Nocturne Lesson 1 – Intro groove Copy Copy


Lesson progress

Here we go. Let’s jump in at the deep end with one of TesseracT’s most complex songs: Nocturne.

First off, make sure you’ve grabbed the full drum transcription for Nocturne.

Nocturne Drum Tab

This is the only place you’ll find the transcription online. I created it to represent a current performance of the song – this is how I play it currently, and how I can best teach the parts to you.

Don’t worry if you can’t read music – this will still be a useful resource as we go through the course.

You should also grab these additional resources that I’ve put together, exclusively for this course:

How to count the intro

I’d like to start by showing you how I count and ultimately ‘feel’ the intro groove. This is going to be subjective from drummer to drummer, but I think it’s useful for me to explain my starting point with this groove in particular, as there’s a few things going on.

Exercise 1 – An important fundamental

Something I’d like to start with is the hand movement we need to understand in order to hit a snare accent, followed by two ghost notes. This may be something you’re already used to but if not, please check out this short video and the following exercise.

Loop exercise

Exercise 2 – Kick and snare drum pattern

You should now have an understanding of how the intro is counted and how to move your snare hand to achieve the basic pattern behind this beat. So, let’s start to piece the groove together, starting with the kick and snare drum pattern. The main exercise from this video is to loop this small section highlighted below:

Loop exercise

Exercise 3 – Left foot (pedal hat)

Next, we’re going to get the left foot to count a quarter-note pattern along with the snare and kick pattern we’ve just learned.

Loop exercise

Exercise 4 – Right hand (stack)

What is the right hand doing against the kick and the snare? Let me explain. If you were to isolate the right hand, it would be playing a dotted quarter note pattern. Or to break it down further, say the following out loud, or in your head: 1 E & A 2 E & A 3 E & A 4 E & A

Anything with a bold highlight is an accent, so it’s louder than the non-bold things. Nice – you’ve just accented dotted quarter notes within a 16th-note count! This is what is happening in the Nocturne intro groove, except we don’t start again at the end of the first bar, or even at the end of the first four bars when the kick and snare pattern restart. Instead, we carry this dotted quarter note pattern over so that it begins on the third 8th note of bar 6.

Loop exercise

I’ve put together a sheet of music covering the main exercise in this video, in case it’s useful to reference.

You’ll notice that after the initial intro (which is the same as the intro to Nocturne), the pattern will loop indefinitely from bar 14 to bar 25. This is the section I’d like you to focus on for this exercise.

Practice getting this to loop naturally – without counting or thinking about what your right hand is doing. Once you can do this comfortably, you’re good to move on to the next step.

Exercise 5 – Cymbal accents

The next step is going to be to add in the cymbal accents in between bars 5 and 6, and at the end of bar 9. I recommend starting this out slowly, with a real emphasis on accuracy. Choose a flow around your particular cymbal setup that works for you – you don’t have to stick to my exact cymbal choice for this to work.

Loop exercise

Exercise 6 – Put it all together

So, here we are – you’ve just learned all of the individual bits that form together to make one of the most complex grooves I’ve ever had to learn. Now, we’re going to throw them all together. Sounds easy enough, right? Probably not – for some of you I’m sure this will be a piece of cake but please don’t feel discouraged if this final step doesn’t come together immediately. Start out slow and remember that your limbs can play each of these parts – you now just have to work on training them to work together instead of against each other and the only remedy for that is patience.

Remember: slow down. Treat this coming-together as a meditation and spend time with it.

Loop exercise

Two things before we end this lesson

  1. Thank you for choosing to spend some time here. Learning something new is one of the best things you can do for your mind and body.
  2. I’d love to see how you progress as you make your way through this course, so please tag #jaypostonesdrumlessons in any videos you post on social media and I’ll make sure to check them out!

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