#1
I don't know any drummers, so I use midi for the drums. I know plenty of music theory, but I still struggle with writing the drum parts. I kinda know what a double bass is, for example, but don't really know what beats to play it on. I can listen and tell a snare from a tom from a hi hat and all that, but I can't put them together.

I'm going for 80's-ish metal, nothing heavier than say, Megadeth or Metallica. More along the lines of X Japan, if that helps.
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#2
if you use midi then just load up a track from megadeth or whomever (theres tons online, or if you have Guitar Pro you can just use this site) now look at the track how its constructed drum wise and you get a feel for how things can go

when i didnt know how to i would load up a drum track from a guitar pro song that i felt would sort of fit in with a song then would modify it a bit to my liking

hope this helps
#3
Listen to the songs that your influenced by, listen to different styles if you need a different perspective. Being a percussionist, I tend to listen to what the song or piece needs in my work. I find that theres more to drums then just the drum set. But for the 80s, reverb was a big issue. How did I come up with this? Again, listening is the best thing I think you can do
#4
I've been composing drum tracks for a couple of years, and I still have no idea what a double bass is for.

In a nutshell;

Bass drum on 1 and 3, snare on 2 and 4, hi-hat keeps time. Fills at the end of a section.

Start by copying parts from songs you like. See what they do. Do it yourself.
#5
My advice: Have an idea of the band/sound you want or, play melody parts you already have; go to a desk, table, etc., but be sitting in a chair with the table in front of you; create some kind of rhythm consisting of hits on the desk, and "bass kicks" on the floor. Hopefully something comes out.

Or just beat-box.
Caution:
This post may contain my opinion and/or inaccurate information.

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#6
Study the music you like.
  • How do they use the snare? What beats is it on? Is it on the off-beat?
  • What does the bass drum do? Does it follow the guitar, the bass?
  • Do the cymbals simply keep time, or are they an interesting bit of rhythm?
  • How are crash cymbals used, and when?
  • How do they accent the beats? With a snare, maybe a hi-hat?
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