Adding Crashes To Grooves

In this lesson we will be discussing how to add crashes into a groove to mark the start of a Structural Section or phrase. We have covered many ideas for Structural Section in our Fill Placement series and we can liken these short parts made up of 'A's and 'B's to a sentence. With a sentence, the rules are that you start with a capital letter and you end with a full stop. In this analogy the full stop will be a fill and the capital letter will be a crash. That could look something like this:

Adding crashes to phrased examples.

Remember, the Percentage Sign means play the bar before again.

This idea isn't a strict rule, you will find crashes at various points within phrases but the idea of starting a structural section such as a verse or chorus on a crash is very common. It can indicate to the listener that something new is starting in a song or piece and just breaks the part up a bit more.

To play this idea, all you need to do is move the right hand from the hi hat or ride to a crash for the first beat of the bar. After you have hit the crash you move back to whichever part of the kit you are using. When using a hi hat the right hand part will be this:

The right hand when adding crashes to phrased examples.

You will then add kicks and snares as you would with a normal groove. Listed below are some examples of this with groove applied. Notice that when the ride is used in some examples the Second Crash is used. This is because the second crash is usually placed on the right hand side of the kit, making it closer to the ride and therefore easier to hit.

Example 1 Adding crashes to a groove.

Example 2 Adding crashes to a groove.

Example 3 Adding crashes to a groove.

Example 4 Adding crashes to a groove.

Example 5 Adding crashes to a groove.


  1. Learn all given examples up to a tempo of at least 120bpm.
  2. Add crashes to various other grooves.
  3. Add crashes at the start of various Phrased Examples.

To get you started on adding crashes in four bar phrases two examples are given below.

Phrased Example 1 Adding crashes to a four bar phrase.

Phrased Example 2 Adding crashes to a four bar phrase.


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