In this lesson I will be talking through an idea that involves combining two right hand ideas learned in previous lessons. The parts presented here are relatively simple and are laying a foundation for more complex patterns where the right and left hands are playing two different parts to create a far more musical and percussive sound. I refer to these kind of grooves as 'multi layered'.

Through this groove the right hand will be playing quarter notes somewhere on the right hand side of the kit, so the ride, china and crash are amongst your options. The left hand will be playing an offbeat double 16th note pattern on the hi hat whilst also playing the backbeat on the snare. This means there will be some quick movements between the hi hat and snare on one hand. On this page I will break the pattern down before providing several examples of kick placement.

Left Hand Part

The left hand is the slightly more complex part of this groove so let's start by getting that down. On each '+ a' count you will be hitting a hi hat with the left and then on beats 2 and 4 you will jump over to the snare. That looks like this:

The left hand for this groove

On it's own this part isn't too complicated but it will help to be very comfortable with it before adding in the right hand. Spend some time playing this part now and make sure your technique remains good through the quick movement.

Adding The Right Hand

The right hand is just going to play quarter notes and I will notate these for the ride to start off with. All hi hats will fall in between the ride hits and the snares will fall with a right hand as you would expect. That will look like this:

The hands for this groove

Whilst your are familiarizing yourself with the pattern keep the hi hats closed. Focus on the quick hi hat to snare movement and try to keep it relaxed.

Simple Kicks

In this step you will be adding bass drums on beats 1 and 3 before we look at opening the hi hats. That will look like this:

The groove with a simple kick pattern

Opening the Hi Hat

Now that you have a simple version of the complete groove let's look at making it a bit more interesting. This time all hi hats will opened as you strike them then closed immediately after. To achieve this sound all you need to do is play quarter notes on the left foot. That would give you something like this:

The groove with a simple kick pattern

More Complex Kick Patterns

Finally I'm just going to give you a list of grooves where the right hand parts follow a version of the above with various different kick placements. I will be mixing up the orchestration of the hands to show you the wide variety of options you have.

The important rule to follow is that the right hand needs to stay on the right hand side of the kit and the left on the left hand side.

Example 1

A simple multi-layered groove

Example 2

A simple multi-layered groove

Example 3

A simple multi-layered groove

Example 4

A simple multi-layered groove

Example 5

A simple multi-layered groove


  • Learn all exercises up to a tempo of at least 150bpm.
  • Experiment with orchestration.
  • Apply this pattern to a phrased example as either the groove or fill.


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