Groove Development - 20/02/2018 (1 Bar 9/8 Groove With A Syncopated Right Hand Rhythm)

Building up a groove pattern in 9/8 with offbeat 16th kick accents.

In this lesson you will be learning a groove through a series of steps. This will start with a simple 9/8 groove pattern that builds up to a very busy and complex level 4 pattern. There will be eight separate modifications made to this start groove, each of which increases the difficulty slightly. It is also worth noting that each of these steps creates its own perfectly decent sounding groove. For 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. Any new additions or changes to the current bar are highlighted in red.

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 sixteenth note kicks 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 very busy one bar pattern in 9/8 that is inspired by the band 'Animals As Leaders', which is quite heavy progressive metal music. The kicks are intended to accent notes within the music whilst the right hand keeps a constant tempo and the ghosted snares add some interest to the part.

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 25MB.


Step 1

A basic Compound Time 9/8 pattern with the right hand playing eighth notes on the second crash cymbal.

Developing a 9/8 groove


Step 2

The first few steps are going to involve placing Kicks On '+' Counts. When doing this make sure the note falls exactly between the two right hands. Here the kick is added on the '+' count after beat 1.

Developing a 9/8 groove


Step 3

Then a second kick On The '+' after beat 2.

Developing a 9/8 groove


Step 4

Counts '7 8 9' have had the same kick placement added as counts '1 2 3'. When the pattern is repeated the kicks at the start and end of the bar make a nice run of notes.

Developing a 9/8 groove


Step 5

Just a simple sixteenth kick addition On The '+' after count 5.

Developing a 9/8 groove


Step 6

In this step the first change is that the 'main' snare beat on count four is accented. This is because in the next few steps a lot of ghost notes are going to be added and this snare really needs to stand out from the rest. Ghosted snares have also been added OnTthe '+' counts after beats 6 and 9.

Developing a 9/8 groove


Step 7

Again, Ghost Notes are added in this step but this time in a way that may feel very uncomfortable. The majority of the time you have seen ghosted snares added will have been as offbeat sixteenths but this time they are falling inline with the right hand. This is tough as the right needs to play at a normal volume whilst the left is softer. In this case they have been added on counts 2, 3, 5 and 8.

Developing a 9/8 groove


Step 8

More ghosted snares are added, again inline with the right hand, but this time an extra layer of difficulty is added. The notes are added on counts 1 and 7 and you will notice that the '+' counts before these notes also have ghosted snares on them, meaning you need to play two snares in a row. This may take some getting used to.

Developing a 9/8 groove

This step completes the groove.