Groove Development - 13/02/2018

Building up a groove pattern using accent placement and syncopation.

On this page you will be learning a groove through a series of steps. This will start with a 4/4 groove pattern that builds up to a level 3 pattern. There will be seven separate modifications made to this start groove, each of which makes the part slightly more difficult. It is also worth noting that each of these steps creates its own perfectly decent sounding groove. In each step a link to the original lesson of the concept applied is provided where appropriate. It would be worth sidetracking and working through these lessons if you either get stuck or don't understand a particular step.

It is very important that you can play the step you are on comfortably at a decent tempo before moving on as any parts you get stuck on are going to appear in all subsequent steps. At the end of the pack you will find the usual helpful links, suggestions for other concepts that could be applied and a set of suggested target tempos.

As an additional exercise, when you have learned the steps as shown below try taking the concepts given and applying them in a slightly different way. For example in step 3 you open hi hats on '+' counts so try applying these in different places. Continue through all steps with any changes you make and write down any ideas you particularly like the sound of.

This particular groove is a two bar pattern in 4/4 that would fit many genres but is quite appropriate in alternative rock and funk. It is a very busy groove with a few different ideas going on but the offbeat accents and interesting rhythms help it sit well in a funk piece.

You can also download a version of this lesson in PDF format. In this pack you also get three sets of eight bar phrases using the final groove as a basis along with audio files in MP3 format of all drum parts. This also includes a drumless version of the backing track for you to play a long to. You can purchase this by clicking the button below.

NOTE that the file size of this pack is 37MB.


Step 1

A two bar groove in 4/4. The base pattern here is the first half of the bar playing Quarter Note Snares then switching into a standard level 0 groove. In the second bar a One Beat Sixteenth Note Fill is played on the four count. The right hand plays eighth notes on a closed hi hat throughout.

Developing a two bar 4/4 groove


Step 2

Extra Snares are added on the '+' count after beat 2 in both bars. Accenting these slightly will sound really cool with that eighth note rest on beat 3.

Developing a two bar 4/4 groove


Step 3

Simple decorative Open Hi Hats are added on the '+' count after beat 3 in each bar. In the second bar the four sixteenth note snares follow the open hi hat. In a later step this will be closed on the sixteenth note between the two counts.

Developing a two bar 4/4 groove


Step 4

Three Offbeat Sixteenth Note Snares are added. In both bars this happens on the 'e' count after beat 3. This is immediately before the hi hat is opened. Then at the end of the second bar, on the 'a' count after beat 3, another snare is added. This actually extends the four sixteenths fill at the end of the bar. You will also notice a hi hat with the foot has been added on the last of the sixteenth snares. This is to close the hi hat that was opened on the '+'.

Developing a two bar 4/4 groove


Step 5

Continuing with adding notes on offbeat 16ths, in this step you will be adding Bass Drums On 'e' Counts. This happens in three places across both bars. First of all on that first 'e' count of each bar, then after beat 4 of the first bar.

Developing a two bar 4/4 groove


Step 6

Again, Sixteenth Note Kick Decoration is added in this step but this time on 'a' counts and there are quite a few of them! Beats 1 and 2 of both bars and beat 4 of just the first bar has the additional notes. Also, note that the last note of the snare fill in the second bar is moved to a kick. This will make repeating the pattern much easier as you won't be moving your hands to a crash over sixteenth notes.

Developing a two bar 4/4 groove


Step 7

In this final step you are going to Double Up the sixteenth kick on the 'a' count after beat 1 in the second bar. The intention is for you to do this on one foot so you can keep the hi hats closed.

Developing a two bar 4/4 groove