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Drum Programming: A Complete Guide to Program and Think Like a Drummer Paperback – November 1, 1991

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 64 pages
  • Publisher: Centerstream Publications (November 1, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0931759544
  • ISBN-13: 978-0931759543
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 0.2 x 12 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #74,874 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

58 of 59 people found the following review helpful By Slipin Lizard on November 29, 2007
Format: Paperback
Ages ago I was in band, playing guitar, writing and recording songs. I've just started getting back into music again, and have purchased a Boss 880 Dr. Rhythm drum machine. Played around with it, lots of fun, and then thought "ok, so how do I program some of my own beats into this thing?". Everywhere I turned, the responses were "read the manual" or "just use samples" and then finally "well the best way to learn to program drums is to learn to play drums". Great, so I'm going to have to spend years learning how to physically co-ordinate my limbs when what I really need is a basic understanding of the fundamentals of how beats work in popular music.
Then I found and ordered this book. Ray has done a great job. He provides the information in a clear, concise manner. Its amazing that this book was written in 1991, and yet it feels like it could have been written yesterday. This is because the book teaches how to think about beats and program them in a way that is realistic to what an actual drummer could play. He uses a simple to understand chart method that is based on 16th notes, just like the old Roland TR 909 interface, super easy to understand. Ray gets right to the point, and then has you program in some example beats. Things are immediately becoming much clearer to me, and I'm only half way through the book. If you're not a drummer, but want to learn how to program your drum machine so that it sounds realistic and not like a "beat box" then this book is for you. The Boss Dr. Rhythm 880 is aimed at guitar/bass players, and they should really include a copy of this book with every unit they sell. Its really amazing how hard it is to find information on how to decide WHAT to program into a drum machine, and Ray does a great job with this text. Thanks Ray!
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40 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Bayardo on January 8, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
At first I thought - Oh No - This book was written in 1991.

So, why do I think it's a wonderful book? You need to know something about me. I'm an old man now with a hobby of making music. I'm using Reason & Record - amazing programs. Long ago I studied classical music - specifically Theory & Composition. Had a year of study on an early Moog - huge - lots of patch cords & tape recorders. Also, I gave up listening to popular music about the time the Beatles were starting.

Now I'm writing some 'popular' tunes. Including drum parts. I could easily include everything using Reason. Cut & paste - vary something here & there. But I want to know what I'm doing.

Drum Programming: A Complete Guide to Program & Think Like a Drummer is written to help someone program a 1991 drum machine. It starts with the basics - pictures of drums with explanations of their use. Some information about measures & time signatures which is minimized in this book. I found a section on Song Structure very helpful. I learned about Chorus, Verse, Bridge, etc. and how they arrange into a song.

Now, I was ready to learn about the Kick & Snare drum & how they are typically employed. Lots of patterns are shown in tabulature diagrams with advice on how to vary them. The book moves to incorporating the Hi-hat into the drum part. It goes on to Tom-toms & rhythm fills, then the cymbals. Finally it shows some Intros, Bridges & Finales. This book is exactly what I wanted & needed.

Since then & have watched some drummers with great interest. I can see just how they do what the book explains, although some things are different. I have a much greater admiration for drummers as well as the form of popular music now.
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Robert S. Robbins on January 15, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Although there are many books available on the various Digital Audio Workstations, most of them just cover the software and assume you'll know things like drum programming. Fortunately this book provides that missing information. I have no musical aptitude and have never gotten anything out of a book on music until I read this one. I had to figure out how to apply its instructions to a specific drum machine, ReDrum in Propellerhead Reason, but other than that it was really easy to understand and I was immensely pleased with the results. I feel like I'm finally making some progress in mastering Propellerhead Reason! Drum programming is easy given some good instructions and you'll find that in this book.

The book itself is fairly short, only 54 pages of actual text with a lot of space taken up by drum tabulatures. It is oversized like a lot of music books. It resembles a song book. But it is cheap enough and thoroughly explains a topic that you won't find covered in most digital music manuals or books.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful By One Man Band on May 20, 2008
Format: Paperback
I bought this book based on another review that said it would complement the Boss DR-880 and help me learn to think like a drummer. I did learn a few things around the basic use of cymbals and toms, but on the whole it was nothing I hadn't already figured out. It's crudely written but gets right to the point. You certainly won't learn how to compose any complex rhythms, but it might be enough to get you going if you haven't used a drum machine before and are very intimidated by it. I'm not sure anyone can teach how to compose fills that sound realistic, and this book didn't help me there. But for the price, I guess it was OK.
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