DRUM TEACHERS: Essential drum grooves ("trap set"/drum kit) in Beginner/Intermediate/Advanced categories in "Broad" Genres?

skinslapper27

Junior Member
Hi all,
I have been builiding a drum program for my students for quite some time now, and therefore am curious as to what grooves in various styles other drum teachers consider "essential"- important to know to be a session drummer or just a versatile drummer in general.
If one feels so compelled, input categorised into beginner/intermediate/advanced categories would be fantastic and inspire my gratitude immensely! I have laid out a section in which to categorise recommendations below to facilitate easier categorisation
Extra credit for links to examples of each drum groove, or to material of the nature described!
To be clear I am a "trap set"/traditional drum set teacher, therefore am only looking for "essential" drum set grooves, that would be playable on a basic 5-piece drum set, with basic, generic additions such as cowbell/jam blocks etc.; please omit any entries pertaining to other percussion instruments.

Due to the endless stream of preexisting and new subgenres, I have decided to try to "broaden" the genres used in this endeavour, to make achieving this list easier/more practical. As such I found the list below to be a reasonable representation of broad music categories, and thus encompass the bulk of music that a drum set player might play to.
For reference, list of "broad" music genres below taken from here (posted by user "WonderSlug"):
https://hydrogenaud.io/index.php?topic=72499.0


Note: I have included "Classical" in case others happen to find this genre list useful; feel free to pass it by- there were no drum kits in the classical period!

Thanks to all contributors, I look forward to what you have to say!:

  • 1.) Pop
    Typical Top 40 stuff you hear on the radio. Can also include 80's New Wave.
    Examples: Madonna, Britney Spears, Aqua, New Order, Tears For Fears, Duran Duran.
  • BEGINNER:
    INTERMEDIATE:
    ADVANCED:

    2.) Hip-Hop
    Anything old school rap, modern rap, or even gangsta rap.
    Examples: LL Cool J, Snoop Dogg, 50 Cent, Eminem, Run DMC, The Sugarhill Gang.
    BEGINNER:
    INTERMEDIATE:
    ADVANCED:

    3.) Rock
    All types of rock music including classical rock, modern rock, grunge, hard rock, alternative rock.
    Depending on how broad you want to make it, one can even include country western and bluegrass, since in a way, they are somewhat really soft rock.
    Examples: Van Halen, Bon Jovi, Poison, Seven Mary Three, Soundgarden, Nirvana, Alice in Chains, The Scorpions, Rush, Ben Folds Five.
  • BEGINNER:
    INTERMEDIATE:
    ADVANCED:

    4.) R&B
    Pretty standard typical Motown or soul music that isn't hip-hop or jazz.
    Examples: Barry White, Mary J. Blige, Alicia Keys, Stevie Wonder, Ray Charles, R. Kelly.
    BEGINNER:
    INTERMEDIATE:
    ADVANCED:

    5.) Jazz
    Pretty much self-explanatory.
    Examples: Louis Armstrong, Cassandra Wilson, Robert Coltrane.
    BEGINNER:
    INTERMEDIATE:
    ADVANCED:

    6.) Latin
    Any Latin artists. Also includes salsa, cumbia, and ranchera music.
    Examples: Shakira, Alejandra Guzman, Julio Iglesias, Enrique Iglesias, Alicia Villareal.
  • BEGINNER:
    INTERMEDIATE:
    ADVANCED:

    7.) Metal
    Any metal, including heavy metal, speed metal, death metal, thrash metal, etc.
    Examples: Metallica, Megadeth, Motorhead, Slayer, Iron Maiden, Pantera.
    BEGINNER:
    INTERMEDIATE:
    ADVANCED:

    8.) Electronica
    Anything that is mostly DJ made on electronic equipment. Includes Techno, Trance, EuroDance, Goa.
    Examples: Astral Projection, Ministry of Sound, Moby. Also all those DJ continuous mix albums, like Armin Van Buuren's "A State of Trance" weekly series.
    BEGINNER:
    INTERMEDIATE:
    ADVANCED:

    ***************OUTSIDE OF DRUM KIT INVENTION TIMELINE**************************************************************
    9.) Classical
    Anything regarding the music of the classical composers.
    Examples: Mozart, Bach, Beethoven, Handel, Tchaikovsky, Chopin.
    BEGINNER:
    INTERMEDIATE:
    ADVANCED:
  • ***************OUTSIDE OF DRUM KIT INVENTION TIMELINE**************************************************************

    10.) World
    Rythmic beats of various non-American culture
    Examples: Brazilian Samba, African Tribal, Reggae, World Fusion, Turkish Dance.
    BEGINNER:
    INTERMEDIATE:
    ADVANCED:

    11.) Other
    Anything that can't be broadly applied to the above.
    Examples: New Age, Speech, Language LearningDance
    BEGINNER:
    INTERMEDIATE:
    ADVANCED:
 

Morrisman

Platinum Member
I’d add blues shuffles as a seperate category.

And perhaps 50’s rock n’ roll and Rockabilly - fast shuffles and train beats.

Your categories are very broad. eg. Within the pop category you’ll get medium rock beats, slow ballads, 12/8 ballads, disco beats, shuffles, half-time shuffles, and more.
 

brentcn

Platinum Member
I’d add blues shuffles as a seperate category.

And perhaps 50’s rock n’ roll and Rockabilly - fast shuffles and train beats.

Your categories are very broad. eg. Within the pop category you’ll get medium rock beats, slow ballads, 12/8 ballads, disco beats, shuffles, half-time shuffles, and more.
Yes, too broad. Also, many drum grooves work in multiple genres of music. For example, a 12/8 works for a great many pop tunes, but can also work in blues, metal, RnB, rock, etc. So, this is why nearly all drum set books organize drum grooves by style, and not by genre. Also, it helps the student to understand similarities between styles (i.e. the blues shuffle, and the basic jazz beat, are both based on a triplet subdivision).
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
7.) Metal
Any metal, including heavy metal, speed metal, death metal, thrash metal, etc.
Examples: Metallica, Megadeth, Motorhead, Slayer, Iron Maiden, Pantera.
BEGINNER:
INTERMEDIATE:
ADVANCED:
Grooves, any groove on top of double kick. Swing, shuffle, triplet, it can all be played over double kick. It's just usually faster.

Learn as much double kick as possible. Learn heel/toe. Learn blast beats, and the gravity blast.

Speed is essential, so dont forget the pad.
 

Seafroggys

Silver Member
I mean, this is pretty much what the Groove Essentials books are about.

And you may want to at least try and attempt to be more contemporary. It's very clear from your examples that you ignore literally everything from the 21st Century. I mean, Madonna and Britney Spears as pop examples? Run DMC and Sugarhill Gang for Hip-Hop? (okay you have 50 cent and Eminem, but even both of those guys peaked when I was in high school, and my 15 year reunion was supposed to be this year).
 

johnwesley

Silver Member
Polka metal is an esoteric yet flourishing musical form featuring percussive bursts from marching bass drums. Developed in the late 80s by Vikas Kohli, a watchmaker by trade who dabbled in music since he was a boy. Because of the bass drum being electrified, the highly recognized oom pah pah sound is described as more BOOM Pah Pah while an electric accordionist flies through the keys with astonishing speed. The musician on the Sousaphone highlights the music with long low notes not dissimilar to that of a rhinoceros fart. Many who play Polka metal employ a clarinetist to "squeak" high notes in replication of fleeing birds during the bridge which is played at a very high speed even for a polka.
Just thought I'd share and expand your paradigm of percussive interests.
 
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