Groove Of The Week #42

This week’s groove is a common groove spiced up with some ghost notes, an open hi-hat, and a 16th note triplet hi-hat embellishment in the style of Gavin Harrison. Check it out.

Adding ghost notes, open hi-hats and hi-hat embellishments can drastically change the feel of a groove. Let’s check out how these things combine to change a basic groove into our groove of the week.

Get The Groove

Let’s start by looking at the core of our groove of the week.

The basic groove.
The Core Groove

The first step in turning this into our groove of the week is to add the ghost notes on the snare. Ghost notes are notes – normally played on the snare – that are softer than regular snare hits. Our ghost notes for this groove occur on “ah” of 2 and the “e” of 3 – this is an extremely common placement.

Adding the ghost notes
I Ain’t ‘Fraid Of No Ghosts!

Try playing these notes with the stick about 1 inch (2.5cm) from the head of the snare drum. Just let the stick drop from that height, don’t put any power into them. Practice it slowly at first and try to get a big contrast between the backbeat snare notes on 2 & 4 and the ghost notes. I played rimshots on beats 2 & 4 in the video to get an even bigger contrast.

The next addition to our core groove is the open hi-hat. I placed the open hi-hat on the “&” of 1. Let’s add it in.

Adding the open hi-hat
Open Your Hat

The final step is to add the 16th note triplets starting on the “&” of 4. This week I thought I’d play them in same manner as drum great Gavin Harrison did on the Porcupine Tree song Bonnie The Cat. He plays two rights and then flicks up the left hand to catch the edge of the hi-hat.

On groove of the week #41 I played 16th note triplets in a more conventional fashion – RLL – bringing the left hand up to hit the top of the hi-hat. Gavin’s method is more efficient but slightly trickier. Here’s the full groove:

The full groove
The Full Groove

Taking It Further

Let’s add the same ghost notes, open hi-hat and 16th note triplet hi-hat embellishment to some more basic grooves. Here’s 3 basic grooves:

Basic Grooves
Basic Grooves

Here is those 3 basic groooves with the ghost notes, open h-hat and 16th note triplets added:

Blinged up grooves
Not So Basic Grooves

Often when you hear a complex groove, it’s just a basic groove that has had other elements added to it. Try taking some basic grooves you know and add some of these elements to them.

I hope you’ve enjoyed groove of the week #42. If you’re in Singapore and you’d like a free trial drum lesson, send us a message on the contact us page.