16th Note '233' Kick Snare Placement

In this syncopated groove construction lesson you are going to be building one bar grooves based on around a '233' rhythm. A similar idea has been applied around a '332' rhythm and you can find this linked at the bottom of the page. The parts on this page will be very similar, just using that reversed rhythm.

The starting point for these grooves will be that straight '233' rhythm and this is shown below. Note that two sets of the rhythm fill a bar.

The rhythm for this concept

So you essentially get two straight quavers followed by a third note on the 'e' after the beat.

Listed below are some grooves with various orchestrations of the syncopated rhythm and each example is shown with two different right hand parts. I have used three different approaches to application here, either use the rhythm in the first half of the bar, the second half or use it twice. Remember to use these examples as suggestions for constructing your own parts, try combining different elements of different examples to create further patterns. If you are struggling with the timing, remember that when quavers are used on the right hand you can 'match' the kicks and snares to some of these strokes.

Example 1

In the second half of the bar the '332' is played with two kicks followed by a snare.

A 233 rhythmed groove

Example 2

The syncopated rhythm comes in the first half of the bar, the remaining groove uses a very similar rhythm.

A 233 rhythmed groove

Example 3

This time the '233' is played twice within the bar played on a snare followed by two kicks.

A 233 rhythmed groove

Example 4

Again the rhythm is played in the second half of the bar but this time toms are added to give the part a melodic feel.

A 233 rhythmed groove

Example 5

An interesting idea that follows a similar concept to the Four On The Floor. The bass drum plays the '233' rhythm constantly with snares falling in an almost staggered Waltz Style pattern. In the second example below the right hand also follows the syncopated rhythm.

A 233 rhythmed groove


  1. Learn the grooves above up to a tempo of at least 120bpm.
  2. Experiment with different placement ideas and orchestrations.
  3. Use the concept as part of a phrased example.
  4. Try constructing longer patterns based on this rhythm, such as two or four bar grooves.
  5. Combine different elements of the grooves given above to create even more construction ideas.


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