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Groove Of The Week #83

Let’s get groovy!

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This week we’re adding a simple 16th note triplet flourish to a very common groove. The two 16th note triplets are played as ghost notes between beat 1 and the “&” of 1 and add a bit more texture to the groove.

Get The Groove

Let’s start by looking at the basic groove we’ll be adding the 16th note triplets too.

The Basic Groove

Hopefully you can play this basic groove already. If not, start practicing!

We’re going to add two 16th note triplet ghost notes into this groove between beat 1 and the “&” of 1. It’ll be played as a soft double stroke with the left hand.

You may want to practice the timing and the volume of the ghost notes before trying the full groove. Try this exercise first:

Practice Practice Practice…

Try to make each group of 4 notes smooth and even & keep the volume of the ghost notes down.

Now lets put the ghost notes into the groove.

Ghosted Up

Practice the groove slowly at first. Try to make a big difference between the ghosted snare drum notes and the non-ghosted notes.

Take It Further

Sixteenth note triplet ghost notes can be added to any groove to give the groove a little something extra. Here is the same basic groove with 16th note triplets added in a couple of different places to give you some idea what you can do with them.

Change it up.

The first variation puts the ghost notes between beat 3 and the “&” of 3. This placement requires good stick control as you have the loud snare drum on the “ah” of 2 right before the ghost notes. For an addition variation, try ghosting the snare drum on the “ah” of 2 also.

The second variation adds a little flourish at the end of the bar. Try playing these two ghost notes on the hi-hat instead of the snare for a different effect.

The final variation puts all three variations together to create a busy groove.

I hope you’ve enjoyed groove of the week #83. 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 #82

It’s Tom Tom Time!

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This week’s groove sees us playing a simple foot ostinato while the right hand plays a tom pattern over top and the left hand keeps the back beat on 2 & 4.

Get The Groove

Let’s start by looking at the foot ostinato we’ll be playing under the hand pattern.

Just The Feet

The bass drum is going to be playing on 1 & 3, the hi-hat will be playing on the off-beats. Get comfortable with this pattern first if you’re not familiar with it.

Now let’s add the snare drum on beats 2 & 4.

Add The Back Beat

The left hand joins our foot ostinato on beats 2 & 4. We’ve now got a good basic groove going and the right hand is doing nothing yet.

The final part is to add in the right hand on the toms to bring some colour to the groove.

Colour between the lines.

The right hand is free to roam around the kit. I chose a pattern I liked, what pattern do you like? You may not have the co-ordination to play this groove straight away. Take it slow and you’ll get there.

Take It Further

Try coming up with your own patterns for the right hand to play over top of the basic groove. Once you have a pattern you like, you can try the following ideas.

  1. Displace the tom-tom pattern.
  2. Change the foot pattern.

Here’s how you can displace the tom tom pattern.

Where did I displace the toms? Hmm….

My original tom pattern started on the “&” of 1 with the 2 sixteenth notes on tom 1. Here I change the tom pattern so it starts on the “&” of 2, then on the “&” of three and finally on the “&” of 4. This creates 4 different sounding grooves.

Here’s two ideas I played with for the foot pattern on this week’s groove.

Change the feet

The first pattern was my original idea for this groove with the hi-hat on the beat rather than the off beat. This gives a different feel to the groove.

The second pattern keeps the hi-hat on the beat and removes the bass drum on beat 3. This gives a little more space to the groove and allows the hi-hat on beat 3 to really add something to the groove.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this week’s groove of the week. 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 #81

Let’s have fun with fives with this week’s groove.

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This week’s groove uses a five note group played between bass drum and hi-hat. We’re using the eighth note triplet subdivision in 4/4 for this week’s groove so we only have twelve notes per bar. That means we can only play the pattern twice in the bar and then we have 2 notes left over.

We did a similar thing with seven note groups and sixteenth notes on groove of the week #79. Check that one out too.

Get The Groove

Let’s start by getting familar with the five note pattern we’ll be playing between the hi-hat and the bass drum.

Five notes of fun

This pattern is to be played between your bass drum and your hi-hat (using only one hand). Practice just playing this 5 notes smoothly and evenly. Count 1,2,3,4,5 as you practice it.

Once you can do that, we can apply it to our subdivision and time signature – 8th note triplets in 4/4 time.

Five note fun in four

Set your metronome to play at 50bpm with the 8th note triplet subdivision. Play along with it. Notice what should be happening in time with the main beats. You may need to count the 1,2,3,4,5,1,2,3,4,5,1,2 in time with the triplet subdivision to start with. Try to progress onto playing it and being able to count the 1 puh let, 2 puh let etc….

The final step is to add the snare drum on beats 2 and 4. Be careful not to flam the snare drum with the bass drum on beat 2.

The full groove

Take It Further

When playing a five note grouping like this, it will only resolve properly after 5 bars (resolve: the first note of the 5 note group lands on beat 1). This creates a whole five bar pattern for us to explore and to try and play. You might not ever use the whole 5 bar pattern, but you may find some bars, that when looped, can create a useful groove.

Here’s the whole pattern.

Five bars of five note fun

Learning to play the whole pattern will be good for your concentration and co-ordination.

Once you can play it all, try playing each bar individually to see if they work as standalone grooves. Then try 2 bar patterns.

Bars 1 and 5 are the obvious stand alone grooves because they have the bass drum on beat one. For two bar patterns, I like bar 1 and 2 together and also bar 5 followed by bar 1.

Another thing I like to do is play a regular shuffle groove for one bar and then attach any one of these 5 bars as a second bar.

I hope you’ve enjoyed groove of the week #81. 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 #80

This week we’re going fast & getting trashy!

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This week’s groove goes by at 200 bpm, that’s pretty quick! We’re playing a 4 bar pattern for the first time on this groove of the week. There are plenty of songs out there that use 4 bar patterns; Sugar by Maroon 5 and Just Give Me a Reason by Pink are two examples.

Get The Groove

This groove is one of the more simple ones we’ve done. The first 3 bars are all the same. However, the 4th bar features a syncopated bass drum and the snare drum goes missing on beat 2. Here’s the full groove.

the full groove.
The full, fast & trashy groove.

You might need to spend a bit of time working on the 4th bar and then transitioning from the the 3rd to the 4th bar before playing all 4 bars together. The question is, how fast can you play it and maintain bass drum accuracy. In the video I played it at 200bpm. Can you top that?

Taking It Further

Four bar patterns are a common occurrence in music. You need to be able to keep a 4 bar pattern consistent for a long period of time (possibly the whole song) without losing the pattern. This requires focus. Here’s some more variations on the this week’s groove. Can you play each one for 3 minutes without losing the pattern?

three 4 bar patterns
3 grooves to try

The first groove just moves the bar with the variation to the 3rd bar instead of the 4th bar. This gives a different feel to our original groove of the week.

The second groove just gives us a more common variation on the 4th bar.

The final groove is more complex and has more variation in it, using the ideas from the previous grooves. How long can you keep it straight?

I hope you’ve enjoyed groove of the week #80. 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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Groove of the week instagram Tips for students

Groove Of The Week #79

Seven is the magic number.

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This week’s groove is built on a similar idea to groove of the week #77. Groove #77 was based on a repeating 5 note pattern played between the bass drum and hi-hat. Groove #79 is based on a 7 note pattern played between bass drum and hi-hat. Let’s check it out.

Get The Groove

The place to start is with the 7 note pattern we’re playing throughout this groove.

7 16th note pattern
Seven notes of groove

Play this pattern repeatedly beween your hi-hat and bass drum to get used to how it feels.

Next we’re going to apply that to a 2 bar pattern. We’re going to apply the 7 note grouping over 16th notes. There are 32 16th notes in 2 bars, the 7 note grouping can be repeated 4 times with 4 16th notes left over. We’ll just play the first 4 notes of the 7 note pattern at the end of the groove.

Repeating 7s across two bars
(16×2)/7 = I hate math

Take note of where each 7 note group starts within the two bar pattern. I also pay particular attention to where the 2 consectutive notes on the hi-hat occur – focusing on where they happen can help you to check that you’re playing the groove correctl. You are counting right?

The final step is to add in the backbeat snare on beats 2 and 4 of each bar.

The full groove
Cool sounding groove

Take It Further

You can shorten the 2 bar pattern above to just a 1 bar groove and you’ll get a funky groove. You can also change the last 4 notes of the 2 bar pattern to give a different ending. You could also add in some open hi-hats to the groove. Then, you could also come up with you’re own 7 note pattern and apply that as a 2 bar groove.

But… to bamboozle your listeners and bandmates further, you could play the whole seven bar pattern that these seven 16th notes create. This is a good way to work on your focus and independence. Here’s the full 7 bar pattern. The first two bars will look familiar.

7 bar pattern
7 bars of fun.

To make this more musical, add a 1 bar drum fill on the end to create an 8 bar pattern and then throw it into your next drum break / drum solo.

I hope you’ve enjoyed groove of the week #79. 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 #78

Let’s get groovin’

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This week’s groove is a 2 bar pattern which uses ghost notes to spice up the groove. Let’s get to it.

Get The Groove

Let’s start by checking out the basic 2 bar groove that we’ll augment with ghost notes.

The basic groove
Basic Funkiness

Hopefully you can already play this groove. Note the use of the rim shot on the snare drum throughout the groove. This is an aggressive sounding funk rock groove, the snare drum rim shot on the “ah” of 2 really helps to drive it forward.

Now let’s add in some ghost notes to make things funkier.

The basic groove with ghost notes added
Extra Funkiness

I’ve added ghost notes to make the groove a little busier and to provide a contrast to the loud snare drum notes. The ghost notes on the “ah” of 4 help to move the groove along. The ghost notes on the “e” and “&” of 1 on the second bar provide a bit more rhythmic interest and pair well with bass drums on beat 1 and the “ah” of 1.

Go slow with this groove and work on getting a good contrast between your loud snare drum rimshots and soft ghost notes. Get used to moving between the two dynamic levels.

Take It Further

Whenever you learn a new groove, you want to get comfortable adding drum fills to it. I always start with simple drum fills just to get used to moving in and out of the groove at different points. Here’s 3 basic fills to try with this groove.

Groove of the week + fills
Fill ’em up!

I hope you’ve enjoyed groove of the week #78. 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 #77

It’s time to get funky with a 5 note grouping.

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We’ve played around a lot with 5 note groupings with the drum fill of the week posts, but we’ve never applied them to a groove… until now.

Get The Groove

This idea came to me on a sleepless night at 2 in the morning a couple of weeks ago… what if I play a 5 note pattern between bass drum and hi-hat and then add the backbeat on the snare…. What would that sound like? Turns out it can sound pretty funky.

I quickly picked a 5 note pattern and then set to work try to play it in 4/4. Here’s the 5 note pattern I chose:

5 notes of groove

This a fairly straight forward pattern. As it’s 5/16 notes, we’ll be able to fit it into a bar of 4/4 three times – with one 16th note left over – like this:

16 / 5 = I HATE MATH!

Notice how the 5 note pattern starts again on the “e” of 2 and the “&” of 3. Play this pattern against a metronome to get used to how it feels. It might take a little while to sink in.

Our next step is to add the backbeat to make it sound like a regular groove.

Bring in the backbeat

The final touch I added to this groove is an open hi-hat on the “&” of 4. I made it an 8th note in length, so close the hi-hat together with the bass drum on beat 1.

The Full Groove

Taking It Further

When playing a five sixteenth note pattern in 4/4 time, it takes 5 bars before the pattern begins again. For this week’s groove I’ve just taken the first bar of a longer 5 bar pattern and made a groove from it. So here is the whole 5 bar pattern for you to work on to expand your drumming brain. This is a fairly advanced exercise. You may want to work on this a bar at a time and slowly put them together. It might take a while….

5 bars of 5 note madness

Once you have mastered this pattern, try creating your own 5 note bass drum/hi-hat pattern and then do the same with that.

I hope you’ve enjoyed groove of the week #77. 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 #76

Let’s do the splits!

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This week’s groove sees us splitting sixteenth notes between the ride cymbal and the hi-hat. This gives us a unique sounding ride pattern where the ride cymbal dominates but the hi-hat pokes through on the “e” and “ah”. We’re also doing a little bit of syncopation with the snare on the “ah” of one, just to make things funky.

Get The Groove

Let’s start this week by looking at the hands. The right hand is playing the ride cymbal on all the 8th notes, except for beat 4 where it will play the snare. The left hand is playing all the “e” and “ah” on the hi-hat, except for the “ah” of 1 where it’s playing the snare.

Just the hands

Practice this slowly at first and observe where you are hitting the snare drum. Try to hit the same spot on the snare (ideally the centre) with both hands so that you get roughly the same sound from the drum.

Now lets add the bass drum.

Bass it up

The bass drum pattern is a fairly common pattern. Be sure to listen to your bass drum placement – is it really happening together with the cymbals? Be especially careful on the “e” of 4 – that’s usually where things go wrong.

Taking It Further

Let’s explore this split hands idea further with some more grooves.

Groove away

All three grooves feature the same RLRL hand pattern. The first groove is just a nice simple rock beat.

The second groove is a bit funkier with the common snare drum pattern on the “ah” of 2 and “e” of 3 and an additional snare on the “ah” of 4. Try ghosting these 3 snare drums to give an alternative feel to the groove.

The final groove is the original pattern but with a snare drum and bass drum switching positions and an additional snare on the end.

Now create some of your own split hands patterns. Try splitting the hands between floor tom and high tom instead of Ride and Hi-Hat.

I hope you’ve enjoyed groove of the week #76. 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 #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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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.