Rock ‘N’ Jazz Clinic
Write Creative Drum Parts
Part 1: Direct Connection
by Chris Prescott
Over the years I’ve had many students ask for help in writing drum parts for their bands’ songs. This article is designed to help you figure out where to begin.
Start by examining some of your favorite songs. Notice what the drummer is playing and determine if there’s some evident meaning or purpose in the parts. How are the drums supporting the music? Often you’ll find that the rhythms being played are not in the drums alone but are shared by other musicians as well. A classic example is the way the kick drum is frequently played in unison with the bass guitar. This is what I call “direct connection.”
The mp3s below illustrate a few ways you can make a direct connection with a rhythmic guitar pattern.
Guitar Strumming Rhythm
Bass Drum Only
Busy Versus Ghost-Note Grooves
Check out the complete article in the April 2011 issue for transcriptions and additional insight.