Making drum covers to original recording? Sounds sloppy


Senior Member
I decided to make some drum covers tonight and I played along to some tunes that I've played a bunch and can play pretty well. When I listen back however they don't sound that great... I know that recording exposes flaws in your playing, but I think it has more to do with the fact that I'm trying to play along to the original drummer exactly and things we play don't always exactly line up note for note. I may swing a certain hit of the kick once cause I feel like it, but if the original drummer didn't then it will sound off. Things that you would never notice if I wasn't trying to overdub the record exactly. If there was just me playing drums it would sound perfectly fine. Is this an accurate thing of what I was hearing? There were a few spots were I was a little off, but all in all I think I definitely sound better than how it sounds on these recordings.


Platinum Member
Not sure how anyone could possibly make an accurate assessment of how you sounded on a recording without first hearing that recording, mate.

Your summation of competing against the existing track distracting your flow, might be right. Then again, it's also possible you might just be all over the shop.

How is anyone gonna know unless they hear what you've laid down?


Platinum Member
Check out

If the song you are playing is there, you can download it without drums and then see how you are doing.

Note: That site offers cover versions of the songs. They are very good and faithful to the recorded version, but they are not the original stems.


Platinum Member
There was a line, I think it was an Elvis Costello song:

One day you're going to have to face a deep dark truthful mirror
And it's going to tell you things that I still love you too much to say
Recordings catch everything. Every blemish, every mistake. These are mistakes that you simply can't hear while playing, because your brain is focusing on the task at hand. The process of bettering yourself via the use of recording is part of the transcendence to being a great player. Looking in the mirror takes a great deal of courage.

Edit: Found it

New Tricks

Platinum Member
First, there are hundreds (thousands?) of drumless tracks readily available, so use those next time. Use the original recording to learn the parts and the drumless tracks to record with. Make sure to use headphones in order to hear more accurately.

Second, check your equipment to make sure the are no latency issues. The very first time I tried recording, I was horrified when I played it back but I soon realized that there was a tiny bit of delay in my drum recording and that obviously made everything sound really really bad.

Also, 99% of recordings aren't exactly in tempo so you need to flow with the music just a little bit.

Even if you play the exact notes the original drummer does, there is no way that they will always line up. Even on simple things, it's impossible for a human to do that. When you listen to both tracks at the same time, there will be some audible slapping and phasing.
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Gold Member
Wouldn't you want to play along with a drumless track? I've never tried making a drum cover, but it seems a little silly to have the original drum part in the recording.

Are you trying to play the exact same part? I thought the point of covers were to show how you'd play the song... What's the point of playing the same exact part?


Silver Member
Search YouTube and Google for drumless tracks, that's what I've been doing and it sounds a lot better and makes it a little more challenging than playing along with the existing drum track.