Groove Of The Week #16

It’s time to get groovy!

What was that?!?! I heard 8th notes, 16th notes, 16th note triplets, 8th note triplets, open hi-hats, closed hi-hats, snare drums, bass drums… and it all sounded funky. Let’s break down groove of the week #16.

Get The Groove

Groove of the week #16 is a pretty advanced groove. The two main elements that make it advanced are the 8th note triplet on the bass drum going against the 8th note hi-hat at the start of each bar, and, the 16th note triplet hi-hat embellishments at the end of each bar.

The easiest of the two is the 16th note triplet hi-hat. Let’s start there. I play these using a double-stroke on the left hand in between the “&” of 4 and beat 1. There are other ways to stick this pattern, but I like to keep the right hand playing nice solid 8th notes on the hi-hat. Here’s the hi-hat pattern with the counting – watch out for the open hi-hat on beat 3 of the second bar & don’t close it until beat 4.

hi-hat pattern
Just the hats

The second element is the 2 over 3 polyrhythm played between the bass drum and the hi-hat. First let’s learn this rhythm between the hands. It’s often taught using the phrase “Cold Cup Of Tea” as shown below. Play your right hand on the small tom and the left hand on the snare.

cold cup of tea
Cold Cup Of Tea

Work with a metronome playing 8th notes and really focus on keeping your right hand together with the metronome. You may want to try an app like Polynome which can be programmed to play this rhythm.

Once you can play the rhythm with your hands, we can use your left hand to train your bass drum. Add the bass drum to the left hand part like so:

more cold cups of tea
Can somebody heat my tea up?

Once you are comfortable with that, try taking the left hand away, but keep the bass drum going:

even colder tea
Maybe just make me a fresh cup?

The last step is to be able to do it on demand. Let’s move the right hand to the hi-hat and just play the triplet bass drum every other beat.

cold tea on demand
I’ve changed my mind, can I have a coffee instead?

Again, work with an 8th note metronome and really focus on keeping your right hand playing smooth 8th notes.

Once we have these two elements settled, then we can try to put them together to form the full groove.

the full groove
Adding in the cream & sugar

A good example of a song using the “cold cup of tea” triplet bass drum is the chorus of “Figure 8” by Elle Goulding.

Taking It Further

The main things to take away from this groove are the 16th note triplet hi-hats and the “Cold cup of tea” bass drum. Try adding them in to other grooves.

Here’s more ideas for the 16th note triplet hi-hat; note that the right hand plays the snare drum on beat 2 of the second example and on beat 4 of the third example.

16th note triplet hi-hat grooves
Adding some 16th note triplet hi-hat spice

And here’s some more ideas for the 8th note triplet bass drum:

8th note triplet bass drum grooves
More cold tea anyone?

I hope you learn something from groove of the week #16 that you can apply in your drumming. If you’re in Singapore and you’d like a free trial drum lesson, send us a message on the contact us page.