'Use Somebody' Two Bar Syncopated Groove

A syncopated two bar groove that is based on a 33334 style rhythm, using the song 'Use Somebody' by Kings Of Leon as an example.

In this lesson you will be learning a groove inspired by the song Use Somebody by Kings Of Leon. You can hear the groove right from the start of the song in the video linked. The groove in question is a two bar Syncopated pattern where the kicks and snare follow a 33334 style rhythm. Some additional decorative eighth note kicks are also added in around this.

The intention of this lesson is to show how easily syncopated rhythms can be applied to groove construction and also how these can be decorated. Without the eighth note decoration the two bar groove looks like this:

A one bar groove using a syncopated rhythm

The song is played at around 140bpm which isn't too fast but it is worth playing through the groove slowly first then building up to the full tempo. Play all those snare notes as you would a standard back beat, don't make them any quieter.

When you are comfortable with that pattern have a go at the full groove with decorative eighth note kicks shown below:

A one bar groove using a syncopated rhythm


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

The simple addition of some extra bass drums can change the feel of the groove significantly.

A groove based on the Use Somebody groove


Example 2

An interesting idea to apply is reversing the kick and snares within the bar.

A groove based on the Use Somebody groove


Example 3

Using a quarter note china cymbal gives the part more of a rock/metal feel. Notice the extra eighth note snare at the end.

A groove based on the Use Somebody groove


TASK

  1. Learn all given examples up to a tempo of at least 140bpm.
  2. Experiment with creating your own grooves using the ideas presented.
  3. Try playing a long to the full Kings Of Leon song.