Ever want to come up with original drum beats starting from scratch? Any style? Rock, rap, country, or anything else? If you can master the concept of how a drum beat is constructed you can use any software to make any beat you want, from scratch. You can listen to any beat and take it apart and mash it up, remix it, or recreate it. It can even help you on a real drum set. It doesn’t matter what tools you have, the concept is what’s important.
- This is for guitarists who need backing tracks to practice with.
- This is for people new to the drums.
- This is for people who have some software but don’t know where to start.
- This is for people who want to dissect a beat so they can make their own.
Let’s start with the core drums and what they do.
- The bass drum, also know as the kick drum
- The snare drum
- The hi hat, technically not a drum but a cymbal
The bass drum provides the low end thump, it plays on the strong beats, it’s what drives the beat forward. The snare drum plays on the weaker beats or “backbeat”. It helps provide the groove of the beat. The hi hat will play one or more times on every beat. It provides a steady pulse to the beat.
Now Lets Discover Where to Put Each Drum
Music is divided into small, useable units called measures. The majority of radio friendly music uses a 4 beats in measure. Listen to a song you like and you can feel the 4 beat pulse. Each beat in a measure can have 1 or more notes placed into it. So if you placed 2 notes on a beat you’d have 8 notes in 4 beat a measure. So here’s how each drum works. The bass drum goes on beats 1 and 3, like this – 1 2 3 4. The snare drum goes on beats 2 and 4, like this 1 2 3 4. Put them together like this. 1 2 3 4. Now put the hi hat on every beat. 1 2 3 4. That is the basic beat at it’s most simple.
There are things you can do to spice it up like put the hi hat twice on every beat. You can put the bass drum in between beats to give it more drive and momentum. You can move the snare around to give it more groove, but the techniques here, are the fundamentals to building any drum beat from scratch.