Groove Development: 23-10-2018 (4/4 Two Bar Pop/Electronic Groove With Percussion)

A two bar 4/4 pattern making use of percussion.

Through this lesson you will learn a two bar level 3 pop groove that makes use of percussion. This will be broken down into seven steps, each of which makes a minor change to the previous part. 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. This groove will be particularly challenging on your right hand stamina so I recommend looking through any lessons provided on that topic.

It is 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.

As an additional exercise, try taking the concepts given and applying them in different ways. For example, in step 5 tambourines are added so try placing these in different places within the bar to create further grooves or variations on the given pattern. Continue through all steps with these changes and write down any ideas you like the sound of.

This groove is a two bar pattern in 4/4 intended to be played at a lower tempo with a fairly mechanical feel. It is inspired by sampled parts you find in a lot of pop songs so there is very little dynamic variation. Whilst this is intended to be a pop groove, the idea works well in many different styles.

You can also download a version of this lesson in PDF format. This pack includes an extra step in constructing the groove, counting highlighted changes in each set, tan example piece 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 20.8MB.


Step 1

You'll start with a level 2 groove where the right hand plays quarter notes on a Second Hi Hat, which is indicated by the hi hat notation being in a bold font. The intention is for this to be on the right hand side of the kit, allowing you to play a hi hat voicing in an open handed position. This frees up the left to play some of the percussive sounds that will be added later on. If you don't have access to a second hi hat, use the ride cymbal instead. Note that the 'a' After Count 2 in the second bar is played on a high tom. Focus here on getting the placement of the offbeat 16th notes accurate and the kick and snare on the 4 count lined up right.

Developing a two bar groove using percussion


Step 2

Three Additional Kicks are added here, on the 'e' after count 2 in both bars then on the 'e' after count 3 in the first bar. When using a quarter note right hand, there is less for these offbeat sixteenths to latch on to so use counting and the audio file provided to ensure the placement of these notes is accurate.

Developing a two bar groove using percussion


Step 3

A single Ghosted Snare is added on the 'a' after count 4. The final groove is quite busy and this is the only more straight forward ghost note there is room for. Focus here on making sure the ghosted snare is played at the appropriate lower dynamic level.

Developing a two bar groove using percussion


Step 4

A Floor Tom is added with the left hand on the 'e' count after the 3 of the second bar. This gives the part a little more melody and the placement works well with the high tom already around count 2.

Developing a two bar groove using percussion


Step 5

The next four steps all involve adding percussive sounds into the part and you will start with some Tambourines. Two of these are added, both on the '+' after count 3. The intention is for the tambourine to be positioned on the right hand side of the kit, near to the second hi hat. It will be played with a right hand, which will jump between the two voices. The tambourine is the bold 'x' in the gap where you would normally find the high tom.

Focus on the second tambourine placement as that is the more difficult of the two. There should be a kick drum played exactly in time with it and a floor tom played with a left hand immediately before.

Developing a two bar groove using percussion


Step 6

Next up, two sets of cowbells are added with the left hand on the 'e' and '+' counts after beat 1 of both bars. For the sake of this groove, it is easiest if the cowbell is positioned in the center of the kit or to the left of the hi hat as it will always be struck with the left hand. The cowbell is notated with the triangle in the gap where you would normally find the high tom.

An 'RLLF' movement is used with the cowbells and you can find a link to a detailed lesson on this below. When playing the double left, make sure both notes are struck at a good volume.

Developing a two bar groove using percussion


Step 7

Two sixteenth note tambourines are added as a double stroke on the last '+' count of the second bar. This means the right hand will be played on '+ 4 +a 1' whilst jumping between the two voices which is a strain on stamina. Focus here on getting that movement as relaxed as possible. Some stamina exercises are given on the last page, I recommend working through some of these.

Developing a two bar groove using percussion