Groove Development: 25-12-2018 (4/4 Groove In 7/4)

A half time pattern in 5/4 decorated with fills.

Through this lesson you will learn a two bar groove in 7/4 through a series of steps. The two bars of 7/4 will be subdivided into smaller blocks of four beats which will create a poly metric feel. Each of these smaller blocks will use a fairly standard level 2 groove part that will be played three times with the final two beats at the end played as fill. There will be four modifications made to the start groove, each of which makes the part more difficult. Each step will make a change to the 4 beat block and the same change will be applied in all three of these blocks. It is also worth noting that each step 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 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.

As an additional exercise, try taking the concepts given and applying them in different ways. For example, in step 2 you add a sixteenth kick to the four note block so try applying this in a different position within the block. Continue through all steps with these changes and write down any ideas you like the sound of. The given part has the three four beat blocks playing the same groove, applying small changes to make these different will create a really interesting sounding part.

The poly metric feel won't become fully apparent until the part is played a long with either the backing track or a click track.

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 12MB.


Step 1

This two bar 7/4 pattern is built from Three Repetitions of a Level 0 4/4 Groove Shape with a quarter note right hand played on an open hi hat. The last two beats for now just play a simple quarter note movement, in a later step these will be turned into a fill.

The focus here should be on making this 4/4 part fit in the 7/4 context. The best way to do this will be with a metronome, paying particular attention to both the first beat of each bar and the first beat of each block. The curved lines over the top of the bar are phrase markings and indicate where each of the three four beat blocks fall.

Developing a two bar 7/4 groove using a 4/4 pattern


Step 2

In each four beat block, add a Kick On The 'a' after the first beat. This will be just before the first of the two common time snares.

Developing a two bar 7/4 groove using a 4/4 pattern


Step 3

In each of the three four beat blocks, add a Snare On The Final 'a' count right at the end of the block. Again, focus on the timing of the four beat block within the 7/4 context using the metronome. That 'a' count snare can be tricky to place around a quarter note right hand, use the counting provided under the bar or the MP3 to help with timing.

Developing a two bar 7/4 groove using a 4/4 pattern


Step 4

On beat 7 of the second bar play Four Sixteenth Note Snares using a single stroke sticking.

Developing a two bar 7/4 groove using a 4/4 pattern


Step 5

On beat 6 of the second bar, fill in the space on the 'e +' counts with snares. These will be played on a left followed by a right, focus on placing these notes exactly on the appropriate counts. These snares could be orchestrated around toms but make sure the timing is correct first.

Developing a two bar 7/4 groove using a 4/4 pattern