Groove Development 29-10-2019: 2 Bar Soft Groove Using Cross Sticks

A soft 2 bar groove in 4/4 using cross sticks rather than snares.

Through this lesson you will learn a two bar groove in 4/4 that is intended to be played at a low dynamic level. To help keep this part soft, you will use cross sticks rather than snares as they have a more naturally quiet sound to them. This will be built up through a series of steps. There will be five modifications made to a simple start groove, each of which makes the part more difficult. It is also worth noting that each example 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 is worth sidetracking and working through these lessons if you either get stuck or don't understand a particular step.

It's important you can play the step you are on comfortably at a decent tempo before progressing as any parts you get stuck on are going to appear in all subsequent steps. At the bottom of the page you will find a list of helpful links and a set of target tempos.

As an additional exercise, try taking the concepts given and applying them in different ways. For example, in step 2 you displace some of the left hands. Try switching around the direction of this displacement to see what different sounds you can create. Continue through all steps with these changes and write down any ideas you like the sound of.

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 16.7MB.


Step 1

The start point is a simple two bar Level 0 Groove where the right plays on the Ride Cymbal and the left is played as a Cross Stick rather than a standard snare. Watch out for the extra cross stick on the '+' after count 3 in the second bar. Aim to play this at either p or mp.

Developing a soft two bar groove in 4/4


Step 2

Displace the back beat snares on count 2 in both bars one sixteenth note to the left of the bar. This places it On An 'a' Count which is between the right hands, ensure this placement is accurate.

Developing a soft two bar groove in 4/4


Step 3

Displace the back beat on count 4 of the first bar one eighth note to the right of the bar.

Developing a soft two bar groove in 4/4


Step 4

Add offbeat 16th kicks on the 'e' count after 3 in bar 1 and the 'e' after count 2 in bar 2. This gives you a quick Double Stroke Movement where the double ends on an '+' count.

Developing a soft two bar groove in 4/4


Step 5

Two more 'e' Count Kicks are added around beats 2 and 4 of the second bar. This helps add a little more emphasis to the two cross sticks at the end of the pattern.

Developing a soft two bar groove in 4/4