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  #1  
Old 07-27-2008, 11:02 PM
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Default Creating music as a drummer?

Hi guys.

This may be a little odd question but here it goes. I've played the drums for about 6-7 years and lately, I've really started to feel that I have many ideas and riffs in my head and possible songs. Problem is, I don't write music so how do I do it? Is it just start to learn the guitar then? I know a few chords but that's about it. I have my friend who plays the guitar (and very well I might add) but humming the ryhtms and melodies to him and hoping that he'll maybe get the sense and actual chords (which I of course don't know what they are) of what I'm trying to do doesn't work very well.

Does anyone know what you can do? Weird question I know.

Robin
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Old 07-27-2008, 11:13 PM
jay norem
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Default Re: Creating music as a drummer?

I was in the same situation a long time ago. What I did was go to music school to study and learn the basics: theory, harmony, sight-reading, and basic piano skills. Any music school can teach you those things. I bought a used, battered up old Fender Rhodes and began composing on that. I built up a library of theory, harmony and arranging books.
Today I lead my own band and am about to record a CD of my orginal jazz tunes.
In my opinion piano is the way to go. It's a very universal instrument. I really think that all musicians should be able to functionally play the piano. And knowing music theory is a must. Can't stress it enough.
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Old 07-27-2008, 11:37 PM
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Default Re: Creating music as a drummer?

Jay's got the right idea. Learn another instrument at the very least - the piano is an excellent idea because everything just makes so much sense on a piano. It really does. After a while you start seeing the harmonies staring out at you from the keyboard! I'm not much of a pianist, but when I was much, much younger (eight or nine) I could read music fluently, knew a lot of scales and was pretty handy at the piano. I regret that I stopped playing, but recently I've had another go and at least my hand technique is exactly the same!
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Old 07-27-2008, 11:45 PM
royspeed royspeed is offline
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Default Re: Creating music as a drummer?

I was relatively lucky in that I took classical piano lessons at school, so when I started playing drums, I had a grounding in musical basics. I have written a few songs for various bands, using a keyboard to structure the chord progressions, I would already have a good idea of the tempo and beat I want, and I have always been at ease writing lyrics, as I look on each line as a number of beats or syllables, and then try to rhyme each couplet of lines.
If you try to keep the 'bones' of the song simple to start, then with time you should be able to bring in more complex chord patterns at a later date.

Hope this helps,

Roy.
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Old 07-27-2008, 11:49 PM
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Default Re: Creating music as a drummer?

I'll second everything Jay said, and then I'll throw in the "poor mans way". Get a cheap bass rig. Quick and dirty. You can easily figure out how to thump out a melody you've been humming in your head, even without knowing the notes you're playing. And show it to your guitarist. Actually learning a second instrument (whether it be keyboard, guitar or bass...and music theory) is always a good idea, but sometimes life affords us not the luxury of time and/or money.
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Old 07-28-2008, 12:04 AM
jay norem
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Default Re: Creating music as a drummer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by harryconway View Post
I'll second everything Jay said, and then I'll throw in the "poor mans way". Get a cheap bass rig. Quick and dirty. You can easily figure out how to thump out a melody you've been humming in your head, even without knowing the notes you're playing.
Hey Harry, I'll go even cheaper than that. Before I began studying music I picked up the harmonica. Seriously, I learned to play melodies on that and this is how I started learning the scales. Soon I was creating my own melodies, and became more and more curious about how music "works." Next it was theory books, and asking questions. Learning a few chords on the piano. So by the time I got to music school I already knew a little bit about music.
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Old 07-29-2008, 12:51 PM
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Default Re: Creating music as a drummer?

I'm in a similar boat as you when it comes to composing, I write songs and hear melodies and try to convey it as best I can to my bass player or guitarist, but two other immediate routes you can take if you need to get your ideas across yesterday..... And don't get me wrong I also second and third the idea that formal training in theory and composition is beneficial) But while your pursuing it, you can pick up a cheap radio shack keyboard with the chords written on the keys and pluck out your basic song chord structure and record it on a cheap tape player if need be as well for your guys to fine tune the structure. I also sometimes whistle the song over and over into a micro cassette player so I don't forget it later.
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Old 07-29-2008, 02:26 PM
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Default Re: Creating music as a drummer?

You should definetly learn more than one instrument. The only problem as everyone on here demonstrates is which one! Pianos and keyboards allow you to play chords and melodies at the same time. However i would go with the guitar, it sounds like you already know the basics and you'll get a much better idea of what the guitarist in the band can play and the sorts of things you can do on a guitar like harmonics and vibrato and stuff.
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Old 07-29-2008, 06:00 PM
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Philippe Philippe is offline
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Default Re: Creating music as a drummer?

Robin, I agree with the guys here. try learning a bit guitar or keyboards, that's about the easiest way to let your buddies know what tune and so on you have in mind.
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  #10  
Old 07-29-2008, 07:55 PM
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Default Re: Creating music as a drummer?

I know my way around a piano and understand some REALLY basic music theory (basically that which surrounds common chord structures in pop music). It's a huge help not only if I have a musical idea that I want to know how to play but also when I'm playing with a band so I can understand the song form more easily, and that's crucial for a drummer. So yes I also agree that you should take some time and learn at least some very basic music theory and start plucking out melodies on piano, bass, guitar... whatever instrument you prefer.
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Old 07-31-2008, 02:19 AM
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Robin Robin is offline
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Default Re: Creating music as a drummer?

Thank you guys for all the advices. I will look into every one of them!

Robin
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