For Many Beatmakers, Getting the Beat Started with the Drum Sounds or Non-Drum Sounds is Part of a Creative System
|By AMIR SAID (SA’ID)|
For this BeatTips Readers Poll™, the aim is to see how everyone else likes to start their beats: Drum sounds first, or non-drum sounds first, or sometimes drum sounds first, sometimes non-drum sounds first? Interested to see if there will be a consensus. Feel free to post comments.
Drums. Every beatmaker knows their importance, but each one of us takes a slightly different approach to how we cook ’em. And even before we get into the finer details of flipping our drums and locking in our drum programming, we all have a preference for when we start work on the drums.
My default approach is to start with non-drum sounds. A major part of my creative system is seeing the music in my head without the drums. I’ve gone through great lengths to customize my drum sounds, so much so that when I pull sounds from my drum sound library (to match), they’re the right ones—95% of the time—for what I’m trying to do musically. Therefore, when I’m making a beat, I like gather the riffs and non-drum tones first, before I assemble the drum arrangement.
Still, there are sometimes I’ll start with drum sounds to get a beat going. But this depends on the mood that I’m in and the direction that I want to go in expressing that mood, or if I’m making a sample-based joint or a non-sample-based one. More often than not, when I’m making a non-sample-based beat (which I play outlive on my Fantom, then ultimately sample), I start with the drums. This is particularly helpful for me, because it establishes a rhythm and vibe guide for me to follow.Articles, Beatmaking, Beatmaking Education, Beatmaking Themes, Theories, and Concepts, BeatTips, BeatTips Readers' Poll™, Book on How to Make Beats, Composing, Programming, and Arranging Beats, Creating Your Own Drum Sounds, Editor's Choice, Features, Hip Hop Production Techniques, Hip Hop/Rap Music Education, How to Make Beats, Making Beats, Programming Drums, Sa'id, The BeatTips Manual, Tutorials & Exercises