Write a hip hop groove, boombox on the pavement

How to write a Hip Hop groove in 5 easy steps

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Want to know how to write a hip hop groove? Well last week we collaborated with the very excellent Gideon Waxman who runs the insanely jam-packed drumming resource website Drum Helper. We decided to write a tutorial based on how to write a hip hop groove by taking you through five pretty easy steps.

You can check out the piece we wrote right here. There’s both notation and audio to help guide you through the process. It doesn’t take long and once you’ve got the knack of it, you can apply the five steps once again to write a hip hop groove that is totally unique. You can repeat this over and over and you’ll get a different result each time. It’s a great tool to have in your groove arsenal!

We decided to write the tutorial specifically from the perspective of a live drummer. In other words, you, sat at an acoustic kit, ready to play the groove right there and then. And not sat at a computer or DAW!

Full disclosure here – you usually write a hip hop groove in the box, on a computer, by dragging samples into Pro Tools, Ableton, Logic or similar. But we wanted to take a unique approach and look at it from the perspective of a live drummer. 

Write a hip hop groove – the five key steps

We concluded the five steps to write a hip hop groove are:

  1. Take a skeleton groove

  2. Disruption

  3. Augmentation

  4. Articulations & ornamentation

  5. Context

To find out what this all means, and how to applies to the drum set make sure you check out the piece we wrote right here for all the details.

Our thanks to Gideon for letting us write the piece. And if you’ve got any feedback or you’ve created your own hip hop groove with this method, do get in touch and let us know!

Looking for a London drum teacher?

If our tutorial for Drum Helper on how to write a hip hop groove has given you a taste, please get in touch for more information on how to start drum lessons!

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