4 Things to Help You Improvise New Techniques

playing groovyGroove is a common word that you will hear as a drummer. Groove basically means the beat of a song. Although beats are usually referred to as grooves, I prefer to consider the groove the feel of a song.

There’s is nothing better than playing a beat and then improvising your own take on it whilst keeping the same feel of the song.

I’ll be explaining how you will be able to create your own drum grooves, and improvise new techniques into your playing. I’ll take you through techniques that can be used to spice up your drum beats and give them a whole new feel.

Playing Accents

One of the most effective ways to establish a good groove is to add accents into the rhythm. An accent is when the drummer plays a single note slightly louder than the rest of the notes. This can give the groove a whole new feel, and works great with rock and funk beats. Adding accents can making even the most basic 4/4 beat sound like something new and refreshing.

Playing Ghost Notes

A ghost note is the opposite to an accent. It is when the drummer plays the drum softer than usual. They are often played between beats and are widely used in funk and jazz drumming. Ghost notes are usually played multiple times between beats.

By playing ghost notes you can give the impression of speeding up the groove even if the tempo remains the same. Finishing up a ghost note rhythm with an accent can sound great.

Cymbal Chokes And Pauses

An aspect of drumming that goes widely un-noticed is cymbal chokes and pauses. A cymbal choke is when you hit the crash cymbal and then use your fingers to immediately cut of the sound.

Adding a cymbal choke followed by a pause in the middle of a beat can sound very interesting. When performing this technique always make sure that you re-establish the groove by continuing in the time. You can do this by keeping a count in your head.

Rimshots And Cross Sticking

Rimshots are very much like accents. It is when the drummer hits both the skin and the rim of the drum at the same time. The resulting effect can be very penetrating on the ears, but can be great in the right circumstances.

Cross sticking is similar; however you don’t hit the drum skin itself. Instead you just hit the rim of the drum whilst resting the stick on the skins. Cross sticking is used a lot in Latin American music, and is a great way to change the groove of a song.

As you can see there are so many different ways to play a decent groove on a drum kit. The most important aspect of drumming with a groove is to make sure that you always remain in time. Good time keeping is essential if you are planning on using any of these techniques whilst you are improvising a drum beat.

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