Groove Of The Week #17

Here’s groove of the week #17 – it’s time to go off-beat!

Off-beat hi-hats, ghost notes, open hi-hats… there’s a lot going on in this cool sounding groove. Let’s learn it!

Get The Groove

The first step in learning this groove is to be very comfortable playing on the off-beats. So, if you’re not yet comfortable with playing on the “&” then then you need to start here:

off beat hi-hats
Are you counting?

Work with a metronome at 60bpm and count all of those 8th notes out loud and just hit your hi-hat on the “&.” Use a metronome that can clearly mark out the 8th notes for you, I prefer Tempo Perfect by NCH software (spell it all as one word to find it in the app store – “tempoperfect”).

Once we’re comfortable and accurate playing the off-beat hi-hat, we can add in the basic bass and snare drum pattern.

basic off beat groove
That’s one funky groove!

If you’re new to this groove, you may want to stop here and explore it for a while. Get really familiar with it and add some fills etc. It’s a popular groove that’s been used in many songs. Learn to make it feel good.

Once we’re happy with that groove, we can add in the ghost notes on the “ah” of 2 and the “e” of 3. This is probably the most popular of the ghost note placements that we’ll use. These two ghost notes sound great together and have featured in many songs. Try to play them as lightly as you can so they blend in nicely with the hi-hat.

basic groove + ghosts
I ain’t scared of no ghosts!

Our final addition to complete this groove is the open hi-hat on the “&” of three. Note that we’re closing it on beat 4 with the hi-hat pedal. Focus on really getting your hi-hat to close perfectly with the snare drum on beat 4 to make this groove sound clean.

full groove
Off-beat awesomeness

Taking It Further

The easiest way to vary this groove is to play around with the bass drum placement. Here’s a few ideas:

bass drum variations
Fun with the bass drum

The first variation has the bass drum playing on all the downbeats; if you’re try to make people dance, playing the bass drum in this manner will help you do that.

The second variation is just applying a very common bass drum pattern to the groove. The last two variations accent the off-beat idea even more.

I’m a big fan of open hi-hats and they provide another way to change up the sound of a groove. Try these variations:

open hi-hat variations
Let me hear those hi-hats!

I hope you’ve enjoyed groove of the week #17. If you’re in Singapore and you’d like a free trial drum lesson, send us a message on the Contact Us page.