5 Common Drum Grooves Every Drummer Should Learn
Whether you've been drumming for years or are just picking up the sticks, one question you may find yourself asking is: what drum grooves should I learn?
In this article, we are going to go step by step with video breakdowns and text transcripts so you can better understand and develop these crucial drum grooves and add them to your drumming arsenal.
And who better to give you these grooves and tips than a professionally working drummer?
Let's talk a little bit about the host of this video. AIMM instructor, Eric Dansie, is sponsored by SJC custom drums, has been teaching for 16 years, and is currently a drummer in 5 different bands, ranging from metal to pop.
So, without further ado, let's begin!
Table of Contents
1. Four on the Floor
The Four on the Floor drum groove may sound simple when you hear it, and it's used in just about every genre of music, but just like any anything else in life you need to have the basics completely drilled down.
Likely you'll be adding layers onto this groove and embellishing it a little when you start performing with other musicians, but the key is to always keep consistent timing.
A variation you can do with the Four on the Floor groove is changing the accent pattern on your right hand to give the sound a little bit more a techno/dance-style quality. You can accomplish this by accenting the up beats with your right hand instead of straight eighth notes.
If you want to completely give this groove a techno vibe, instead of hitting accents on the up beat you can open your hi-hat.
2. 16th Note Groove
The second groove we're discussing today is the 16th note groove, which lends itself to funk and R&B really well.
To perform this groove and hit the 16th notes, you'll have to double up your notes on your hi-hat compared to the four on the floor groove.
Tip: At slower tempos, the 16th note hi-hat accents can be done with just your dominant hand. However, as the BMP increases you'll likely have to alternate hands.
When it comes to the bass drum pattern, a solid strategy is to lock in with another musician in the band, such as the bassist or the keyboardist. This can help unify the sound and keep everyone locked in.
3. Half-Time Shuffle
This next famous groove is one you've likely heard in tons of your favorite songs. This is the half-time shuffle groove.
Similar to the previous groove, you'll still be playing 16th notes on the hi-hat with your dominant hand. However, instead of playing the 16th notes straight, you'll incorporate a swing style with triplets.
Technically it is the same subdivision of time, but when you swing the beats and eliminate the straight feel, you're changing it into groups of six. You're dividing each beat into six notes and playing the first, third, fourth, and sixth note of every beat.
4. Half-Time Funk Groove
The key to the half-time funk groove is having a right hand pattern that is breaking up the 16th notes into groups of three.
You'll only play it in half-time (hence the name) and your snare will only hit on beat three. This goes against the norm, where you would commonly hit the snare on beat two and four.
Tip: As you play around with this groove, you can use your hi-hat to give your band something to latch on to with a constant eighth note pulse.
5 Trap Beat
For the trap beat groove, you'll have to bring more double strokes into your playing.
To nail a double stroke, you need to have two hits per hand, which allows you to play a lot faster with significantly less effort. On top of your hi-hat patterns, changing up the subdivisions can add a little extra flair to your drum groove.
It's important to remember that everything is built off of the 16th note pulse, then you add the double strokes which give you 32nd notes, which gives you the cool "sprinkler hats" effect, as Eric calls it.
Put Yourself in the Best Drumming Atmosphere
If you enjoyed these grooves and want to continue learning more, there is no better place to be than an accredited music college, surrounded by professional instructors and like-minded peers.
The Atlanta Institute of Music and Media offers the following programs for drummers:
- Music and Technology Associate Degree: Drum Concentration
- Performance Certificate: Drum Concentration
It's important to note, we know during these difficult times that choosing to attend a music college on-campus can be stressful. At the same time, we know some musicians need that tangible experience.
That is why AIMM is proud to offer students the option. You can choose to attend AIMM on-site, online, or a combined hybrid schedule.
Click learn more below to discover how AIMM can maximize your drumming skills and benefit your music career.