 16th note hi-hats
Embellish those hi-hats

The final step is to add in the open hi-hats at the end of the second bar. Adding an open hi-hat on the beat is not done as often as opening the hi-hat on the off-beats; you may struggle with this if you haven’t tried it before.

To get used to doing it try this exercise. First get the pattern between the bass, snare and pedalled hi-hat.

practice step one for open hi-hats on the beat.
Count and focus on your hi-hat.

Focus on opening the hi-hat on the beat, when you hit the bass and snare, and closing it precisely on the “&”. You should be counting 8th notes – 1 & 2 & 3 & 4 & etc.

The next step is to add the right hand on the quarter notes and create the open hi-hat sound.

practice step two for open hi-hats on the beat
Keep counting.

Your focus now should be on the open hi-hat sound and making them all consistent. Make sure to hit the hi-hat in the same manner each time and focus on keeping your hi-hat opening and closing smooth and precise.

When you are comfortable with opening the hi-hat on the beat, try adding it to the groove of the week.

The full groove.
The full groove

Take It Further

The two main things to take from this groove are the 16th note hi-hat embellishments and the open hi-hats on the beat. Try adding these two elements into other grooves.

Here’s the 16th note hi-hat embellishment applied 3 different ways to a simple beat:

Variations with 16th note hi-hat embellishments
Embellish those hats!

And here’s the open hi-hat applied to the same simple beat:

Variations with open hi-hats on the beats.
Open those hats!

Opening the hi-hat on the beat adds a strong rhythmic element to the groove. You can hear it on Squib Cakes by Tower Of Power, Material Girl by Madonna, Walk This Way by Aerosmith and Umbrella by Rihanna to name a few.

I hope you enjoy Groove Of The Week #12. If you’re in Singapore and would like a free trial drum lesson, send us a message via the Contact Us page.