Groove Development - 13/03/2018 (1 Bar 5/4 Tom Groove)

Building up a tom groove in 5/4 using multiple concepts.

In this lesson you will be learning a tom groove in 5/4 through a short series of steps. This will start with a simple 5/4 groove pattern that builds up to a level 3 pattern using a lot of offbeat 16th notes. There will be six separate modifications made to this start groove but the last step is an optional extra. You will find each step will increase the difficulty of the part slightly and it is also worth noting that each of these steps 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 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.

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 4 I discuss switching the tom notes to ghosted snares. 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 5/4 that uses a lot of toms and offbeat sixteenth notes. This makes quite a busy sounding part with a bit of a melodic feel going on. The groove would work well in many situations but would be particularly appropriate in a rock or prog. genre.

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 27MB.


Step 1

A basic eighth note based 5/4 Groove pattern. Notice that the second snare is Displaced Backwards in the bar by one eighth note, meaning it falls on the '+' count after beat 4.

Developing a 5/4 tom groove


Step 2

This step Uses the basic level 2 concept of adding in some Bass Drums Between the quaver right hand. This happens three times in the bar, first of all on the 'a' before beat 2 which is just before the first snare then on the 'e' after beat 4 which is just before the second snare and finally on the 'e' after beat 5.

There is a very useful exercise on getting the placement of these new kicks more accurate which you can Find Here.

Developing a 5/4 tom groove


Step 3

As in the previous step, you are adding in more bass drums here. This time you will be adding a Double Sixteenth Note movement on the '+ a' count after beat 2. This is covered in depth in the lesson linked above.

Developing a 5/4 tom groove


Step 4

A common idea presented in these groove development lessons is the addition of toms. This is a very simple way of making a groove more melodic and adds a bit of variety to the tone. In this step you are adding a mid tom right at the start of the bar on the 'e' Count After Beat 1. This will be played on a left hand. If you don't like the sound of this try playing a snare, this will sound particularly cool if played as a ghost note.

Developing a 5/4 tom groove

Step 5

This step expands on the idea added in step 4 by adding a high tom On The 'a' Count after beat 5. When the bar is repeated the two extra toms will make a nice run of notes that spreads over the bar line. As mentioned in the last step, if you don't like the sound of the tom here try playing it on the snare.

Developing a 5/4 tom groove


Step 6

To further add to the mixture of tones used in this tom groove, Ghosted Snares are added on both the 'e' and 'a' counts after beat 3. This will add some dynamic interest to the part also.

Developing a 5/4 tom groove