Combining 8th And Offbeat 8th Note Right Hand Parts

Combine two previous right hand rhythms to create a 'multi-layered' groove.

In this lesson I will be talking through an idea that involves combining two right hand ideas learned in previous lessons. A similar idea that is a little more straight forward has been covered in a previous lesson and you can find a link to this at the bottom of the page. The parts presented here are still relatively simple and are laying a foundation for more complex patterns where the right and left hands are playing two different parts to create a far more musical and percussive sound. I refer to these kind of grooves as 'multi layered'. We'll actually be cheating a little here and will be playing the left hand on the hi hat to get the second of our two parts in. In later lessons this will be played on more interesting and melodic sounds such as percussion instruments and toms.

Through this groove the right hand will be playing eighth notes somewhere on the right hand side of the kit, so the ride, china and crash are amongst your options. The left hand will be playing offbeat 8th notes on the hi hat whilst also playing the backbeat on the snare. On this page I will break the pattern down before providing several examples of kick placement.

Left Hand Part

The left hand is the slightly more complex part of this groove so let's start by getting that down. On each '+' count you will be hitting a hi hat with the left then on beats 2 and 4 you will jump over to the snare. That looks like this:

The left hand for this groove

On its' own this part isn't at all complicated but it will help to be very comfortable with it before adding in the right hand. Spend some time playing this part now and make sure your technique remains good through the odd movement.

Adding The Right Hand

The right hand is going to play straight eighth notes notes and I will notate these for the ride to start off with. That means that on the '+' counts you will be playing rides and hi hats at the same time. That will look like this:

The hands for this groove

It is the jump with the left hand that makes this groove a bit more interesting and is most likely going to be the area you will need to focus on more. Whilst your are familiarizing yourself with the pattern keep the hi hats closed.

Simple Kicks

In this step you will be adding bass drums on beats 1 and 3 before we look at opening the hi hats. That will look like this:

The groove with a simple kick pattern

Opening the Hi Hat

Now that you have a simple version of the complete groove let's look at making it a bit more interesting. This time all hi hats will opened as you strike them then closed immediately after. To achieve this sound all you need to do is play quarter notes on the left foot. That would give you something like this:

The groove with a simple kick pattern

More Complex Kick Patterns

Finally, I'm just going to give you a list of grooves where the right hand parts follow a version of the above with various different kick placements. I will be mixing up the orchestration of the hands to show you the wide variety of options you have.

The important rule to follow is that the right hand needs to stay on the right hand side of the kit and the left on the left hand side. Have a go at switching this up, you will notice that if you have to cross your arms the part becomes very difficult to play.

Example 1

A simple multi-layered groove

Example 2

A simple multi-layered groove

Example 3

A simple multi-layered groove

Example 4

A simple multi-layered groove

Example 5

A simple multi-layered groove

Example 6

A simple multi-layered groove


  1. Learn all exercises up to a tempo of at least 150bpm.
  2. Experiment with orchestration.
  3. Apply this pattern to a phrased example as either the groove or fill.