Ask the Expert – Drum Groove for The Happy Song

Richard Fletcher asks

“I have always been in a little perlexed as to exactly how to play the
rhythm for “The Happy Song” by Delirious.  As it isn’t a slow beat I
have never figured out exaclty what is being played and I am unable to
reporduce it.  Although as drummers we all say “less is more” this
rhythm makes the song.

If you could provide advive on playing it I would be very grateful.”

Andy first replied to this a couple of days ago but got the song confused and so replied giving some ideas for the Tim Hughes song Happy Day. We’ve now woken up to the fact that it was in fact a question about The Happy Song and asked the wonderful Bill Pamplin for advice. Bill does some percussion on our Intermediate Drum DVDs has kindly scored it out for you. As you can see the emphasis is not only provided by the snare but also kick and hi hat foot groove too. It changes slightly between verse and chorus as well so as with all limb independence exercises, start really slowly, if necessary get each element going on its own and only build up the speed once the parts are in muscle memory.

The drum rhythm for Happy Day is based around a straight 16th note groove. So you use both hands on the high hats to play every 16th and then assuming you play right handed, use your right hand and not the left to hit the snare.

The groove itself is inspired by the sound of the current crop of indie rock bands like Frans Ferdinand and The Killers. Paul Evans, who wrote the groove and played it on Tim Hughes’ original version talks about it and demos it on our Beginners and Intermediate drum DVDs.