Groove Development: 09-10-2018 (2 Bar 12/8 Groove With A Swung Feel)

Building up a 5/4 groove that has a sixteenth note double kick as its' base.

Through this lesson you will learn a two bar groove in 12/8 through a series of steps. This starts with a relatively simple part that gradually builds up to a level 3 groove over a series of steps. There will be seven 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 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 a list of helpful links, suggestions for other concepts that could be applied and a set of suggested target tempos.

As an additional exercise, try taking the concepts given and applying them in different ways. For example in step 3 you you start adding bass drums so try applying these at different points in the bar. Continue through all steps with these changes and write down any ideas you like the sound of.

Whilst this particular groove is notated in 12/8, it will be played more like a 4/4 pattern played in swing time. This idea is discussed more in the notes for the first step. Because of the time signature and feel, this groove is very appropriate in blues pieces but is also commonly found in pop and rock.

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. On top of that the pack also features an extra step in developing the groove, highlighting of changes in each step and counting marks. You can purchase this for just $2 by clicking the button below.

NOTE that the file size of this pack is 20.1MB.


Step 1

The two bar pattern given below is notated in 12/8 but will feel a lot more like a 4/4 Groove played with a Swung Feel. This form of notation is sometimes used when a very heavy eighth note triplet feel is used, particularly when common time snares are added. To help highlight this feel I have applied counting using a triplet (1 + a etc...) feel rather than the usual compound time counting (123 etc...).

A simple kick pattern is applied under the common time feel hands. Focus here on getting the timing of the ride correct then placing feet underneath this accurately.

A 12/8 groove with a swung feel


Step 2

All right hands played on numbered counts will now be on the Bell Of The Ride, giving you some tonal variation in that swung rhythm which helps further emphasize the 4/4 feel of the part. In this step focus on striking the Ride Bell with the 'shoulder' of the stick to get a nice loud, solid sound.

A 12/8 groove with a swung feel


Step 3

Add eighth note kicks on the 'a' counts after the 2 in each bar, which will be under a standard ride cymbal. This is immediately followed by a rest in the kick/snare part which can be off-putting, focus on getting comfortable with this slightly odd kick placement without letting it affect the ride cymbal part.

A 12/8 groove with a swung feel


Step 4

Another kick is added on the 'a' after count 4 in the first bar. This will feel similar to the two kicks added in the previous step.

A 12/8 groove with a swung feel

Step 5

Two more kicks are added, this time on the 'a' counts after 1 and 3 in the second bar. These fall just before the two main snares underneath standard ride cymbals. This completes the main kick and snare part.

A 12/8 groove with a swung feel


Step 6

In the next three steps the main kick snare part will be embellished with ghosted snares. The first of these will be on the first '+' of the pattern. This will be in between the bell and ride cymbal and requires a little co-ordination. This Lesson coveres this idea in more detail.

A 12/8 groove with a swung feel


Step 7

A second ghosted snare is placed on the '+' after count 3 in the first bar. This will be a similar movement to the previous step without the bass drums surrounding the ghost note.

A 12/8 groove with a swung feel


Step 8

The last ghosted snare falls on the '+' after count 1 in the second bar. After the previous two steps you should be a pro at movements like these.

A 12/8 groove with a swung feel