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Talking about drumming

posted on #1
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this is a question to drummers. I really don't play drums and maybe you can give some hints how a drummer is working on a given template.

Example: I record a song with my guitar over a metronom-clicktrack. Then I start a synchronized drum-computer with fixed tempo and try some trial-and-error till I found a drum-rhythm-pattern in one of my drum computers that half-way fits.... :) Most time there are several solutions, most times the fills don't work, neither the intros or the endings.

Can you explain, how to improve this selection with some simple rules?
posted on #2
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Joined: 30.12.10
Are you looking for advice on how to programm a beat or an answer what a drummer would do?
The programming issue is quite hard to answer without knowledge of the used equipment / software.
A simple solution would be to record the beat genereated by the drumsampler in your DAW, align it to your guitar / click-grid.
If you would like to use the offered fills / intros / ends provided by your drumcomputer, record them on a seperate track in your DAW and copy/move them to the correct spots matching your guitar tracks structure.
The most important thing about Drumfills is that the relevant part to align is the END of the drumfill - no matter how long a fill is (=no matter on which count it starts), it should almost always end on the last count of a bar.
posted on #3
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Thanks for your help, Dick. I wanted to know how a drummer would select a given pattern out of hundreds available...what is he looking for?

I do not want to program drumpatterns because a real drummer can do this 100x better than me and of course I know how bad or boring the drumpatterns in software like Band-in-a-box sound. :)

But maybe a some drummer will talk about their thoughts, when they start to add a drum-remix to a given guitar-only track. :)
posted on #4
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"what is he looking for?" - fun :)
track should have a steady timing, the better the part changes are defined, the easier it gets to follow along properly.

Drummers are not that different from other humans, really.
posted on #5
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Joined: 02.10.14
Hi Neronick,

First of all I really agree with Dick and Baer =) There are some simple rules of playing drums and we are not that different from other humans =))

OK, first maybe you should try to structure a drums part as you like, than record your guitar.. I mean just try to fit your guitar on the drums that you prepared before.
But as Dick mentioned, you have to stick the rules. What are these rules about drumming?
First, you need to be a great counter! Not only for drummers also, but for all musicians, we should really know and also feel the counting. ( a clue from me; I also change my breathing to fit with the rhythm ;) )

Let me also Mention here; there are many mixes here that lack of counting. I mean there should be also 2 more measures before the solo part (because you feel that the track goes 4 beats x 4 measures, ofc some more possibilities but generally goes like this) So, that 2 measures lost =(

Second, you need to prepare a composition; intro, verse, chorus, solo, ending .....

Third, to do some fills, you need to be good at first and second rules above =) As Dick wrote --> "no matter how long a fill is (=no matter on which count it starts), it should almost always end on the last count of a bar." ;) (if you dont think to add a syncope =) )

Fourth, I know that you play on drum machine but just start with simple playing, editing. I mean just 4 beats x 4 measures --> 1(and),2(and),3(and),4(and) Hi-hat / 1,3 Kick / 2,4 Snare
Than try to play only Kick or only Snare more frequently.
And also you can chance the counting method. I mean not only as usual 4 beats x 4 measures like 1,2,3,4 / 1,2,3,4 / 1,2,3,4 / 1,2,3,4
You can also count like 1,2,3 / 1,2,3,4,5 / 1,2 / 1,2,3,4 / 1,2 or 1,2 / 1,2,3 / 1,2,3,4 / 1,2,3 / 1,2,3,4 When hit kicks at all 1's, it sounds weird and cool I think..

Anyway, these are not the only things.. You know, music is unlimited. This is how I enjoy the music in my life..
posted on #6
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Joined: 27.05.14
Google Hydrogen drum machine or somehting like that. Is a great free softwere, add some samples, you got drums :D! Also is really simple to use
posted on #7
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Joined: 27.02.15
If you're working at the MIDI level with drums, along with the all the sage advice from Dick and Laruno who offer some fantastic insights into approaches to making your drums fit, I can only offer one tip:

Listen to real drummers. It's all about light and shade within the beats they play. They don't hit everything at the same level. So if we took the good old four-on-the-floor beat with 8th notes on the hi-hat:

It's easy to program: four bass drums notes, snare on the 2 and 4, hi-hat playing 8th notes. Now take the exact same beat and go back and program the hi-hat line to be loud-quiet-loud-quiet-loud-quiet, etc. This is so that the 1, 2, 3, 4 is loud but the 'ands' are quiet. In Pure MIDI terms, program the 1, 2, 3, 4 to be, say 100 velocity and the in-between 1&, 2&, 3&, 4& to be, say 70 velocity and realise the amazing feel the same pattern has got.

I'm no drum programmer but will program drums how I play them. And bringing out the accents is what gives programmed beats that 'human' feel.

The same goes for, say, fast bass drum notes. Take two sixteenth note bass drums, one after the other - make the first quieter than the second - as if the first is skipping into the second note. It's these massively subtle dynamics which makes a huge difference.

Hope that helps.
Edited by mpointon on March 19 2015 00:21
posted on #8
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I guess the question is very badly spelled from me... I was looking in a complete other direction; no I will not program a mididrumtrack on my own... and I will never spend some lifetime again to try to optimize midisounds, no matter in which case. I guess my question was done wrong. Thanks for the answers nevertheless. :)
posted on #9
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Joined: 14.03.15
Hey! I think I understand your question! I as the drummer listens much to the melodies and where the journey in the music is going, I think of music as a story and I'm putting points exclamation and question marks and paves the way for transitions and brake as a train driver. The base is the guide and dictate if it will be a bumpy or smooth way to go. I hope it wasent too hokey now :)
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