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Jim S.
post Sep 6 2014, 03:17 PM
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Hey everyone I want to talk about writing realistic drum grooves and fills unique to an original song. I'm working with superior drummer and am finding a lot of fun stacking drums and getting killer drum tones. The problem I'm having is making the drums sound real when put to a song I'm writing. Currently I'm taking free video lessons on many different techniques that real drummers practice and have been implementing those ideas inside a drum program.

Here's is one of the videos I'm taking info from. It's on ghost notes and this has really helped add some life to my drum beats. I'd like to know how you guys started writing drums, what did you study? Please fill me in on any avenue I should explore. Thanks everyone!
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Cosmin Lupu
post Sep 6 2014, 03:33 PM
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Hey Jim smile.gif Writing drums, proved to be one of the BEST things I ever did for my musical development smile.gif

Learning to understand how a drummer sees things and how he sustains a song is a vital element in understanding how to write a song and I think that you should start out by picking up 3 of your favorite tunes - be sure not to pick the most complex ones and begin analyzing their structure from a drummer's perspective:

- song parts
- groove types
- tempo
- breaks involved
- drum elements involved - so you can build your set in the DAW

Once you did this, start writing out the grooves and put them together by tying them up with the appropriate breaks executed by the drummer in that band smile.gif

How have you been approaching things so far?


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Jim S.
post Sep 6 2014, 03:59 PM
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QUOTE (Cosmin Lupu @ Sep 6 2014, 10:33 AM) *
Hey Jim smile.gif Writing drums, proved to be one of the BEST things I ever did for my musical development smile.gif

Learning to understand how a drummer sees things and how he sustains a song is a vital element in understanding how to write a song and I think that you should start out by picking up 3 of your favorite tunes - be sure not to pick the most complex ones and begin analyzing their structure from a drummer's perspective:

- song parts
- groove types
- tempo
- breaks involved
- drum elements involved - so you can build your set in the DAW

Once you did this, start writing out the grooves and put them together by tying them up with the appropriate breaks executed by the drummer in that band smile.gif

How have you been approaching things so far?


Well so far I've only been concerned with finishing my own songs. That is frustrating because the drums and bass parts I desire are out of my league. I wanted to talk with you about something. When I started here I told you I was picking my favorite songs and covering them. I got side tracked with lessons here and trying to develop a nice tone. I think I'd like to pick a new song again and work on covering all parts. I'm leaning toward this one,

The drums seem pretty straightforward and the guitar is as challenging as it can be. What are you thoughts?
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Gabriel Leopardi
post Sep 6 2014, 05:26 PM
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This is a very interesting topic. From my experience, a good drum arrangement can convert a ok song in a great one. It's awesome how important the right groove with the right fills and arrangements are for a song in progress. Every time I feel stuck with a song, I start to work on drum details, and give it a more realistic arrangement and sound and most of the times, the new track gives me more ideas to continue the song.

I think that the best way to improve our drum composition ability is transcribing the drums of songs that we like. Record the drum tracks in the same way that you record or write your own tracks and you will expand your drum vocabulary, you will learn which things work, which ones note and your tracks will definitely sound better.


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Jim S.
post Sep 6 2014, 05:34 PM
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QUOTE (Gabriel Leopardi @ Sep 6 2014, 12:26 PM) *
This is a very interesting topic. From my experience, a good drum arrangement can convert a ok song in a great one. It's awesome how important the right groove with the right fills and arrangements are for a song in progress. Every time I feel stuck with a song, I start to work on drum details, and give it a more realistic arrangement and sound and most of the times, the new track gives me more ideas to continue the song.

I think that the best way to improve our drum composition ability is transcribing the drums of songs that we like. Record the drum tracks in the same way that you record or write your own tracks and you will expand your drum vocabulary, you will learn which things work, which ones note and your tracks will definitely sound better.

Thanks Gab!

Here's how I plan to do my first drum cover of Greg Howes button up.
I'm loading the original version in logic as reference. I'm also loading the backing track to isolate drum and bass.
Next I plan to start matching every bass and snare and continue through the kit 1 by 1. After that I'm going to work on the bass guitar then rhythm then lead.

How does that sound?
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Gabriel Leopardi
post Sep 6 2014, 06:20 PM
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QUOTE (Jim S. @ Sep 6 2014, 01:34 PM) *
Thanks Gab!

Here's how I plan to do my first drum cover of Greg Howes button up.
I'm loading the original version in logic as reference. I'm also loading the backing track to isolate drum and bass.
Next I plan to start matching every bass and snare and continue through the kit 1 by 1. After that I'm going to work on the bass guitar then rhythm then lead.

How does that sound?



yes, that sounds great. Using the backing track is very helpful because you can focus on drum details. It's also important to have a good Drum vsti, what are you using?

Once you write the different sections it's important to work on humanizing the drums. A drummer cannot play everything the the exact intensity and tight as a machine so giving some variations will make your drum track sound more real. I don't use logic, but maybe this videos can help you:






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Jim S.
post Sep 6 2014, 06:42 PM
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QUOTE (Gabriel Leopardi @ Sep 6 2014, 01:20 PM) *
yes, that sounds great. Using the backing track is very helpful because you can focus on drum details. It's also important to have a good Drum vsti, what are you using?

Once you write the different sections it's important to work on humanizing the drums. A drummer cannot play everything the the exact intensity and tight as a machine so giving some variations will make your drum track sound more real. I don't use logic, but maybe this videos can help you:





Thanks, I'm using superior drummer and am familiar with velocity functions. Once I establish the a solid click and match tempo I'll work on getting the bass drum and snare match tone of the backing then start plugging away. Once I get the main notes in ill start working on the ghost notes on snare.

Great videos btw. I didn't realize you could humanize a whole midi track! That should save some serious time. Wow

This post has been edited by Jim S.: Sep 6 2014, 06:45 PM
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Cosmin Lupu
post Sep 7 2014, 09:05 AM
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Hey Jim smile.gif I think it's a good one to start writing drums for - come to think of it, I realized I haven't been listening to this one for a long, long time now. It's actually one of my favorite tunes from Greg - but in respect to the guitar part, I think you need to apply a thorough learning approach:

- figure out the song structure
- tonality
- scales used and harmony
- use a software that can slow things down so that you may sort it out by ear
- rehearse the parts over the slowed down original so that you may be able to understand and feel all the important phrasing details

This song is not easy and you should be prepared to give it a lot of time, if you want it to come out uber nicely played, with groove and articulation.

That's how I'd approach things and I am looking forward to hearing your thoughts.

QUOTE (Jim S. @ Sep 6 2014, 02:59 PM) *
Well so far I've only been concerned with finishing my own songs. That is frustrating because the drums and bass parts I desire are out of my league. I wanted to talk with you about something. When I started here I told you I was picking my favorite songs and covering them. I got side tracked with lessons here and trying to develop a nice tone. I think I'd like to pick a new song again and work on covering all parts. I'm leaning toward this one,

The drums seem pretty straightforward and the guitar is as challenging as it can be. What are you thoughts?



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Jim S.
post Sep 7 2014, 02:14 PM
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QUOTE (Cosmin Lupu @ Sep 7 2014, 04:05 AM) *
Hey Jim smile.gif I think it's a good one to start writing drums for - come to think of it, I realized I haven't been listening to this one for a long, long time now. It's actually one of my favorite tunes from Greg - but in respect to the guitar part, I think you need to apply a thorough learning approach:

- figure out the song structure
- tonality
- scales used and harmony
- use a software that can slow things down so that you may sort it out by ear
- rehearse the parts over the slowed down original so that you may be able to understand and feel all the important phrasing details

This song is not easy and you should be prepared to give it a lot of time, if you want it to come out uber nicely played, with groove and articulation.

That's how I'd approach things and I am looking forward to hearing your thoughts.

With all respects to Greg Howe this is going to be the hardest lessons of my guitar life. I'm excited to see how far I can get.

Here's what I've found so far. The tempo varies throughout the track +\- 1bpm 106.5-107.2 bpm. It took me 2hours to time a click track to it. The drums do have some complex parts but the guitar will be my biggest obstacle. The bass guitar ain't no joke either. I'm gonna keep peeling the layers and see how much I can learn. Your dead on, this is gonna take some serious time.
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thefireball
post Sep 7 2014, 09:44 PM
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Check this out. I signed up to this course online on programming drums. I'm halfway through the series of videos.

CREATIVE LIVE METAL DRUM PROGRAMMING


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Cosmin Lupu
post Sep 8 2014, 07:36 AM
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QUOTE (Jim S. @ Sep 7 2014, 01:14 PM) *
With all respects to Greg Howe this is going to be the hardest lessons of my guitar life. I'm excited to see how far I can get.

Here's what I've found so far. The tempo varies throughout the track +\- 1bpm 106.5-107.2 bpm. It took me 2hours to time a click track to it. The drums do have some complex parts but the guitar will be my biggest obstacle. The bass guitar ain't no joke either. I'm gonna keep peeling the layers and see how much I can learn. Your dead on, this is gonna take some serious time.


Hey JiM smile.gif

I was thinking that, regardless of how much you love Greg's works, this could be a bit of a hinderance to your initial purpose. I would choose an easier piece that could provide results a bit faster than this one. Try to think about songs which won't take up months to learn and master. You need to go through as many examples as possible, in respect to learning and applying drum grooves, fills and styles and a song at this level, would kind of get you sidetracked. Please let me know what your thoughts are smile.gif


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Caelumamittendum
post Sep 8 2014, 11:30 AM
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I've linked to these videos in another thread, but I thought they were worth sharing again:





And then these might be helpful as well:





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Jim S.
post Sep 8 2014, 12:23 PM
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QUOTE (thefireball @ Sep 7 2014, 04:44 PM) *
Check this out. I signed up to this course online on programming drums. I'm halfway through the series of videos.

CREATIVE LIVE METAL DRUM PROGRAMMING


Hey Fireball I will definitely check out those lessons! Thanks

QUOTE (Cosmin Lupu @ Sep 8 2014, 02:36 AM) *
Hey JiM smile.gif

I was thinking that, regardless of how much you love Greg's works, this could be a bit of a hinderance to your initial purpose. I would choose an easier piece that could provide results a bit faster than this one. Try to think about songs which won't take up months to learn and master. You need to go through as many examples as possible, in respect to learning and applying drum grooves, fills and styles and a song at this level, would kind of get you sidetracked. Please let me know what your thoughts are smile.gif


Hey Cosmin you know how inspiration can take you somewhere? I'm inspired to drive the road even if it may be a dead end. Ive commit to at least making the drum track which is moving along quite nicely. I know that the guitar parts are out of my league but something tells me to go ahead and try. If I get to a point where I'm going circles or its too frustrating then Ill pull the plug. So far I'm having fun.

QUOTE (Caelumamittendum @ Sep 8 2014, 06:30 AM) *
I've linked to these videos in another thread, but I thought they were worth sharing again:





And then these might be helpful as well:





Hey Man I believe your post was the one that really got me going about writing drums. I have seen the first two and put the second set in que. Thanks for the sharing the vids man!
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Gabriel Leopardi
post Sep 8 2014, 02:16 PM
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There is a lot of great stuff on this topic. Just to add some more cool tutorials I would like to remind you that we have some nice drum lessons at GMC, did you remember it?

https://www.guitarmasterclass.net/instructor/Kyle-Logue/


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Cosmin Lupu
post Sep 9 2014, 07:41 AM
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Hey Jim smile.gif As long as its fun and you are enjoying the time you put in this endeavor, things are ok. What I was trying to say here, was that by picking up another tune which wouldn't be so demanding you would've gotten through the process faster and had a final product with all the instruments done - It's all about little steps that could transform in bigger steps gradually wink.gif But, since you already got to work, I'd be curious to see a first sketch when you find it appropriate to share, so that we may discuss the playing and the drum writing wink.gif

This post has been edited by Cosmin Lupu: Sep 9 2014, 07:41 AM


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Jim S.
post Sep 13 2014, 12:06 AM
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So a little update: I'm making good progress with Superior Drummer while covering Greg Howe's Button Up. It's a very slow process but am getting faster as I get more familiar with inserting rhythm patterns and adding velocity to each note specific to Greg's song.

I've never listened so carefully to the drums in a track. I can almost completely block every other instrument from my mind and focus on these things.

1. What type of drum and how is he striking it.
2. Where are the accents or ghost notes
3. How do I match the sound with SD?

An old guitar teacher once related music with engine repair. He said "once you tear a few apart you'll start realizing how all the parts work." I agreed with him but never explored this idea. See you can read all the engine building books but you'll never really understand how a Valve works until you see the cam push it open and shut. Same might be said with music theory.

I haven't picked up my guitar in a week but I'm having fun learning about writing drums.

With this song I'm learning that the drummer keeps fairly steady then out of nowhere throws in some tasty fills. I'm just getting to the part of the song where drum And bass start ripping so we will how I get through.
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Cosmin Lupu
post Sep 13 2014, 03:32 PM
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Hey Jim smile.gif there's a lot of detail in drumming as it is in playing the guitar - I am very glad that you are starting to learn and observe! Will you share your progress so far? smile.gif


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Jim S.
post Sep 13 2014, 06:07 PM
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QUOTE (Cosmin Lupu @ Sep 13 2014, 10:32 AM) *
Hey Jim smile.gif there's a lot of detail in drumming as it is in playing the guitar - I am very glad that you are starting to learn and observe! Will you share your progress so far? smile.gif


And as I was bouncing the stems my computer froze and I lost 1/2 of my work. Really pissed but I should have saved my work this morning. I even thought about it too. I'll try to get where I was and send some tracks tomorrow morning.

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Cosmin Lupu
post Sep 14 2014, 11:32 PM
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QUOTE (Jim S. @ Sep 13 2014, 05:07 PM) *
And as I was bouncing the stems my computer froze and I lost 1/2 of my work. Really pissed but I should have saved my work this morning. I even thought about it too. I'll try to get where I was and send some tracks tomorrow morning.


Looking forward to that, but is the project ok? I had a few of these surprises along time and the whole thing restarted. I remember that more than I would like it, the progress was lost..


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Jim S.
post Sep 15 2014, 12:18 AM
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QUOTE (Cosmin Lupu @ Sep 14 2014, 06:32 PM) *
Looking forward to that, but is the project ok? I had a few of these surprises along time and the whole thing restarted. I remember that more than I would like it, the progress was lost..


No I lost almost everything, all the drum settings and most of my editing. I was pretty upset because I lost a 2 days of work but I'm actually more inspired to do a better job knowing that with the deletion if my work so were the mistakes I knew I had to fix anyway. I played guitar this weekend for a second but going back to drum programming starting in the am.

I'll send over my progress as soon as I feel comfortable in my work. Thanks for the support!
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