Building up a groove pattern using accent placement and syncopation.
On this page you will be learning a groove through a short series of steps. This will start with a simple train groove pattern that builds up to a complex level 3 pattern involve 32nd notes, syncopated accents and tom placements. There will be seven separate modifications made to this start groove, each making the the groove 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 2 you add and move 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 one bar pattern based on an accented single roll in 4/4. This pattern would fit many different styles of music, from alt-rock to country to hip hop.
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 20MB.
A Single Stroke Roll with accents applied to give a common time feel. Remember to lift your sticks up higher to get those accents nice and clear.
Two things have happened here. First of all, the first accent on beat 2 has been Displaced a sixteenth forward in the bar. This means it falls on the 'a' count after beat 1 and will be played on a left hand. Then also, on the '+' after beat 2 an additional accent is added which will be played on a right hand.
Simple eighth note kicks are added here. They all fall whilst a right hand is played on the snare and are all on un-accented notes.
Again, two things have happened here. First of all a Sixteenth Kick has been added on the 'e' after beat two which pre-empts the accent on the following '+' count. This falls whilst a left hand is played. Secondly, the eighth note kick that was on the '+' after beat 3 is doubled up to two sixteenth notes.
On paper, this step is very simple. In practice not so much. The Left Foot is going to play eighth note left foot hi hats through the full bar. This is a useful method of time keeping when syncopated rhythms are used. Take your time with this step and make sure all left feet fall with right hands.
Three sets of 32nd Notes are added here, all of which are played as singles. Keep an eye on the sticking as you will get two right hands in a row.
This is a relatively simple step. First of all a high tom is added on the 'a' count after beat 2. Then also a floor tom on the '+' count after beat 3. Whilst this is an easy step, the toms add a really nice layer of complexity to the sound of the part.