Groove #1: My Name Is
In Part 1 of 7 Essential Grooves for Beginners you will learn the most basic groove played on the drums. One of the best examples of this groove is on Eminem's hit "My Name Is". You’ll notice you have to be pretty well coordinated to play all of those instruments in front of you at once, so this is the most basic groove stripped down to it’s absolute minimum. Be sure to play through the primer exercises #1-5 before playing the full groove (Figure 1-1). Make sure you are playing the hi-hat at exactly the same time as the snare drum or bass drum; this is called playing in unison.
FEEL THE PULSE
This groove has what we call four beats in a bar (or measure). A beat is a regular pulse by which you can feel rhythm, much like you can feel the pulse of your heart beat. You can anticipate when your next heart beat will be as it has a regular pulse. These pulses can be divided in any number of ways, however most commonly in pop music they are divided into groups of four, making four beats in a bar.
FLIPPING THE BEAT
Notice the bass drum lands on beats 1 and 3 of each bar, referred to as the strong beats, and the snare drum falls on beats 2 and 4 of each bar, referred to as the back beats. Make sure you are always thinking and playing this way round, as starting this groove on the snare drum will sound wrong and is called flipping the beat (Figure 1-2).
USING THE 4,2,1 SYSTEM
This material is really important so make sure you take your time to ensure you are comfortable playing this groove. As an additional exercise try using the 4,2,1 concept to practice going between the bass drum and snare drum (Figure 1-3).
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In the next post you will learn the groove the "four on the floor" groove that appears on Prince's Dirty Mind, but until then enjoy getting started.