We’ve reached week #50! Let’s celebrate with some cowbell!
This week’s groove is a linear groove. The last time we played a linear groove was groove of the week #35. Linear grooves are when we don’t play two surfaces together at the same time. They can present timing and accuracy problems because you’re not playing a consistent ostinato anywhere that all your other limbs can relate to for timing information. Let’s check out this week’s groove.
Get The Groove
I often find the place to start with linear grooves is to build it up one chunk at a time and let your muscle memory remember the pattern bit by bit. Let’s start with the first four notes:
Our first four notes are Kick, Left, Right, Kick played on the first four 16th notes. Our left hand is on the hi-hat and right hand is on the cowbell. If you don’t have a cowbell experiment with different surfaces; ride bell, floor tom & stack cymbal all work well.
Play these first four notes slowly with a metronome at 50bpm. Are you playing 4 evenly spaced notes? Try using a metronome that’s counting 16th notes. Can you get right on top of the beat so that you can’t hear the metronome? Once you can play these four notes easily, then try adding the next 3 notes.
Our next three notes are Left, Right, Kick and are played on “2 e &”. The left hand will move from the hi-hat to play the snare drum on beat 2. The right hand will play the cowbell throughout the groove. Keep repeating these 7 notes against a metronome until you can play them easily with out much thought.
Our next chunk is six notes in length, let’s check it out:
The next six notes are Left, Right, Kick, Left, Right, Left starting from the “ah” of 2 and finishing on beat 4. The first two lefts are played on the hi-hat, the third left is on the snare drum. You may want to play this chunk separately at first to get used to it. You may even want to split it into two smaller 3 note chunks; find what works for you. Keep working with the metronome and listen for how accurate your note placement is.
The final chunk is just three notes. Here’s the whole groove:
The final three notes are Kick, Right, Left starting from the “e” of 4. The left hand is back on the hi-hat for this chunk. Now you’ve got the whole groove, repeat it until it’s easy and slowly speed it up.
Take It Further
Let’s look at adding fills to this groove. There are a couple of places that feel natural to add fills. Here’s some ideas:
Our first fill is just four sixteenth notes starting from beat 4. We’re playing these 4 notes left hand lead because the right has to play the cowbell on the “ah” of 3. If you want to add a crash on beat one after the groove then try changing this fill to a left paradiddle (LRLL) so your right hand is free to crash and your left has time to get back to the hi-hat on the “e” of 1.
The second fill is a similar idea just starting from the “&” of 3 after the kick drum on the “e” of 3. We’re going left hand lead again on this one which is always fun because it opens the kit up in a different way. Again for crashing purposes you may want to try this one as a left double paradlddle (LRLRLL).
The final fill is more in keeping with the linear style of the fill and is just Left, Right, Kick, Left, Right, Kick starting from the “&” of 3. Orchestrate it however you like.
I hope you’ve enjoyed groove of the week #50. If you’re in Singapore and you’d like a free trial lesson, send us a message on the Contact Us page.