Drum and bass music gets overlooked by drummers a lot of the time, however it is a fast style that will be able to improve your overall playing and speed.
Drum and bass is one of the fastest styles of drumming out there. Most beats are played at a bpm of around 170.
This is almost twice as fast as many rock and metal beats. If you want to produce a good drum and bass track then you must understand what is required from the drum kit first, as this is the fundamental aspect of playing this specific style.
Most drum and bass music is played in the 4/4 time signature. This means that there will be four beats to every bar of music. When you are programming the drum machine you should always ensure that you understand this rule.
The first part of the drum kit you should place into the time sequence is the bass drum. This will provide the driving beat of the song. However when it’s on its own the beat will sound empty. This is where the snare drum and hi-hats come in.
Placing either the snare drum or hi-hat on the off beat (the parts in between the bass drum) will ensure that the beat sound complete. This is where you should feel free to experiment.
Once you have the main beat down you should start to build on it. You can do this by changing bars slightly. This will keep the beat interesting and will add changes throughout the track. This is very important as nobody will want to listen to the same thing over and over again.
This will give you some more variety to your track. By using a pitch shifter you will be able to make the beat sound as high or low as you want. This can be a good tool for changes in your track, such as moving from a verse to a chorus.
Also, adjusting the dynamics of the song is important. Some sections need to louder than others. This will again add variation to the song.
Adding the bass equally is as important as the drums themselves. The bass provides the melody and follows the beat of the song. At this point a lot of drummers, or producers would increase the pitch of the bass drum itself to provide more of a pumping sound.
Remember, you don’t have to have an electronic drum kit to practice these techniques. Many drum and bass producers and DJ’s use live musicians at concerts. This can be a great way to make yourself stand out as a producer or drummer. The same rules apply with drum and bass regardless of whether you’re playing the acoustic or electric drum kit.
Drum and bass can be a great style to incorporate into other genres and in recent years we have seen the emergence of many new styles in the dance music scene, such as; dubstep, hardcore and tech-metal.
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