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Programming Drums

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Hi everyone, I would like to get into computer music, and currently I'm an average pianist, so I can read and play music - but I have no idea how to program drums. I wouldn't know how to lay out a beat, and wouldn't know the difference between a hi-hat and a snare. The problem is though, that I don't want to learn how to *play* the drums (so, buying a "playing the drums for dummies" book is useless to me (or is it?), but I want to learn how to lay out a drum loop and know where to use what drum part where. Any useful tutorials on the web out there? Or some advice? Cheers, Sandbar.

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My advice is, listen to the drums in music! Seriously. Listen very carefully and analyze the patterns. You really can't boil down general drum programming into easy to understand tips... at least I am not qualified to do it. ;) It mostly depends on what style you want to write. 4/4 rock styles IMO are the easiest to write, so here are a couple of barebones rock patterns:

OH: X---X---X---X---
SN: --X---X---X---X-
BD: X---XX--X---XX--

OH: X---X---X---X---
SN: --X---X---X---X-
BD: X--X-X--X--X-X--

Each character is a 16th note. OH stands for open high-hat, SN stands for snare, BD stands for bass drum. You can replace the open hats with closed hats, or a combination of closed and open.



Honestly I don't know if any of this will be helpful... I've been programming my own drums for a year and half or so, and I still feel like a bit of a noob. It definitely takes experience and practice, just like a real drummer would require. Maybe pick up some kind of book on drumming... I know you don't want to be a drummer, but obviously all drummers have to know this stuff, so even if you don't play you easily use it to program drums.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Just try laying out something ordinary and plain at first. 8th note high hats, a snare on 2 and 4, and a bass kick on 1 and 3. From there just add a couple double beats on the bass drum, maybe a few extra snare hits. Work up from something simple.

You may find this helpful as well How to make original drum tracks

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Quote:
My advice is, listen to the drums in music! Seriously. Listen very carefully and analyze the patterns. You really can't boil down general drum programming into easy to understand tips...

Yeah, I guess I shouldn't be too lazy. :) I was hoping there was an easy formula that I could apply without having to think too much (it's never the way though is it :)).

Thanks for the tips though guys - oh, and great link Pemaden. Ratings ++ for everybody! Cheers!

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