Groove Of The Week #38

It’s time to get a little bit latin with groove of the week #38.

This groove is taken from the classic early rock ‘n roll song La Bamba by Ritchie Valens. The song itself is a Mexican folk song, but Ritchie spiced it up and gave us the version we all know and love. Let’s get to learning!

Get The Groove

Let’s start by looking at the pattern being played on the bell of the ride cymbal.

The Bell Pattern
Ring my bell

Like most latin grooves, this groove features a broken rhythm on the ride bell. This can be challenging if you haven’t attempted latin grooves before. Spend some time with a metronome playing this pattern slowly, counting out loud and getting it into your hand.

Now let’s add the snare and tom toms.

Add the left hand
Two hands are better than one

Our left hand will be moving between the snare and first tom. You might want to practice each bar separately at first and then try playing them consecutively. Keep it slow and keep counting.

The final step is to add in the bass drum. For this groove the bass drum is playing just on beats 1 and 3. Again, practice it all slowly, before gradually bringing it up to our target speed of 152bpm.

add the bass drum
The full groove

Taking It Further

Getting the groove is the first step in learning any beat. Once you have learnt a groove, you need to be able to play fills with it and get in and out of it easily in order to be able to use it in a song. Here’s some basic fills to use with this groove. Try not to lose the pattern as you add the fills.

add some drum fills
Fill it in

I suggest playing these fills in a 4 bar pattern: play two bars of the original groove and then add on the 2 bar patterns shown above.

Our first fill goes over the whole of the second bar of the groove.

The second fill starts on beat 2 of the second bar. Note the sticking pattern – LLRLRL.

The third fill starts on beat 3. Again this one also starts with the Left hand – LRLR. I would suggest crashing with the left hand after this fill to give your right hand enough time to get back to the ride bell on beat 2.

The final fill is two notes on the floor tom starting on beat 4. The left hand on the first tom on the “&” of three is just part of the original groove.

I hope you’ve enjoyed groove of the week #38. If your in Singapore and you’d like a free trial drum lesson, send us a message on the contact us page.