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Groove Of The Week #53

Woo Hoo! We’re back after 3 months! Here’s groove of the week #53:

This week’s groove is a layered/linear hybrid. The idea is to take a commonly played layered groove and create a linear version of it & then play the two back to back. You might not play this 2 bar pattern as a normal groove, but you may use the linear groove as a fill every now and then. I also find that practicing this helps me to slip linear ideas into my playing more easily. Let’s get to learning!

Get The Groove

Let’s start by looking at the first bar of the two bar groove, this is the layered groove that the linear groove gets created from.

Basic Layered Groove
The basic layered groove.

To create the linear groove, we strip out the most important parts of this groove. In this case, and for most cases, that is the bass and snare drum pattern. Here it is:

Groove stripped to the core
Back to basics.

Try playing the bass drum and snare drum pattern with a metronome before continuing. Being able to place all these notes accurately and securely without the safety of a consistent hi-hat pattern will help you to play the linear groove in a strong, confident manner.

Now lets start building our linear groove bit by bit. First we’ll look at beat one. There are many options you could use to fill the space between the two bass drum notes. I opted for two 16th note hi-hats. The right hand will play all hi-hat notes in this groove.

starting the linear transformation
Start to fill it up.

The next block we will fill up is from beat 2 to the “&” of 3. There are two 16th notes between and the snare on 2 and bass drum on the “ah” of 2, and two 16th notes between the bass on the “ah” of 2 and the bass on the “&” of 3; I decided to treat these two spaces the same, with a hi-hat and a ghosted snare. The left hand plays all the snare drum notes.

more linear
Did someone say g g g g ghost????

The final block to fill is from the “ah” of 3 till the end. I put a hi-hat on the “ah” of 3 to make the accented snare on beat 4 easy to perform. I then put hi-hats on the “e” and “&” of 4 and a ghosted snare drum on the last note so that beat 4 echos the first beat of the linear pattern, albeit with the snare rather than the bass. Here’s the full linear pattern:

fully linear
Let’s get linear, linear. I wanna get linear, linear….

Now to create the full 2 bar pattern we just need to add the layered groove on the front.

two bar pattern - layered to linear
Two bars of awesome.

Take It Further

When transitioning from a layered groove to a linear groove there are many ways you can fill the spaces between the main notes. A good way to expand your vocabulary is to explore as many of those options as possible. Here’s some other variations you could try with the linear portion of this groove.

Change it up
Change it up!

The first variation sees the hi-hat-snare-bass combination extended througout the groove.

The second variation sees the hi-hat taking on more work in the middle of the groove.

The third variation is the trickiest of the bunch. The hi-hat-snare-bass combination has changed to snare-hi-hat-bass. This gives a different feel to the groove but now you have to contend with executing ghost notes straight after an accented snare drum note. This is a more advanced groove. You may need to leave it for another time.

The final variation just re-orchestrates the original linear pattern onto the tom toms. The right hand plays the floor tom, the left plays the snare and high tom. This could be used a cool sounding fill or you can change the layered groove to use the floor tom as well to create a powerful 2 bar tom groove:

Tom tom version
Toms of fury.

We haven’t even started to incorporate other voices like the ride cymbal, cowbell, stack cymbals… there are lots of ways to explore the kit with this groove. Have fun with it! If you’ve enjoyed this groove check out Groove Of The Week #23 for another layered to linear groove.

I hope you’ve enjoyed Groove Of The Week #53. If you’re in Singapore and you’d like a free trial drum lesson, send us a message via the contact us page.