The Perfect Mix of Drums and Guitar

If you and your drummer are having trouble deciding where each one of your solos will go, or who should ultimately carry the flow of the song look no further.

Ultimate Guitar

We all know the drill, your drummer comes up with an awesome loop and fill for a song however it doesn't work too well with the also awesome riff that you came up with. Sometimes all the solution is is a small change of tempo, because most drum loops can go to almost any song. Or maybe you can slightly move around the solos and fills for each, because it really doesn't sound all to good when two solos are going on at once. Give each other your chances to shine.

Remember the drums do not have to be just a small footnote to a great riff, a shining example of this is Iron Man, or almost any other Black Sabbath song. The drummer almost always did his own thing in every song while the guitarist busted out the chorus riffs and solos, however remember that you should never mix a drum solo and a guitar solo together, however you can have one or two of each in one song.

However there are some songs in which either drums or guitar just have to be dominate because one or the other is truly groundbreaking. A perfect example of guitar heavy songs are songs such as Sunshine Of Your Love by Cream, Above Me by Ruifo and Stairway To Heaven by Led Zeppelin. However the best example by far that I can think of is Smoke On The Water by Deep Purple, during the famous riff all the drummer is really doing is riding on the hi hats.

Although not as common but definitely should not be frowned upon are songs that chiefly driven by the drums. There are hardly any songs that are totally run by drums, however there are some songs in which the guitars are considered an after thought or are below average so the song must be carried on the back of the drummer. Many people may disagree with me but I believe that My Sherona by The Knack is mainly driven by the drums. Many songs by the band A Static Lullaby are mainly driven by drums. Also almost any hip-hop song is driven mainly by drums.

In conclusion in order to make a truly unique and great sounding song, both drums and guitar should be taken very seriously, and by the influence of Black Sabbath they don't exactly have to mix, each of you should just do your own thing.

Note: I am a drummer and I apologize if I speak too much from a drummer's point of view. And I am writing under the notion that you are a guitarist.

24 comments sorted by best / new / date

    you cant have 2 solos goin on at the same time. NO DUH. They wouldnt be solos then, would they? you can have a drum beat, or dueling solos...will be forgeotten
    umm nuthing ther..u hav stated the obvious....u could go into more depth on well lik EVERYTHG....
    "throw away your television", by the chili peppers is very bass and drum driven
    what about the bass?...anyway you should listen to some ska and then think over what you just wrote...
    Geldof the Grey
    man, too short + not a great concept, this will be forgotten. You needed more detail and less name-dropping. You could really do with rethinking this column and trying to give more advice. Show how guitar riffs can follow the drums or vice-versa and how they can be interlocked to form a single, rhythmic riff (this is most effectively done with bass. you can use tabbed examples, rhythm playing tips and all sorts of things like that. If you want help improving anything you [b]do write, then come see the friendly guys at the columns forum. We'll sort you out. and, Why can't you have drum/guitar duelling solos? There goes all my songs...
    Bass is the most understated instrument in ROCK. With an amazin bass riff you can make a boring chord progression sound a bit more interesting.
    Ace From Space
    Pretty good article. Another song that I think is driven by drums (at least the intro) is "We're Not Gonna Take It" by Twisted Sister. "Sympathy for the Devil" by the Rolling Stones is also mostly drums and piano up until the guitar solo kicks in.
    Captain Colon
    Not really that much substance, you basically listed some songs where either guitar or drums were the main part of the song.
    Yeah you're pretty close to right, drums have alot to do with it... The way my band kinda does it is someone writes lyrics, then the singer sings them, and I write a guitar riff (followed by bass) and the drummer writes to the guitar/bass of the song, it turns out really good. Drums are good, very good. You can't have a slack-assed drummer because they put in lots of little touches that make every song kick that much more ass..
    well it was interesting, very short but nonetheless flawless advice 4 stars maybe?
    most blink-182 songs before their latest untitled are driven by drums, not so much in a volume perspective but definately in ways of talent
    only got 1 star so far... and im feeling lazy so i aint gonna read it until it has a better rating