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Thread: Drums recorded before song written.

  1. #1

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    Default Drums recorded before song written.

    I asked my drummer to record some drums for us to work into a song.

    I asked him to explore it because........

    I have done it a lot at home, on my 8track, recording interesting drum patterns and then adding guitar, bass and vocals, keys and percussion, working to the drums I had composed, as a template.

    Today in Pink Usagi Studio (me on bluesharp and Russ on bass) we wrote a song to drums that had been previously recorded.

    The drums were delivered just as I asked, interesting groove, with a certain song structure, a verse, chorus defined, a middle 8 section and an outro.

    It was great fun exploring the idea.

  2. #2

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    Default Re: Drums recorded before song written.

    That's a different way to write a song.

  3. #3

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    Cool idea! Building a song around an established rythum actually makes sense.
    -Brian

    "Too many crappy used drum stuff to list"

    Play the SONG......not the DRUMS!!!

    "I think that feeling is a lot more important than technique. It's all very well doing a triple paradiddle - but who's going to know you've done it? If you play technically you sound like everybody else. It's being original that counts." ~ John Bonham

  4. #4

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    I did that with a friend of mine a long time ago. We recorded me playing a few beats with fills, chorus and what not which he then took home a built several songs around each by adding guitar, bass, keyboard, vocals or whatever he wanted. Some pretty cool songs came out of the experiment.

  5. #5

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    Default Re: Drums recorded before song written.

    When making recordings of written and rehearsed songs, the drums are nearly always recorded first. When completing songs or fully writing them in studio, it's the same. Drums generally just ger recorded first.

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  6. #6

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    Default Re: Drums recorded before song written.

    Years ago during rehearsals, the band would ask me to start playing a beat and they would all come in with their parts as part of a jam. It was a lot of fun and sometimes it went somewhere sometimes it didn't.

    It sure made us a tighter band as we learned what each other's talent levels and styles of playing were.
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  7. #7

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    I was watching an old Black Sabbath video and I was really getting into how Funky Bill Ward's drum parts are.. But I'm pretty certain that the guitar riffs were written first. Because had the funky drum parts had been written first then and I'm going by my own experience I try to match the riff to fit the drum part..with a groove riff.. But the sabbath riffs are more straight 8th note rhythms like "paranoid" for instance..the groovy song I was thinking about I think it was called "hand of doom".

    While I like groove riffs I like straight riffs just as much if not more..and I think you can always add a funky drum groove over a straight 8th rhythm but trying to apply a that stiff 8 guitar riff over a funky groove that is already written in advance is a lot more awkward I find.

  8. #8

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    Default Re: Drums recorded before song written.

    Quote Originally Posted by wired View Post
    I was watching an old Black Sabbath video and I was really getting into how Funky Bill Ward's drum parts are.. But I'm pretty certain that the guitar riffs were written first. Because had the funky drum parts had been written first then and I'm going by my own experience I try to match the riff to fit the drum part..with a groove riff.. But the sabbath riffs are more straight 8th note rhythms like "paranoid" for instance..the groovy song I was thinking about I think it was called "hand of doom".

    While I like groove riffs I like straight riffs just as much if not more..and I think you can always add a funky drum groove over a straight 8th rhythm but trying to apply a that stiff 8 guitar riff over a funky groove that is already written in advance is a lot more awkward I find.
    Sabbath didn't write in the studio, not like the OP is. They probably recorded the instruments live and then the vocals after, at least on the early albums. By the eighties it became common to record all the instruments one at a time and in this setting the drums are the foundation of the recording. Programming drums and then playing around until you get something cool on guitar or vocals is done all the time. It's not exactly songwriting as I see it, but the end result is music. It's outcome is just sort of random, while I think of songwriting as crafting music and melody into your vision.
    Last edited by SunDog; 11-27-2015 at 11:20 AM.

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  9. #9

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    Default Re: Drums recorded before song written.

    Quote Originally Posted by SunDog View Post
    When making recordings of written and rehearsed songs, the drums are nearly always recorded first. When completing songs or fully writing them in studio, it's the same. Drums generally just ger recorded first.
    Doesn't that just kill the concept of the bass-drums "rhythm section connection" everybody rants about is necessary for a great band?
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  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by slinglander View Post
    Doesn't that just kill the concept of the bass-drums "rhythm section connection" everybody rants about is necessary for a great band?
    No because the entire band is playing (isolated) on "scratch" tracks. The drummer can hear everyone the same as in a rehearsal, only canned. The guitarists and bassist can even be in the room with the drums, just not the amps. The illusion is complete. The bassist will then record to the drum tracks and scratch tracks. Wala, the illusion is real. Close your eyes with the headphones on and you cannot tell the difference between the recording and the genuine article. These days with pro-tools and other editing software you can record everything together, warts and all, and then fix any mistakes in post, but you still want to work the drums first in post to give the song it's final time signature before fixing the other instruments.
    Last edited by SunDog; 12-24-2015 at 02:17 PM.

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