Groove Development: 03-07-2018 (2 Bar 5/8 Tom Groove)

Learn a tom based 5/8 groove with a left foot eighth note count.

Through this lesson you will learn a two bar tom based groove in 5/8 through a series of steps. This starts with a bare bones groove pattern that builds up to a decorated level 4 pattern the challenges your co-ordination. There will be nine modifications made to the start groove, each of which makes the part more difficult. It is also worth noting that each step 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. On the last page you will find a list of helpful links, suggestions for other concepts that could be applied and a set of target tempos.

This particular groove is a decorated two bar tom pattern in 5/8 with a constant eighth note on the left foot that fits a variety of genres but is intended to be an alt metal style groove and the backing track provided reflects this. The main area of focus for the part will be co-ordination between hands and feet and stamina in the left foot.

You can also download a version of this lesson in PDF format. In this pack you also get two extra steps in the groove construction process, three sets of eight bar phrases using the final groove as a basis and 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 for just $2 by clicking the button below.

NOTE that the file size of this pack is 15.2MB.


Step 1

A bare bones two bar Groove In 5/8 where the right hand is playing on the floor tom. The left foot also plays eighth notes on the hi hat pedal, meaning the right hand and left foot are playing together through the whole groove. You should be focusing here on getting those two limbs working together correctly, if they start playing slightly apart the groove will sound sloppy. Don't miss the kick on beat 1 of the first bar also!

Developing a two bar 5/8 tom groove


Step 2

The snare in the second bar is pushed a long from count '4' to the '+' After, making it fall between the two floor tom / hi hat strokes on counts '4' and '5'. Focus on landing this snare stroke exactly on the '+' count, the lesson linked below will help.

Developing a two bar 5/8 tom groove


Step 3

On count '5' of the first bar, a hi tom is added in on the left hand with the floor tom and hi hat. This movement will be the same as the snare and floor tom on count '4' with the altered orchestration. On the '1' count of the second bar, immediately following this movement, a mid tom is added. This gives you a snare - high tom - mid tom movement with the left hand over those three eighth note counts which gives the part a bit more melodic variation.

Developing a two bar 5/8 tom groove


Step 4

Some 16th note toms are added in this step to add both rhythmic and melodic variation. On the '+' count after beat '1' of the first bar a high tom is played with the left hand and on the '+' after count '2' of the second bar a floor tom is added in a similar way. The note placement exercise provided in step 2 will be useful here as again, the focus should be on getting this notes exactly on the '+' count.

Developing a two bar 5/8 tom groove


Step 5

Next up, you will be adding in some bass drums on '+' counts, in this case on the '+'s after counts '2' and '3' of the first bar. This will give you a run of reverse single stroke between the right hand and right foot but also between the left foot and right foot which can be an uncomfortable movement. Start the pattern slowly, making sure your notes are Falling Exactly where they should then build tempo up gradually.

Developing a two bar 5/8 tom groove


Step 6

You are adding two more kicks in this step in a very similar way to the previous addition but spread over the bar line. The first falls on the '+' after count '5' of the first bar and the second on the '+' after count '1' of the second bar. These kicks fall between the extra toms added in step 3. As before, your focus here should be on the accuracy of these new bass drum strokes.

Developing a two bar 5/8 tom groove


Step 7

One final kick is added On The '+' after count '3' of the second bar. Again, ensure this falls exactly on the '+' count between the two counts.

Developing a two bar 5/8 tom groove


Step 8

A very simple change here, just move the right hand floor tom from count '5' of the second bar over to the Bell Of The Ride.

Developing a two bar 5/8 tom groove


Step 9

Add an open hi hat with the left hand at the very end of the second bar on the '+' after count 5. This will be Immediately Closed By The Left Foot on the first stroke of the next bar. The purpose of this and the previous step is to add a little tonal variation to the heavily tom based pattern.

Developing a two bar 5/8 tom groove