Groove Of The Week #35

Let’s get linear for groove of the week #35.

Groove of the week 35 is a linear 16th note groove featuring the Toms. Let’s get to learning!

Learn The Groove

A linear groove is one where we don’t hit any drums or cymbals together. It’s just one drum or cymbal at the time. We’ve looked before at putting linear ideas in to regular grooves – groove of the week #23 is one of my favourites – but I don’t think we’ve done an entirely linear groove yet.

Let’s start by looking at the rhythm we’re going to make linear first.

The basic rhythm
The basic rhythm

To start with, make sure you are comfortable playing and counting this rhythm. Work with a metronome slowly and count out loud as you play it. We want that restart on the “e” of 3 to be accurate every time.

Our next step is to bring in the linear pattern that we’re going to apply over this rhythm.

the basic linear pattern
Let’s get linear, linear…

Learn to play this pattern before attempting to orchestrate it around the kit. If you’re not experienced with linear drumming, then take it slow and learn it bit by bit. Get the first 4 notes, then try to add the next 3 notes. Once you can play the first 7 notes, look to learn the next 7 notes separately. Once you can play both sets of 7 notes, try playing the whole pattern.

Once you can play this pattern, we can start orchestrating it around the kit. Again, I’d work in 7 note chunks. Here’s the first 7 notes orchestrated.

orchestrating the first half
Woah, we’re half way there…

In the first half of the groove, the left hand plays the hi-hat and snare, the right hand plays the toms. Once you can play this groove, then we can add orchestrate the 2nd half of the groove & create the full, awesome, groove.

orchestrating the second half
The full, awesome, groove

Taking It Further

Let’s take this further by orchestrating the exact same pattern in slightly different ways.

four useful variations
Four times the fun

Our first variation just has us reversing the order of the toms. Our first right hand is on the floor tom, then we have the two notes on the second tom, the final two notes are played on the first tom tom. This pattern just gives a slightly different melody to the groove.

The second variation has the right hand play only on the floor tom, this gives us a heavier, more powerful version of the groove.

The third variation has us move the left handed hi-hat notes to the first tom instead. The right hand plays only on the floor tom as in the second variation. This gives us a heavier groove again.

The final variation does away with the tom toms and puts all the right hand notes on the bell of the ride cymbal and the left hand moves between hi-hat and snare. This creates a funky groove with an off-beat ride bell pattern.

I hope you’ve enjoyed groove of the week #35. If you’re in Singapore and you’d like a free trial drum lesson, send us a message on our contact us page.

Groove Of The Week #34

This week’s groove features a 6 stroke roll, a double paradiddle, and an inverted paradiddle. What more could you ask for?

Groove of the week #34 is a funky syncopated 16th note groove. We’re using two rudiments which are normally found in 16th note triplet form, but we’re converting them to 16th notes. Both of those rudiments are 6 notes in length, so to complete a bar of 16th notes I added an inverted paradiddle on the end. Let’s get to learning.

Get The Groove

This groove starts out with a 6 stroke roll (RLLRRL) which is followed up by a double paradiddle (RLRLRR) and finally an Inverted paradiddle (LRRL). Let’s start out by getting comfortable with that sticking pattern.

Basic sticking pattern
Basic Sticking Pattern

Once you can play the pattern easily, the next step is to split the hands between hi-hat and snare.

split the hands up
Split your hands up

Once you’re comfortable with that, the next step is to add in the dynamics. I ghost all of the snare notes except for the “e” of 2 and beat 4 – I rim shot those two notes.

add the ghosts
Beware of the ghosts

The final step is to add the bass drum. You can put the bass drum where ever you like, I kept it simple on this groove. It’s on beat 1, beat 3 and the “&” of 3 – all of them occur together with the Right hand.

The full groove
The full groove

Take It Further

Rather than take this groove further, I think it’s better to split it up. From any busy groove like this you can take pieces of it and use them in other grooves. You might find more applications for them and find they help you to create new variations of your grooves.

So first up, lets take the 16th note version of the 6 stroke roll and add it to other grooves. As in Groove #34, the 6 stroke roll can be used to give you an accented snare on the “e” of 2 or the “e” of 4 – depending on where you start it. Try these two variations:

6 stroke roll variations
6 strokes of fun

Now let’s play with the double paradiddle. First we’ll keep it in the same position as Groove #34 – starting on the “&” of 2. We’ll accent the snare drum after it on beat 4 to provide us with the back beat. Then we’ll start with the double paradlddle on beat 1; if we accent the snare drum after it this time, we’ll have an accented snare on the “&” of 2 which will give us a funky syncopated groove.

double paradiddle variations
Double trouble.

I’ll let you take the inverted paradiddle and experiment with including that into your regular grooves.

I hope you’ve enjoyed groove of the week #34. 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 #33

It’s time for groove of the week. Let’s get just a little linear.

Groove of the week #33 includes two ways to vary your grooves. The first is interrupting the Hi-Hat flow, the second is adding in linear elements. Let’s get to it.

Get The Groove

Let’s start by looking at the basic groove we’ll be spicing up.

The basic groove

This is easily one of my favourite grooves to play. Hopefully you can play this already. If not, get practicing!

Our groove of the week is a 2 bar pattern, both bars are based on the same groove though. For the first bar, all we’re going to do is remove the hi-hat on beat 4. Interrupting the flow of the hi-hat in this manner adds space to the groove and a sense of anticipation – what’s coming after the space? Who knows? Let’s check the groove first.

interrupting the flow
Interrupting the flow like a boss

Practice this carefully, make sure you get the spacing correct between the bars. Don’t rush to restart the groove.

The second bar of this week’s groove adds a little linear lick and an open hi-hat on the “&” of 2. Let’s check that out.

Getting Linear
Licking it linear style

So we’re getting linear on beat one of the bar. We’re keeping the bass drum groove the same as our basic beat, but instead of playing 8th note hi-hats we’re playing the 16th note hi-hats between the two bass drums notes. I play this Kick-Left-Right-Kick and then play the snare on beat 2 with my Left hand. You could also play it Kick-Right-Left-Kick and then play the snare on beat 2 with your Right hand. Experiment and find which way works for you again.

Let’s put both bars together and get the full groove.

2 bars of awesome
The full groove of awesomeness

Take It Further

If you’d like more linear grooves, try groove of the week #23.

Let’s take a closer look at interrupting the flow of the hi-hat to create space in our groove. Here’s some ideas for you.

interrupted variations
Flow, Interrupted

Our first two variations keep our groove the same. The first one skips the hi-hat on the “&” of one. The second one skips the hi-hat on beat 3.

The third and fourth variations alter the groove slightly to create the space. The third variation stops the hi-hat on beat 2, and the final variation stops the flow on beat 3. Try interrupting the flow on other 8th note hi-hat grooves – space can sound great sometimes.

I hope you’ve enjoyed groove of the week #33. 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 #32

How did we get to Groove Of The Week #32 without playing a Tom-Tom groove? Time to put that right!

This groove was inspired by the one that Rikki Rockett plays during the introduction of the song “Unskinny Bop” by Poison. Tom-Tom grooves are fun to play and can add a lot of colour to a song; just don’t play the Toms too loud, you still want to be able to hear the snare and bass drum and the rest of the band.

Get The Groove

I often find that when students look at Tom-Tom grooves they get confused because the groove doesn’t look like the normal ones they play. However, a lot of Tom-Tom grooves are just regular grooves orchestrated around the toms. This groove is exactly that. Here’s a groove you’re probably familiar with:

basic groove using hi-hats
Does this groove look familiar?

Now let’s move the Right hand from the Hi-hat to the Floor Tom:

Bring in the floor tom
Floor Tom Fun

Next, let’s re-orchestrate the Left hand snare notes that are on the “ah” of 2, the “e” of 3 and the “ah” of 4. The first two get played on the high tom, the last one gets played on the floor tom. The back-beat on two and four remains on the snare.

Throw in some other toms
Tom Tom Trouble

To give this groove a bit of an upbeat lilt, I added the left foot hi-hat on the “&s” of each beat.

Step on the Hat!

If you are having trouble with the left foot, build up the groove from the feet. Here’s the steps:

Work that left foot.

Step 1 has us just playing the feet. Take this slow and count out loud.

Step 2 adds in the right hand on the floor tom playing all the 8th notes. Keep it slow and keep counting.

Step 3 add in the back beat on 2 & 4 on the snare. Still going slow and counting?

Step 4 is the full groove. You may find it easier to play the 16th notes on the snare drum to start with, once you find that easy, then try moving those notes to the toms.

The final thing I need to mention is all the 16th notes are swung, just like groove of the week #31. Check out that groove if you’re unsure how to swing 16th notes.

Take It Further

Let’s take a look some more Tom Tom Grooves:

Our first groove is a simple 8th note beat with the right hand playing the floor tom instead of the hi-hat or ride cymbal. The left hand moves across to the tom on the “ah” of 4 just to give the groove a little push. This has to be one the most useful tom grooves.

The second groove is a little more complicated. The right hand is still just playing 8th notes, but now we’re moving it around the toms. You might want to get used to the right hand movement first. The left hand is just filling in some 16th notes and playing the snare on beats 2 & 4. Moving around the toms like this adds a melody to your grooves. .

The final groove had a real sense of forward momentum, I refer to it as the gallop. I mellowed it slightly by adding the floor tom on the “&” of 4. Note that the right hand is now playing the snare on 2 and 4.

I hope you’ve enjoyed groove of the week #32. 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 #31

This week’s groove is from the late, great, Ginger Baker.

Groove of the week #31 is based on the groove that Ginger Baker played on “Born Under A Bad Sign” by Cream. The song was a cover of Albert King’s original recorded just a year earlier; Ginger’s groove really makes the cover stand out from the original.

The groove features some tricky 4-way co-ordination with the hi-hat playing on the off beats and 16th notes on the bass drum. In addition, in order to get Ginger’s feel all the 16th notes need to be swung. Ginger Baker had a very unique voice behind the drums and imitating his style is not easily done.

Learn The Groove

Let’s take out the complication of the pedalled hi-hat for now and focus on the main meat of the groove. Note that I play the ride cymbal bell with the tip of my stick for this groove – that’s how it sounds to me on the original Cream recording of this song.

The basic pattern

The groove is written straight but it’s played with swung 16th notes. This a style that Ginger Baker brought to a lot of his playing. That means that you need to imagine that all the 16th note bass and snare notes are on a 16th note triplet grid and are played with a shuffle feel. If we wrote it out, it would look something like this:

Swing it baby!

Writing it this way makes it look extremely busy and complicated, which is why we prefer to write it as regular 16th notes and just give a directive to swing the 16th notes. The best way to get the correct feel is to play along with the original song and try and copy Ginger’s feel.

The final cherry on top of this groove is the off beat pedalled hi-hat. If you’re not already comfortable playing the off-beats with your hi-hat foot then I suggest you practice it with some simple grooves first and then gradually introduce 16th note bass drums into the mix. Here’s the full final groove.

Groovin’ under a bad sign

Take It Further

If you have a listen to the song this groove is from – “Born Under a Bad Sign” by Cream – you’ll hear that Ginger Baker doesn’t just sit on this groove, his bass drum pattern changes very slightly throughout the song depending on how he wanted it to feel. Here’s a couple of those variations that he uses throughout the song. Remember to swing all of those 16th notes!

Change it up

I suggest you have a listen to the original version of this song by Albert King and then listen to how Ginger Baker really changed up the groove to create this unique version. Also listen for how that bass drum changes throughout the song to change the feel.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this groove of the week in tribute to the great Ginger Baker. If you’re in Singapore and you’d like drum lessons, send us a message on the contact us page.

Groove Of The Week #30

It’s time to evolve. It’s time for Groove Of The Week #30.

Groove of the week #30 is the evolved version of Groove of the week #29. After recording Groove of the week #29, I sat around and played with the groove some more, and I thought, what would happen if I played the hi-hats starting with the left hand? Well, it presented a new challenge, just getting the groove working again took a few minutes.

Once I had the groove working I thought, what can I do differently now? It occurred to me that the Right hand was now playing the offbeats, so I started by accenting it on the hi-hat and then moving the accents to different surfaces. Finally, I settled on either the cowbell or the stack cymbal as my favourite surface, but I couldn’t decide, so I created this 2 bar groove to accommodate them both.

Learn The Groove

The first step in learning this groove is to go and learn Groove of the week #29. Once you’ve done that, let’s take groove of the week #29 and change the hands to LRLRLR instead of RLRLRL:

Groove #29 remix
Groove Of The Week #29 remix

Take your time getting this groove; if you’ve never played grooves starting with your left hand, this will feel very strange. Take it as slow as you need. It may take you some time to get this happening. Note that you may need to move your right hand out of the way slightly when the left hand crosses under to play the snare.

Once you are comfortable playing groove of the week #29 left handed, then we extend the groove and change it to get the 2 bar pattern we’ll be using for groove of the week #30

two bar pattern
Basic groove of the week #30

The final step is to move the Right hand around on the “&” of each beat. You can start by accenting the hi-hat on the “&” of each beat. If you don’t have a cowbell or a stack cymbal, try another effects cymbal (splash or china) or the ride cymbal. Here’s the full groove as I played it.

the full groove
The full groove

Taking It Further

As with groove of the week #29, the best way to take this further is to try adding fills. The challenge here is leading the fills with the left hand and being comfortable crashing on beat 1 after the fill with your left hand. All the fills here are played LRLRLR etc…

add some fills
Add some fills

You’ll notice that the second and fourth fill keep the stack cymbal happening on the “&”s to help keep the feel of the groove. .

I hope you’ve enjoyed this groove of the week. If you’re in Singapore and you’d like drum lessons, send us a message on the contact us page.

Groove Of The Week #29

This weeks groove is real smooth. Let’s check it out.

Groove of the week #29 uses 16th note triplets (sextuplets) for the hi-hat ostinato. I’ve always loved the sound of 16th note triplets on the hi-hat – they create a very smooth backdrop. Check out “Angel Footsteps” by Jeff Beck or “Flaws” by Bastille to hear the 16th note triplet hi-hat in action.

Get The Groove

The challenges with this groove are keeping the 16th note triplet hi-hats smooth and accurate bass drum placement. Let’s look at the full groove.

the full groove
The Full Groove

The first challenge is to play perfectly smooth single strokes on the hi-hat. We want all of the hi-hats to sound the same. There are no accents on the hi-hat in this groove. To achieve this, keep your hands relaxed and loose & observe your stick heights. If your sticks are matched, you’re addressing the hi-hat in the same manner, and your stick heights are the same, then you should get the same sound from the drum.

I’ve seen people hitting the hi-hats in different spots and expecting to get the same sound. You can’t have the right hand hitting on the top of the hi-hat with the tip of the stick and the left hand hitting the edge with the shoulder of the stick and expect the same sound. It’s not going to happen!

Another problem I see often is the lazy left hand. The right hand produces a good looking stroke but the left hand barely comes an inch away from the hi-hat. Your sticks should be hitting from the same height, they should look the same when you are playing unaccented notes on any surface – cymbal, drum or table top.

Start learning this groove by just practicing the 16th note triplet hi-hat pattern at 40bpm and make it as smooth as possible. Every note the same.

just the hats
The groove starts here

When they are smooth, add in the snare drum on beats 2 & 4. Do not change the sound of the hi-hats when you return to the hi-hats from the snare.

add the snare
Step 2

The final step is to add in the bass drums. I chose this groove because all of the bass drums, except for the first one, coincide with the left hand on the hi-hat. This is often problematic but with determined practice you can get more comfortable with this. Here’s the full groove once more. Notice that I have put in bold the hands that coincide with the bass drum.

Full groove
The Full Groove

Play the groove very slowly – drop to 30bpm if you have to. I find that intently watching my sticks hit the hi-hat helps me to place my bass drum more accurately. Some drummers find that watching their bass drum helps them to time it better. With determined, focused and deliberate practice you’ll have this groove happening in no time & good precision between your bass drum and left hand will become a habit.

Take It Further

With any groove you learn, you need to be able to add fills to it. Let’s look at adding fills to this groove. We’ll stick to the 16th note triplet subdivision to keep those hands flowing. Here’s a couple of ideas for you.

Fill Fill Fill

All of these fills are played with alternating singles – RLRLRL etc. The first two fills start on beat 4, the last two fills start on beat 3. Work on moving smoothly from the groove to the fill and back again. You should be able to do this without interrupting the 16th note triplet flow.

I hope you’ve enjoyed Groove Of The Week #29. If you’re in Singapore and you’d like drum lessons, send us a message via our contact us page.

Groove Of The Week #28

Here’s a bit of linear fun with the week’s groove.

The hi-hat firmly takes centre stage in this week’s groove. We’ve got some 32nd notes, some accents and a 6 stroke roll to get through. Let’s take a look at how the hi-hat can bring a groove to life.

Get The Groove

Let’s build this groove up one beat at a time. Here’s the first beat:

the first beat
The first beat is the deepest, baby I know…

If you’re not comfortable with 32nd notes, play this very slowly – 40bpm – against a metronome counting 16th notes. Focus on getting the RRL on “e & ah” accurate and then slot the 32nd note left hand between them. Finally focus on getting the accent on the hi-hat on the “ah”.

Let’s look at beat two:

2nd beat
The second beat around

Beat two has us play a simple “2 &ah” again, focus on rhythmic accuracy and the accent on the “ah” of 2.

Let’s add beat 3:

third beat
Set fire to the third beat

We’re actually resting on beat 3 and playing the “e & ah” of three. Again, use a metronome, take it slow, focus on accuracy and getting the accent on the “&” with the left hand.

It’s time for beat 4:

the 3rd beat
Back & Fourth

The fourth beat is a simple “4 &ah”. Again focus on rhythmic accuracy and getting the accent on the “ah” of 4 with the left hand.

For the 2nd bar of the this groove, beats 1 to 3 remain the same. You can practice this already:

Put it together

For the final beat, I played around a lot with ideas for this but I finally settled on a 6-stroke roll played through 16th note triplets with an accent on the last note. If you have trouble with this roll, look at the “Take It Further” section for additional ideas.

the final beat
Add the final beat

Take It Further

As mentioned previously, I played around with a lot of ideas for the final beat 4, Here’s some of the others.

Groove variations
Change it up!

Our first variation has simple 16th notes on the end with an accent on the last 16th note.

The second variation uses 8th note triplets with accents on both the addition notes.

The third and fourth variations both use 16th note triplets. The third variation has an accent on the “&”. You can play these triplets RLRLRL or RLLRLL. For the fourth variation we accent the last 3 16th note triplets, I’d suggest RLRLRL sticking to play this pattern.

The final variation just copies the 32nd note pattern from beat 1 – except we’re hitting the snare drum on the beat and note the bass drum.

The idea behind this groove was to take a simple, sparse, snare and bass drum pattern and to spice it up with hi-hats. I suggest you pick a sparse pattern you like and try to do the same.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this groove of the week. If you’re in Singapore and you’d like drum lessons, send us a message via our contact us page.

Groove Of The Week #27

This is a journey into groove of the week #27…

Have you heard this groove before? It’s more than likely, it’s been used in countless songs. The original groove was sampled from Ashley’s Roachclip by the Soul Searchers and has been used as the basis for many hip-hop songs. You might have heard in Paid In Full by Erik B. & Rakim, Unbelievable by EMF, or maybe on Set Adrift On Memory Bliss by P.M. Dawn or many other songs. Let’s check it out.

Get The Groove

The challenge with this groove is getting the bass drum pattern full aligned with the 16th note hi-hat. Lets look at the basic hi-hat and bass drum pattern.

Hi-hat & bass
Bass & Hi-Hats getting funky

Play this pattern slowly and carefully. Record yourself playing it at 40-50bpm. Can you get the bass drum to line up perfectly with your hi-hats every time? Pay special attention to the bass drum notes that are played together with the left hand, those often cause problems. Go as slow as you need to get it accurate and then gradually speed it up.

Let’s add in the snare drum next.

hats, snare & bass
Give me that back beat

Move smoothly from the hi-hat to the snare drum with your right hand, try not to accent the hi-hat when you move your hand back and forth to & from the snare drum. Keep your hi-hats sounding even.

The last step is to add in the open hi-hats on the “&” of 3 and the “&” of 4. Make sure you close the hi-hat accurately with the snare drum on beat 4 and with the bass drum on beat 1.

The full groove
Super Groovy

Taking It Further

If you listen closely to the original song that the beat was sampled, you’ll that the 2nd open hi-hat actually closes on the “ah” of 4. The check out the original groove that was sampled, click here. I’ve cued it up to the right spot for you.

So if you’d like to play this iconic groove perfectly correctly, then amend it to this:

the corrected groove
I stand corrected

To take our groove further, lets change up the hi-hat pattern.

Our first variation is just straight forward 8th notes on the hi-hat with the right hand. This should be fairly easy to play.

8th note hi-hats
Eighth Notes Of Fun

Our second variation re-introduces the 16th note “ah”. Note that the right hand is playing the hi-hat and snare drum again now. This groove might provide more challenge.

hi-hat variation 2
This is a journey into 16th notes

Our final variation plays 16th notes on the “e” of each beat. Again the right hand moves between hi-hat and snare.

hi-hat variation 2
Set adrift on three 16th notes

Which variation to you prefer? Maybe you’d like to stick to the original? It’s always good to have options to give a groove a slightly different feel.

I hope you’ve enjoyed groove of the week #27. 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 #26

Let’s get groovy with paradiddles in groove of the week #26

Did you spot the paradiddles in this week’s groove? Instead of being played between the hands, they were played between the bass drum and the left hand. Let’s see if we can figure this one out!

Get The Groove

This groove is based around this sticking pattern:

basic sticking pattern
The groove starts here

That’s an inverted/inward paradiddle (RLLR) followed by a regular left paradiddle (LRLL). That’s all we need for this groove… except… We’re going to replace the right hand with the bass drum.

Replace the right hand with the bass
Drop the bass

Once you can play that smoothly, we need to add the right hand back in. For most of the groove the right hand is playing regular eighth notes on the ride cymbal. Let’s try that first.

Let me hear that Ride

To really make the groove move we want to accent the snare drum on beat 2 and play the other notes as ghosts. Try performing a rim-shot on beat 2 so you accent it without too much effort.

Did someone say gh-gh-ghosts?

For the final beat of the two bar pattern the right hand plays on the Stack cymbal together with the bass drum. If you don’t have a stack, hit the bell of the Ride instead or a China or Splash. Let’s practice that.

Whack that stack!

Once you have that pattern happening try to add in the ghost notes and rimshot as we did with the first pattern.

Getting spooked?

The complete this groove puzzle we just need to fit the parts together to create 2 bar pattern.

3 parts Ride cymbal +1 part Stack cymbal = 4 parts of awesome groove.

Taking It Further

The easiest way to take this further is to re-orchestrate it around the kit.

This first version just moves the ghost notes up on to the first tom-tom. I’ve moved the ride cymbal up to hi-hat line for clarity only, still play the ride cymbal.

Introducing the high tom

Our next variation does the same thing, but adds the floor tom into the mix.

Hit the floor

The third variation provides a powerful low end groove by having the right hand play the floor tom instead of the ride cymbal while the left hand moves between the snare and the high tom – as it did in the first variation. Don’t hit the the toms too hard, we still want to be able to hear the bass and snare coming through.

Floor me

Our final variation move the right hand to the hi-hat and changes the stack to hi-hat barks. This is probably the trickiest variation. Take your time and try to get all the hi-hat barks sounding the same.

Open those hats
Open your hat to me, baby…

I hope you’ve enjoyed groove of the week #26. If you’re in Singapore and you’d like a free trial drum lesson, send us a message on the contact us page.