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Thread: How do you come up with parts?

  1. #1

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    Default How do you come up with parts?

    Im really into writing songs and right now in my band i pretty much can come up with any drum beat and we will make a song out of it. I really only show them my best stuff and as of yesterday i've just been recording videos of myself jamming to get ideas because my memory isnt so good. I have made 5 videos already and i like some stuff a lot of it is just messing around but when i play something good i mess with it and have it recorded! What are some other ways you guys come up with songs or drum parts?
    shooba dooba daba shooba doobadooba dabba

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  2. #2

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    Default Re: How do you come up with parts?

    I'm not in a band or anything but sometimes if I get a cool drum idea I beatbox it or click my teeth to the beat.

  3. #3

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    Default Re: How do you come up with parts?

    My method:
    #1)-Hours and hours of improv playing with a guitar player and then hours and hours of going over the recorded rehearsals and editing the recordings into small sections of song ideas.
    #2)-The building process continues as these small song sections are given a beginning, middle and end.
    #3)-Once the song idea contains those three parts, (beginning, middle and end) a framework is established on where the chorus and verses lie.
    #4)-The rhythm "hooks" are polished and the song starts to take life of its own. Tempo and dynamics changes will continue to evolve during this "vetting" process.

    To illustrate my maddness to my method, here is a "skank" beat that I discovered when I was shuffling through a recent jam session. It has no beginning because it was an idea that just morph'd out of nowhere but it does have an ending. As I recall, the "skank" beat was an afterthought when the previous improv tune fell apart during the actual jam session that day.

    Warning: Not meant for the "easy listening" genre:


    The next step will be #2 as the "skank" beat continues its polishing phase and a beginning is added. Then I'll start adding double bass fills to give the rhythm some hard metal flavor, and record again and eventually tighten the song to a point where lyrics (if any is avail.) can be tried out and tested to see if they fit.

    During this collaborative effort, we haven't successfully reached the lyric part yet since neither me or the guitar player sings (we do write poetry) so it looks rather bleak on that front but we're still working out the rough details of tempo, and dynamics on all of the orginal tunes recorded thus far.
    Last edited by late8; 06-10-2010 at 06:43 PM.

  4. #4

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    Default Re: How do you come up with parts?

    For me it depends on 3 things, the music, the type of music and who I'm playing with.

    If it's straigth forward pop or rock then I listen to the music and it dictates what's to be played. If it's jazz or prog then I still listen to the music but I pay attention to the nuances of the music which will dictate if the drumming should be played with or against other things going on in the music. The 3rd consideration, who I'm playing with is probably the most important. Ask who you're playing with what it is they expect with the music. There are groups out there that are all about making music that "the crowd" likes, and then there are groups out there that are all about making music they like and they don't care what anyone else thinks. This makes a big difference with how you fit in as a drummer. Probably more so then any other instrument.

    Regardless, a good groove will always feel right, and something that doesn't groove with the music just wont sound right. Figuring this out is another of the many aspects of drumming that gets better as you mature as a drummer. By maturity I mean time and experience. It has nothing to do with age and it comes quicker to some then others.

    Just remember, it's about the music and not yourself or anyone else in the band and you'll do fine.

  5. #5

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    YODA. Pretty funny that you mention clicking your teeth to a drum idea. I do the same thing. One day I will more than likely grind my teeth down to nubs if I don't stop.

  6. #6

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    Default Re: How do you come up with parts?

    I'm a tooth clicker too, nice to know i'm not the only one, I thought it was a bit weird.

    To the original poster - depending on what type of music you're playing you should go about it like so:

    If it's just your standard rock/pop/indie etc. I suggest sitting down with your bass player to see exactly what he does so that you can then accent key notes with the kick drum and then do the same with the guitar and put key accents on the snare, then make the part more interesting by playing ghost notes around it.

    If it's for a solo, for example a jazz piece that i'm practicing at the moment, the way I went about that was by listening to the whole piece a few times and taking note of the melody. I then listened to where I would be playing the solo, and as it happens there is no melody, just some bass notes. I wrote the bass notes down on manuscript so I knew when they were coming and left the rest blank. As the music plays, I then think of a melody, similar to what has already been played in the piece, in my head and play it around the kit. Granted, it's not heard as a melody as it's not melodic but if you play the melody and add your own little fancy bits to it, you can make a pretty mean drum solo.

    Hope this helps

  7. #7

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    Default Re: How do you come up with parts?

    I listen to the piece several times to get the parts into my head--there is sometimes a natural feel that will help you understand where natural breaks, etc., might me. A lot of this also depends on what "chops" you can bring to any song. More experience with different styles and rudiments you have, more naturally you have a good size menu of things to apply.
    "I consider every drummer that ever played before me an influence, in every way." (Buddy Rich)

    "How do you keep 90 people together with one stick? I've got two sticks and i can't keep 5 people together." (Ian Paice)

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