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Groove of the week instagram Tips for students

Groove Of The Week #75

It’s time for the snare drum to take a stand.

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This week’s groove is powerful! Featuring the snare drum pounding out quarter notes, the groove has an aggressive, energetic feel.

This kind of groove has it’s roots motown music but it has applications in the rock world. You can hear grooves with the snare drum on quarter notes in songs such as:

  • Get Ready – Tempations
  • Reach Out (I’ll be there) – Four Tops
  • Satisfaction – The Rolling Stones
  • All revved up with no place to go – Meatloaf
  • Easy Money – Billy Joel
  • New Sensation – Inxs

Get The Groove

Let’s take this groove one bar at a time. Here’s the first bar:

First bars first

This is a common groove and is used in many motown songs. While this groove is fairly simple, be careful not to flam the snare and bass drum on beat 1.

Here’s the second bar:

Second bars second

The second bar features a more complex bass drum pattern and some open hi-hats. Practice this slowly at first and be sure to count. You may want to omit the open hi-hats to start with – add them back in when you are confident with the bass drum pattern.

All that remains now is to put the two bars together.

1 + 2 = groove

Take it further

I enjoy creating two bar patterns where one bar is fairly simple and the second bar is a more complex version. Here’s some more versions of this same groove – we’re just varying the second bar each time. After practicing these, try to come up with some of your own.

Change it up

If you have any trouble with these, slow down, count, and simplify.

I hope you’ve enjoyed groove of the week #75. If you’re in Singapore and you’d like a free trial drum lesson, send us a message via the contact us page.

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Fill Of The Week instagram Tips for students

Fill Of The Week #74

Get yer paradiddles out. It’s drum fill of the week #74!

Watch fill of the week #74 on instagram.

This week’s drum fill sees us combining the humble paradiddle with some single strokes to create a great sounding drum fill. This drum fill is great if you’re starting to work on incorporating paradiddles into your drum fills. Let’s get to it!

Learn The Fill

Let’s start by looking at the sticking pattern we’ll be using for this drum fill.

Just the basics

The sticking pattern for the drum fill is two single paradiddles (RLRRLRLL) followed by single strokes for the remainder of the bar. Practice this pattern first before moving on to the next step. Can you move smoothly between the paradiddles and the singles?

Our next, and final, step is to orchestrate this around the kit. I like to play paradiddles with accents on the right hand single strokes – R L R R L R L L – this is a pattern I use a lot. Here I put the first accent (beat 1) on the Floor Tom and the second accent (“e” of 2) on First Tom. Feel free to move that around as you see fit.

For the singles strokes, I went with one of my favourite orchestrations – three 16th notes on the Snare, three on the First Tom and the last two on the Floor Tom. It’s a combination that always sounds good. Here’s the full drum fill:

The full fill

Take It Further

Let’s take the chance to cement this use of the paradiddle into your playing and increase your drum fill vocabulary at the same time. Here’s three more drum fills using the same sticking pattern and the exact same paradiddle usage; we’re just going to change the ending.

You write the ending

All three drum fills use common patterns at the end. Hopefully you can play these with ease. Once you’re done with those, create some of your own endings.

If you’d like to take it further still, try swapping the singles and the paradiddles around – singles first and then paradiddles:

R-L-R-L-R-L-R-L-R-L-R-R-L-R-L-L

Keep the paradiddle pattern the same as in the original fill and add your own single stroke ideas to it.

I hope you’ve enjoyed fill of the week #74. If you’re in Singapore and you’d like a free trial drum lesson, send us a message via the contact us page.

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Groove of the week instagram Tips for students

Groove Of The Week #74

This week we’re going off beat.

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Groove of the week #74 shifts us totally away from playing the snare drum on the backbeat. Our first snare drum appears just a little early on the “ah” of 1 and the second snare drum turns up late on the “&” of 4. Add to that some 16th note bass drums and you’ve got one messed up groove that some how works!

Get The Groove

Let’s start this week’s groove by looking at just the hands.

Just the hands

For this groove we’re playing the usual 8th note hi-hat pattern, but the snare drum appears on the “ah” of 1 and the “&” of 4. You may need a little time to get used the spacing of the snare drum notes if you’re used to playing on beats 2 and 4 all the time.

Now lets bring in the bass drum pattern.

Bring in the bass

The bass drum provides a nice solid start to this groove and anchors it by playing on beat one. Then it gets funky by playing in between the hi-hat on the “e” and “ah” of 3 and the “e” of 4. Count and go slow as you practice this – pay attention to your bass drum placement.

The finishing touch to this groove is an open hi-hat on beat 1 and the “&” of 1. Note that I’m closing the hi-hat together with the snare drum. You can try closing it on the “&” of 1 or on beat 2, but it sounded best to me closing on together with the snare drum.

Add some open hi-hat goodness

Taking It Further

It’s not every day you get to play a groove with no back beat. Let’s explore this snare drum placement further. Here’s some more ideas with this snare drum pattern. Add open hi-hats to taste.

Playing with the bass

Try those three variations and then think of some of your own.

I hope you’ve enjoyed groove of the week #74. If you’re in Singapore and you’d like a free trial drum lesson, send us a message via the contact us page.

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Fill Of The Week instagram Tips for students

Fill Of The Week #73

This week’s fill sees us welcome back an old friend: The three 16th note pattern.

Watch drum fill of the week #73 on instagram

This a great sounding rock drum fill. The snare drum plays every third sixteenth note, the floor tom provides warmth and heaviness on the 8th notes and the bass drum fills in any spaces to give us a 16th note flow.

Learn The Fill

Let’s start by looking at the basic ingredients that go into making up this fill.

First we have the snare drum pattern. This is a pattern you want to become very familiar with. It crops up in a lot of places and always sounds good.

On the left

If you’re not comfortable with this pattern yet, then I suggest you spend some time with it. Your left hand will be playing this on the snare drum during the fill.

Your right hand will be busy doing this:

On the right

Hopefully playing eighth notes on the floor tom is well within your ability…

Let’s mash these two rhythms together.

All together now

Get comfortable playing this pattern. It can be used as a drum fill as it is and always sounds great – especially at higher tempos.

Our final job with this drum fill is to add in the bass drum. The bass drum will occupy any note that doesn’t already have a snare drum or floor tom being played on it.

The full fill

Take It Further

Whenever you are playing a three 16th note pattern, you can always displace the pattern 2 times to create 2 new fills. Here’s the new snare drum patterns for this fill.

Two snare patterns to go

Again, get comfortable playing these patterns first before combining them with the floor tom and then adding the bass drum in the spaces. Here’s the full fills:

Two drum fills made to order

I hope you enjoyed fill of the week #73. If you’re in Singapore and you’d like a free trial lesson, send us a message via the contact us page.

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Groove of the week instagram Tips for students

Groove Of The Week #73

This week’s groove is an exercise in snare drum control… can you control your snare drum?

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This week, we’re playing a funky two bar pattern. The challenge with this groove is getting control of the snare drum. Some of our snare drum notes are loud and proud, others are ghosted. Can you get the dynamics correct and maintain them for 20 bars or so?

Get The Groove

Let’s start by looking at the basic groove.

Get yer groove on

Our basic groove is a fairly simple two bar pattern. Hopefully you’ll have no problem playing this. If you do have problems, slow down (40 – 60bpm) and count out loud as you’re playing it.

Now let’s add in the first of our additional snare drum notes. This will be on the “a” of 2 during both bars.

Loud & proud

The new snare drum note is to be played loud; at the same volume as beats two and four. This one snare drum note gives a new feel to the groove, it make it feel more aggressive. Now let’s add in the ghost notes.

The ghost notes appear on the “a” of 4 on both bars and on the “e” and “&” of 1 of the second bar.

Soft & subtle

Your challenge now is to play all of the ghost notes nice and soft while playing the other 3 snare drum notes loud. Good luck! Don’t let the changing volume of your snare drum affect the volume of your bass drum – the bass should always be loud.

Take It Further

Getting control over your snare drum is essential if you want to be a good drummer. A good exercise is to pick a groove – like groove #73 – and try different combinations of ghosted and non-ghosted snare drum notes. Try these variations:

Change it up

I hope you’ve enjoyed groove of the week #73. If you’re in Singapore and you’d like a free trial drum lesson, send us a message via the contact us page.

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Fill Of The Week instagram Tips for students

Fill Of The Week #72

This week’s drum fill is getting funky. Check it out!

Watch Drum Fill Of The Week #72 on Instagram.

This kind of drum fill is what I refer to as a hybrid drum fill. It mixes a groove fill – where you’re focused on playing a fill between the bass and snare drum while keeping the time flowing on the hi-hat/ride cymbal – and a regular fill. You can find the full groove fill part of this drum fill on fill of the week #15.

Get The Fill

This drum fill consists of two parts, the groove fill and the regular fill. Let’s check out the groove fill part first.

Part one

This is part of one of my favourite groove fills. The snare drum lands on beat 1 and the “&” of 2 and the bass drum provides funkiness by playing on the “e” and “ah” of beats 1 and 2 and the “e” of 3. Play it slowly and carefully, be sure to keep the 16th notes evenly spaced. During the groove fill portion, the right hand stays on the hi-hat and the left hand plays all snare drum notes.

The second part of the drum fill is the more regular part. We’re playing a simple 16th note drum fill that starts on the “&” of 3.

Part two

Now let’s fit the two parts together.

The full fill

Take It Further

I like to take a modular approach to my drum fills and combine different ideas or modules together. So here are 3 groove fill beginnings and 3 regular fill endings. If you play each combination, you’ll get 9 new fills.

Three beginnings
Three endings

Play all nine combinations of beginnings and endings. The sticking for the third endings is R-L-R-K-R-L; the other two are simple RLRLRL stickings.

If you include the beginning and ending of the original fill into the mix then you get another 6 possible combinations. I’m sure you can also think of some of your own beginnings and endings to throw into the mix.

I hope you’ve enjoyed drum fill of the week #72. If you’re in Singapore and you’d like a free trial lesson, send us a message via the contact us page.

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Groove of the week instagram Tips for students

Groove Of The Week #72

Rim Click vs Bass Drum – The ultimate battle!

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This week’s groove is a two bar pattern featuring a conversation between the bass drum and rim click – at least that’s how I like to think of it. We’re using 16th notes on the hi-hat (played by just one hand) to give a nice smooth back drop to the battle raging between the bass drum and rim click.

Get The Groove

Let’s begin by looking at the first bar of this conversation.

In the video, I play the whole groove at 75bpm. You may wish to start at a slower speed. The pattern is not a common pattern, it may take some time to get used to it. I tend to sing the rim click and bass drum pattern to myself while playing it.

Playing this one bar on it’s own, it feels like an incomplete phrase to me. Which is why I added bar #2.

The first three beats of the second bar are the same as the first bar, just beat 4 is different. Now we’re playing bass drums instead of rim clicks on beat 4 and we’re augmenting them with hi-hat barks.

Now let’s play the two bars together to complete the groove.

Do you hear the conversation between the rim click and bass drum? Do you hear how the second bar completes the idea of the first bar. No? Guess I must be crazy then!

Take It Further

In this groove we kind of substituted the bass drum for the rim click on beat 4 and beyond to create the two bar pattern & give the second bar an alternative ending. What would happen if we progressively switched bass drums and rim clicks throughout the rest of the bar?

Switch em

Our first variation sees us switch the bass drums on the “e” and “&” of beat 3 in the second bar to rim clicks.

Our second variation takes the groove from the first variation and now switches the voices during the second beat of the second bar as well.

Our final variation takes the groove from the second variation and now switches the voices during the first beat of the second bar to complete the idea. So now you’re playing the same rhythm, two completely different ways but it sounds like one long groove.

I hope you’ve enjoyed groove of the week #72. If you’re in Singapore and you’d like a free trial drum lesson, send us a message via the contact us page.

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Fill Of The Week instagram Tips for students

Fill Of The Week #71

664 – the number of the drummer

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This week’s drum fill uses our old friend, the 6-6-4 phrasing. We’re playing a 6 note grouping twice and then putting a 4 note group on the end. It’s a simple concept, but one that works well and sounds very musical. We’ve seen it before on drum fill of the week #37 and most recently drum fill of the week #46.

Learn The Fill

Let’s start by looking at the basic rhythm and sticking that the hands are playing.

Just the hands

So here we’re playing two groups of 5 and a group of 4 all separated by a 16th note rest. Our groups start on beat 1, the “&” of 2 and beat 4. Note that I start each group with the Right hand and then alternate. Practice this pattern with a metronome and get comfortable with it.

Now let’s bring in the bass.

Snare + Bass = a match made in heaven.

The bass drum fills in the space created by the rests in our original pattern to give us the 6-6-4 pattern. Play this pattern slowly at first and focus on keeping all the 16th notes evenly spaced.

The final step is to orchestrate the hands around the kit. Here’s my orchestration.

Everyday I’m orchestrating

For the groups of six I’m just playing 3 on the snare and then one note on the high tom and one note on the floor tom. The group of four is just a very common four note fill – snare, tom 1, floor tom, floor tom.

Take It Further

There are loads of drum fills you can generate using the 6-6-4 pattern, here’s a few more using this particular pattern with the bass drum on the end of the 6 note groups.

6 6 4 6 6 4 6 6 4

Our first variation plays each group on a different drum.

The second variation includes every drum in all the groups.

The final variation sees our right hand leaving the snare drum to play a tom tom on the third note of each group.

Experiment with this pattern yourself and see what you can create.

I hope you’ve enjoyed fill of the week #71. If you’re in Singapore and you’d like a free trial drum lesson. Send us a message via the contact us page.

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Groove of the week instagram Tips for students

Groove Of The Week #71

The feet do the walking, the hands do the talking.

Due to changes at instagram and facebook, I can’t share the video here right now… so… while I’m working on a solution to that, please click this link to enjoy the video on instagram:

Groove Of The Week #71

This week’s groove is a fun tom tom groove. I’ve taken a fairly simple bass and snare drum pattern, added a quarter note hi-hat with the left foot and then added toms to give the groove some colour.

If you enjoy tom grooves, check out groove of the week #69 for a linear tom groove.

Get The Groove

Let’s start by looking at the bass and snare pattern we’re going to be augmenting.

Bass & Snare

We have one 16th note bass drum to worry about on the “ah” of 1. Everything else is on the beat or on an “&”. Play this pattern with your metronome and get confident playing it without the normal help from your right hand keeping time on a cymbal. You might want to count… Now let’s add the left foot.

Bass & Snare & Hats

The left foot is going to be our time keeper for this groove. It’s just pumping out quarter notes to keep everyone in line. Again, go slow and practice this with a metronome… are you still counting out loud?

Our final step is to add in the toms.

Bass & Snare & Hats & Toms

On beat 1 we’re playing a linear idea between the kick drum and the floor tom- KLRK. This almost sounds like a double bass drum being played. I play the left hand first in this combination to give it more time to get back for the snare drum on beat 2. On the “&” of 2 and 3 the right hand is playing the 2nd tom together with the bass drum and for the first bar I’m adding tom 1 on the “&” of 4.

Take It Further

It’s time to try this out for yourself. Here’s some bass and snare drum beats with the hi-hat played by the left foot. Your job is to add in the toms to give them some colour. Think linear. Think layered. Think melodically. Good luck!

Colour between the lines

I hope you’ve enjoyed groove of the week #71. If you’re in Singapore and you’d like a free trial drum lesson, send us a message on the contact us page.

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Fill Of The Week instagram Tips for students

Fill Of The Week #70

12 / 8 = drum fill of the week #70!

This week’s drum fill, like groove of the week #70 is in the 12/8 time signature. You might want to check out groove of the week #70 for some further drum fill suggestions in 12/8.

Our drum fill this week features flams and bass drums and showcases the way I often combine these two elements in drum fills to create complex sounding fills.

Learn The Fill

Let’s start by looking at the basic rhythm and hand pattern for this fill.

This drum fill is in 12/8; notice how we count it. Each eighth note gets one count and the 16th notes get counted as “and” (&). Play this slowly with a metronome at first. As not all metronomes can count 12/8, I use a metronome set to count eighth note triplets in 4/4. The fill is at 76bpm, you may want to play slower to start with. Beats 1, 4, 7 and 10 should coincide with the main 4/4 beats.

Now let’s add in the flams.

Flammable

The flams simply go on beats 1, 4 and 7.

Now lets throw in the bass drum.

Give it a kick

The bass drum goes before and after every flam and between the last three 8th notes. When I’m playing a 16th note drum fill with flams, I often put a bass drum either side of the flam to keep the 16th note flow going and to give my hands time to prepare for the flam or what follows it. This is especially useful at faster tempos.

Our final step is orchestrate the hands around the kit. Note that I play flat flams on the last three beats with right hand joining in on the floor tom.

A thing of beauty

Take It Further

Anytime learn a reasonably complex drum fill like this, it’s worth spending the time to get as many drum fills as you can out of the pattern. Here’s a few more ideas using the same pattern.

A few ideas more

Our first variation just moves each block of 3 eighth notes onto a a different drum.

The second variation is a similar idea except the change the next tom is foreshadowed on the last 8th note of the previous block.

The final variation has us moving the RLR around between the snare and the toms playing a melody and the final three 8th notes are orchestrated so the right hand moves down the toms.

Now create some of your own.

I hope you’ve enjoyed drum fill of the week #70. If you’re in Singapore and you’d like a free trial drum lesson, send us a message via the contact us page.