Improve Your Drum Patterns Series:
One of the key elements to a great production is the drum patterns. Especially in urban based music. If your drum patterns don’t sound right, they can ruin the entire track. Your melodies, arrangements and everything can be on point, but if the drums sound weak, the quality of the song will suffer as a result.
That’s why I get so many questions regarding my drum sounds and drum patterns. People are constantly asking me how I get my drums to sound so punchy and clean, how I get them hitting so hard, and how I get the patterns to sound interesting. I’d usually respond with short advice, like ‘source great drum sounds’, ‘layer your drums’, ‘learn about mixing’, ‘study and practice’ etc, but none of the advice I was giving was detailed and thorough, and in retrospect, probably not very helpful. Recently I decided to write up a detailed explanation of the techniques I personally use on my own drum patterns, to get them sounding punchy and clean.
It took me a lot of practice and studying to get to the level i’m at now, and i’m still improving every single day, but over the years I have learnt a few key techniques which I constantly use on my drums which I wish I knew a few years ago, when I was learning. I didn’t have anyone to teach me, and although there were forums and stuff like that, that I frequented, there were no real detailed guides on how to get great drum patterns. I pretty much had to learn everything myself.
That’s why I’ve created the “Improve Your Drum Patterns Series”.
Basically, the aim is for me to put my knowledge on drum production into video and words, so you guys can improve YOUR drums and get your production to the next level. I want this to be a sort of guide for improvement, something you can use as a reference to point you in the right direction.
You know this website is all about improvement, and taking the quality of your music higher, and drums seems like a natural place for us to start!
The first lesson in the “Improve your Drum Patterns” series is Layering.
Layering is one of the most fundamental techniques I (and many other producers) use to get a much thicker, fuller, and overall punchier sound from their drums. This technique can be used with virtually any sound (including melodic instruments, but that’s another lesson in itself), and it is most commonly used in Kicks, Claps, and Snares.
So what is layering?