Grooves Using Hits And Scratches

Now you have enough bits to put together a groove. Ingredients are the E9 chord, hits, and scratches - combine them in specific patterns and you got some grooves.

I've written a few out that are fun and commonly used but making up your own is easy, fun and you learn a LOT in the process. I used to spend hours working out my own groove patterns to play with a funk band in my late teens.

TABs and more help:

This first one is fun and locks in with many cool drum grooves. At this point, we're playing all the scratches but as we move through the course we'll be leaving lots out! But stick with them for now and make sure you keep that hand moving!

This groove is quite a common one and gives a cool 'slapback' effect - the snare drum will usually play on Beat 2 and when you play the 16th after it makes for a cool effect... or the drummer will join you and move his snare hit... oh the fun you'll have locking together with a band! :)

This groove is groups of 3, hit scratch scratch, hit scratch scratch.... until the last beat. There's often another hit on the and after 4 - try putting it in and see how it feels!

This one is a little more complex - the kind of thing that might tie in with a bass and drum groove - the kind of thing you might make up yourself if you experiment!

Now - make up your own. Just choose what notes to hit on and then scratch the rest. Make as many as you want - keep experimenting and then note the ones you really like best and work on them some more!!

To Practice...

1. Each groove
Take each of the above grooves and play them nice and slow, make sure you strumming hand is loose and relaxed and your technique is good. Start slow and keep your time even as you can - speed up only when you're confident you're getting it 100% right!

2. With A Metronome
Again when you feel confident with each then try playing along with the metronome - don't be in a hurry to play them fast - be in hurry to make them feel good and stay in time with the metronome!

3. With A Drummer?
If you find a drummer (and bass player) to jam with then do it - you'll learn loads - and really focus on 'locking in' with them - so you all feel your 16th notes at exactly the same time! If you can't find a band - use a drum machine or drum loops (there are loads around free - and some excellent ones in Garage band if you have an apple computer or iPad!).

4. Make Up your Own Grooves
There's really no substitute for the learning you'll get when you make up your own grooves - it's a pretty big deal. Make up as many as you can, find what you like... maybe listen to some great funk and see if you can work out some grooves and then adapt them so they become yours. Experiment. Find yourself - you're probably cooler than you think ;)

Real World Examples

I'll more here as I think of them, but some real world examples that use a lot of Scratches and Hits type grooves are:
Oh Calcutta - The Meters
Little Old Money Make - The Meters

Recommended Album

You ain't never going to get the Funk if you're not listening to the greats! So with each lesson, I'm going to recommend a funk album for you to sink your ears into and help you get in the groove - some of the all-time classics and maybe some slightly less known albums too that I really dig.


Prince - 1999 (1999!)

He's left us early but his incredible music will live forever. There are loads of super tasty funk guitar grooves in this - but you gotta listen under the pop synths - great for your listening skills. Get your headphones on and check out his genius! Also try to pay attention to the way the guitar sits with the other instruments, particularly bass and drums! The end of the song 1999 is classic!

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