Developing Groove On The Drums

Easy Drumming That Sounds Hard

Groove is playing the right notes in the right place at the expected time. Groove cannot be notated nor summoned but can be practiced and felt. Developing groove behind the drum set takes time and dedication. Playing along to a lot of music and with good musicians and practicing the exercises Calum Rees wrote especially for this free live drum lesson will help straighten your groove out.

This free live drum lesson focus on the development of groove through exercises that work on your sense of time. However, good groove is not all about keeping good time against a click track. It has to do with what you play and the feel you put into it. Think of these exercises as a good starting point. Add them to your practice sessions but save some time for playing along to music–it’s where most of your groove development will happen. The more time you spend playing along to your favorite tracks, the better you’ll develop your groove in the style of the drummers and music you practice to. Groove development can be worked on while playing with other musicians as well. For some tips on how to do so in a musical way, check the video “Playing With A Bass Player.”

A cool idea for developing groove is practicing with drum play-alongs and recording your performances. It will allow you to analyze how you reacted to the drumless music. Are you playing drum parts that complement the music? Are you playing with the feel the music requires? Listen back to the recordings and be thorough in the assessment you make of your performances. Don’t erase them. Keep them so you can backtrack your progress over time.

Groove is also highly influenced by drum dynamics. The more dynamic your playing is, the better feel you’ll develop on the drum set. Watch the free drum lessons “Beginner Opening-Closing Hi-Hats” and “Beginner Ghost Notes,” and include the concepts discussed there to the exercises Calum Rees came up with for this lesson.




  • Manuel says:

    The Song calls “Taking Flight” from Doug Towle. From the album “Desire, Heat & Spirit” from 2009.

    He has got a 2nd album, calls “Momentum” (Doug Towle And De La Terra) from 2007.

    You’ll find both on iTunes.

  • austin says:

    what cymbals are you using they sound great and look cool

  • HeartGrooving says:


    I started this today. I had to pull down exercise one to 50 bpm. Played 4th, 8th, 16th, 8 triplets, 16th triplets and 32nd notes on the HH. The 32 are a challenge (with one hand). I did it with both hands. This is gonna be fun.

  • Yute says:

    Groove is something I’ve been working on of late. Its all well & good to know all the fills & the fancy stuff but without groove it values nothing…Looking forward to more great lessons..1Love!!!

    • Kyoko says:

      I don’t understand why evrdobyey wants to just play fast. I honestly really like playing pretty laid back while adding more rudimental things.

  • vipul dhingra says:

    a perfect groove in the starting

  • kevin says:

    the mic of the cowbell is missing, You can´t hear it.

  • Tulga Cengizler says:

    What was the name of the song? I know Doug Towle plays it but I cant understand the name

  • Ten Kata says:

    I can listen to the intro all day. Great latin groove! Love the use of all the voices in interesting and meaningful ways.

  • Dave Atkinson says:

    He is playing Heartbeat Cymbals. I am not sure what model, but they sound great!

  • Bart says:

    what kind of cymbals????