'Reasons' Accented One Handed 16th Note Groove

A one handed 16th note right hand groove with some funky rhythm accents using the song 'Reasons' by Earth Wind And Fire as an example.

In this lesson you will be learning a groove inspired by the song Reasons by Earth Wind And Fire. You can hear the groove at around 16 seconds into the video linked, which is the start of the verse. The groove in question is a one bar pattern that has a One Handed 16th Note Right Hand part that is broken up by accents following the music. There are some controlled open hi hats in this groove which will require a little Co Ordination between the right hand and left foot.

The intention of this lesson is to show how accent placement can be taken from a song or piece of music and applied to your groove construction. The full groove looks like this:

A one bar groove using accent decoration

Have a listen to the song and try to follow the part a long with that verse section. Notice how the groove picks out accents both from the bass and wind section? The full song is played at around 63bpm so is nice and slow. Try playing the groove, if you are struggling slow it right down and pick out any sections of the bar that are giving you grief. The purpose of the left foot hi hat notated at the start of the bar is to show that open hi hat at the end of the bar is closed right away. This will create a nice tight open hi hat accent which is commonly referred to as 'choking'.

Simple Variations

Below I have given some examples of how this part can be varied to create some similar patterns. I have included a note in each example explaining what has changed. Use these ideas to create further grooves. Remember, the idea of this lesson is to show how ideas can be combined so try mixing together some of the new ideas presented below.

Example 1

Add in additional 16th note kick at the start of the bar, an open hi hat to replace the accent on beat three and switch those open hi hat accents over to splashes. I have used splashes here rather than crashes as they are a little more 'delicate' and in keeping with the song.

A groove based on the Reasons groove

Example 2

In this version the right hand has been moved to the ride cymbal and the bell of the ride is used for all accenting. I have also added in an additional snare on the '+' after beat four which would make a nice fill variation on the groove. And just to keep things interesting I have included a Quarter Note Left Foot Count.

A groove based on the Reasons groove

Example 3

This version of the groove has been switched into half time. The hi hats at the end of the bar are both 'choked', meaning they are both closed imediately after they are struck.

A groove based on the Reasons groove


  1. Learn all given examples up to a tempo of at least 125bpm.
  2. Experiment with creating your own grooves using the ideas presented.
  3. Try playing a long to the full Earth Wind And Fire song.