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Groove Of The Week #56

It’s funky bass drum time!

This week’s groove features a busy sixteenth note bass drum pattern and some 8th note hi-hat openings. Can you handle the footwork on this groove?

Get The Groove

Busy sixteenth note bass drum patterns can be challenging on their own, add in some open hi-hat work and you have recipe for disaster – or at least a messy sounding groove.

To learn this groove & make it clean, let’s start by looking at the bass drum pattern in relation to the closed 8th note hi-hat.

Funky bass drum pattern.
The funky bass drum pattern

Practice this pattern slowly with a metronome, count out loud and get all of the bass drums happening in the right place. Focus on your right hand, it should be playing consistent, evenly spaced 8th notes on the hi-hat. Don’t allow the bass drum to interfere with the spacing of the hi-hat notes.

Once you can play the bass drum pattern easily, then we can add in the open hi-hats.

bass + open hi-hats
Open those hats

We’re opening the hi-hat on the “&” of beats 2, 3, and 4. That means we’re closing it on beats 3, 4, and 1. To make this groove sound clean, we need the hi-hats to open and close precisely and to produce a consistent sound. Practice this pattern slowly and record yourself. How clean is your groove? Are the open hi-hats interfering with the bass drum placement?

You might like to try this exercise where we focus just on the foot pattern.

just the feet.
Just the feet

Watch your hi-hat and focus on opening the hi-hat on the “&” of 2, 3 and 4 and closing it on beats 3, 4 & 1. I suggest playing this with a metronome at 50-60bpm to start with. Count out loud. Once you think you’ve got it, add the right hand back in on the snare drum and listen for consistent open hi-hats.

The final step is adding in the snare drum on beats 2 and 4. Here’s the full funky groove.

The full groove
The groove is complete

Take It Further

I find that open hi-hats really help to complete a groove and can change the feel of a groove. It’s always good to experiment with hi-hat openings and find where you think they sound best in a groove. Here’s the same groove with some alternative hi-hat openings for you to try.

groove variations
My hat is always open

I hope you’ve enjoyed groove of the week #56. If you’re in Singapore and you’d like a free trial lesson, send us a message on the contact us page.