Groove Development: 08-10-2019 (1 Bar 5/8 Cowbell Groove)

Building up a groove pattern in 5/8 around a cowbell rhythm.

In this lesson you will be learning a groove through a series of steps. This will start with a simple kick and snare orchestration in 5/8 that builds up to a busy level 3 part under a cowbell rhythm over four steps. Each of these steps adds in something new and increases the difficulty slightly. It is also worth noting that each step creates its own perfectly decent sounding groove and 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. At the end of the pack you will find the usual helpful links, suggestions for other concepts that could be applied and a set of suggested target tempos.

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 2 you start building up the cowbell rhythm. Try placing these strokes at slightly different points to see what affect this has on the part. Continue through all steps with any changes you make and write down any ideas you particularly like the sound of.

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. You can purchase this by clicking the button below.

NOTE that the file size of this pack is 13MB.


Step 1

A simple 5/8 Rhythm orchestrated over the kick and snare.

Developing a 5/8 cowbell groove


Step 2

Add a Cowbell on counts 1 and 2, inline with the first two bass drums. A cowbell is notated with a triangular note head in the gap the high tom is written in.

Developing a 5/8 cowbell groove


Step 3

Add another two cowbells on the '+' counts between the '3' and '4'. These fall after the first snare and last kick and are played on the right hand.

Developing a 5/8 cowbell groove


Step 4

Add a Ghosted snare with the left hand on the '+' after count 1. Make sure this is considerable softer than the other notes in the bar.

Developing a 5/8 cowbell groove