Groove Of The Week #18

Here’s Groove Of The Week 18:

Bam Bam Bam Bam! It’s time to whack that snare drum and drive the band. I first heard a groove similar to this on a Yamaha DD10 drum machine I had back around 1988/9. I think it was programmed beat number 8 – “R&B.” However, this kind of groove has it’s roots in Motown music but has also been adopted as an aggressive rock groove. Check out “Are You Gonna Go My Way” by Lenny Kravitz, “Easy Money” by Billy Joel, “New Sensation” by Inxs or “Reach Out I’ll Be There” by The Four Tops to hear this kind of groove in action. Let’s get into it!

Get The Groove

The main star of this groove is the snare, driving the beat forward relentlessly. Playing the snare drum on every beat creates a very aggressive groove. The first challenge this groove presents is playing the bass drum and snare in unison on some of the beats. You want to be able to play these unison notes without any flams. Let’s look at the bass and snare interaction first:

Snare and Bass drum
Flams not allowed

Once you can play the snare and bass pattern without any flams, add in the closed hi-hat. Again, make sure there are no flams between with three voices.

Snare Bass and Hats
Ban The Flam!

The final things to add to this groove are the open hi-hats every second bar. Open hi-hats often make a groove feel more complete and give you the chance to add a controlled long sound to a beat. Here’s the full groove:

Full Groove
How’s my hat looking?

Take It Further

Here’s a few more variations, keeping the snare drum on all 4 beats but varying the bass drum and the open hi-hats.

3 variations on the groove
Remember: No Flams!

You want to be careful playing fills with this kind of groove. Often I hear drummers just playing a bass drum & crash on beat 1 after a fill, losing the drive of the snare drum. Play fills that allow you to crash on beat 1 together with the snare. Try these:

Adding Fills
Fill It Up!

I hope you’ve enjoyed groove of the week #18. If you’d like a free trial drum lesson in Singapore, send us a message on the contact us page.