#1
Hey guys!

I've been playing the guitar for quite some time and decided to do some home recording.
Since presampled drum tracks never quite offered what I was looking for, I treated myself with EZDrummer today (hey, it says easy in the name!) and played around a bit....to find out I have no concept of drumming whatsoever.

When I play a riff on guitar I have a general idea of where I am in relation to everything else. Meaning I know which notes I'm playing and what I could play to build upon it.
When it comes to creating a drum line that would fit a certain riff...I'm just lost.

Sure, I can just fiddle around till I end up with something that kinda sounds right and kinda sounds like something a real drummer might have played after he had 12 beers and fell backwards in his drum kit....but I don't think this is the most effective way.

So...what I'm looking for is some kind of guide to teach me basic concepts of drumming, preferably in a metal oriented context.
Any other tips on how to build up a drum track are highly appreciated, too.
#2
Honestly, just open up guitar pro files and watch the drum tracks. That's all I did, and nobody has ever said anything negative about my drum writing when I post my music here. Hell, when I had a band my drummer played I wrote half the time. Maybe watch some beginner drum lessons on youtube too, and then some videos on doing fills.
#3
Get some rythym theory training, there are so many websites that are great for theory training, you just have to search for them. or get a drummer...
#4
Get a drummer, or, as said above, rhythm theory. Where beats fall in your riffs, and the such...
Understand nothing, in order to learn everything.

Quote by liampje
I can write a coherent tune ... But 3/4? I play rock, not polka.
#5
Quote by vampirelazarus
Get a drummer, or, as said above, rhythm theory. Where beats fall in your riffs, and the such...


Just search some information about basic drum beats (Internet) and listen to your favorite bands play. You won't make heads of tails of it unless you know what drums/cymbals make what sounds, so just listen to each drum play.

I'll start you off: Bass! Snare! Bass! Snare!

Or even: Bass! Snare! Bass-bass Snare!
Nothing that is worthwhile in life will ever come easy.
#7
Listen to music similar to the stuff you right, and see how it's used. Become familiar with the various parts that make up percussion, and try to reduce something to its base parts.

For example, perhaps the cymbals are keeping the beat in 4/4 while the bass drum follows the guitar and bass? Maybe the cymbals are playing a nice rhythm with a 4/4 bass beat beneath. How is the snare used? Usually I use it on the off-beat, or if I want a slower feel I'll put it on the third beat in 4/4.

It just comes from listening to and dissecting how others use percussion.
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#8
Quote by Macabre_Turtle
Honestly, just open up guitar pro files and watch the drum tracks. That's all I did, and nobody has ever said anything negative about my drum writing when I post my music here.

This is what I did too. It did take a fair amount of practice/trial & error though... would probably have been much quicker if I'd also read some good books or had some lessons. Oh well...
#9
Quote by Macabre_Turtle
Honestly, just open up guitar pro files and watch the drum tracks. That's all I did, and nobody has ever said anything negative about my drum writing when I post my music here. Hell, when I had a band my drummer played I wrote half the time. Maybe watch some beginner drum lessons on youtube too, and then some videos on doing fills.

This.

And to add, listen. I don't know why everyone forgets to do this, but just listen. Put on your favorite music and instead of listening to the guitar or vocals listen to the drums. Figure out how the drums interplay with the guitar, bass, vocals, etc., and then add that to your drum writing.

I've been programming drums in GP (and will continue to do so) for years now and I still find new things to play around with. Maybe I only have one chance to do something, but I do it.

I'm in the same vein as Macabre: I frequently get complimented on my drum writing abilities in GP.
#10
The main purpose of percussion is to keep the beat, if you lose context of that, you can end up with something fantastic (rarely) or something terrible. If you're just writing basic drums your main goal is to have snare hits on 2 and 4. You can mix hi-hat 16th note combinations with bass drum hits on the 1st and 3rd beats and everything in the the beats of 2 and 4 except for the on beat.
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#11
Er... try the drums forum?

Generally in metal the drummer plays time on the hi-hat, so, constant quarter notes or 8th notes.

The kick drum will usually be on beats 1 and 3, and may follow the accents of syncopated riffs. There's loads of variation on kick drum patterns but they're usually based around 1 and 3.

The snare drum will usually be on beats 2 and 4.

Will leave this here but do go to the drum forum and start reading.
#12
Thanks for the input, guys.

Looking at the Guitar Pro files is a great idea, actually. And of course really start listening. Thinking about it, I never really analyzed the drum parts of songs. Always focused on guitars.
In my band days I never got involved in the drum parts. All I ever managed to play on drums was the usual kick-snare-kick-snare beat.

Anway, thanks again. So much to learn.
#13
Bassdrum for the rhythm.
Snare for the accent. Downtempo groove....
Hit Hat as ornamentation and for atmosphere
plus toms a kind of mix of atmospheric drum...

That doesnt mean this is a final definition. but the basic.

There wont be a drum groove without a snare at the 2th 4th quarter or 1th and 3th quarter...
And a song without bassdrum has no woomz!! xD

For Metal it is basically the easiest way to describe... most metal music needs drum that simulate the guitar and backwards...

The guitar pro stuff is ok but drummer will often do some details different.
There are many simple blast beats on tabs there.

You will find out that the drumm will do more variation
emphasis through crashes etc.

and there alot of offbeat blast that sound better as onbeat.
so dont be too limited.

I basicly write a bass drumline put on the snare for a groove, downtempo, prog accent
and set some hithats. The more these elements differ from another by rythm the less drummers youwill find that can do it.

e.g. a bassdrum snare and hit /tom section with alot of variation +

It will be like a guitar playing rythm solo and singing at once.

So the magic to know is to know what beat it needs. groove , triplet
etc..
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#14
Okay, so we're getting specific now...
If you want your drums to sound realistic, use fills. Fills are little variations in the pattern, usually every few bars or at the end of a section, that help indicate where the song is. Again, look into some tabs, and watch for the parts where the pattern changes for a bar or two.
#15
Quote by soviet_ska
Just search some information about basic drum beats (Internet) and listen to your favorite bands play. You won't make heads of tails of it unless you know what drums/cymbals make what sounds, so just listen to each drum play.

I'll start you off: Bass! Snare! Bass! Snare!

Or even: Bass! Snare! Bass-bass Snare!


Am I the only person who thought of "Living After Midnight" by Judas Priest at the "Bass! Snare! Bass-bass Snare!" bit?

That comment aside, this is exactly what I would do in your situation.
#16
Quote by stickfigurekill
Am I the only person who thought of "Living After Midnight" by Judas Priest at the "Bass! Snare! Bass-bass Snare!" bit?


No, I was thinking of MC Lars' "...with the kick, snare, kick kick snare".

I'll start you off: Bass! Snare! Bass! Snare!

Or even: Bass! Snare! Bass-bass Snare!


You'd be surprised just how much mileage you can get out of this.