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Hip Hop Drums

November 15th, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

Hip Hop Drums

Lets start by breaking down the beat. Drums, Bass, Back up and Accents. Drums and Bass are easy enough, the Back up and Accents are the keyboards, strings and noises used to keep the drums and bass from getting annoying. When you start making beats you need to do each of these separate.

Step 1: What kind of beat do you want to make? Seems like a simple answer, but sometimes you might need to sit down and really think about it.

Step 2. With or Without vocals? With-out vocals you need to spice up the beat more, than if you have someone spitting some rhymes. The reason for this is pretty straight forward. If you have someone putting down some vocals for you, that will make the track less annoying than if its the same beat over and over by itself. You need to be the judge on how much spice your beat needs when you start making it.

Step 3. Choose your drums. The drums Drive the track, so be picky. Now I have made tracks with the drums dominating, and ones with the bass dominating. It doesn't matter which way you choose to go, but you need a solid percussion to set the pace. Making beats is all about the rhythm, so spend more time on your drums and bass.

Step 4. Your Bass. You can either rely on your kick drum for bass, or funk things up a bit. It depends on what style you want to work with, and your own sense of taste. I come from a rock background, so I like to make things funky with a hot bass line. Sometimes when I'm making beats I break the rules, and use the Bass to drive the track, but that's what gives my beats a unique, funky style.

Step 5. The Back Up. The hardest part of making beats for me, you might find it easier. This is simply where you find some nice keyboards, strings, synthesizer riffs, funky guitar or some other instruments that help bring out the beat, while also keeping it from getting annoying.

Step 6. The Accents. This can be Instrument stabs (quick notes or riffs), DJ scratching, guns cocking, shots fired, spoken word elements, screeching tires, and anything else you can think of. These quick elements are used to break up the repeating nature of beats, and also help tell the story.

Step 7. Putting it together. This is the part I can't help you with much. You need to put together your beat in a way that you like, it is yours after all. Here are some tips. Try laying down a basic drum and bass, then work it over till you hit on something that really screams, USE ME! Once you have the drums and bass, you can work on some Back up and Accents to compliment them. Before you know it you have a sweet new beat.

Step 8. Arrangement. The easy way is to lead into your beat, and let it ride a moment. Then bring in the first verse. You can use a variation of your beat for the chorus, then drop another verse. You can repeat for however many verses you ended up with. Try stopping your beat, and using a variation of your Back up track for the bridge (part before the last chorus), then repeat the chorus. You might throw in something for a big finish.

Step 9. Production. Okay, now you need to set things up so they pop. Often called the mix down, this is where you go in and polish the song. Use your EQ (equalization) to shave out any disruptive noise. Check your volume levels and make sure you are staying in the green.

Now you have the basics of putting together your own hip-hop and rap beats. Remember your drums and bass are the key, the rest is just decoration. Master the drums and Bass, and you will be a king.

Hip-Hop Drums 101

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