Selasa, 25 Desember 2012

A Parent's Guide to Drum Lessons: When Is the Right Time to Start? (Part One)

Often the answer to this question hits many parents and kids right in the face! From the onset of mom and dad taking note of their young one tapping along with music the epiphany usually follows; "time to look into this!" From there the rest is history!

There is an age old saying in the world of drums: "People do not choose to become drummers; drumming chooses its victims." So very true!

Curious parents have to discern between brute pounding and a genuine interest in drums. For parents, gauging this interest hinges on two parts; they are: 1. Is there genuine interest in becoming a drummer and 2. The age of the child.

This article will detail ways to detect real interest. My next article will assist parents in deciding the right age for your particular child.

Here are a few things that you can look for and do to measure interest in drum lessons for your child.

  •     Does your kid clap their hands and/or stomp their feet to music? Watch their faces as they pound. Do they seem to genuinely try to follow the music? Pay particular attention to any attempt at REPETITION of sounds... that is a dead give-away to call the best drum teacher you can find!!!

  •     Whenever you take your son or daughter to a social or family event that has live music of any sort, do they pay particularly close attention to the drums and/or the drummer more than all else? If so, that could be a good sign. In addition, if the venue allows, perhaps have your kid meet the drummer on a break (maybe even ask if your kid can tap something on the drums-maybe this person teaches or knows of a good teacher).

  •     Instead of just buying your kids the same old video games, Hot Wheels cars, and Barbie Dolls take your kid to a music store and buy them an inexpensive pair of drumsticks and a practice pad. This "field trip" to the music store will really serve to gauge your child's interest! If your kid lights up automatically at the sight of all of those beautiful drums and other equipment, ask the store if they offer lessons or if they can recommend a good drum teacher.

  •     Parades are also a great way to measure a child's interest. If your child is making it a point to watch the drummers in the parade as opposed to the fire trucks, mascots, horses, and people throwing candy, then that could be the go ahead for lessons...

  •     Here's a quick test: watch these YouTube Videos with your youngster and watch their reaction:
        A. Rudimental Solo-Grandfather's Clock (you will see two men in colonial garb)
        B. 2002 Cavaliers Drumline
        C. Drum Lesson: Journey: Don't Stop Believin'

Following these short tips will allow a parent to see if a kid really wants to take the next step in learning to play the drums for real or if they are just pounding away for recreation.

My next article will focus on what is the right age to start...

George Guest run InnerBeat Drum School in Pittsburgh, PA.

He teaches full-time as a profession and works with kids as young as 3 years old. He also teaches adult students who are professional musicians.

George teaches private lessons and group lessons; kids who take lessons at InnerBeat Drum School have fun learning!

To get a sample of George's teaching methods, sign up for his email list to receive regular education material once per week

Rabu, 05 Desember 2012

The Elements That Make People Buy Trap Beats

Before you get into making a trap beat the first thing that you must know is the main elements of trap beats that give them that hardcore, gangsta feel. You can start from a simple foundation of a few key elements before you start making these types of beats. Here are some elements that are very crucial in making trap beats and ultimately trying to get artists to buy trap beats.

    THE 808's - First and foremost the key ingredient that popular trap beats are known for is 808 sounds. 808 Kicks, Hi Hats, Toms, and Snares. These 808 sounds are the main sounds that give these beats that distinctive trap beat feel. Typically the 808 kicks are made to provide a good low frequency punch to emphasize the sub bass tails that almost every trap beat has. In the industry today, 808 toms are the most popular to use for drum fills. These toms are usually used just prior to the ending of the 4th bar to emphasize the transition or prior to the ending of the 8th bar. It really depends on the feel and the character of the beat and is really up to you. The tom fills are mainly used to give the beat a nice, fluent transition into a different part of the beat. Hot selling trap beats almost all the time have a 808 snare drum sound. This is a very crucial element of trap beats. Majority of the time, once it is laid on the track, it is then boosted by a basic "EQ"(Equalizer) that boosts the bandwidth, frequency on an average of about 200 hz and adjust the high-frequency pass somewhere between the 50 hz -120 hz range, depending mainly on the bass and the direction you are trying to go with it. When in doubt listen on different systems, positions, and volumes(Ex. Monitors, Headphones, Corner Of Your Room, Near and Far From Speakers, High,Mid, and Low Volumes). Your ears are and should be your most valued tool. Usually you can find these 808 sounds on the company website of the Digital Audio Workstation that you use.

    DRIP EFFECTS - Another popular sound that is used a lot in trap beats are drip-like drop effects. Usually sounding very similar to a continuous water drop that starts at a high pitch and as the progression goes on it descends to a low pitch. These sounds, in most cases, are sampled sounds or a self-programmed synthesized effect that emulates a drop effect(very difficult to do if you are not already familiar with oscillators, wave sounds, filters, etc). This effect is most commonly used in intros, transition points, prior to a breakdown, etc.

    CHANTS - These are a very commonly used, mainly in that "Crunk" type of music. But in the industry today, producers are using chants more in trap and dirty south type beats. Most of the time chants are samples and usually go something like "Hey... Hey... Hey... Hey". These consistent chants sound best when they are hitting on the 2nd and 4th beat of a 4 bar measure. Usually on the hook, to add extra feel to it so the hook has a more powerful impact and impression on the listener. Again, depending on the flow and direction of the beat, placements of these chants may vary.

    LEADS, SYNTHS, BASSES, ETC - These elements are key to getting a hard hitting trap beat. This part gives the beat its character and personality and is mainly part that makes the beat memorable. Its popular to have a synth lead pattern consisting of a simple 4 bar melody that switches between high or low octaves after every 4 bars. It is ideal to use this technique for the hook. But in some cases producers do use it on verses, depending on the complexity and progression of the melody. It is very popular to leave out the lead melody on the verses and leave the raw drum and bass lines while still utilizing the other elements. This technique mainly is used to bring out the vocals and give the vocalist most presence on the beat. By far, this part is the funnest part of making these trap beats because these synths and basses just give the beat that extra flame.

Ultimately at the end of the day, if you want to add other elements, by all means do it. The most important thing here is to experiment to open up the opportunity to grasp your own unique sound. But this is a different story if you have your trap beats for sale online. Artists, now days, tend to like beats that sound similar to the songs they hear on the radio. Anyways, this is a whole different subject on its own and is for a totally different article. This information shared here is strictly to help people get an idea of the elements of a trap beat and what types of sounds to use to effectively make one. Keep in mind that there is no law here that says you have to follow these steps or instructions. By all means, feel free to do your own thing.

On the flip side, the most important thing you must learn to do is to trust what you hear. Your ears don't lie. Sometimes beats will start off one way and end up going in totally different direction. In some cases this is a good sign that your level of creativity is increasing.

Now the last thing I want to leave you with. A cool technique you may use to help keep your trap beats up to par, as far as fluidity and consistency. Its called the "TRIPLE F's". Which stands for "Flow", "Finesse", and "Fix".

    FLOW - First really listen and get the feel for the direction and flow of the beat. Then ask the questions "how is the flow of the instruments or instrumentation? melodies? chord progression?"

    FINESSE - Then playback melodies, leads, drum beats, bass lines, and see if the finesse of these elements are exposed to its fullest potential. This step usually will point out notes, chords, instruments, effects that will need to be re-touched and adjusted.

    FIX - Last step and final step here is to go back and fix the things that need to be fixed in order for the beat to have consistent flow and character.

P.S - It is very crucial to always be experimenting on different melodies, sounds, effects, etc while creating or mixing your beat. If you think it doesn't sound good, switch it up and experiment with it. You must remember that music is infinite and you can literally do anything you wish with it.

Breydan Keohokapu

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