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BY JOE SMYTH | FROM THE SPRING 2019 ISSUE OF DRUM

Sometimes a rock, pop, or country ballad will beg for a groove with a constant sixteenth-note pulse. It is good to have this in your groove toolbox when these occasions arise.

A good way to develop this is to play simple quarter- and eighth-note grooves, slowed down, with sixteenth-notes played on the hi-hat (Ex. 1). Make sure the bass drum and snare notes line up perfectly with the hi-hat.

Now add some sixteenth-notes on the bass drum, again keeping all the notes aligned (Exs. 2–4).


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Try playing groups of two and three sixteenths together on the bass drum (Exs. 5–6).

Get comfortable playing anticipations of the beat, or “pushes” (Exs. 7–8).

When you are comfortable playing most rhythms against the constant sixteenths, try varying the hi-hat rhythm, while still implying a constant sixteenth-note pulse (Exs. 9–10).

Build on these examples and enjoy making them your own.

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