I love teaching basic rock grooves on drums. Many teachers will keep a student on a practice pad for a while, learning to control their hands before taking it to the drum set. While I completely see the merit in this approach, I like to get my students started on drum set as quickly as possible. It’s just more fun that way!
Simple Rock Groove
A simple rock groove can really be taught on day one of learning how to play drums. It’s a lot of fun to practice when just starting out, because it actually sounds like a lot of the songs the we listen to every day.
Right Foot On The Bass Drum
The basic rock groove utilizes the hi hat, the snare drum, and the bass drum. In a “righty” setup, the right hand crosses over the left hand to play the hi hat while the left hand plays the snare drum. The right foot plays the bass drum. In a “lefty” setup, right and left get reversed.
Start By Playing Straight 8th Notes On The Hi Hat
Next, you will add the snare drum on beats 2 and 4. Make sure when playing the hi hat and the snare drum together, they are hitting at the exact same time and do not sound slightly off.
Next, take out the snare drum and try to play the bass drum on beats 1 and 3 while playing the eighth notes on the hi hat. Again, in places where the bass drum and hi hat are supposed to sound together, make sure that they are played together as best as you can.
Every Drum Student Can Do This
Last, we put it all together. The hi hat maintains consistent eighth notes while the bass drum plays on 1 and 3 and the snare drum plays on 2 and 4. This may be very difficult at first. As a beginner drummer, it may take a while to build this three limb coordination. It may not be possible the first day. It may not be possible after two weeks. Keep at it and don’t get discouraged because you will get it! Every one of my students is able to play this eventually so do not despair!
The fastest way to be able to play this groove is actually by taking the tempo way down and play it super slow. Once you are able to play this very slowly, you may increase the speed at small intervals to maintain the quality of the sound. You’ll be playing all of your favorite rock songs in no time!