Groove Development: 24-12-2019 (2 Bar Half Time 7/8 With A 1 +a Right Hand Rhythm)

A 7/8 groove using a rhythm more suited to 4/4.

In this lesson ou will be learning a two bar groove in the time signature of 7/8 through a series of steps. This will start with a simple level 1 style pattern that builds up to a level 3 groove based around an inaproppriate right hand rhythm. There will be six separate modifications made to this start pattern, each of which makes the part slightly more difficult. It is also worth noting that each of these steps creates its own perfectly decent sounding groove. In each step a link to the original lesson of the concept applied is provided where appropriate, it would be worth sidetracking and working through these lessons if you either get stuck or don't understand a particular step.

It is very important that you can play the step you are on comfortably at a decent tempo before moving on as any parts you get stuck on are going to appear in all subsequent steps. At the end of the pack you will find the usual helpful links, suggestions for other concepts that could be applied and a set of suggested target tempos.

This unusual right hand rhythm is common in progressive and experiment genres which also often use odd time signatures like 7/8.

You can also download a version of this lesson in PDF format. In this pack you also get two sets of eight bar phrases using the final groove as a basis along with audio files in MP3 format of all drum parts. This also includes a drumless version of the backing track for you to play a long to. You can purchase this for just $2 by clicking the button below.

NOTE that the file size of this pack is 13.3MB.


Step 1

We'll start out with a relatively simple two bar 7/8 Groove. This will have a feel similar to that of Half Time in 4/4 but cut an eighth note short.

Developing a 7/8 groove


Step 2

The first part of creating the unusual right hand rhythm is to play a '1 +a' on the ride cymbal. This doesn't quite fit within the confines of One Bar Of 7/8 but, when played over two it resolves itself with the start of the bar. The half time feel is maintained under this poly-rhythmic feel.

Developing a 7/8 groove


Step 3

To further emphasize the unusual right hand rhythm you will Accent what would be quarter notes in 4/4 on the china cymbal. In the first bar these fall on the odd numbered counts and in the second the even. Again, the half time snare placement remains under this odd rhythm. Note that in the first bar the china accent falls with it but in the second bar it doesn't.

Developing a 7/8 groove


Step 4

Simple eighth note style kicks are added. Notice in the second bar that the kick placement starts on the two count whilst the snare remains in the half time back beat position. This will again help further highlight the syncopated rhythm of the right hand.

Developing a 7/8 groove


Step 5

Decorative sixteenth kicks are add on the '+' counts after 3 and 7 in the first bar. These fall in the gap between the china and first ride cymbal of that '1 +a' rhythm. Focus on making sure these fall exactly on the '+' count.

Developing a 7/8 groove


Step 6

A few more decorative sixteenth notes are added on '+' in that gap of the sixteenth note rhythm discussed in the last step. The first is a Ghosted Snare after the first count of the first bar, as well as making sure this falls exactly on the '+' also be sure that the dynamic level is appropriate. In the second bar, kicks are added after the 2 and 6 counts. The first of these is straight After An Existing Kick, giving you a short burst of bass drum. At higher tempos this can become a difficult movement.

Developing a 7/8 groove


Step 7

This step is where things start to get pretty cool. In the second bar, starting from the 2 count, move the '+a' of the right hand rhythm to ghosted snares. These will all be played with the left hand and the movement you need to watch out for is the one around the back beat. That snare on count 5 should remain nice and firm but the sixteenth note that immediately follows needs to be super soft. It may be worth taking this movement and practicing it separately.

Developing a 7/8 groove