Nocturne Lesson 2 – Verse Groove Copy Copy

Lesson progress


In lesson 2, I’m going to show you how to play the hi-hat groove from the verse in Nocturne. It is – without a doubt – one of the more difficult patterns in any of TesseracT’s songs to get flowing. The key is to spend time working on your dynamic control – work on making the ghost notes real quiet, and the accents real loud.

Each exercise in this lesson focuses on a key technique or pattern that you should become comfortable with before moving onto the next exercise.

Exercise 1 – Ghost Pattern – RLRLL_LL

First off, we’re going to focus on the sticking pattern I use to achieve the ghost notes throughout the verse (and other parts of the song). You can practice this on a pad first, or go straight to your kit. Remember, the key to getting this to flow is in the control of your dynamics and double strokes with your snare hand.

Loop exercise

Exercise 2 – Kick drum pattern

Next, we’re going to learn the kick drum pattern. The first thing to understand is that the pattern repeats – after twenty-seven 16th notes… Don’t worry, we’re not ever counting to 27. Instead, we’re simply going to loop the pattern until we ‘feel’ it, which is my preferred method for learning anything: listen, repeat, listen, repeat, listen, repeat…

The section highlighted below shows one cycle of the kick drum pattern:

Loop exercise

Exercise 3 – Snare accents

Adding the snare accents on the 2nd and 4th beat of the bar is the next natural step in this lesson. I’ve highlighted them below:

Loop exercise

Exercise 4 – Build the groove

This is the first big challenge – we’re going to combine the kick pattern, snare accents, and the RLRLL_LL ghost note pattern. The song’s tempo is 130bpm, which is way too fast to begin when building a groove like this, so take it slowly. Perhaps start out at around 70-80bpm and build up from there and use the loop exercise to slow the video down to whatever speed is comfortable for you.

Remember: listen, repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat. The shortcut to learning anything difficult is to shut off distractions and spend time with the task.

Loop exercise

Exercise 5 – Adding more detail

Now that we have the fundamental parts of this groove down, we’re going to work on some of the fine detail – the small flourishes that help to add even more life to the groove.

This next video is going to show you how to play the small open hi-hat accents:

Loop exercise

Exercise 6 – Off-beat hi-hats

There are two small sections we’re going to focus on in this next exercise.

You can leave the hats open or closed – I tend to play them half-open from the beginning of bar 19, and then play an open foot hit, followed by a closed foot to create the short defined accented notes, which start at the end of bar 20.

Loop exercise 6.1

Loop exercise 6.2

Exercise 7 – Final section

You’ve made it almost to the end of one of the most difficult and detailed parts of any TesseracT song – so firstly, congratulations. Secondly…. there’s a little bit more to go.

Loop exercise

Now that you’ve spent some time with this groove, I’d love to see your progress! If you feel comfortable, why not post a short video on Instagram showing off your skills with this groove – and remember to tag #jaypostonesdrumlessons

Be sure to check out Lesson 3, where we’ll be digging into the epic linear fill at the end of this verse.

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