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.

Fill Of The Week #34

Get a brimful of this drum fill on your way to the corner shop.

This drum fill is taken from the song Brimful Of Asha by Cornershop. The drum fill happens at around 3’33” and serves as a pickup to restart the song after a brief pause. Let’s learn it.

Learn The Fill

This is a fairly simple fill, but don’t let that dissuade you from adding it to your arsenal; often simple fills sound the most musical. Let’s start by looking at the basic rhythm.

The basic rhythm
Brimful of the basic rhythm

Note the sticking pattern that I recommend for this fill. It keeps the Right hand on all the eighth notes and Left hand fills in any 16th notes. This should help your flow while you’re playing this fill.

The two tricky spots on this fill are the first note on the “ah” of four, and, the two 16th notes on the “e” and “&” of 2. Play this fill slowly with a metronome and check your rhythmic accuracy.

Once you are comfortable with the fill then you can orchestrate it around the kit. Here’s the full fill:

the full fill
Drum fill on the 45

Take It Further

The opening two beats of this fill provide a great setup for any fill you want to put over the last two beats. So let’s take this further by varying the ending. Here’s 3 variations:

fill variations
Everybody needs variations for a pillow

Our first variation just adds a simple 16th note fill to the end.

The second variation is also a simple 16th note fill with a slightly different rhythm.

The final variation is a slightly trickier rhythm but still using just 16th notes.

For all of these fills I recommend using the sticking idea discussed for the original fill: Play all the 8th notes with the Right hand and fill in any “e”s or “ah”s with the Left hand.

I suggest you play around with this fill some more and come up with your own variations.

I hope you’ve enjoyed fill 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 #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.

Fill Of The Week #33

Here’s fill of the week #33, don’t trip-let over it!

Our friend the five note grouping makes it’s return for fill of the week #33. Last time we saw the five note grouping it was on fill of the week #28 where we used it in 16th note triplet form. This time we’re using it in 8th note triplet form and going over the bar line with it. Let’s get to it.

Learn The Fill

Our five note grouping this time is Right, Left, Right, Left Kick. We’re going to play three times, move it around the kit and go over the bar line with it. Our first step is to get comfortable with the basic rhythm. Here it is played between the snare and bass drum.

the basic fill
The basic idea

Take this slow and count out loud as you do it. Make a mental note of where each five note grouping starts in the bar, then, as you play it, check that your right hand is hitting the snare drum on those beats – Beat 1, the “Let” of 2 and, the “Puh” of 4.

Once you have the basic pattern down you can orchestrate it around the kit anyway you like. I chose to progressively move around the toms.

moving it around the kit
Moving it around

Because the fill finishes on the “let” of 1, we can end the fill with a snare/crash combination on beat 2 and drop back into our groove.

the full full
Finished with a crash

Take It Further

You may not always desire to use this fill as an over the bar line fill. So we can easily turn it into a 1 bar fill. Let’s just move the last two notes of the first bar to the floor tom.

one bar of fun
One bar of fun

We can also extend this fill into a two bar fill by adding in two more groups of five.

two bars of fun
Two bars of fun

To extend this fill I’ve repeated the first group and the last group of five. The last group conveniently ends on beat one of the 3rd bar, so naturally, I put a crash on it.

Practicing this two bar fill will also help you to play the 16th note triplet fill from fill of the week #28.

I hope you’ve enjoyed fill of the week #33. If you’d like drum lessons and you’re in Singapore, 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.

Fill Of The Week #32

It’s time to ring the bell on this week’s fill. Ding Ding Ding, Let’s Go!

I thought it would be fun to try and incorporate the bell of the ride cymbal into a fill and, using a RRL sticking, this is what I arrived at.

Learn The Fill

Let’s look at the sticking pattern for this fill first:

basic sticking pattern
Right Right Left, Repeat…

We’re using a 3 note grouping – Right Right Left – played over 16th notes to create this fill. Play this sticking pattern and count 16th notes out loud as you do – use a metronome to keep your time secure. Be comfortable doing this before moving on.

The next step is to get familar with the Right hand part. We’re going to move it to the Ride cymbal where it will play the first note of our 3 note grouping on the body of the cymbal and the second note on the bell of the Ride cymbal. The final Right hand of the fill will be played on the snare drum to complete the fill. Let’s try that.

Hitting the ride
Ring that bell!

Work on getting a consistent sound from the ride cymbal bell, try to hit it in exactly the same spot each time. Note that I am using the tip of the stick to play the body of the Ride cymbal but the shoulder of the stick to play the bell. This gives you a bigger sound from the cymbal, it’s great for when you really want it to cut through.

Our next step is to add in the bass drum. I hit the bass drum together with the Right hand at the start of each RRL group. Let’s give that a bash.

Adding the bass drum
Drop the bass

The final step is to move the left hand around the kit – we’ll also move the final right hand as well. I opted to go Snare, Tom 1, Floor Tom, Snare, Tom 1 with the Left hand and then Floor Tom with the final Right hand. Here’s the full fill:

The full fill
Get that left hand moving!

Take It Further

Let’s change this fill up by altering the bass drum and the ride cymbal parts. We’ll keep the left hand the same, but, if you want to move it around and hit different drums, please go ahead.

Our first two variations move the bass drum around. First, we’ll put the bass drum together with the second Right in our RRL sticking. Then we’ll put it together with both of the Rights to create a heavier sounding fill.

changing the bass drum.
Change up the bass

Our next 3 variations change the Ride pattern from “Body – Bell” to “Bell – Body.” So we’ll be hitting the bell of the Ride cymbal first this time as we work through the 3 different bass drum combinations.

fills featuring ride bell first
First to ring the bell wins

While you are getting used to the “Bell – Body” ride cymbal pattern with the different bass drum patterns, you may want to play the left hand on just the snare – like we did when learning the original fill.

Which combination of Ride cymbal and Bass drum pattern sounds best to you? You’ll probably find you have a favourite. Don’t forget to experiment with moving the left hand around the drums differently too.

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

Fill Of The Week #31

Here’s a fill from the great Ginger Baker.

This fill is Ginger Baker’s fill from the Cream song “White Room.” He uses variations of this fill throughout the verses of the song. When I first learnt this song I was in a rush, I had over 100 songs to learn in a short space of time and I didn’t pay attention to the fills on the verses; I just noted that I needed to fill every fourth bar on the verses. I paid more attention to the 5/4 introduction and the arrangement of the song.

So off I went and played this song with my band and, for quite a while, I played it my way. Then one night I recorded my band playing the song and I realized that my fills weren’t quite working so I went back and really listened and picked up this fill. Once I brought this fill (and the 16th note triplet fill that ends each verse) into the song, the song just sounded right.

Repeating a fill throughout a song creates a rhythmic motif for the song. Another song which does something similar is “November Rain” by Guns n’ Roses. Matt Sorum plays variations of one fill throughout the whole song – he plays the same fill around 50 times! You know what song you’re listening to just from hearing the fill. Maroon 5’s “She will be loved” also repeats one fill throughout the song.

Learn The Fill

Let’s start learning this fill by looking at the basic rhythm:

This fill is basic
The Basic Fill

This looks like a fairly simple rhythm, however, Ginger Baker tended to swing his 16th notes most of the time. So, just like the 16th notes on Groove Of The Week #31, we need to think of this rhythm more like this:

Swing your basic fill
Swing it!

It’s not quite as easy to read or write the second version, which is why we tend to write it the first way and just give a directive to swing the 16th notes. I would encourage listening to the original song to hear how Ginger swung this fill and try and copy his feel.

The next step is to orchestrate the fill around the kit. The orchestration Ginger chose is fairly simple but sounds great.

Orchestrate and swing it!
Swing it round the toms

The other thing to note is that Ginger added the bass drum on beats 3 and 4. This adds more weight to the fill and keeps the time flow going.

adding the bass drum
Drop the boom

In the song Ginger is playing the groove right up until the moment the fill starts, so let’s just add that back in.

The full fill
The full fill

You’ll also note from my video that I don’t hit a crash after each fill – only on the final one. This fill is played during the verse of the song; Ginger Baker doesn’t want to overpower the singer with a crash after the fill, so he returns straight back to the hi-hat. I’d suggest practicing your fills both ways: hitting a crash after them and skipping the crash and going direct to the hi-hats.

Taking It Further

The obvious way to take this fill further would be re-orchestrate it around the kit. I’ll leave you to imagine ways to do that. Instead, let’s focus on playing the bass drum on the beat under the fill.

A lot of beginner drummers learn to play all sorts of fills around the kit with their hands but never add the bass drum underneath. The bass drum j helps to ground the fill, add more weight to it, and keep the time flowing so the listener and band don’t lose track of the beat during the fill. A drummer that employs this approach a lot is Tre Cool from Green Day.

Try these fills to get started, all fills are played using single strokes – RLRLRLRL etc…

Adding the bass drum to simple fills
Boom Boom Boom Boom

Our first three fills all start on beat 3. The first fill is played just on the snare to get you started. The second fill moves groups of the two around the kit and the third fill is a 3-3-2 fill.

The last three fills are whole bar fills. The first fill just moves groups of 4 around the kit, the second fill is a 6-6-4 fill, the final fill is a 3,3,3,4,3 fill.

When playing the fills pay attention to your accuracy, make sure your bass drum is really together with whichever drum is being hit at the same time. Work with a metronome and focus on keeping the bass drum playing a rock solid pulse together with the beep of your metronome.

I hope you’ve enjoyed fill of the week #31. If you’re in Singapore and you’d like drum lessons, send us a message on our 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.

Fill Of The Week #30

It’s time for fill of the week #30.

I hope you practiced our Fill Of The Week #5 because this fill is a slightly evolved version of that one. Let’s get to learning.

Learn The Fill

The basis of this fill is alternating singles between the right hand and the bass drum. Let’s look at the basic hand and foot pattern:

Basic pattern.
Hand, Foot, Hand, Foot, Repeat…

Note that we change the pattern on beat four to bring the fill to a conclusion. Practice this pattern carefully with a metronome. Focus on the spacing between the notes, keep them evenly spaced.

The next step for this fill is to add in the hi-hat barks. I play this fill with my left hand on the hi-hat and my right on the snare.

add the hi-hat barks
Woof, Woof, Woof…

Focus on closing the hi-hat together with the next bass drum. Play this pattern very slowly until you can play it cleanly every time.

The final step is to orchestrate the right hands around the drums. Here’s the the full fill as I played it:

the full fill
The full fill

Take It Further

If you check fill of the week #5 you’ll find other ways to orchestrate this fill around the kit, so this time, let’s look at changing the ending of this fill. This will give you more options when playing the fill and help you to develop flow around the kit.

3 fill variations
Change it up

Our first fill variation just changes beat four to 16th notes on the snare. I would encourage you to explore all variations of those last four notes as well.

The second variation has us changing the fill from the “&” of 3. It keeps the spirit of the original fill going by incorporating the bass drum with the hands.

The third variation changes things up from beat 3. As with the previous variation it keeps the spirit of the original fill by including the bass drum.

Here’s one variation of the whole fill that you may find useful. I keep the left hand on the snare for this and let the right hand play all the hi-hats.

hi hat variation
Play those hats

We hope you’ve enjoyed fill of the week #30. If you’re in Singapore and would like a free trial drum lesson, send us a message via our contact us page.