Groove Of The Week #59

Drums: Do you still love me?

Me: Yes, I’m still into you.

This groove is borrowed from the song “Still Into You” by Paramore. It occurs for 8 bars during the bridge of the song, but it’s not really audible on studio versions of the song, but if you check out the live versions you’ll see the drummer doing this. The version I picked this up from had Ilan Rubin playing it. Search “Ilan Rubin Still Into You” on youtube and you’ll find a video with a clear view of his right hand playing the tambourine.

Get The Groove

I picked this groove because it’s a great 4 way independence exercise and also a good example of the benefits of open handed drumming. Our first step in playing this groove needs us to comfortable playing the base groove with the left hand on the hi-hat.

the base groove,
Give your right hand a rest.

The base groove has us playing a common disco groove with a four on the floor bass drum pattern and open hi-hats on all the offbeats; however, we’re playing it with just the left hand. The left hand is responsible for the hi-hat and the snare drum. Your right hand should be doing nothing. Get this groove down first before moving on.

Now lets work on the independence needed between the hands to pull off groove of the week #59. We’ll put the left hand on the hi-hat and the right hand on a surface of your choosing. If you have a cowbell or tambourine you can hit with your right hand, then use that; If you don’t, use the bell of the ride cymbal. Let’s play the cowbell pattern against the 8th note hi-hat.

basic hand pattern
Just the hands.

The left hand is playing the 8th note hi-hats (1&2&3&4&) the right hand playing the cowbell pattern. I suggest taking this slow and counting out loud as you play it.

The next step will be to add in the snare drum. The left hand is going to move from the hi-hat to the snare drum on beats 2 & 4. Keep everything else the same.

adding the snare drum
Adding The Snare.

Moving from one surface to another can be tricky and you may trip up here. Again, take it slow and don’t move on until you can play this pattern with ease.

Now lets add the bass drum.

adding the bass drum
Bringing In The Bass

The bass drum pattern is nice and easy. Just pumping out quarter notes. Take your time with it and get this groove to a point where you can do it without thinking. Can you play it for a while and then stop it and start it again. Can you play it for a while, take a 2 hour break, and then come back and play it immediately? Can you play a different groove and then change into this one, play it for 8 bars and then change back? That’s how comfortable we want to get with this.

Our final step is to add in the open hi-hats. This just involves us lifting out left foot up on the “&s” and putting it down again with the bass drum on the beat. If you could play the base groove from above, then you should be able to do this. Here’s the full groove:

The full groove
The full groove.

Good Luck!

Taking It Further

There are other songs where we need to be able to play a groove between the left hand and the feet while the right hand plays a percussion part. Often songs have a prominent cowbell or tambourine pattern that was overdubbed on the original song but needs to be played by the drummer in live, small band settings. Honky Tonk Woman by the Rolling Stones, Stone Free by Jimi Hendrix, Listen Like Thieves by INXs and the Everlasting Now by Prince all spring to mind. Let’s look at some ways you can develop this.

Here’s the base groove that we’ll build on. Again, the Right hand should be doing nothing right now. The left hand should handle the hi-hat and bass drum part.

The new base groove
Our new base pattern.

Here’s 5 patterns to overlay on top. Again, use a sound source of your choosing – Cowbell, Tambourine, Ride Bell, Tom Tom, it’s up to you…

5 groove variations
5 grooves of doom.

The first groove has us playing just quarter notes on the right hand. You’ll hear this in Stone Free and Listen Like Thieves.

The second groove has us playing the off beats. Always a cool and funky addition to any groove.

The next groove has us playing all the “e” and “ah” of the 16th notes. Try playing this on the ride and not too loud. Keep it subtle. It’s a nice alternative to playing both hands on the hi-hat.

The next 2 grooves have us adding a Latin flavour. The fourth groove has us playing a 3:2 son clave on the cowbell and the final groove reverses that to a 2:3 son clave.

Once you’ve mastered these, pick another base groove and do it all again. Add open hi-hats to taste.

I hope you’ve enjoyed groove of the week #59. If you’re in Singapore and you’d like a free trial drum lesson, send us a message on the contact us page.