Groove Development: 18-12-2018 (Simple Time 9/8)

Building up a groove pattern in 9/8 with quarter note accents and offbeat 16ths.

In this lesson you will be learning a groove through a series of steps. This will start with a 9/8 pattern in simple time that builds up to a busier level 3 part with a lot of sixteenth note kick decoration. There will be seven 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.

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 3 you add a sixteenth note kick so try applying this 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. Switching the accents applied in step 2 also creates some really cool sounding parts.

This particular groove is interesting as it applies a simple time feel to the usually compound time signature of 9/8. The part will feel like a bar of 4/4 with an extra eighth note added on to the end of the bar. This can be applied in many different musical situations but is quite common in rock, metal and progressive genres.

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 13MB.


Step 1

A basic simple time 9/8 Pattern with the right hand playing eighth notes on the ride cymbal. The kick part is based on a simple level 0 pattern which you can find linked below. Focus here on playing the part in the correct time signature, use a metronome to help with this. Note that the simple time '1 + ...' counting has been used to help highlight the change in feel.

Developing a 9/8 groove


Step 2

Right hands Are Accented on the first four numbered counts, this helps further emphasize that 4/4 feel. At the end of the bar you have a slightly longer gap of unaccented right hands, don't let this throw you off.

Developing a 9/8 groove


Step 3

A kick is added On The 'a' after count 1, just before the first back beat snare.

Developing a 9/8 groove


Step 4

Double Up the eighth note kick on the '+' after count 3 to two sixteenth note kicks.

Developing a 9/8 groove


Step 5

Add a kick On The 'e' after count 2, giving you another double sixteenth note kick movement.

Developing a 9/8 groove


Step 6

Add a snare On The 'e' after count 1.

Developing a 9/8 groove


Step 7

Add another kick On The Very Last 'e' count of the bar. When the pattern is repeated the first and last kicks are played one after the other.

Developing a 9/8 groove


Step 8

A high tom is placed On The 'a' after count 4 with the left hand.

Developing a 9/8 groove