Ok, so you have bought you a motif, Triton, Fantom and FL and Reason. Now I guess you are asking how do I do all of this. How in the hell do I program drums, how do I play a piano. How do I make a melody, etc,etc. I took music a long time ago and played a clarinet, which I thought, was the most embarrassing thing on the planet, but now at 23 I appreciate that I took he time to study music. It has not only help my music, but the since of timing that you learn and the creative juices that you get to just vibe out will cross over to all your work as you grow with music.
I guess its time for a tutorial for the complete newbie who has no knowledge of music, but wants to get started making beats. I’m going to cover Time signature, getting your drums on time, basic drum theory, vary basic, not just blaze on hovi baby, but maybe Just Blaze on P.S.A. Also I will go over 2 basic chords First off I’m going to start with time signature. Most hip hop, jazz, R&B is done in 4/4 time. Sometimes 6/8. What 4/4 means is that you have 4 beats per measure so when you are listing to P.S.A “allow me to reintroduce myself my name is HOV” Right when he says HOV start nodding you heard. When you get to your 4th head knod that is the end of a measure of 4/4 time. Now each 4/4 is one bar. Most verses in hip hop are 16, but can be 24, 32, and so on. Now let’s talk about the basics of drums. Start with the kicks, Most Kicks come in on 1 and 3 but can very. When programming your drums most of the time you want a kick on the 1 of that 4/4. Now you can very your kicks however you want as long as it sounds and feels good. For P.S.A Just Blaze(JB from hear on out) just used a kick on the 1, 3,4(with 2 hits) nothing fancy. I was able to duplicte this with my settings on my MPC set at 1/16, but 1/16(3) gave it a better feel. Now for Snares. Simple, just on the 2 and 4. So for the kick and snare, its just 1-kick 2- snare, 3- kick. For the hats they sound like simple , but for us we are just going to make a simple hat pattern that follows the groove of the kick and snare. So now we have a basic 2 bar drum pattern that is used through out the song. He turns off the drums here and there thought the song, and I will generally do that on my AW16G when I’m tracking a song, but that’s all he did for those drums. I will include some audio samples of this basic drum pattern that I will do on Reason with Redrum. Now its cool to do use the step sequencer on redrum or using the thing in Reason, but I suggest that you learn how to hit your drums with your midi keyboard that way you can get in between them notes if you know what I mean. Now for my example I just used some drums I had I didn’t try to make them sound like P.S.A. I just wanted to show the simplicity of them.
Now I will discuss some basic music theory. I won’t go over all the notes on the scale or even mention what to look for on a staff I’m just going to show you what you are really looking at when you are looking down on your keyboard. If you are on a 61, 76, or 88 key keyboards look in the middle. That note is middle C. That is what separates the bass clef from the treble clef, which is more than the scope of this topic, so that’s just for informative info. Were going to play the tonic chord 1st. OK you have middle C now you are going to go to the next group of 2 keys to the right. That will place you at the next lower C note down the piano. Place your pinky on that C, then skip a key and place your middle finger on the 3rd key, then place you thumb on the 5th key. Hit them all at once. Now you just hit a chord. Chords are usually played with the left and to accompany melodies played with the right hand. Now we are going to move to the next chord the V7. To play this chord you place your hand in the tonic chord position, and then move your pinky one key to the right. Take your middle finger off the key and use your 1st finger to come down on the key next to your thumb. This looks hard but take a look at the pic. Now when you play the 1st chord then the 2nd, you have just done basic chord progression.
Ok, now we are going to use our basic drum pattern for P.S.A, and we are going to play these cords together for a simple 4 bar loop. Nothing fancy, but this is just for you to get the idea on how simple it is once you know a few basic things. We have harmony and drums now we are free to start exploring other possibilities, but I’ll leave that inspiration up to you. If I get enough feedback I will add to these and go more into music theory and getting the basic ideas down.