Groove Development - 22/05/2018 (2 Bar Jazz)

An intricate jazz groove making use of some common features of the genre. A more difficult groove development lesson.

Through this lesson pack you will learn a two bar jazz groove built around an erratic level 2 - 3 right hand rhythm that builds up to a complex level 4 groove. There will be eight separate modifications made to the start groove, each of which adds something interesting to the pattern but also increases the difficulty slightly. It is also worth noting that each step creates its own perfectly decent sounding jazz pattern. 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 groove is played with swung sixteenths, a link to a lesson explaining this is providing in step 1 but I'll give a brief recap now. Swung time is when blocks of two or more of the specified note value, sixteenth notes in this case, are played they are played as a triplet with the middle note missing. This gives the part of jumpy or bouncy feel. It has a huge impact on the timing of a piece so use the MP3s given if you are unsure on the rhythm of any step.

As an additional exercise, try taking the concepts given and applying them in different ways. For example, in steps 5 and 9 you add decorative offbeat sixteenth snares so try applying these at a different point in the bar. Continue through all steps with these changes and write down any ideas you like the sound of.

This particular groove is a two bar pattern in 4/4 that is distinctively in the jazz genre.

You can also download a version of this lesson in PDF format. This pack includes an three further variations on the complete groove, counting highlighted changes in each set, three sets of eight bar phrases using the final groove as a basis and MP3 audio files 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 $2 by clicking the button below.

NOTE that the file size of this pack is 22.5MB.


Step 1

The starting point for this Groove is a bit more complicated than previous groove development lessons. It is a rhythm played on the ride with the right hand with the left foot counting '+' counts on the hi hat pedal. Note the Swing Time notation at the start of the bar and make sure your sixteenth notes are played in this timing. Have a listen to the MP3 provided if you are are unsure.

Developing a two bar jazz groove


Step 2

Next, some kick drums are added on either numbered or '+' counts. These all line up with either right hands or left foots so you just need to 'latch' them on to the correct limb.

Developing a two bar jazz groove


Step 3

Following the same idea as last time, snares are added on numbered or '+' counts and fall in line with existing strokes.

Developing a two bar jazz groove


Step 4

In this step you are going to make the part a little more musical. Three more kicks are added, this time on offbeat sixteenth counts underneath ride cymbals. These three notes are the main accent points across the two bars a long with beat 1 of the first bar and beat 3 of the second. These can be emphasised a little more than the other notes but not enough to be worthy of marking with accents.

Developing a two bar jazz groove


Step 5

A little decoration is added in the form of two snares on 'e' counts.

Developing a two bar jazz groove


Step 6

You are going to add some toms in the second bar around the accent points discussed before. This decorates these accents and makes a bit more of a big deal out of them. Both toms are played on a right hand, the sticking given helps the part flow smoothly.

Developing a two bar jazz groove


Step 7

As in the step before, you will be adding some decoration around the accent points this time in the form of two sixteenth note floor toms played right to left. This gives you three right hands in a row at this point so make sure you keep that arm relaxed.

Developing a two bar jazz groove


Step 8

At the very end of the bar you are going to add in a pressed roll on the snare. This will start on the 'e' count after beat 4 and carries over to the end of the bar, note the tie between those two snares. If you are unsure how a pressed roll works I recommend having a look on youtube at someone demonstrating, there are many useful videos around.

Developing a two bar jazz groove