Groove Development: 01-01-2019 (1 Bar Quarter Note Triplet Based Groove)

A complex groove based around a quarter note triplet right hand.

In this lesson you will be learning a groove through a series of steps that starts with a quarter note triplet based rhythm that can be quite tough to get your head around. There will be four modifications made to this, each adding in a kick or snare around the triplet feel and making the groove more difficult. It is also worth noting that each example creates its own perfectly decent sounding groove. In each step, a link to the original lesson on the concept applied is provided where appropriate, it would be worth sidetracking and working through these lessons if you get stuck or don't understand a particular step.

It is very important that you can play the step you are on comfortably before moving on as any parts you get stuck on are going to appear in all subsequent steps. This is particularly true of the first step as all parts are very demanding on your hand to foot co-ordination. At the end of the pack you will find a list of 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 different way. For example in step 2 you add an eighth note triplet bass drum so try placing this at a different point in the bar to create some more interesting sounding variations. 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 one bar pattern in 4/4 intended to be played at a slightly higher tempo. This style of groove is used a lot by Iron Maiden, you can hear it in songs such as 'Where Eagles Dare' and 'Phantom Of The Opera'. The quarter note triplet base rhythm has a really driving feel to it and can be used to create some really interesting patterns.

You can download a version of this lesson in PDF format. In this pack you also get a short example piece 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. On top of all of that all exercises have counting included, two extra modifications are made to the groove and all new changes to the groove are highlighted in red. You can purchase this for just $2 by clicking the button below.

NOTE that the file size of this pack is 10.8MB.


Step 1

To create the starting groove, play Quarter Note Triplets on the bell of the ride with the right hand. Underneath this place a simple common time quarter note kick snare pattern, emphasising the snare hits a little more than you usually would. The timing of this part is pretty tough to get your head round, the best way I have found to work this is to use the triplet counting to latch onto rather than the standard 4/4 count. The two back beat snares will fall on the '+' between the the second two notes of each triplet and are played on their own. If you are still struggling have a listen to the MP3 and try playing a long.

Developing a two bar quarter note triplet groove


Step 2

Place a kick on the '2', which is under the second ride bell of the first triplet.

Developing a two bar quarter note triplet groove


Step 3

Place a kick on the '+' right at the end of the bar after count '6'. This will fall on it's own between the right hands, focus here on making sure that placement is accurate and use the MP3 to check you are playing the bar correctly.

Developing a two bar quarter note triplet groove


Step 4

In this step two eighth note triplet kicks are added, the first on the '+' after count 4 and the second on the 5. This can be a really uncomfortable movement underneath this right hand rhythm, play the part really slowly while you are familiarizing yourself with this new movement and use the MP3 to check the rhythm.

Developing a two bar quarter note triplet groove


Step 5

Add a ghosted snare in between counts 3 and 4. Focus here on the varying dynamic levels and making the backbeat snares really stand out whilst keeping the ghost note as a subtle decoration.

Developing a two bar quarter note triplet groove