Groove Development: 17-07-2018 (1 Bar Syncopated Multi Layered Groove)

A multi-layered groove in 4/4 that applies a syncopated rhythm over a solid foundation groove.

In this lesson you will be learning a groove through a series of steps that starts out as a simple level 0 groove and builds up to a syncopated multi-layered style groove. There will be eight modifications made to this starting point, each adding something new and making the groove more difficult. It is also worth noting that each step creates its own perfectly decent sounding groove.

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 different way. For example in step 6 you add some sixteenth note kicks so try positioning these at a different point in the bar. 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 rhythmic one bar pattern in 4/4 that has several layers of rhythm happening at once. These kind of multi-layered grooves have been discussed in a few lessons on the website and are worth looking in to. This part will demand a lot of multi limb co-ordination to play the part smoothly and the step by step nature of this guide is really useful in that aspect. Take your time with each step and ensure note placement is 100% accurate.

The full groove will work in many different genres but is particularly common in modern pop based songs. Inspiration was taken from the song 'Feeling This' by Blink 182 which uses a similar pattern in the chorus.

This particular groove is a very busy one bar linear pattern in 4/4 that uses hi hats and toms to give the part some melody. On tom of this 32nd note decoration is used to create some rhythmic interest. The full groove will work in many different genres but the intention here is to create a modern pop groove.

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 14.7MB.


Step 1

The starting point for this groove is a Simple Level 0 Groove that has an in depth lesson up on the site already. The right hand plays quarter notes on the ride throughout. A common mistake in this groove is not hitting the two kick drums on the '+' counts exactly in place. This causes the part to sound sloppy and should be heavily focused on at this point.

Developing a syncopated multi layered groove


Step 2

The main feature of this groove will be the 'Multi-layered' Aspect of it and you will start building that element up here. Whilst the right hand maintains the quarter note right hand, the left is going to add in closed hi hats on the '+' counts after beats 1 and 4. This causes two eighth note strokes on the left hand in a row that move from the hi hat to snare which can be a tricky movement. Your focus for this step should be on that movement.

Developing a syncopated multi layered groove


Step 3

Continuing to build up the multi-layered aspect, another left hand hi hat is added on count '3' that is to be played at the same time as the right hand ride cymbal. Make sure these two strokes fall exactly in line.

Developing a syncopated multi layered groove


Step 4

On the 'e' count after beat 2, the next left hand hi hat is added. When the '+' count hi hats were added back in step 2 an eighth note double stroke movement was created between the snare and hi hat. A similar thing will happen here but over 16th notes. The speed of this movement is the difficult part and your focus should be on ensuring the left hand snare stroke doesn't lower in volume due to this new hi hat.

Developing a syncopated multi layered groove


Step 5

The final hi hat is added on the 'a' count after beat 3. As in the last step, a sixteenth note double stroke across a hi hat and snare is created and it is important you don't let this weaken the snare stroke on count 4. With this last hi hat added a delayed '33334' Style Rhythm is created which causes syncopation against the solid groove from step 1.

Developing a syncopated multi layered groove


Step 6

Now the cymbal part of the groove is sorted you will start to add some more rhythmic interest to the bass drum part. I have avoided adding any additional snares to prevent an already complicated hand movement getting more complicated!

The first new kicks are on the 'e' And 'a' Counts at beat 1. Ensure these Fall Exactly in between the ride and hi hat notes.

Developing a syncopated multi layered groove


Step 7

The next kick falls on the 'e' after count 3 which creates Two Quick Bass Drum Notes. Focus on making sure the dynamic level of both of these bass drums is the same.

Developing a syncopated multi layered groove


Step 8

Then one final Kick On The 'e' after count 4 completes the groove.

Developing a syncopated multi layered groove