Groove Development: 02-10-2018 (2 Bar Switching From 4/4 To 9/8)

A ghost note heavy two bar groove that makes use of two different time signatures.

On this page you will learn a two bar groove with a half time feel that switches from 4/4 to 9/8. This starts with a level 2 style part and adds in various offbeat sixteenth ghosted snares and short fills. There will be six modifications made to the start groove, each of which makes the part more difficult. 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 through steps 4 to 7 you add ghosted snare decoration at various points in the pattern. Try switching these around or orchestrating them on different parts of the kit. Continue through all steps with these changes and write down any ideas you like the sound of.

The general idea behind this part is that the second bar is a slightly longer version of the first bar. This is a very common idea in progressive genres but can be applied to many styles of music.

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 18MB.


Step 1

A two bar pattern with a Half Time Feel starting in 4/4 and switching to 9/8. This obviously means the second bar has one extra quaver count than the first. The two bars are almost identical, the second doesn't have a crash and has two sixteenth note snares tagged on at the end played with a single stroke movement. Your focus should be on getting comfortable with that switch in time signature, use the counting given below and the audio files provided to help.

The time signature of 9/8 is most commonly played in Compound Time, however in this context we will be applying it as simple time. The intention of the bar of 9/8 is to be a slightly extended version of the bar of 4/4 so a simple time feel is necessary.

Developing a two bar pattern that switches time signatures


Step 2

The first change is going to be to add some rhythmic interest at the end of the second bar. To do this the hi hat that was on beat 4 is removed and instead you will play hi hats on the 'e' and '+' after that same count. We will add to this further in later steps but this will already start to sound cooler. The two quicker hi hats can either be played as two right hands or as singles going left to right, pick which ever feels more comfortable to you but the '+' should be slightly more pronounced.

Developing a two bar pattern that switches time signatures


Step 3

Some more decoration is added in the second bar in the form of a snare on the '+' after count 2. This is a slightly odd movement and will be played on the left hand, giving you two eight note snare strikes in a row. Focus here on making sure the dynamic level of the two snares mentioned above is equal. The movement over the '2 + 3' is quite similar to a Swiss Army Triplet and this rudiment may be helpful in learning this part.

Developing a two bar pattern that switches time signatures


Step 4

To create a little more interest and variation, two eighth note ghosted snares are added in the first bar. One on the '+' after count 2 and one on the '+' after count 4. The first of these gives you two eighth note snares in a row like in the previous step only the dynamic level is now different. Focus here on making sure the dynamics around counts 2 and 3 are accurate, particularly on the left hand.

Developing a two bar pattern that switches time signatures


Step 5

Three more ghosted snares are added in this step, all of which fall on 'e' counts and proceed existing snares, giving you an oddly placed double left movement. If this isn't a familiar movement it may be worth adding these one at a time in sub steps. A good way of familiarizing yourself with the part is to take the movement on count 2 and practice it as a separate exercise. Note that on count two of the second bar the dynamics of the movement change so that the second note is played as a standard stroke rather than a ghost note. This means you will need a low to high sticking movement. Focus here on making sure all those dynamic levels are where they should be.

Developing a two bar pattern that switches time signatures


Step 6

Just one ghosted snare is added in this step on the 'e' after count 3 of the first bar. This comes immediately after the main back beat snare so you will have a fairly heavily accented note followed by a ghost note. This can be an uncomfortable movement and may be worth practicing as a separate exercise.

Developing a two bar pattern that switches time signatures


Step 7

Again, just one ghost note is added but this time in a very familiar movement, On The 'e' after count 1 in the second bar.

Developing a two bar pattern that switches time signatures