Groove Development - 09/01/2018

Building up a two bar groove pattern in 6/8 using syncopation and toms.

In this lesson you will be learning a two bar groove through a series of steps. This will start with a simple 6/8 groove pattern that builds up to a level 3 or 4 pattern. There will be seven separate modifications made to this start groove, each of which is slightly more difficult than the previous. 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 2 you add ride bell accents 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 6/8 that would fit into the 'modern metal' genre. Whilst there is no double kick, the strong accents, time changes and tom accents are very appropriate for this style. The backing track for the phrases given later in the lesson reflect this.

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 40MB.

Step 1

A very basic two bar 6/8 groove with the right hand on the ride cymbal. Note that a floor tom replaces the snare in the first bar.

Developing a simple groove

Step 2

Add some ride bell accents. In the first bar these fall in line with the compound feel of the bar but in the second that first accent is shifted over in the bar slightly. In the complete groove the start of the second bar switches to a more double time feel and this accent is in preparation for that.

Developing a simple groove

Step 3

At two points in the groove snares are added on the mid note of a block of three. The first of these comes straight after the floor tom in the first bar and the second is at the start of the second bar. The new snare in the second bar shows how the double time feel is going to fall.

Developing a simple groove

Step 4

The first bar is going to contain two offbeat sixteenth snares. The first of these is at the very start of the bar and is played as a ghost note so should be considerably quieter than the other notes around. The second of these is at the very end of the first bar.

Developing a simple groove

Step 5

In this step I am cheating a little and adding two separate ideas. The first is the easier and involves just adding in a high tom on the very last '+' count of the bar. In both bars, around the '4' count you will find a sixteenth note kick both before and after. In the first bar this is decoration around the backbeat but in the second it becomes an important part of that double time feel. It may be worth you adding in some counting around this section of the bar, you will notice that you end up with a straight run of sixteenth notes split between the three different voices.

Developing a simple groove

Step 6

This step is quite simple. A sixteenth note kick is added between counts 5 and 6 of the second bar.

Developing a simple groove

Step 7

These final two steps both involve adding sixteenth notes to the right hand on the ride. Here extra notes have been added on both beat 2 and beat 5. The addition of these notes makes the rhythm of that first bar a straight run of sixteenths.

Developing a simple groove

Step 8

The same idea is applied here but with a slightly different placement. Beat 5 is still decorated but also beat 1 and beat 3. The general placement of notes in the second bar is slighly more in line with a bar of 3/4. This gives the part a syncopated or even poly metered feel.

This step completes the groove.

Developing a simple groove