Groove Development - 20/03/2018 (1 Bar 4/4 Groove Using Cross Stick)

Building up a cross stick based groove pattern using odd accent placement and 16th note decoration.

In this lesson you will be learning a groove through a series of steps. This will start with an odd pattern with a difficulty level of around 1 that will build up to a level 3 groove. There will be five separate modifications made to this start groove, each making 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 bottom of the page you will find a list 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 start adding in a offbeat sixteenth note bass drums so try applying them in different position here. 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 soft one bar pattern in 4/4 that replaces the snare strokes with a cross stick. Around this there are oddly placed accents and a lot of sixteenth note decoration. The full groove has a jazzy/world music feel to it but could work well when applied in contrasting genres such as funk, rock or pop.

You can 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. On top of all of that all exercises have counting included and all new changes to the groove are highlighted in red. You can purchase this for just $2 by clicking the button below.

NOTE that the file size of this pack is 25MB.


Step 1

The starting point is quite an unusual groove. The right hand plays a broken eighth note rhythm on the hi at. The strokes on counts 2, 3 and the '+' after 4 are all playing as a Cross Stick. The second half of the bar is currently a Linear Pattern.

Developing a soft but busy cross stick groove


Step 2

First thing to add is two Offbeat 16th Kicks. The first of these on the 'e' after beat 1 and this will fall exactly in the middle of the hi hats on the '1' and '+'. The second is on the 'a' after beat 2 which leads nicely into the cross stick on beat 3.

You can find a very useful exercise on placing notes between hands like this Here.

Developing a soft but busy cross stick groove


Step 3

Next, add a cross stick on the 'a' After Beat 3. This will maintain the linear aspect of the second half of the bar and also creates a sixteenth note '332' Style Rhythm on the cross stick strokes.

Developing a soft but busy cross stick groove


Step 4

In this step you will focus on Decorating The Right Hand part with some additional sixteenth note hi hats. These will all be played on the right hand. The linear aspect of the second half of the bar still stands.

Developing a soft but busy cross stick groove


Step 5

Continuing with the idea started in the last step, add more hi hats. The Run Of Right Hand Notes starting on the '+' of beat 1 will be particularly challenging when the tempo gets higher. There is a good selection of right hand stamina exercise in all levels of the lesson section.

The hi hats added around beat 4 fall on 'e' and 'a' counts which follows the linear idea started in other steps.

Developing a soft but busy cross stick groove


Step 6

In theory this final step is quite straight forward as you are just Opening The Hi Hat on the '+' after beat 2. This is immediately closed by putting the left foot down on beat 3. When done in conjunction with all the other little modifications this becomes a challenge on your co-ordination.

Developing a soft but busy cross stick groove