Take the 2-minute tour ×
Music: Practice & Theory Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for musicians, students, and enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

How is possible to "trigger" a groove? Is there a technical reason for the groove to happen? Is it just when you stuble across any kind of rhythm / melodic progression interaction that "moves"?

Please do not link wikipedia: real life experience from musicians are much more interesting for me :)

share|improve this question

3 Answers 3

up vote 11 down vote accepted

"Groove" has to do with taking a strict metronomic beat and then striking certain notes in each measure either slightly ahead of, or slightly behind, the strict metronomic beat. In a rock music groove, for instance, the dominant beats in 4/4 time are beats 2 and 4. The notes on those beats would be sounded in strict, unwavering time. The "groove" would be created by varying other notes in each measure in a subtle fashion.

Which notes to vary in time, and by what degree, is what creates different kinds of grooves.

The term "groove" first came into play in mid-to-late African-American styles such as R&B ("Rhythm and Blues") and later funk.

The precursor terms to "groove" are "swing" and "shuffle", which describe specific kinds of shifting of rhythmic emphasis that first appeared in jazz, which again, is ultimately an African-American musical innovation. Swing and shuffle have to do with taking a 4/4 rhythm and imposing an underlying 12/8 rhythm with shifting in emphasis of the eighth-note offbeats of 4/4 so that they almost take on a triplet feel, shifting that off-beat eighth note to line up with the third eighth note in a 12/8 grouping. There is much written on this subject. For an understanding of "swing", study dance band jazz from the 1930s or 1940s, such as that by Count Basie, Duke Ellington, or Glenn Miller. For a good example of "shuffle", listen to Texas-style blues-rock like ZZ Top.

I must insist that you will never understand or appreciate "groove" if you only listen to music that is not from the African-American tradition and is from the last thirty years or so. Start with African-American music from the USA going back at least to the mid-20th century.

share|improve this answer
1  
This answer is by necessity very technical, describing what groove is, but I think the points made here are correct: you really want to listen to and learn a wide range of music types to learn the feel of a groove, because it does all come from feeling and physical movement. –  Dr Mayhem Aug 25 '11 at 13:26
    
Precursors -- okay. So does the "groove" means exactly the same as "shuffle" or is it differs in the amount of shift? –  horsh Nov 24 '11 at 8:58
    
There are many general applications of the term "groove". "Shuffle", or "swing" on the other hand is just one example of creating a groove. "Shuffle" is a the specific case of making a 4/4 meter sound more like 12/8. –  Wheat Williams Jan 19 '12 at 18:59
    
Great answer although I think th term is now used more broadly (rightly or wrongly) to mean a great "rhythmic feel". As some of this is pretty straightforward without the shuffle feel etc, it's kind of bent the meaning of the word. –  user2808054 Oct 20 at 16:29

Groove is a slight displacement in time that gives certain type of music its "feel"

From Wikipedia ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Groove_%28music%29 )

Groove is the sense of propulsive rhythmic "feel" or sense of "swing" created by the interaction of the music played by a band's rhythm section (drums, electric bass or double bass, guitar, and keyboards). Groove is a consideration in genres such as salsa, funk, rock, fusion, and soul. The word is often used to describe the aspect of certain music that makes one want to move, dance, or "groove".

I don't see 'grooving' as something technically achievable, i've heard musicians with an amazing technical level that don't 'groove' and i've heard poorly skilled musicians grooving

share|improve this answer
    
Groove is technically achievable, otherwise it wouldn't exist. Our friend above defined this very well as superimposing a triplet feel over 4/4. The people with amazaing techical levels who can't groove are like their beats-square. –  user12178 Jun 18 at 17:08

I think the groove mainly is in half-time feel stuff, you know, like breakdowns, try listening to Pantera's Revolution Is My Name, and you'll feel the groove when a certain part of the song comes up. Also I think that bass lines are a major contributor in grooves.

share|improve this answer
    
Like around 1:08? –  Pitto Aug 25 '11 at 11:08
    
nope, more like around 3:10 the solo part and the part after that –  Raymond Aug 25 '11 at 12:11

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.