Learn to groove

Groove Class

4 Modules 2 Chapters 24 Lessons Groover

About this course

The Groove Class is an online, interactive approach to developing, practicing and improving ensemble playing. Developed by Vinny Valentino as part of the Drum Fantasy Camp class offerings, The Groove Class connects students to students using PlayAlongTunes tracks to practice playing in a group. Groove Class participants will also have access to Bandlab (practice recording and uploading content),  a secret Facebook group, YouTube Channel, a monthly listening  session and a monthly group meeting as a way to continue the ensemble coaching and learning process. Participants will be able to upload audio and video content and interact with other members of the group and receive continued coaching from and access to Vinny Valentino. 

Learn more

Course Structure

2 Chapters

Internal Pulse

A solid sense of internal pulse is the foundation of effective ensemble performance. With this module learn how to develop and work on that skill. 

General practice 5 Lessons

How to Practice more efficiently and effectively.

In this lesson I have detailed 5 "things" that will help you develop a better and more effective practice routine. Let me know if you have any questions.  

Practice time

For this lesson, we will dig into the specifics of how and what to practice to develop that deep head-bopping groove.  


In this lesson we will work on answering the question, what motivates you?

Let's start by understanding exactly what it means to be motivated.  When I think of motivation I think of reason to do something. "a reason or reasons to act in a certain way." "stimulate interest or enthusiasm for doing something." 


Just play the first ideas that come to you with the PlayAlong track. 

Record and Upload

In this lesson, you will be documenting what you have worked on in the previous steps.  

Working with a metronome 8 Lessons

Effortless duple and triple time.

The goal of this lesson is to practice being able to hear and perform duple and triple time feels. 

Repeat step 3

Develop a different 4-8 bar pattern/ostinato that does not change. 


In this lesson, we will add a setup/fill to the patterns.  


In this lesson, you will be working on the previous steps but adding dynamics.  


Like in the second lesson you are just going to play and record. 

Checking your pulse, your time, your groove

This lesson is more of a timing, pulse test.  Can you keep time when the band, backing track or metronome drops out?  

Second Line

This lesson is we are working on the Second Line Groove.  Check the attached tune, "Pack a Lunch."  

On The One

The key to the James Brown funk groove lies on the emphasis of the first beat of the phrase.  

9 Lessons

Playing and listening

Learning effective strategies to decipher song form will be your guide to ensemble playing. 


Download the tracks and check out how it was originally recorded. (I like to spend 2 weeks just listening to new music before I attempt to play it. That's not always possible but preferable)

Isn't She Lovely

This is a review of what we have worked on in the previous 3 lessons. 

Long Train Running

In this lesson we will dive into producing a complete track with your playing as part of the ensemble.  

The Trouble With

Drummers play the bass drum on beats 1 in and the and of 3. 

Bass players do the same. 

Guitar players on 1 and the a of 2.

Thinking Out Loud

In this lesson we will work on record your part to the song "Thinking Out Loud," in Bandlab.  

Sir Duke (4 on the Floor)

This is the Stevie Wonder tune Sir Duke. We will do an analysis of the tune based on the phrases and parts.

There is an accompanying play along track is available in bandlab at a slower tempo than the original.

Beautiful Love

This is the standard "Beautiful Love" from the Great American Songbook as play by Anita O'Day. https://youtu.be/VjLYoTR8cDE 

Written by Wayne KingVictor Young and Egbert Van Alstyne with lyrics by Haven Gillespie

  1. Listen to many versions and get to know the melody.  I can make recommendations if need be.  
  2. What kind of song structure is it? What's the form?
  3. The key is D minor, the tempo is medium 78 = the half note. 
  4. Have fun and let me know if you have any questions.  

I Don’t Need No Doctor

Practice playing the song, "I Don't Need No Doctor," with multiple styles. Rock (Ray Charles), Funk (John Mayer, Jon Schofield) and Bossa Nova (I'll post an example)

8 Guitar Grooves

Practice and play to these 8 guitar grooves. 1. Play with a minimalistic and approach. 2. Play with a maximum approach. (what is the minimum and maximum you can play and still support the groove).

A lesson brought to you by Steve Smith

Steve gets into the details of practicing and where to find the "skip beat." Bonus materials include a listening list and a reading list. 

1 Lesson

Top 10 Grooves

Top 10 favorite grooves that have influenced other grooves.

Top 10 Grooves of all time.

This is a list of the top 10 grooves of all time. Each person has their own idea of what that will be. There is no wrong answer.