'Can't Fight The Feeling' Multi Concept Groove

Learn to play a groove with a '1 +a' ostinato on the right hand with open hi hat decoration.

In this lesson you will be learning a two bar groove inspired by the song Can't Stop The Feeling by Justin Timberlake. You can hear the pattern around 1 minute in to the video linked, which is the first chorus. The groove in question is a four on the floor style part with a 1 +a right hand rhythm decorated with accents and open hi hats.

The intention of this lesson is to show how easy it is to build a solid groove using simple groove concepts that still sounds interesting. Through this page the part will be built up step by step to give you a better idea of what is going on with the part. If you want to just dive in with the full pattern just skip down the page a bit.

The original song is played at around 114bpm but the groove will work at any tempo. When learning the part remember to start of at a lower tempo and slowly build up speed, making sure note placement is always accurate. At the bottom of the page I have linked somes lessons you may find useful, including hand speed and stamina exercises to help with those quick sixteenth note hi hats.

Building Up The Part

Step 1

The basis of the pattern is a four on the four groove with an eighth note hi hat right hand. You can find a lesson on the four on floor at the bottom of the page.

Building an interesting groove

Step 2

Before adding in any sixteenth notes or accents, it will be best to add in the open hi hats at this point. The first of these is at the very start of the pattern, on beat 1 of the first bar.

Building an interesting groove

Step 3

Then on the '+' after beat 3 in the second bar.

Building an interesting groove

Step 4

Next, add some accents on any numbered count that doesn't appear near an open hi hat. Beat 1 of the first bar and beats 3 and 4 of the second bar are those that aren't accented.

Building an interesting groove

Step 5

In this step you will start adding in sixteenth note hi hats. Here you are focusing on those that fall on the 'a' count and these fall on every beat except beat 3 of the second bar. In this step you really need to focus on keeping the accents sounding prominent. Because of the speed of the right hand it is very easy to start letting these slip. If you are struggling, slow the part right down and keep a close eye on your right hand. Removing all kicks, snares and open hi hats is also a really good way to work on this.

Building an interesting groove

Step 6

To create the full groove you just need to add another sixteenth note hi hat on the 'e' count after beat 3 of the second bar. Again, this will be played with the right hand so keep an eye on your note accuracy and accent volume.

Building an interesting groove


  1. Learn all given examples up to a tempo of at least 114bpm.
  2. Experiment with creating your own grooves using the concepts presented.
  3. Try playing a long to the full song. This groove is used in several sections.