The basics of building up a groove that has two base rhythms, one simple and one syncopated.
In this lesson you will continue learning about what I refer to as 'Multi Layered' grooves. In this style of groove the left hand is going to be adding in an extra 'base' rhythm a long side the right. Common time snares will still be played, but will be fitted in around the left hand. That gives you three or four layers of rhythm, one played by the left hand, one by the right and the other by the foot. The snare could technically be counted as a separate rhythm also! This is quite a complicated concept and will take a lot of practice to become comfortable with as you will be thinking about several things at once. In later lessons we will increase the difficulty by adding the left foot and using more intricate rhythms.
To build up the grooves on this page you first need to be familiar with what the hands are doing. The right hand is the easy bit, that will just play quarter notes and is best orchestrated to the right of the kit. The ride is the most straight forward option but china, crash, second hi hat or percussion items are also a viable option. The left hand is where the interesting stuff happens. For the grooves in this lesson the left will be playing a syncopated '33334' rhythm somewhere on the left of the kit. I will be notating on hi hats but percussion, splash or even a second snare are also options. In this first example, the left hand is shown on the left and the right hand on the right
Note that I've cheated a little around the '4' of the '33334' rhythm. The '4' is actually on the snare and you don't have enough limbs to play a snare, ride and hi hat all at the same time so I've subdivided this down into two lots of two and a hi hat is played on the second of these notes. Below, the two cymbal parts are notated in the same bar.
This is where it starts to get tricky. Work through the part taking particular note of at which point the hands fall together and use the counting provided to also help with the note placement. Spend time getting comfortable with this two handed pattern, starting at a low tempo and gradually building up to around 120bpm. The next step is to add in the common time snares and this is shown below.
First of all note that the rhythm stays exactly the same and the snares are falling with what was just a ride on beats 2 and 4. To achieve this the left is going to dart from the hi hat on the 'a' count straight over to the snare on the following numbered count. That will be quite a quick movement and will be one of the tougher parts of the groove. That is the full hand pattern though so once you are comfortable with the movements and your note placement is accurate you can have a go at adding in some bass drums.
On the remainder of the page I have shown that hand pattern given above with all the level 0 kick patterns you commonly see when learning a new part. Take your time with each groove, make sure all notes are falling accurately and your technique is good before working on tempo.
- Learn all steps up to a tempo of at least 125bpm.
- Experiment with different kick placements underneath the given hand part.
- Orchestrate the rhythms shown on the ride and hi hat above.
- Try using a different syncopated rhythm for the left hand.