'Dark Necessities' Dropped Snare Groove

A one handed 16th note groove with some 16th note kicks and a dropped snare, using this red hot chili peppers song as an example.

In this lesson you will be learning a groove similar to that used in the song Dark Necessities by the Red Hot Chili Peppers. You can hear the groove from when the drums come in, a few seconds into the video linked above. Through this page you will be slowly building up to the full groove in a step by step process with the final groove using a lot of of 16th note kicks and a One Handed 16th Note Right Hand style pattern. The most interesting part of this groove however is the 'dropped' snare on beat 4 which gives it its distinctive sound and feel.

If you are a slightly more advanced player feel free to skip the step by step build up of the part, if you can comfortable play at a difficulty 2 / 3 level this groove won't give you any trouble. When working through the steps, make sure you can play the current exercise at a decent tempo with no mistakes before moving on.

The tempo of the song is 92bpm and is played in a funk/rock style. When learning the exercises aim for a tempo slightly above this. The intention here is to show you how combining different concepts can create some cool patterns, the example used here combines at least 3 different groove concepts covered in previous lessons.

Step 1 - A Base Groove

The groove below is a start point for this pattern, which is essentially the full groove with anything that could be deemed as problematic removed. In this case it is essentially This Level 0 Groove with an extra kick at the end.

A starting point

Step 2 - 16th Note Right Hand

The first thing we'll do is get the right hand sorted. Rather than playing quavers, as in the example above, switch them to 16ths. These will all be played on the right hand so you may need to work a little on building some stamina. The lesson linked right at the top of the page has some useful groove patterns and links to some handy speed and stamina exercises.

Right hand 16ths

Step 3 - Drop The Snare

Next you will remove the snare on beat 4. This is a really easy variation to make but has a drastic affect on the sound. Something similar has been covered in This Level 1 Lesson on removing left hands from grooves.

Dropping the snare

Step 4 - Add A Kick On An 'e' Count

In this step you will be adding a bass drum on the 'e' count after beat 4. This comes right before the existing kick on an '+' count so will be quite quick. Don't be afraid to slow the part right down if necessary. The parts presented in This Lesson will be quite helpful here.

Adding an 'e' kick

Step 5 - Full Groove

Finally, all you need to create the full groove is two kicks on 'a' counts. These come on the counts before and after the snare. If you are struggling with the timing here you can 'latch' the notes to the right hand as everything will be played with a hi hat. Don't be afraid to write these groove out and add counting underneath if you think that will help. The grooves and exercises given in This Lesson may help you out also.

The full groove

Once you have learned the full groove try playing a long to the recording. This pattern is used through all sections except the middle 8 and guitar solo. There are some small variations throughout, such as open hi hats and a couple of simple fills, so have a go at working some of these out too.

When you have done that have a go at experimenting with using this kinda of pattern in your own playing. It could be used as a variation to a recurring part or a variation on this pattern could be used as a main groove. Improvise around the part and see what you can come up with.


  1. Learn all given examples up to a tempo of at least 110bpm.
  2. Experiment with creating your own grooves using the ideas presented.
  3. Try playing a long to the full Red Hot Chili Peppers song and working out all extra parts.