What's an accent? Which pieces of the kit?

ARNK

Junior Member
Total newb obviously.... just starting to learn the basics now so be gentle :)

I understand an accent means to play a note louder, but would there be a piece of kit considered an accent? If so, what would that be.

I'm reading a book that illustrates basic drum patterns: http://www.amazon.com/Drum-Machine-Patterns-Leonard-Corp/dp/0881888877

It lists as a hit, "accent" - so in this context, it's not referring to loudness - but a drum hit.

Appreciate any guidance
 

MrPockets

Gold Member
Is there a key in the beginning of the book that defines that term?

Can you post a picture of said section?

Going of what you just said, I would say an accent sound only on that drum, whether it be a cymbal stack, splash, tom, etc.
 

Raelthomas

Senior Member
An accented note is just that, in the sense that it is louder.
You don't shift drums/surfaces, you simply hit a bit harder :)

But yes, check the key well. Which should be towards the start of the book.
 

NerfLad

Silver Member
Well the point of an accent is that it stands out from the notes around it. If you're not thinking about literal (dynamic/loudness) accents, you could play accents on the drum set with anything that stands out sonically from the rest of what you're doing. Maybe a splash cymbal or bell on an upbeat eighth or sixteenth note. A great creative drummer to check out for examples of these "color" accents is Stewart Copeland (of The Police). He plays a lot of phrases you wouldn't immediately expect, which is very musically satisfying.
 

DancingMadlyBackwards

Senior Member
Well the point of an accent is that it stands out from the notes around it. If you're not thinking about literal (dynamic/loudness) accents, you could play accents on the drum set with anything that stands out sonically from the rest of what you're doing. Maybe a splash cymbal or bell on an upbeat eighth or sixteenth note. A great creative drummer to check out for examples of these "color" accents is Stewart Copeland (of The Police). He plays a lot of phrases you wouldn't immediately expect, which is very musically satisfying.
Good explanation. Lars Ulrich, love him or hate him, has an interesting library of accents on unexpected beats also.
 

JohnW

Silver Member
What are you doing?
What are you doing?
What are you doing?
What are you doing?
What are you doing?
What are you doing? etc.

Let's eat grandma.
Let's eat, grandma.

Accents don't always have to be achieved through an increase in volume. It can done through emphasis. It can be through a change in pitch (usually higher). Or it could be the end of a phrase or section of a phrase; a natural accent rather than a forced, loud, snap.
 

ARNK

Junior Member
Appreciate the help everybody, ok ... ok so I understand. Still, I wanted to show you a picture of what I'm talking about. How are accents (AC) - do you think - meant to be played in this very simple pattern (for example):
 

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Raelthomas

Senior Member
Is the music notation below a re-representation of what is layed out in that sequencer pattern? If so, and not knowing the (odd) setting of the book, that would be much easier to explain. I'm into electronic production myself, but I can't quite "get" the accent track here. If anything, I'd say it's suggesting you up increase the velocity of any drum hits that correspond to those placements... but I'm not sure.

Either way, learning to read drums written on a proper score is advisable, not to mention; easier, normal and has much more room for graphic expression of dynamics and countless other handy functions that will help you learn drum pieces.

There are many good books out there but one that I can recommend as a great progressive book is "Rhythm Section Drumming" by Frank Corniola. Honestly, unless you're only programming drums and not playing them, I'm not sure why you'd bother reading sequenced drum tracks. It's not a good representation and you'll find it far more beneficial to learn stave.
 

ARNK

Junior Member
Is the music notation below a re-representation of what is layed out in that sequencer pattern?
Thank you, yes it's for drum machines. I know this forum is for real drummers but I think who better to start with? And I'm open to suggestions. Whatever will help me to better program/write drums and music in general.
 

Raelthomas

Senior Member
Thank you, yes it's for drum machines. I know this forum is for real drummers but I think who better to start with? And I'm open to suggestions. Whatever will help me to better program/write drums and music in general.
May I ask what DAW you're using? Cubase, Protools, Ableton, etcetera? Understandable logic, in asking drummers but I think you'll find you might garner more insight (and welcome) on an electronic music production forum. that said, happy to help.

Personally, if my former interpretation was correct, this seems a bit lazy of the author (or beyond the current time of publication). An accent, which in the programming world would denote increased velocity (loudness, essentially - I can explain that further if I know what programs you're using), would generally be applied to a certain note, on a certain drum (or otherwise), not a singular track on the sequencer.

Usually a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) will represent different velocities with colour. So, for example, in Cubase if you're scoring a drum roll that goes from soft to loud, the notes appear blue at their quietest, through to red at their loudest.

Feel free to PM me for more info. I teach drums as well as electronic music production and would be happy to help. Also, this is a bit askew and departed from the general theme here at DW.
 

mymarkers

Senior Member
Are you sure "AC" means accent? Maybe it's actually short for something else. Do you have a key for the abbreviations? Most of the rest look like acronyms and abbreviations for actual instruments like BD for bass drum, SD for snare drum, and HT, MT, and LT for high, medium, and low tom. Perhaps "AC" stands for something, too. Off the top of my head, I can't think of anything plausible, but that's what it seems it would be to me. The digital equivalent of an accent would just be to have a higher note velocity on a given note.
 

JustJames

Platinum Member
Are you sure "AC" means accent? Maybe it's actually short for something else. Do you have a key for the abbreviations? Most of the rest look like acronyms and abbreviations for actual instruments like BD for bass drum, SD for snare drum, and HT, MT, and LT for high, medium, and low tom. Perhaps "AC" stands for something, too. Off the top of my head, I can't think of anything plausible, but that's what it seems it would be to me. The digital equivalent of an accent would just be to have a higher note velocity on a given note.
AC....that would be.....

A Cowbell!
 
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