Rock & Blues Piano Lessons › Forums › Learning to Rock! › how to create drum tracks??
Tagged: drum tracks, rock piano lessons
- This topic has 5 replies, 5 voices, and was last updated 8 years, 11 months ago by harrison.
June 19, 2014 at 10:23 am #2494csmembeddedParticipant
I would like to create drum tracks to play along with the lessons. Does anyone have suggestions on a cookbook approach to doing that?
BenParticipantJune 19, 2014 at 4:42 pm
It’s a very simple procedure to do once learned, but as with most everything in learning music, it takes patience and practice to get right. We had to learn to make drum tracks the first semester at Berklee and once I learned how to create a drum track it was super easy to put together my own songs.
You’ll need a simple recording program like Garageband that has pre-recorded drum tracks and you’ll need a midi keyboard(or you can just use the virtual keyboard if the software has one). So, a keyboard with USB port to plug straight to your computer. On Garageband, or Logic as well, you can go through the library of pre-recorded drum tracks. They’re called “software instruments” on Garageband. Then you can mess around with different drum sounds to find what will fit the type of song you’re trying to play along with. Then you need to create separate tracks for each drum sound. So, you need one track for bass drum, one track for snare, one track for high hat and so on and so forth.
After that you can quantize all these tracks to get perfect timing. You can quantize them for 1/16 notes, 1/8 notes, 1/4 notes, etc.
You need to have a general idea of how a drummer plays a drumset. So for example, 1/8th notes for high hat, hitting bass drum on beats 1 and 3 and snare on 2 and 4.
This is actually a good way to learn how to keep timing if you’re not a drummer because it gives you a simple framework of the breakdown of the beats in a song.
Other than that, it takes a little bit of time messing around with a simple midi program to get the feel of how to use it. Hope this helps!
irockuKeymasterJune 19, 2014 at 4:52 pm
Ben’s advice on understanding how a drummer plays a drumset is spot on. If you follow his advice, ie have the high-hat play 1/8 notes, the bass on the 1 and 3 and the snare on 2 and 4 you have a very basic cookbook that should get you started for most songs. Begin there and once you get the hang of it you can start experimenting with other instruments and timings.
There are also a lot of good smartphone drumkit apps that you can use.
csmembeddedParticipantJune 20, 2014 at 11:38 am
Thanks guys, you have given me a good starting point. I have download “Studio One 2” as its a good DAW and its free. I will be using it to create MIDI backing tracks using the Groove Chart and drum track on channel 10. The resulting midi file then plays on my keyboard. I suppose that there is no reason why you can’t generate .WAV files using the limited set of instruments supplied (after all it was the free version I downloaded so a limited number of instruments).
CaryParticipantJune 20, 2014 at 12:42 pm
Copy the bass and snare drum pattern from the original tune, and program it as a loop in your sequencer. Hi-hat is also very important, so if you can get the three of them sitting where they were originally recorded rhythmically, that should work. If the pattern changes, pick the most used variation and make a 4-bar loop. Use some toms for fills if you want to add to it.
harrisonParticipantJune 20, 2014 at 1:03 pm
The backbeat is the real heart of rock drumming. The basic backbeat boils down to bass drum hits on 1 and 3, and snare drum hits on beats 2 and 4. A stream of 8th notes (constant or syncopated) are played by the right hand on the high-hat or ride cymbal. There are a number of things to think about when sitting down to craft a groove. The first being what the bass player is doing. You see, the bass guitar and bass drum are one instrument played by two people. You want to try and match or hint at the rhythms the bassist is playing with your bass drum. Maybe your playing a rock tune and the bassist is playing a full bar of eighth notes, a real charging kind of feel. You might want play a backbeat with bass drum notes on every eighth note except beats 2 and 4, which is where your snare drum should be.
Checking out some basic drum grooves and seeing them written out can help illuminate the basic patterns of the instrument. Drum notation is quite easy to read actually. Your bass drum is the first F above middle C, snare drum is C an octave above middle C and your cymbal line generally sits at the F, top stave.
I find that many times musicians know more than they think they do about playing the drum set. When you hear a tune, quiet your mind and hear the drums in your head. Sing them! We’ve all got a little drummer man in our heads, you just have to listen to him!
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