Creating Original Drum Parts


Creating Original Drum Parts


19 comments on “Creating Original Drum Parts

  1. Monica says:

    Thank you so much for this! Although I’m a newbie, I do get to create my drum parts for both of the bands I’m playing with. I have generally thought of my simple choices as “yeah, well, I’m not good enough to do more,” but now I’m feeling more vindicated. Sometimes the band leader will ask me to add something more, mostly to signal the rest of the band as to where we are in the arrangement, and I’m happy to do it, but personally I generally LIKE simple drum parts and I especially want to support the singer. Yes, I’m rambling … sorry … just … thanks!


    • Stephen says:

      You bet Monica. It’s easy to get caught up in that “I need to add more” game. I always tell people “I don’t want you to even know I’m playing”…because I want the SONG to shine through. Not my parts. Simple is often what is called for. Glad it hit home with you!

      • Brian says:

        I second that emotion. My mentor for music, my Dad, always said, less is more, and KISS- Keep it simple stupid. He never wrote a song you’ve heard, but in his time, he played many songs we all love, letter perfect. We can’t all be Neal Peart, and some of the recent interviews I’ve heard him give, even he wishes he hadn’t made it so difficult. Last piece, any song you write, be sure you love every part of it, because if it ends up feeding you, you may have to eat it for dinner every night, to the sounds of encore, and bravo; or as Neal said, the sounds of salesmen, of salesmen, of salesmen. The grateful dead managed to have space for improv in every show they gave, and even Zeppelin was able to break the mold of not having to play the same song the same way every night, and Zappa wrote songs that were so intricate that he had to score the music for the band. If you love what you do, then you are doing what you love, and no one can ever fault you for taking the path with heart.

  2. Alejandra says:

    Great video sensei! Thanks for sharing, and all you anecdotes (is that word English?) in the studio are so so interesting, you should do some videos sharing that part of the experience of being a pro drummer, because for me they cone from a quite a different and amazing world and I love learning getting thst kind of pictures of other’s experiences. Coming back to topic, I’ve heard many drummers recommending about keeping it simple and working FOR the music, and not for yourself, and I think it’s quite a good follow up advice! I’m looking forward stablish a solid background for starting my adventures in drumming! So motivated!! Thanks!!!

  3. Kirk says:

    Stephen this the type of lesson that could take me to the next level.I would love to be able to listen to a song and make up good drum parts.Great stuff.

    • Stephen says:

      Glad it helped Kirk. It’s really something that we’re all always working on. I still have those “oh crap what should I play for this original song” moments. I think that’s a good thing though. Keeps us pushing forward.

  4. Nik Sauer says:

    Hey Stephen, I just found out we have the same birthday! I was so confused when I saw the email, like how does this guy know it’s my birthday today?

  5. Martin Bouissa says:

    Really enjoyed the translation from electronic to acoustic. I’ve been working on a similar situation for a while and the less is more approach really helps as you proved in this lesson.
    I personally think that one of the greatest creating tension through the songs is Larry Mullen Jr. Of course I don’t want to start a debate about this. It’s just an example of what you explained in this video.
    Great stuff as always.

  6. Brian says:

    Real prayerful… Like Jonny cash, or onward Christian soldier? When they come vague like that, ask them about songs they know that are similar, not necessarily the same, because then they would want that drummer, just similar like speed-bpm, or feel. The lyrics of the song are the place where you can feel a natural beat emerge based on the delivery of the singer. Em pha sis, syl la ble. Once more with feeling

  7. Monica Devens says:

    So here I am, almost a year later, saying again, thank you so much! Your insights are even more valuable to me now that I have more playing/composing experience because they let me know that I AM focused on the right questions – how to support the song, how to let other instruments write my parts for me (or not!), how to follow the arc of the song dynamically – even if my solutions are still very, very newbie. I’m making my sax player husband watch this video so he’ll understand better what I keep talking about when I come home from rehearsal!

  8. Annie McCampbell says:

    Happy Birthday! Loved this lesson. I’ve been doing more studio work and writing songs for my original bands. It rang so true about finding a groove, building a song, trying to give an otherwise boring song some get up and go, leaving room for vocals, and the challenge of reading songwriters’ minds when it comes to drum parts! Another thing I try to do, and just learned David Garibaldi does too, is find a drum or rhythm hook/riff/fill to use throughout the song and avoid playing everything you know in one song!!

  9. Katharina says:

    Hey Stephen!
    Thank you! I always say there is no coincidence: you just hit it! Last Wednesday I was asking my drum-teacher just that question. As it was already end of the lesson and the next student arriving he couldn’t give me a proper answer yet, but even if he had: always happy to add your input as well as I think you two make a good combination.
    I absolutely loved it. It answered most of my questions without me even asking (which is great, because usually I forget to ask specific stuff) keep on doing what you do and how you do it (or do it better, if you find a way, I couldn’t tell you one)

  10. Greg says:

    Hi Stephen, great lesson. Thanks for for sharing how you approached this. Along the same line as this lesson, how do you approach outros as a group ie: coming with something more than some trash can ending?

    • Stephen says:

      Same deal…we talk about it. We may use a section of the song as an outro, a ritard (slow down), a trash can, or we may write a unique ending. There’s no right or wrong. As long as everyone is on the same page

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