'233' Kick Snare Placement

Using a slightly syncopated rhythm between the kicks and snares to create some new groove 'shapes'.

In this groove concept lesson you are going to learn about a slightly different approach to constructing grooves. In level 0 we discussed at great length the idea of taking a rhythm then orchestrating it between the kick and snares, but that was done in such a way that the snares fell on either beats 2 and 4 or later on on beat 3. On this page we will be following that same approach but removing the idea of having a back beat. This will create some accents in odd places, creating a simple Syncopated rhythm where the kicks and snares don't fall into the same grouping as the right hand.

A similar idea using a slightly different set of eighth note groupings has been covered in another lesson, you can find this linked at the bottom of the page a long with some other lessons you may find useful.

The rhythm that the kicks and snares will be following is often referred to as a '233' grouping where each number refers to a set of eighth notes. So the first note ('2') will fill a quavers and the second two ('33') will fill three quavers each. This rhythm is shown below as consistent eighth notes on the left and using standard notation on the right:

The rhythm for this concept

So the first note will fall on the '1', the second on '2' and the last on the '+' after beat 3.

Listed below are some grooves with this concept applied, shown with both quaver and crotchet right hands. If you are struggling with the timing, remember that when quavers are used on the right hand you can 'match' the kicks and snares to these strokes.

Example 1

A 233 rhythmed groove

Example 2

A 233 rhythmed groove

Example 3

A 233 rhythmed groove

Example 4

A 233 rhythmed groove

Example 5

A 233 rhythmed groove


  • Learn the grooves above up to a tempo of at least 120bpm.
  • Experiment with different placement ideas and orchestrations.
  • Use the concept as part of a phrased example.
  • Try constructing longer patterns based on this rhythm, such as two or four bar grooves.