Groove Of The Week #41

Let’s get funky with this week’s groove!

Syncopation is a great way to create funky sounding grooves. This groove only has one bass or snare that’s in a non-syncopated position, however the accented hi-hat solidifies the groove and keeps the beat in the listeners mind. Let’s check it out.

Get The Groove

Let’s start with the basic idea that the groove grew from.

The basic groove
The Basic Groove

This is a very syncopated grooove, the bass drum on beat one anchors the whole groove, after that none of the snare or bass drums are on the beat. Play this groove slowly – 40-50bpm and count out loud as you do it.

To help keep the groove moving forward, to help the listener hear the 1-2-3-4 and, to highlight the syncopation, I added in the accented hi-hat on the beat. This movement on the hi-hat really helps to bring the groove to life.

adding hi-hat accents
Accent Your Hats

I achieve the accented hi-hats by hitting the hi-hat on the edge with the shoulder of the stick and then hitting the top of the hi-hat with the tip of the stick. This should give you two distinct sounds from your hi-hat – one louder and fuller and one softer and weaker.

You may need to spend some time practicing this movement with easier beats until you get it into your muscle memory. Eventually you’ll be able to add it to any groove without really thinking too much about it.

The final thing I added to this groove was a little 16th note triplet flourish on the “&” of 2. I play these notes with a double on the left hand. Here’s the full groove with the sticking indicated.

The full groove
The Full Groove

Taking It Further

When you learn any groove, you want to try adding fills to it. This is a tricky groove to add fills to; I think there are only 2 places to add fills to this groove and have it sound natural. Those 2 places are the “&” of 3 and the “&” of 2. Let’s look at adding fills to these two spots.

Fill Variations
Fill It Up

Our first two fills start on the “&” of 3. The first is a simply played on the snare drum – you can orchestrate this as you wish. The second is an example of the kind of fill you can come up with. This fill ends with a flam on the snare on the “&” of 4 to echo the snare on the & of 4 in the groove.

The last two fills start on the “&” of 2. Again, the first fill is just a simple 16th note snare fill that you can orchestrate as you wish. The final fill is an example of that fill orchestrated. Come up with your own variations.

I hope you’ve enjoyed groove of the week #41. If you’re in Singapore and you’d like a free trial drum lesson, send us a message on the contact us page.