How Much Time are You Wasting On Your Drums?

How much time are you spending tweaking your drums?

When it comes to creating a great track drums are at the forefront of attention.  When I first got into making music,  I used to spend hours and hours on end trying to get my drums to sound just like the ones on some of my favorite records.  Whether I was making dup-step, tribal house, or a top forty pop ballad tweaking the drums bogged me down of the creative process.  We can all get lost in the science of getting the kick and snare to sounds just right, but in all honesty It drains more from you than it should.  here are some helpful tips on how to get over the hump and staying stuck on drum tweaking.


  1. Drum line or Concert Hall??

Some types of music will be very drum and percussion driven as supposed to some that hardly have any at all.  I call this the drum line or concert hall effect.  If you played in Drum line at all or have ever seen one perform you will notice that there is hardly and melodic elements present.  But in a concert Hall you still have drum and percussion, you will be lucky to hear more than your typical crash cymbal and timpani roll. My point is know your audience and let this determine how you should divide your time.  Therefore a Tribal house record will need More attention to drums than a country record.  Just like an urban pop/hip-hop record would have more focus on the beat itself than the lyric.  Are you playing for the drum line or in a concert hall?


  1.  Set it and forget it!!  

Its great to get inspired by some banging drums and create a whole track around it, especially if your focus is hip-hop,rnb or pop.  But try and get in the habit of setting up the drum groove and move on to some of the more main elements of the track such as, the melody line, chord progression, or arrangement which is more of the meat and potatoes of the track anyway.  Then once you got your main elements down, and creating a good template for someone to write to, go back and give the drums a touch up.


  1. Replace them don’t Erase them.

When I mean touch up i really mean sound replace.  I don’t like to sit for hours or even more than 30 minutes on getting my drums to sound right I have real bad creative ADD so when I do that I don’t even want to work on the track anymore.  I would sometimes end up just tearing down what I had and starting over which really bugs me out.  So I pick a day of the week and spend time going through some drum sounds that I really love and split them into folders for different styles of tracks.  This way when  I am working on a track I can set the drum groove(beat) and move on to the other elements of the track and just simply replace the drum sounds with my already approved drums from my folders and I save a whole bunch of time and feel good about where I am headed creatively.


This will take some time and practice, but once you get into this habit you will see a major change in your work flow for the better.  This has helped me get straight to the point with my music, and I hope it helps with yours.