'Ashes To Ashes' Displaced Snare Groove

A one bar groove where the beat four snare is shifted by an eighth note. Using the classic David Bowie song as an example.

In this lesson you will be learning a groove inspired by the song Ashes To Ashes by David Bowie. You can hear the groove from the beginning of the video linked. The groove in question is a one bar level 0 style pattern that shifts the snare on beat four an '+' count earlier. Similar ideas were covered in our lesson on Basic Snare Displacement. The intention of this lesson is to show those simple ideas being applied in a practical context.

The level 0 pattern we will be basing the part on is this:

The basis for this groove

Then, as discussed above, the snare on beat four is going to be shifted to the '+' after beat 3. That would look like this:

The basis for this groove

Finally, to create the full groove an open hi hat will be added on the last '+' of the bar, giving you this:

The basis for this groove

So by following that very simple process an interesting groove pattern can be created. The displaced snare gives the part an uneven feel which is massively appropriate for songs like this where everything feels a bit on edge.


  1. Learn all given examples up to a tempo of at least 122bpm which is the tempo of the song.
  2. Experiment with creating your own grooves using displaced snares.
  3. Try playing a long to the full David Bowie song.