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BeatTips List of Great Records for Drum Sounds, Vol. 3


Record Gems with Open Drum Sounds.

I’m a strong advocate for using custom drum sounds. Although I have no issue with stock drum sounds (I’ve used stock drums in the past, and I have no problem with using them in the future), I believe that one of the most effective ways of creating your own style and sound is through the use of your own customized drum sounds.

That being said, I will be compiling an ongoing list — the BeatTips List of Great Records for Drum Sounds — of ALL of the records that I (and many others) have found to be great for drum sounds. For each installment or volume of the list, I will try to post at least five songs. Furthermore, this list will also include those songs that I have studied as a guide for drum pattern arrangements. And it is my hope that the songs on this list well help serve as a guide for those who want to tune the drum sounds that they already have to the sounds showcased on this list.

Finally, while some readers may note that there are some obvious choices that should be on this list, please bear with me, as I will be rolling out this list periodically without any preference to the most well-known “break-beats”, as this list is not a list of break-beat records. In fact, I suspect some songs on this ongoing list will surprise some of you. But after a “full-listen” of the record, you’ll see just why it earned a spot. Still as always, I invite discussion. So any and all suggestions, whether well-known or obscure, are certainly welcome.

The music and videos below are presented here for the purpose of scholarship.

Brother Soul – “Cookies”

The opening 4 four bars of this joint essentially contains a three-piece kit: snare, kick, hat. But for me, the snare is the real draw. It already has punch; it’s round, and the reverb is already just the way I like on my snares. Aside from the drum sounds, as with many funk numbers from this period, herein lies a great MusicStudy record for rhythm and groove.

Garland Green – “Jealous Kind of Fella”

If you drop the needle (literally and figuratively) anywhere after 4 seconds, then you’ve missed the drum gems off of this record. The opening drum fill features dope snare and tom-tom combination. Otherwise, I still recommend listening to this soul ballad about man who punches another guy in a jealous rage.

The Soul Lifters – “Hot Funky and Sweaty”

Perhaps familiar to some, no doubt, but The Soul Lifters’ “Hot, Funky and Sweaty” is one of the meanest slow funk grooves ever recorded. From visuals of 1970s hit men with old fashioned pistols, to B-grade karate flicks with big fights in small lounges, the groove smokes and refuses to simmer. Great MusicStudy from minimalism and use of silence. There are two plum drum breaks with the ill snare, one begining at the 0:49, and the other at the 2:22 mark.

Wilson Pickett – “Get Me Back on Time, Engine #9”

Wicked Wilson Pickett! Man, does the moniker fit this joint. This is an example of a soul/funk joint that simmers. The opening and the 0:23 mark has the snares.

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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