Groove Of The Week #22

It’s time for groove of the week #22, lets get to it!

For groove of the week #22 I thought I’d try to take a classic groove – the Bossa Nova – and put a little funky bass drum twist on it. A kind of bossa nova for the 21st century. Let’s take a look at it.

Get The Groove

Let’s take a look at the groove that inspired this one. Here’s a standard Bossa Nova:

The standard bossa nova
Ladies & Gentlemen, The Bossa Nova

The main features of a Bossa Nova are the rim clicks that give it the melody and the heartbeat like bass drum that keeps it moving along. For groove of the week #22 I thought I’d take the rim click melody and try to re-work the bass drum to make it sound funky.

Lets start with the hands. The first step is to be able to play the rim click pattern consistently against the hi-hat and to be able to count it and sing along with it. Play until it is easy to do and you don’t need to think about it. Here’s the hi-hat and rim click

bossa nova rimclick pattern
Click those rims and count along

Now lets add the bass drum into the first bar.

The first half of the groove
Play that funky bass drum

The first thing to note is the bass drum on beat one, just as it is in the standard Bossa Nova. Take care not to flam the bass drum, rim click and hi-hat. Be precise in your playing, get all 3 happening together.

The next 3 bass drums all happen on 16th notes between the hi-hat 8th notes. Play this slowly at first and make sure the spacing is even between the bass and the hi-hats. Count out loud as you’re doing it and work with a metronome.

Now lets look at the second bar.

The second half of the groove
Look ma, no bass drum on beat one!

The second bar has no bass drum on beat one, just a hi-hat. You may feel uncomfortable not playing the bass drum on beat one; the majority of rock/pop beats have the bass drum on beat one & if you haven’t explored outside of that genre yet then this may feel strange to you. With practice you’ll get used to it. Go slow and count. Our first bass drum in this bar occurs on the “&” of one and gives a nice syncopated feel to the groove.

The next 3 bass drums happen on the 16th notes between the hi-hat 8th notes and echo the pattern from the first bar; they just happen slightly earlier in the bar. Again be careful with your note spacing.

The final bass drum hits on the “&” of 4. Once we join the two bars together and repeat the pattern the bass drums at the start and the end will mimic the heartbeat bass drum pattern from the original Bossa Nova.

Now lets join the two bars together.

Putting the two halves together
Did someone order 2 bars of Funk Bossa Nova?

Again, go slow and count, don’t panic when you get to the middle of the groove and there is nothing happening except hi-hats. Enjoy the space and count.

Our final step is to add in the open hi-hat at the end of the 2nd bar. The open hi-hat is on beat 4 and I leave it open all the way until beat one. I don’t hit the hi-hat on the “&” of 4 on the last bar, so the final bass drum will have to go solo.

Funky bossa nova complete
Open that hat up

For me, the open hi-hat completes the groove and it’s like taking a big breath of fresh air before diving back into the complex business of the groove. It provides a moment of musical space – relief that the tough part is done. You may want to experiment with the open hi-hat though. When I originally developed the groove I was closing it on the “&” of 4 with the bass drum, but it didn’t quite sound right to me. You could also try opening it on the “&” of 4 on the second bar and closing it on the 1. This whole groove is an experiment, so play with it yourself and see what you can come up with.

Taking It Further

The standard Bossa Nova can be played in two ways. Note that in the example I gave above of a standard Bossa Nova, the first bar has 3 rim clicks and the second bar has 2. We can call this a 3:2 Bossa Nova. It’s possible to reverse the order of the bars you get a 2:3 Bossa Nova. This creates a different feel and rim click melody. We can try that with our groove.

2:3 bossa nova
Now I’m confused

Ok… I’m guessing that isn’t going to sound great. Why? Well, we’ve got no bass drum on beat 1 of the first bar, so nothing is really centering the groove. The open hi-hat is now in the middle of the pattern, so our deep breath is in the middle of the chaos rather than providing a moment of calm at the end. So… I think we might need to re-jig it just a little.

Rearranged 2:3 bossa nova
Funky Bossa Nova, Baby!

The bass drum has moved back on to beat one of the first bar. The open hi-hat has moved to the “&” of 4 of the first bar, providing a little gulp of air before continuing with the complex groove at hand. This groove isn’t quite as funky as the previous version because it lacks the syncopated bass drum on the “&” of 1 on the second bar, but it is quite a cool groove and definitely usable.

Have a play around the Bossa Nova yourself and see if you can create your own version.

I hope this groove of the week inspires you to take a groove you already know & come up with your own version of it.

If you are in Singapore and you’d like drum lessons, send us a message on the contact us page and we’ll arrange a free trial lesson for you.

Groove Of The Week #21

It’s Groove Of The Week time, let’s get shufflin’ along.

This week’s groove is one of my favourite shuffles to play. Not an easy one to master, but lets break it down and see what makes it tick.

Get The Groove

There is a lot going on in this groove. Let’s break it down into it’s separate components and then try recombining them to create the groove. Here’s the three separate components of the groove.

3 voices seperated - Hi-hat, snare and bass.
Divide & Conquer!

Your first step is to be able to play all of the components confidently against a metronome. Set your metronome to count 8th note triplets at 40-60 BPM and play each rhythm on it’s respective instrument. Be careful with the snare drum line – be sure to add in the ghost notes to contrast with the back-beat on 2 & 4.

Our next step is to try the various combinations of the 3 voices. Here they are.

combined voices - hi-hat and snare, bass and snare, bass and hi-hat.
Combine & Conquer!

The first combination is the hi-hat and snare, again take it slow and pay attention to the ghost notes on the snare. You may ignore them at first, but once you have the co-ordination and timing down, try to add them in.

The second combination is the bass and snare drum playing an alternating 8th note triplet pattern. Again, add the ghost notes in once you can play the pattern confidently and have a nice smooth triplet rhythm.

The final combination is the hi-hat and the bass drum. Pay special attention to the bass drum notes on the “Puh” partial of the triplet on beats 2 & 4. Make sure they are really in the middle of the other two triplet partials.

Once you can play all three combinations confidently we can look at playing the full groove. As an intermediate step, you might want to try these two grooves. The first groove has the bass and snare drum combination from above with quarter notes added on the hi-hat.

Variation with simple hi-hat
Just a taste of hi-hat

The second groove has the bass drum and hi-hat parts with just the back beat on the snare drum.

variation with simple snare
Gimme some snare

You may find these grooves a helpful stepping stone to playing the full groove. Here’s the full groove, good luck!

the full groove
Shuffle away!

Take It Further

An easy way to change this groove up is to move the Right-hand to Ride cymbal and play the bell of the Ride on the beat.

Ride bell variation
Ring my bell

A variation that can be very effective, when used sparingly, is to copy the bass drum pattern with the Ride cymbal bell. You’ll hear live blues drummers do this… but not in every song and maybe only once or twice in the song; too much gets annoying.

funky ride bell variation
Don’t overdo it!

Practice a 4 bar phrase; 3 bars of the first ride cymbal variation and then a bar of the second variation. Then find a blues jam session and go try it out.

Our final variation is a poweful tom-tom groove. The Right hand plays the shuffle on the floor tom and the left hand notes are split between the snare and the high tom. Check it out:

Tom Tom groove.
Have you met Tom?

When playing Tom Tom grooves don’t play the toms too loud. The bass and snare drum (and the rest of the band) should still be heard above them.

I hope you’ve enjoyed groove of the week #21. If you’re in Singapore and you’d like a free trial lesson, send us a message on the contact us page.

Groove Of The Week #20

Start warming your hi-hats up because groove of the week #20 is gonna make them work!

Groove of the week #20 is a busy beat. The bass drum and snare drum are straightforward enough, but the hi-hat is all over the place. Let’s take a closer look and break it down.

Get The Groove

The main thing to focus on for this groove is the hand pattern. Once we get the hands correct, the rest of the groove should fall into place. Here’s the hand pattern played on the snare:

The basic hand pattern
Get those hands moving!

When playing the hand pattern, notice that the Right hand plays all of the 8th notes – 1 & 2 & 3 & 4 & – and the left hand fills in the notes around it. This is the most common way of playing this kind of pattern on the kit as it keeps the Right hand playing constant 8th notes which helps with the time keeping function.

Now lets move the pattern to the hi-hat and add in the open hi-hat on the and of 3 and the closing on beat 4.

Moving the hand pattern to the hi-hat
Hit those hats!

When playing the above pattern, really pay attention to where you close the hi-hat; get a good solid closing on beat 4 with your left foot.

Our final step is to add in the bass and snare drum. Focus on keeping the hand pattern nice and smooth as you move from hi-hat to the snare. Pay attention to the timing of the last 3 notes and be sure to put each one in its proper place. Here’s the full groove:

Adding in the bass and snare drum
The full groove – make it sound good!

Taking It Further

I think the most obvious thing to change when taking this groove further would be the bass drum pattern. Let’s keep the hands the same and play around with the bass drum just a little. Try these variations:

Bass drum variations
Changing up the bass

The first of our 3 variations has the bass drum on all 4 beats to give it more of a dance feel.

The second variation adds bass drums on the “&” of 2 and 4 of the first bar and on the & of 2 of the second bar. This bass drum pattern adds a lot of forward motion to the groove, makes it feel like you can’t wait to get to the next beat.

The final variation is the funkiest one. The additional bass drum on the “ah” of 1 and then playing the other bass drums on the “&” of 2 and “&” of 3 make for a funky groove.

The other thing you can change with this groove is the ending. Here are some ideas for changing the last 3 notes:

Changing the end.
Mixing it up at the end

The first of our 3 variations puts the snare drum on beat four to create a more normal sounding beat and has two open hi-hats to add a bit of colour. You may want to play that final snare with your left hand and let the right hand just handle the open hi-hats.

The second variation just adds a snare drum on beat four. Again, this makes the groove sound a little more normal at the end.

The final variation adds an additional snare on the & of 3 and moves the open hi-hat to the “&” of 4, creating a different feel to the other 2 variations.

Try all the variations out and then come up with some of your own.

I hope you’ve enjoyed groove of the week #20. If you’re in Singapore and you’d like drum lessons, send us a message on the contact us page and we’ll arrange a free trial lesson for you.

Groove Of The Week #19

Here’s Groove Of The Week #19. Let’s see how it stacks up:

Groove of the week 19 is our first groove to feature a stack cymbal. For those not in the know, a stack cymbal is where you take 2 or more different cymbals and stack them on top of the each other to create a new sound.

The stack cymbal I used here featured a Paiste PST-8 16″ Rock Crash, a Paiste PST-5 18″ china and an 8″ Agop splash. The crash was placed upside down on the bottom of the stack, the china then fit nicely on top of it and the splash was placed upside down on top of the china.

Experiment with your own cymbals and see what sounds you can create. If you don’t have a stack, don’t worry, you can still play the groove of the week – just hit the hi-hat or ride cymbal instead of the stack.

Get The Groove

The main feature of the groove is the linear 16th note triplet between the cymbals and the bass drum that occurs on beat 3. Let’s get comfortable with the 16th note triplet pattern first.

Here’s 16th note triplets between cymbals and the bass drum. Work with a metronome at 40bpm and be sure to count and listen to how smooth your triplets are. We want nice even spacing between the notes. Have your metronome set to count either 8th notes or 16th note triplets. You can play the hands on any surface, you may find it easier to have them both on the same surface to begin with. Here I’ve notated it between 2 cymbals – the stack and the hi-hat. If you don’t have a stack you can just play your ride cymbal.

Right Left Kick 16th note triplets.
Right-Left-Kick, Right-Left-Kick….

Once we have that nice and smooth, we need to be able to do a short burst on demand. Try the exercise below – play the snare on beat 4 with your Right Hand.

exercise to get used to the 16th note triplets.
Dum Blat da-da-da-da-da-da Blat

Did your triplets come out nice and smooth? If not slow it down until you can produce them cleanly.

Our final step is to bring in the rest of the groove. Here’s the full groove:

the full groove.
The fully stacked groove

If you don’t have a stack, play both hands on the Hi-Hat during the triplets and play an open Hi-Hat on the “&” of 4. Alternatively play the Right hand on the Ride cymbal during the triplets and hit the bell of the Ride cymbal on the “&” of 4.

Taking It Further

I can’t think of many songs where I would use this groove as the main groove for the song. It’s more of a nice groove variation for when you want something a bit flashy. I’d probably play it at the end of a 4 bar phrase like this:

a four bar phrase with the stacked groove at the end.
Make it groove.

The main feature of our groove of the week is the 16th note triplets on beat 3. We can mess around with the voicing of the triplets to give us some interesting variations. Here’s a couple of ideas:

Moving the hands onto different voices.
Change it up!

The first variation has us playing the triplet between the toms and bass drum. The second has us using the bell of the ride cymbal and the hi-hat. We’re still using the Right-Left-Kick pattern for the triplets.

We can also move the 16th note triplet pattern to beat 1:

16th note triplets at the start of the groove.
Stacked up at the start

If you’re really loving the triplet, you can extend it over two beats like this:

Groove with 16th note triplets over 2 beats.
Gotta love those triplets!

Note that the Right-Left-Kick pattern remains the same, we play the snare drum on beat 4 with the Right hand.

I hope you’ve enjoyed groove of the week #19. If your in Singapore and you’d like a free trial drum lesson, send us a message on the contact us page.

Groove Of The Week #18

Here’s Groove Of The Week 18:

Bam Bam Bam Bam! It’s time to whack that snare drum and drive the band. I first heard a groove similar to this on a Yamaha DD10 drum machine I had back around 1988/9. I think it was programmed beat number 8 – “R&B.” However, this kind of groove has it’s roots in Motown music but has also been adopted as an aggressive rock groove. Check out “Are You Gonna Go My Way” by Lenny Kravitz, “Easy Money” by Billy Joel, “New Sensation” by Inxs or “Reach Out I’ll Be There” by The Four Tops to hear this kind of groove in action. Let’s get into it!

Get The Groove

The main star of this groove is the snare, driving the beat forward relentlessly. Playing the snare drum on every beat creates a very aggressive groove. The first challenge this groove presents is playing the bass drum and snare in unison on some of the beats. You want to be able to play these unison notes without any flams. Let’s look at the bass and snare interaction first:

Snare and Bass drum
Flams not allowed

Once you can play the snare and bass pattern without any flams, add in the closed hi-hat. Again, make sure there are no flams between with three voices.

Snare Bass and Hats
Ban The Flam!

The final things to add to this groove are the open hi-hats every second bar. Open hi-hats often make a groove feel more complete and give you the chance to add a controlled long sound to a beat. Here’s the full groove:

Full Groove
How’s my hat looking?

Take It Further

Here’s a few more variations, keeping the snare drum on all 4 beats but varying the bass drum and the open hi-hats.

3 variations on the groove
Remember: No Flams!

You want to be careful playing fills with this kind of groove. Often I hear drummers just playing a bass drum & crash on beat 1 after a fill, losing the drive of the snare drum. Play fills that allow you to crash on beat 1 together with the snare. Try these:

Adding Fills
Fill It Up!

I hope you’ve enjoyed groove of the week #18. If you’d like a free trial drum lesson in Singapore, send us a message on the contact us page.

Groove Of The Week #17

Here’s groove of the week #17 – it’s time to go off-beat!

Off-beat hi-hats, ghost notes, open hi-hats… there’s a lot going on in this cool sounding groove. Let’s learn it!

Get The Groove

The first step in learning this groove is to be very comfortable playing on the off-beats. So, if you’re not yet comfortable with playing on the “&” then then you need to start here:

off beat hi-hats
Are you counting?

Work with a metronome at 60bpm and count all of those 8th notes out loud and just hit your hi-hat on the “&.” Use a metronome that can clearly mark out the 8th notes for you, I prefer Tempo Perfect by NCH software (spell it all as one word to find it in the app store – “tempoperfect”).

Once we’re comfortable and accurate playing the off-beat hi-hat, we can add in the basic bass and snare drum pattern.

basic off beat groove
That’s one funky groove!

If you’re new to this groove, you may want to stop here and explore it for a while. Get really familiar with it and add some fills etc. It’s a popular groove that’s been used in many songs. Learn to make it feel good.

Once we’re happy with that groove, we can add in the ghost notes on the “ah” of 2 and the “e” of 3. This is probably the most popular of the ghost note placements that we’ll use. These two ghost notes sound great together and have featured in many songs. Try to play them as lightly as you can so they blend in nicely with the hi-hat.

basic groove + ghosts
I ain’t scared of no ghosts!

Our final addition to complete this groove is the open hi-hat on the “&” of three. Note that we’re closing it on beat 4 with the hi-hat pedal. Focus on really getting your hi-hat to close perfectly with the snare drum on beat 4 to make this groove sound clean.

full groove
Off-beat awesomeness

Taking It Further

The easiest way to vary this groove is to play around with the bass drum placement. Here’s a few ideas:

bass drum variations
Fun with the bass drum

The first variation has the bass drum playing on all the downbeats; if you’re try to make people dance, playing the bass drum in this manner will help you do that.

The second variation is just applying a very common bass drum pattern to the groove. The last two variations accent the off-beat idea even more.

I’m a big fan of open hi-hats and they provide another way to change up the sound of a groove. Try these variations:

open hi-hat variations
Let me hear those hi-hats!

I hope you’ve enjoyed groove of the week #17. If you’re in Singapore and you’d like a free trial drum lesson, send us a message on the Contact Us page.

Groove Of The Week #16

It’s time to get groovy!

What was that?!?! I heard 8th notes, 16th notes, 16th note triplets, 8th note triplets, open hi-hats, closed hi-hats, snare drums, bass drums… and it all sounded funky. Let’s break down groove of the week #16.

Get The Groove

Groove of the week #16 is a pretty advanced groove. The two main elements that make it advanced are the 8th note triplet on the bass drum going against the 8th note hi-hat at the start of each bar, and, the 16th note triplet hi-hat embellishments at the end of each bar.

The easiest of the two is the 16th note triplet hi-hat. Let’s start there. I play these using a double-stroke on the left hand in between the “&” of 4 and beat 1. There are other ways to stick this pattern, but I like to keep the right hand playing nice solid 8th notes on the hi-hat. Here’s the hi-hat pattern with the counting – watch out for the open hi-hat on beat 3 of the second bar & don’t close it until beat 4.

hi-hat pattern
Just the hats

The second element is the 2 over 3 polyrhythm played between the bass drum and the hi-hat. First let’s learn this rhythm between the hands. It’s often taught using the phrase “Cold Cup Of Tea” as shown below. Play your right hand on the small tom and the left hand on the snare.

cold cup of tea
Cold Cup Of Tea

Work with a metronome playing 8th notes and really focus on keeping your right hand together with the metronome. You may want to try an app like Polynome which can be programmed to play this rhythm.

Once you can play the rhythm with your hands, we can use your left hand to train your bass drum. Add the bass drum to the left hand part like so:

more cold cups of tea
Can somebody heat my tea up?

Once you are comfortable with that, try taking the left hand away, but keep the bass drum going:

even colder tea
Maybe just make me a fresh cup?

The last step is to be able to do it on demand. Let’s move the right hand to the hi-hat and just play the triplet bass drum every other beat.

cold tea on demand
I’ve changed my mind, can I have a coffee instead?

Again, work with an 8th note metronome and really focus on keeping your right hand playing smooth 8th notes.

Once we have these two elements settled, then we can try to put them together to form the full groove.

the full groove
Adding in the cream & sugar

A good example of a song using the “cold cup of tea” triplet bass drum is the chorus of “Figure 8” by Elle Goulding.

Taking It Further

The main things to take away from this groove are the 16th note triplet hi-hats and the “Cold cup of tea” bass drum. Try adding them in to other grooves.

Here’s more ideas for the 16th note triplet hi-hat; note that the right hand plays the snare drum on beat 2 of the second example and on beat 4 of the third example.

16th note triplet hi-hat grooves
Adding some 16th note triplet hi-hat spice

And here’s some more ideas for the 8th note triplet bass drum:

8th note triplet bass drum grooves
More cold tea anyone?

I hope you learn something from groove of the week #16 that you can apply in your drumming. If you’re in Singapore and you’d like a free trial drum lesson, send us a message on the contact us page.

Groove Of The Week #15

It’s groove of the week time! Let’s get to number 15:

MORE COWBELL! Gotta love grooves with cowbell in them. I figured that after 14 grooves of the week, it was about time that I hit the cowbell.

There have been many great songs with cowbell parts over the years, some of the the most notable ones being “Honky Tonk Woman” by the Rolling Stones, “Good Times, Bad Times” by Led Zepplin and of course “Don’t Fear The Reaper” by Blue Oyster Cult. That last one was the subject of a Saturday Night Live sketch which spawned the “MORE COWBELL!” shout that you’ll hear anytime a drummer plays a cowbell.

This groove was more inspired by the groove Pat Torpey played on the song “Temperamental” by Mr Big; check out the groove in the introduction and about 2 minutes 24 seconds into the song. I always loved how the cowbell plays a rather irregular pattern. This is my attempt to create something with a similar irregular cowbell pattern.

Get The Groove

This is a complex groove with 4-way co-ordination, but we can break it down into smaller parts and piece it together. The first piece of the puzzle is the pattern the hands are playing. We don’t need to worry about which instruments they are playing yet, just what the pattern is. Most of the groove – from beat 1 up until beat 4 – is just a three note grouping repeated 4 times over 16th notes. The three note grouping is RLR. Here it is played on the snare:

Hand pattern for first 3 beats
Count as you play

Practice that at 50 – 60 bpm until you are comfortable.

Now lets fill in the last beat of the bar. Beat 4 is the only time in the groove that the hands actually play together. We’ll represent that by a flam on the snare drum for now, don’t flam it when we play the groove though. Then we have a Left on the “&” of 4 and a Right on the “ah” of four. Here’s the complete hand pattern.

full hand pattern
Keep counting!

Practice the hand pattern slowly until you are confident with it.

Now lets move the right hand onto the ride cymbal & keep the left on the snare.

hands split between snare and ride

Now the groove is starting to take shape. The next element to add is the bell of the Ride Cymbal. This is played on the first Right of each RLR group. Thinking “Bell-Snare-Ride-Bell-Snare-Ride etc…” might help you with this.

adding the ride-bell
Bell-Snare-Ride-Bell-Snare-Ride-Bell-Snare-Ride-Bell-Snare-Ride-Both-Snare-Ride

Take your time getting comfortable with that, you may not be able to learn this groove in one sitting. Our final step for the hands is the moment you’ve been waiting for – adding the COWBELL.

Have a look at where my cowbell is on my kit, you may need to reposition your cowbell to make it accessible to the left hand (or buy another one, you can never have too many cowbells!) If you’re on an electronic kit, then assign tom 1 to the cowbell sound or, if you have multiple zones on your snare drum, then assign the outer edge to the cowbell sound, whichever makes it easier for you. Here’s the full hand pattern:

adding the cowbell
MORE COWBELL!

Now we’ve got the hands working, it’s time to add the feet. The first 4 notes with the feet coincide with the Right hand playing the bell of the ride cymbal. Let’s add those first:

adding the feet
Adding the feet.

The last two notes on the feet are a little trickier; the bass drum on the “ah” of 3, and the pedalled hi-hat on the “e” of 4. Here’s the whole groove:

the whole groove
The Whole Groove.

Take your time learning this groove, it is challenging. Take it as slow as you need to, 30 – 40bpm. It’s better to go slow and get it right than go fast and get it wrong.

Take It Further

There are a couple of ways we can vary this groove. We can alter the foot pattern and we can alter the ending. Let’s look at changing the foot pattern first.

We’ll keep all the notes in the same place, we’ll just change all the hi-hat notes to bass drum:

more bass
Give me more bass

I like the pedalled hi-hat on the “e” of 4 in the original groove, so we can add that back in to break up the bass a bit and create another variation:

less bass, one hi-hat
Give me back my hi-hat.

Moving the bass drum on to beat 4, so it plays with the Bell of the Ride cymbal every time, is also an useful variation:

Bass n Bell together
The Bass N’ Bell connection

As with any groove, we want to be able to add fills to it. The most natural place to add fills to this groove is on beat 4. We’ll stop the groove on the cowbell on the “&” of 3 and then fill beat 4. Here’s 3 ideas:

adding fills
Fill it up!

I hope you’ve enjoyed groove of the week #15. If you’re in Singapore and you’d like a free trial drum lesson, let us know on the Contact Us page.

Groove Of The Week #14

Welcome to groove of the week #14, Let’s Rock!

We’re back to basics this week, this is a great sounding groove with a driving quarter note pulse on hi-hat. Playing just quarter notes on the hi-hat leaves more space for the rest of the musicians to play and feels more angular and aggressive. It’s not as smooth and friendly as your regular 8th note hi-hats.

A master of this kind of groove was the drummer for Free and Bad Company, Simon Kirke. Often you’ll hear quarter note hi-hats when the tempo is fast – 180bpm & upwards – but as Simon Kirke demonstrated, they can sound great at slower tempos too. Check out Mr. Big or All Right Now by Free to hear this (or even Mr. Big’s cover of Mr. Big to hear the great Pat Torpey’s take on this – his drum sound is MASSIVE).

Get The Groove

While this groove appears simple, beginner drummers often have trouble separating their hands from their feet, often the right hand wants to follow the right foot. If this applies to you, slow things right down and count out loud.

The other area that can cause slip ups is the accuracy of the bass drum notes that occur between the quarter note hi-hats. Time spent working slowly & precisely with a metronome will be beneficial. Here’s the groove with the counting spelt out to help you along:

Groove of the week 14 + counting
Let me hear you counting!

Take It Further

The thing I like most about this groove is the way the bass drum skips beat 3 on the second bar. Our variations on this groove will focus on skipping other beats in the same manner. Here’s 4 variations for you to try:

Variations on groove of the week #14
Skip those beats!

The other thing we want to be able to do is add fills to this groove. Here we have simple 16th note snare drum fills. Try these first and watch your timing. This can be tricky because of the change in subdivision for the right hand from quarter notes to now playing sixteenths. Work with a metronome and make sure you’re not speeding up here.

groove of the week #14 plus fills
Fill ’em up without speeding up.

I hope you’ve enjoyed groove of the week #14. If you’re in Singapore and you’d like a free trial drum lesson, let us know via the Contact Us page.

Groove Of The Week #13

Here’s groove of the week #13, things are gonna get pretty tricky this week!

This is one of those grooves that just kept evolving and growing, I kept finding more fun things to add to it. Let’s get to work on our 4-way co-ordination.

Get The Groove

First, let’s look at the basic groove. Here’s what I built upon to create this groove:

The basic groove

Hopefully that looks pretty easy to play, but, if it causes you problems, check out Groove Of The Week #11 because it’s almost the exact same beat and I break down how to play it in that post.

Now we’ll look at the 3 elements that we’ll add to this to create the final groove. We’ll look at them separately first before we start combining them.

The first element is the ghosted 16th note triplets. When I play these, I don’t count them, I just feel them between the 8th note triplet pulse and I count the 8th note triplet. Here’s the basic groove with the ghost notes added:

basic groove + ghost notes
Count out loud and feel those ghost notes

Play this beat until you can do it without thinking. Once you’ve got it down, then you can try the next two elements.

The next element is the quarter note ride bell pattern. Here it is with the basic groove.

basic groove + bell
Ring my bell

Once that is comfortable, try adding the ghosts back in:

basic groove + bell and ghost notes
You rang m’lord?

You may want to stop here, this sounds like a pretty good groove already, but, if you want the 4-way co-ordination workout then proceed.

The final element is the displaced quarter note triplet hi-hat. Here it is with the basic groove:

Basic groove with hi-hat foot added
Don’t forget to count & breathe…

Once you have that try it with the other two elements. I suggest doing it separately at first. Here’s the first combination:

basic groove + ghosts + hi-hat
Ghost Notes + Hi-Hat

And the next combination:

Basic groove + bell + hi-hat
Bell + Hi-Hat

Finally, add it all together to get the complete groove.

The full groove
The Full Groove!

Take things slow with this groove. It’s an advanced groove with 4-way co-ordination. Take it step by step, practice it slowly, and eventually you’ll be able to amaze your friends and family with it.

Take It Further

As I was developing this groove, I had a few other ideas before I arrived at the final one. Here’s a few you can try.

First up, start the hi-hat quarter note triplets on beat 1:

full groove with hi-hat displaced
Move the hi-hats back to beat 1

Secondly, play quarter note triplets on the ride cymbal bell – alternating with the displaced quarter note triplets on the hi-hat.

full groove with alternative bell pattern
Hit the ride bell every other 8th note

Finally, switch the hi-hat foot and ride bell from the previous example:

full groove + alternative hi-hat and bell pattern
How much fun can you have with one groove?

I hope you’ve enjoyed the challenge of this groove. Working on your 4-way co-ordination will benefit your drumming no end will allow you to play more complex ideas.

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