Groove Of The Week #14

Welcome to groove of the week #14, Let’s Rock!

We’re back to basics this week, this is a great sounding groove with a driving quarter note pulse on hi-hat. Playing just quarter notes on the hi-hat leaves more space for the rest of the musicians to play and feels more angular and aggressive. It’s not as smooth and friendly as your regular 8th note hi-hats.

A master of this kind of groove was the drummer for Free and Bad Company, Simon Kirke. Often you’ll hear quarter note hi-hats when the tempo is fast – 180bpm & upwards – but as Simon Kirke demonstrated, they can sound great at slower tempos too. Check out Mr. Big or All Right Now by Free to hear this (or even Mr. Big’s cover of Mr. Big to hear the great Pat Torpey’s take on this – his drum sound is MASSIVE).

Get The Groove

While this groove appears simple, beginner drummers often have trouble separating their hands from their feet, often the right hand wants to follow the right foot. If this applies to you, slow things right down and count out loud.

The other area that can cause slip ups is the accuracy of the bass drum notes that occur between the quarter note hi-hats. Time spent working slowly & precisely with a metronome will be beneficial. Here’s the groove with the counting spelt out to help you along:

Groove of the week 14 + counting
Let me hear you counting!

Take It Further

The thing I like most about this groove is the way the bass drum skips beat 3 on the second bar. Our variations on this groove will focus on skipping other beats in the same manner. Here’s 4 variations for you to try:

Variations on groove of the week #14
Skip those beats!

The other thing we want to be able to do is add fills to this groove. Here we have simple 16th note snare drum fills. Try these first and watch your timing. This can be tricky because of the change in subdivision for the right hand from quarter notes to now playing sixteenths. Work with a metronome and make sure you’re not speeding up here.

groove of the week #14 plus fills
Fill ’em up without speeding up.

I hope you’ve enjoyed groove of the week #14. If you’re in Singapore and you’d like a free trial drum lesson, let us know via the Contact Us page.