There is a cheesy trick piano players use from time to time when playing alone. To do this, take the basic groove of the song, kick and snare pattern, and play it in the left hand using octaves – pinky is the kick, thumb is the snare drum. You'll often find this in notated piano accompaniment parts for worship songs.
This is where my mind first went when thinking about the groove for "Here For You".
Two Basic Grooves
There are two essential grooves for "Here For You". Let's start with the verse & chorus groove.
Verse & Chorus Groove
The first groove is initially carried by one of the electric guitars. Like the cheesy piano player trick, the electric creates a drum-like pattern using the root of each chord and the fifth above. What was once cheesy on the piano, can become instantly cool on electric guitar. This is just a law of the universe.
This groove is syncopated and relatively busy. Giving it to the guitar player for verse 1 and chorus 1 keeps it understated, allowing the drummer to simply define the beats.
The groove is picked up by the drums at verse two. On Tomlin's version the guitars open up and allow the drums to carry the groove. Redman's band handles this differently on their recording. I'm going to write about this tomorrow in part three of the series.
The audience will dig a busy, syncopated groove like this, but ultimately, what they really want is a simple backbeat. The longer you stick with groove 1, the more tension you are building. Musically, this works to the advantage of "Here For You".
We Welcome You With Praise (and a Backbeat)
The song is building tension through Chorus 2. It all opens up at the interlude setting up the bridge.
The busy syncopation gives way to the band washing out. The ascending pattern played by the piano and lead guitar build anticipation. The band folds in every two bars creating more and more tension until we finally give the audience what it has been subconsciously been wanting all along: the backbeat on 2 & 4. This is the musical reason why singing "we welcome You with praise" feels so great. Check out this example from Redman's recording of the song.
The Bridge groove is simple and driving. The fancy broken up groove is gone. It's time to get your praise on and let it rip.
This approach to the groove works best when there are two electric players. There are many ways you can achieve similar results, like passing off the intro groove to the acoustic. The important thing is that you think it through. Everyone has a part to play. What is your part in this song going to be? And more importantly, how is your part going to fit with everyone else's?
Special Note For Guitar Players
When playing the groove part, please recognize you're playing the role of a drummer or drum loop. It needs to be precisely in time and it needs to be consistent. Do not get bored! You are not making it better by changing it up every few bars. That's not creative, it's lazy. It is hard work to keep something precise and consistent. Do the hard work. Your audience and bandmates will appreciate you.
Do you have any thoughts on the groove to this song or groove in general? Post them in the comments.