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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 #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.

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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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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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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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Groove Of The Week #70

It’s a 12/8 kinda week…

This week’s groove is in the 12/8 time signature. That means we’re gonna have to count to 12… yikes! I don’t have that many fingers! Normally, when playing in 12/8 we still imply a 4/4 pulse. It’s like we’re playing 8th note triplets in 4/4. We use the 12/8 time signature instead of 4/4 because it makes it easier to write and count these patterns – in 4/4 you’d have to write a whole bunch of 3s over the top of the triplets and trying to count rhythms combining 8th and 16th note triplets isn’t easy. With 12/8, as you’ll see, counting is a lot easier and it’ s faster to write.

Get The Groove

Let’s look at the basic 12/8 groove we’re going to modify to create this groove.

The basic 12/8 groove

Note the counting on the groove. When I count “7” I actually say “sev” and when I count “11” I actually say “lev”. This helps to avoid playing on extra syllables in those words and also shortens them for faster counting.

We’re going to modify this basic groove by adding in some 16th note bass drums, snare drums and hi-hats. We’ll start with the bass drum. The great thing about playing in 12/8 is that 16th notes simply get counted as “and” (&). This makes counting them really easy. Here’s the basic groove with the 16th note bass drums added.

16th note bass drums coming in hot

Play this groove slowly at first. Work with a metronome. To play this groove, I used a metronome counting in 4/4 set to 76bpm. I play three 8th notes per beat, so beats 1, 4, 7 and 10 all line up with the beat on the metronome. You might want to start at 60bpm.

Now lets finish the groove off with some ghost notes and extra hi-hats all played by the left hand.

Left hand getting busy

The left hand is adding ghost notes on the “&” of 5 and 6 and then addition hi-hat notes on the “&” of 11 and 12. Hopefully you’ll find those easy to add in.

Now lets take a look at the groove if it was written in 4/4 using triplets.

It’s so ugly… get it away from me… no no no no no!

Does that look as user friendly to you? I added the standard 8th note triplet count underneath, but how you’d count the notes in between “puh” and “let” I don’t know!

Take It Further

If playing in 12/8 is new to you then you might want to spend some time adding fills to the groove. Drum fill of the week #70 will be a 12/8 drum fill but, here’s some to get you started.

Fills fills fills

Our first drum fill just plays simple 8ths notes in unison on the snare and floor tom starting on beat 10. A classic drum fill that always sounds good. Try extending it back to start on beat 7.

The second drum fill starts on beat 10 again but this time we move 16th notes around the kit.

The third drum fill starts on beat seven and kind of combines the previous two drum fills but modifies both. We play the second drum fill but starting on beat 7 and on the “&” of 9 we play a bass drum instead of a floor tom. This sets us up to play the first drum fill starting on beat 10 but I’ve modified it by putting the bass drum on the & between the unison notes. Give it a go – slowly.

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