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For Me, Starting a Beat with the Drums a Rarity

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Of Course there’s Nothing Wrong with Starting a Beat with the Drums; However, in Some Cases, It May Be Limiting

By AMIR SAID (SA’ID)

When beginning a new beat, I almost never start with the drums, no matter what type of beat that I’m making. And even for those beats that I have started with the drums, I’ve always recognized the fact that in some ways, starting with the drums can limit your creative flexibility. I say this because when you start with the drums, you typically wind up having to fit (match) things to the drums rather than the other way round. In other words, starting with the drums first pretty much locks you in to that one drum program/pattern and theme (or variation thereof), leaving little room for new direction.

On the other hand, starting with the non-drums first often seems to leave more room (flexibility). In fact, for me, I’ve always found that starting a beat off with non-drum allows me to imagine (“visualize”) the various drum approaches that could work. Often, this tends to leave me with more room for intuitive creativity.


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About Author

Amir Said (aka Sa’id) is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of BeatTips. A writer, publisher, and beatmaker/rapper from New York, Said is the author of a number of books, including ‘The BeatTips Manual,’ ‘The Art of Sampling,’ ‘Ghetto Brother,’ and ‘The Truth About New York.’ He is also a recording artist with a number of music projects, including his latest album 'The Best of Times.' Follow him on Twitter at: @amirsaid and @BeatTipsManual

  • i totally agree with what your saying, i absolutely hate starting out with drums because i can’t think of anything to do with it. i like playing out a melody first then working my drums around it. good post though!