BY LIBOR HADRAVA
I believe that this groove from the song “Eulogy” doesn’t need further introduction because it has been talked about many times since Tool’s Ænima album came out in 1996. Yet it warrants deeper study because it is one of the best examples of using your independence musically. It combines two different pulses or feels if you will (3/16th on your hi-hat and 4/4 between your bass drum and snare drum).
I would like you to get more out of it than just being able to play this particular part. I want you to better understand its foundations, get familiar with its function to the main feel of the music, and most importantly get you to be able to use similar grooves in musical situation.
I took the main idea out of this groove and developed several exercises around it to make it easier to learn and get used to its unique feel. First of all, it is very important to get comfortable with the way it feels playing 4/4 bass drum and snare drum over a 3/16 hi-hat pattern.
3/16 Hi-Hat Pattern accenting the second 16th note. Bass drum on 1 and 3 & snare drum on 2 and 4 in 4/4.
If that makes it easier, you could start without accenting the hi-hat at first. When you feel comfortable, it is time to move on.
Our hand pattern will remain the same. Hi-hat keeps 3/16th pattern accenting the second note while snare drum keeps 2and 4 in 4/4 time signature on top. At this point our bass drum will go through 16th note permutations to get familiar and comfortable with each combination of a 16th not subdivision.
Remember it always takes 3 times through a 4/4 measure/rhythm to resolve back on one of the 3/16th note hi-hat pattern.
Let’s get a little bit closer to the original “Tool” feel now. We will open the 2nd hi-hat of the 3/16th not pattern we have been accenting. It might take a while to get use to it. Take your time.
Start with the basic groove we established in Exercise #1.
Bass drum on 1 and 3 & snare drum on 2 and 4 in 4/4.
Just like in Exercise #2 although with closed hi-hat our bass drum will now go through 16th note permutations to get familiar and comfortable with each combination of a 16th not subdivision while opening the 2nd note of the 3/16th hi-Hat pattern.
Now it is time to move on to actual phrases. We will begin by one measure 4/4 phrase that we will borrow out of my book “In-Depth Rhythm Studies — Advanced Metronome Functions” It is the very first measure of the page.
Hi-hat keeps 3/16th note pattern opening the second note while Snare drum keeps 2 and 4 in 4/4. Bass drum reads the first measure out of the page above.
Once you get comfortable with one 4/4 measure we should move on to a longer phrase. First line out of the page (see above) will make it a 4-measure phrase.
(Too hard? Take only the first 3 measures for your bass drum. This way it only takes one time through before starting over and landing back on one of the hi-hat pattern)
Great! Now you can play through the whole page.
Use your imagination and creativity. Put your own twist to it and you will see how far it will take you. I am sure it won’t take long before you test this idea at your next jam session.
The further you push yourself the more otherwise hidden treasures you will discover. Maybe one day you will write the next most transcribed groove. Have fun! See you next time.