17 Jan, 2016

Groove #2: Dirty Mind


Once you can easily play My Name Is it’s time to move on to what is commonly called playing "four on the floor" (Figure 2-1). As the name suggests, this is where you play the bass drum on all four beats of the bar. This gives the groove a strong driving feel, and is typically used to give a song a very clear danceable beat. A great example of this groove is on Prince’s "Dirty Mind" from the album of the same name. This song actually uses a programmed drum machine instead of a live session drummer, and although this is now common practice, Prince was one of the first artist to try using this new technology.

Figure 2-1

Physically it’s quite a lot more effort to play the bass drum on every beat, so it’s a good idea to get comfortable playing exercise #1 along with the track first. Reduce the speed of the track to between 50-70%. You will need an app to slow your music down, I use The Amazing Slow Downer. You will notice that now the bass drum is always playing with the hi-hat, so when you add the snare you are playing three instrument together. To get this motion it’s really important to master playing all the primer exercises #1-5 before playing the full groove (Figure 2-1).

Spend some time getting to know the feel and sound of the groove and how it differs from My Name Is. Again, try using the 4,2,1 concept (Figure 2-2) to make sure you can easily switch adding the snare on different beats.

Firgure 2-2

Remember to get in contact on Twitter and Facebook, or leave a comment below if you have any questions! Upload your practice videos to the Facebook page and tag your videos with #7EssentialGrooves, I'll be sure to give them a comment.

In Part 3 you’ll learn "the money beat" that is famously played on the Michael Jackson song Billie Jean, until then remember you can get in touch on Facebook and Twitter with any questions! Happy practicing.