Groove Of The Week #6

It’s time to get funky! Here’s Groove of the Week #6:

I first remember hearing this kind of funky, syncopated two bar pattern in the chorus of the Billy Joel song Easy Money from the Innocent Man Album. I instantly fell in love with the groove and it became one of my favourite songs to drum to. You’ll also hear this kind of pattern throughout funk music; Cold Sweat by James Brown is another great example of this kind of beat.

Similar to Groove of the week #5, this is a two bar pattern and presents the same challenges. You need to be able to perform the two bar pattern consistently and you need to be able to add drum fills to it.

To work on adding drum fills, use a 4 bar pattern like this:

Fill goes on the 4th bar

Try the groove with a variety of fills – such as the ones suggested in groove of the week #5, any of our fill of the week suggestions or the fills below. The fills for groove of the week 5 all started on the beat, all of these fills start and the “&”. You want to be comfortable starting fills both on and off the beat.

Practice your fills!

Once you are comfortable playing groove #6 and adding fills to it, try keeping the snare drum pattern the same, but changing the 8th note bass drums. Here’s some examples:

Change it up!

Another way to extend your practice with this groove (and any 2 bar pattern) is to reverse the order of the bars – try these:

Hit Reverse!

The last 2 examples of the reversed groove may prove tricky as there is no bass drum on beat one of the first bar. This might throw you off, but it is something you want to be able to do. When playing beats with no bass drum on beat one it is common to play the bass drum on beat one of the first bar when you start the groove and after drum fills. Here’s an example using the 4th pattern from above:

8 bars of fun!

Have fun with groove of the week 6! 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 #5

It’s time to get groovy! This week’s groove of the week is a simple 2-bar pattern. Here’s groove of the week #5:

I’ve always loved this beat. Skipping the bass drum on beat 1 of the second bar gives this groove a very upbeat feel and adds a certain swagger to it. A song that really shows off that swagger is the rock classic Born To Be Wild by Steppenwolf. This groove drives the verses of that song and gives it the rebellious feel needed.

Grooves that are 2 bars in length, such as this one, present their own challenges when playing them. The first challenge is being able to play the whole pattern continuously without changing it. I find that singing the pattern in my head while playing helps me to keep it correct. Record yourself playing the groove for an extended period of time; can you play it for 3 minutes without changing the pattern at all?

The second challenge is adding in drum fills. Normally with 2 bar patterns, drum fills will occur on the second bar. You want to practice adding drum fills to the second bar and then resuming the beat from the first bar. Here’s how I practice adding fills into this beat:

Groove of the week 5 played as a four bar pattern with fills added on the fourth bar.
Add some fills to spice things up!

Obviously, you can change the fills to suit your musical needs, make sure you’re able to play fills starting on any beat of that last bar. For suggestions on fills, head over to our fill of the week section.

If you’re in Singapore, and you’d like a free trial drum lessons, contact us via the contact us page and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible!

Groove Of The Week #4

It’s groove of the week time! Here’s groove of the week #4:

Here’s one of those grooves that occurs in more songs than you’d think. Having the bass drum on the “ah” of 2 followed by a bass drum on the “&” of three is extremely common. Check out “How To Save A Life ” by The Fray, “Only Wanna Be With You” by Hootie & The Blowfish, or “The Man Who Can’t Be Moved” by The Script to hear examples of this bass drum pattern.

As with Groove Of The Week #3, the challenge for beginners is to get the bass drum landing accurately on the 16th notes in between the hi-hats. As always, work with a metronome, go slow (50-60bpm), count, & focus on keeping your hi-hat steady. Here’s the groove with the counting added to help you out!

Groove 4 with counting added
Don’t Forget To Count!

The open hi-hat on the “&” of four may also need attention. Open hi-hats can sound sloppy very easily, focus on not opening the hi-hat until the & of four and closing it perfectly in sync with the bass drum on beat 1.

For more advanced players, try changing the hi-hat pattern to 2-handed 16th notes, this will force you to work on your co-ordination between your left hand and right foot. Are the bass drums on the “ah” of 1 and 2 really landing perfectly in time with the hi-hat? Record it and find out… if you’re having problems, slow it down and really focus on the left hand & right foot accuracy. Be precise with you note placement.

Groove Of The Week 4 with 2 handed 16th notes on the hi-hat
Keep Counting, Be Precise!

If you’re in Singapore and you’d like a free trial drum lesson, you can arrange one on our contact us page.


Groove Of The Week #3

Here’s Groove Of The Week 3:

This is one of my favourite grooves. It just feels great to play and has lots of forward momentum. It really pushes a song along. The most famous use of this groove is probably Europe’s “The Final Countdown” but it’s not the only song out there with this groove.

For Beginners the hard part of this groove is getting the 16th note bass drum on the “ah” of 1 and the “ah” of 3. Often the right hand will want to follow the right foot and they end up playing together.

When trying this beat for the first time, go slow (50 – 60 bpm) and count. Focus on keeping your right hand playing steady 8th notes & try to slot the 16th note bass drum in without disturbing your 8th note hi-hats.

Groove of the week #3 + Counting

For more advanced players, try playing the song with a quarter note hi-hat instead. Like this:

Groove of the week #3 + Quarter Note Hi-Hat

Playing quarter notes on the hi-hat will force you to think more about your bass drum placement. Try playing 4 bars of the groove with 8th notes on the hi-hat and then 4 bars with quarter notes on the hi-hat. Is your bass drum falling in the same place in both grooves? Do the snare and bass drum sound the same in both grooves? Record yourself and find out!

If you’re in Singapore and you’d like a free trial drum lesson, visit our contact us page to arrange one.

Groove Of The Week #2

Here’s groove of the week #2:

Like Groove Of The Week 1, this is a basic groove that is probably the 2nd or 3rd one that students learn when they first start drumming. It features in so many songs that you really need to spend the time to master it. You’ll have heard it in songs by Green Day, Coldplay, Maroon 5, Imagine Dragon and many many more.

As with all these grooves, make sure you record yourself playing it and focus on playing it as smoothly as possible. Remember that you are laying a foundation for a band to play on top of, if you don’t provide a strong & solid foundation the band isn’t going to sound any good.

This is also a great groove to start experimenting with accenting your hi-hat pattern. Use the shoulder of the stick to create the accent and the tip of the stick to play the unaccented notes. Try it on the on the downbeats…

…. and then on the upbeat

You may find this challenging at first, but it’ll give you 3 very useful variations of the same groove.

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 #1

Here’s Groove of the Week #1:

It’s the first beat most people learn to play when they start playing drums. It’s been used in some of the biggest songs of all time such as Another One Bites The Dust, Billy Jean, Like a Virgin, Back in Black, Manic Monday, Raspberry Beret and many many more. This is groove deserves a lot of attention for that reason. Can you make it feel as good as the drummers on those songs could? The intro to Billy Jean is easily recognizable and instantly makes you want to dance.

Spend time with the beat and make it sound as good as you can. Make sure there are no flams between the hi-hat and bass drum or hi-hat and snare drum. Check you volumes… how loud is your hi-hat? Does it seem annoyingly loud? Is it overpowering the snare and bass? It shouldn’t, but a lot of beginners will play it that way.

Experiment with where and how you hit the hi-hat. Use the tip or the shoulder of the stick to get different sounds from your hi-hat. Try playing on the ride cymbal or crash instead. Experiment with getting different sounds from the those cymbals by playing on the edge, the body or on the bell. Practice the groove by playing it with rim shots or rim clicks.

Don’t forget to work with a metronome at different tempos, can you make it feel good at 60, 80, 100, 120, 140 & 160bpm? How’s your note spacing at 60bpm? Are you tensing up at 160bpm? Keep those hands relaxed. Get working on it!

If you’re in Singapore and you’d like a free trial drum lesson, contact us via the contact us page and we’ll arrange one for you.