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Groove Essentials?

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  • Groove Essentials?

    So I picked up the book and the videos a while back, because it seems like everyone seems to think it's the best thing ever, and I just can't figure it out. I got through the first track easy enough, but the very second one (Groove 1 Fast) has me stumped. I really don't understand what everyone is raving about, because I feel like the "method," whatever it is, is really light on instruction. A few observations:

    (1) Watching a 0:53 second video of Tommy playing through the groove is really just not very helpful. I might as well just watch any YouTube video of any drummer playing any song and attempt to copy it. He doesn't really explain ANYTHING, it's just like, "Hey, watch this." Like, I just can't find what I'm supposed to lock in to.

    (2) When I try to play along to the track, I'm instantly lost. No option for a click or anything. When I listen to him play it, I feel like I definitely hear/feel the pulse, and it's the most straightforward groove ever, but when I try to play along it just doesn't mesh. Is this normal - just trial and error?

    (3) The included notation is CONFUSING. He has little boxes labelled "A" and "B" which I don't understand, but more importantly, his charting doesn't follow his own notation key. For example, in the included picture in section "A" you can see som notes just above the uppermost staff line. Per the notatin key, this should be a ride pattern, but the note heads are not X's, like they should be. He says "check out the DVD and copy what I do." but as far as can tell he does not play this.

    I honestly feel like I'm missing some essential piece of the equation, especially with regard to the videos, which so far have left me completely unimpressed. It's like when I hear people talk about how great this book is, I wonder if I'm looking at something completely different. I've found it to be borderline unusable. Help!
    Attached Files
    Last edited by MJB; 03-06-20, 11:57 AM.

  • #2
    Those are the hits the band is playing. The slashes below are the notes for the drums (i.e. repeat).
    The A and B boxes just indicate sections of the song - like Verse A and Verse B.
    Roland TD30 module, DW performance series set with UFO triggers. ATV ride and Hats; translucent blue Pintech Visulite cymbals, Gibraltar Rack, DW9000 pedal, DW9120M, Sony MDR-7506 headphones, Yamaha DSR112 monitors.

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    • #3
      Maybe people like it, because - supposedly - the book is actually an Artificial Intelligence interpretation of the "Wow signal" uncovered by SETI. Which wasn't a signal sent by aliens at all, just the isolated drum track from "Seven Nations Army" by White Stripe. I may have read the article inaccurately.
      Immensely powerful yet with a liquid cat-quick elegance

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      • #4
        Like yourself I have just got the full 2 book pack with DVD and am a real beginner so have no real experience that I can draw on but what might help you a little is to have a look at the audio track Chart Talkdown.mp3 that should be on the DVD / download as this covers to some degree the charts.
        it actually skims through ‘Groove 16 Fast’ very quickly so you may have to listen to it several times before you get the gist.
        This audio file is not mentioned from what I can see I just found it when looking at what was on the download.

        From what I can gather the slashes in general represent areas where you should play something of your own (a fill etc).
        If you look at the text in Groove 1 fast it mentions that you should inflect the riff in section A but if you are not sure just play the basic groove implying try to do your own thing.
        Didn't know the significance of the notes above the line so I have learnt something here too.

        I agree it is not the clearest for a true beginner like myself but maybe once the basics are mastered it will make more sense to us.
        Last edited by OldBadger; 03-07-20, 06:40 AM.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by gingerbaker View Post
          Maybe people like it, because - supposedly - the book is actually an Artificial Intelligence interpretation of the "Wow signal" uncovered by SETI. Which wasn't a signal sent by aliens at all, just the isolated drum track from "Seven Nations Army" by White Stripe. I may have read the article inaccurately.
          Ginger has nailed this one. Well I think he has.

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          • #6
            Are the notes on the top line the rhythm pattern the other instruments are playing?

            I would assume the "A" & "B" are indicating sections of the song (I can see a symbol for a section repeat at the start of the "A" part and above the line I see 6x, which should mean repeat that section 6-times then move into the "B" section. I would see if the are videos posted on YouTube with other people covering the tune if you're having a bit of trouble with it.

            Also, I think the more you play it and feel comfortable with the song form itself, the less you'll feel lost. If you're a newer drummer don't expect to just hear the tune once and think you'll know it and can instantly jam to it. Spend some time listening to the tune and really look for the song form so you understand "where" the tune is going. You may have to create some drum charts of you own... I'd say that those charts that were provided a just starting point.. they are what works for Tommy and you may need something different and a bit more detailed at this point in the game (Tommy is way more experienced and needs far less on the chart to help him get through a tune).

            As far as getting lost, again, the more you listen to the tune and it's structure the easier it will be to count it in and maintain the correct tempo and understand where the "1" is. Content like this usually starts of with a few clicks to count you in and that is something you're going to have to practice latching on to and maintaining throughout the song.
            Hardware: TD20SX --> Roland UA-25EX --> MSI GT780DX w/ i7 2670, 16-GB of Ram, Windows 7
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            • #7
              Well, I discovered a BIG part of my problem is my right hand. Frankly, it’s I’m just not used to playing hi-hat eighths that fast. So I’m working on that and locking everything else into that eighth note pulse, and it’s starting to come together. It’s just a matter of building up that speed but still staying relaxed. I’ve also had to make some adjustments to my snare and hi-hat positioning, which is itself a seemingly never ending process.

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              • #8
                As a mostly self-taught amateur, I found these DVDs helpful in introducing me to a wide range of grooves for different genres. Plus I love Tommy's attitude, both on the DVDs and on Facebook. A lot of them were familiar and/or easy to master, but some were challenging for me and took some work. I agree that a little more breakdown of the 1-e-and-ah of the strokes might be helpful for beginners.

                Regarding the right hand speed, RELAX. Learn some of the little tricks for speed (like push-pull). And build speed slowly with a metronome.
                ATV aDrums Artist expanded kit, Mimic Pro. Ludwig 1967 black oyster pearl five piece, Zildjian A custom crashes, A. Zildjian ride and hats.

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                • #9
                  Slowing the song down to 75% helps immensely with hearing where I'm supposed to be and not getting lost. Gonna work on getting really solid and slowly work my way up to full tempo. It's just really quite fast for me (~160 bpm), which I guess I didn't want to admit because it's such a basic pattern.

                  It turns out there is a whole thread on this very track on Drummerworld, it feels good to not be the only one, lol: https://drummerworld.com/forums/inde...y-check.65453/

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                  • #10
                    You can probably get a conversation going on Facebook with him. Maybe try a skype lesson too.
                    For technique, check the drumeo lessons with Bruce Becker. I do skype lessons with him and he is the best at explaining technique than anyone I have ever studied with, and I did take a few lessons with Tommy Igoe. He is very good too.

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                    • #11
                      From what I gather, you should take a few intro lessons to music or start with something like Drumset 101. Most of the things you are upset about is mostly coming from lack of experience or knowledge...

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                      • #12
                        Sorry guys but as far as I am concerened, groove is feel and you cant read this from a music sheet. It is how you inturpret what you read and how you lay it down. Thats my two pence worth anyway.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Cliq View Post
                          From what I gather, you should take a few intro lessons to music or start with something like Drumset 101. Most of the things you are upset about is mostly coming from lack of experience or knowledge...
                          Thanks, but no. I'm way beyond "101" and have had lessons. I just was not used to playing as fast as this particular track at the time that I posted this. Did you really think your comment was helpful in any way?

                          And FWIW, I'm still not super impressed with Groove Essentials. A lot of people swear by it, but it just doesn't click for me.
                          Last edited by MJB; 05-27-20, 07:09 PM.

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