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Should you play fast drums for slow tempo? Utility Software
Old 1 week ago
  #1
Gear Nut
 

Should you play fast drums for slow tempo?

I have a 120 bpm track I'm working on. The drums that sound good are slow but I just hate them. I want to play it super fast (like in the example I attached) but I'm wondering if this is functional/good? Is this just something you cant do as it sounds bad and is off?

Or is it off? I can't tell. If I do it throughout the song it feels weird. But I just really dont want slower drums than this! Please listen to the two mp3s I'm attaching and see what I mean.

tldr: Can you play fast drums on slow tempos without it sounding bad?
Attached Files

fastd.mp3 (1.28 MB, 197 views)

slowd.mp3 (1.28 MB, 189 views)

Old 1 week ago
  #2
Quote:
Should you play fast drums for slow tempo?
you can play them anyway you want, as long as it gets you the sound you want for the song. There are no rules that say you have to do anything. you cna do what ever you want.
Old 1 week ago
  #3
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by CJ Mastering View Post
you can play them anyway you want, as long as it gets you the sound you want for the song. There are no rules that say you have to do anything. you cna do what ever you want.
Am I playing a different tempo for drums when im playing fast though? Im not sure
Old 1 week ago
  #4
Quote:
Originally Posted by cheguevara93 View Post
Am I playing a different tempo for drums when im playing fast though? Im not sure
Just do what sounds best for that song and your personnel preferences. That is what everyone does.
Old 1 week ago
  #5
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by cheguevara93 View Post
I have a 120 bpm track I'm working on. The drums that sound good are slow but I just hate them. I want to play it super fast (like in the example I attached) but I'm wondering if this is functional/good? Is this just something you cant do as it sounds bad and is off?

Or is it off? I can't tell. If I do it throughout the song it feels weird. But I just really dont want slower drums than this! Please listen to the two mp3s I'm attaching and see what I mean.
First, based on what is this track 120bpm?
Beside the dtums, there's no rythmical, or time division, information to detetmine that.

The tempo of a song is not determined by the number in the DAW; it's determined by the song itself (chord progression, melody, rythm, accents, etc.).
You can play a 240bpm or a 60bpm seamlessly in a 120bpm programmed DAW; only the resolution (clocks per quarter note) would be different.
The actual tempo of a song can only be determined after it is clear how what is played can be devided into measures and quarter notes; the number of these quarter notes in one minute then gives you the tempo in pbm.

So, you can have a song with the kick on beat 1 and the snare on beat 3, giving the IMPRESSION of being half the tempo of the same song, with the kick on 1, 3 and snare on 2, 4.
But in fact, both versions are the same tempo.

However, if you'd take/isolate just the drums from this first version (kick on 1, snare on 3), you might interpret the kick now being on 1 and the snare on 2.
Now the tempo can "officially" be of a lower tempo (half), since all previous half notes are now quarter notes.
Mind you that it is still the same drumtrack; just to illustrate that it is the context of the whole song that determines the tempo of the song, not the individual instrumental tracks by themselves.


Quote:
Originally Posted by cheguevara93 View Post
tldr: Can you play fast drums on slow tempos without it sounding bad?
You may understand that fast/slow is not the appropriate terminology here.
The drums may appear "slow" or "fast" depending on the beats that are played on, but it is the number of beats (quarter notes) per minute that determines the tempo.

Given this fact; as long as it fits, it's good.

FWIW, the "fast" drums do sound better (to me) than the "slow" ones.

I hope you could follow this explanation.

Regards,
Old 1 week ago
  #6
Gear Guru
 

Quote:
I have a 120 bpm track I'm working on.
Speaking as a drummer, the "fast" drums are at what I would call "120 bpm". This is based on the idea that snare sounds to me like the backbeat playing 2 and 4. But maybe its a 1/16th note beat with snare accents on the "ands". That's just as valid a way of looking at it. Just as valid. It's all just semantics. 120 is what I would call it, but then, maybe I would call the keyboards 60 bpm.

Quote:
tldr: Can you play fast drums on slow tempos without it sounding bad?
Well certainly as long as the fast drums are exactly twice as fast. Or 4 times as fast. Or some mathematically reasonable multiple of the original tempo. Typically, double-time is quite common. You could do triplets, I suppose, and maybe get away with it. Some people would even mix the 'slow' and the twice as fast in different sections of the same song. As long as the notes line up, it's just a matter of interpretation.

OTOH, if your keyboards are at 60 bpm and your drums are at 73 bpm, it's going to be ugly.

Quote:
The drums that sound good are slow but I just hate them
I don't get this, if they "sound good" why do you hate them? I hate them, too - but mainly because the accents are weird.

Quote:
I want to play it super fast (like in the example I attached)
then play it super fast. What's the hang-up?

Quote:
but I'm wondering if this is functional/good?
what is it about the fast drums that makes you think it is not functional/good?

Quote:
If I do it throughout the song it feels weird.
which feels weird throughout the song, the fast or the slow?

I am not even really sure what you mean by "the song". You have 2 seconds of drumming and then you have a single chord/drone that apparently rings out for 60 seconds with little or no discernible tempo. What is that 60 seconds? Is that your 'song' minus the drums? Are you asking what drums to put in there? I hear a slight modulation in the drone. Is that vibrato the only manifestation of tempo?

Quote:
Am I playing a different tempo for drums when im playing fast though? Im not sure
you are not necessarily even playing a 'different tempo' if you are playing twice as fast if that is what you mean. The tempo being 60/120 is really a matter of interpretation/semantics if you call a group of notes 'quarter notes' or call them 'eighth notes'. Where you put the accents might lead someone else to say the song is "fast" or "slow", but it is what it is.
Old 1 week ago
  #7
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Prodba View Post
First, based on what is this track 120bpm?
Beside the dtums, there's no rythmical, or time division, information to detetmine that.

The tempo of a song is not determined by the number in the DAW; it's determined by the song itself (chord progression, melody, rythm, accents, etc.).
You can play a 240bpm or a 60bpm seamlessly in a 120bpm programmed DAW; only the resolution (clocks per quarter note) would be different.
The actual tempo of a song can only be determined after it is clear how what is played can be devided into measures and quarter notes; the number of these quarter notes in one minute then gives you the tempo in pbm.

So, you can have a song with the kick on beat 1 and the snare on beat 3, giving the IMPRESSION of being half the tempo of the same song, with the kick on 1, 3 and snare on 2, 4.
But in fact, both versions are the same tempo.

However, if you'd take/isolate just the drums from this first version (kick on 1, snare on 3), you might interpret the kick now being on 1 and the snare on 2.
Now the tempo can "officially" be of a lower tempo (half), since all previous half notes are now quarter notes.
Mind you that it is still the same drumtrack; just to illustrate that it is the context of the whole song that determines the tempo of the song, not the individual instrumental tracks by themselves.




You may understand that fast/slow is not the appropriate terminology here.
The drums may appear "slow" or "fast" depending on the beats that are played on, but it is the number of beats (quarter notes) per minute that determines the tempo.

Given this fact; as long as it fits, it's good.

FWIW, the "fast" drums do sound better (to me) than the "slow" ones.

I hope you could follow this explanation.

Regards,
Wow thank you! This taught me a ton!
Old 1 week ago
  #8
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post
Speaking as a drummer, the "fast" drums are at what I would call "120 bpm". This is based on the idea that snare sounds to me like the backbeat playing 2 and 4. But maybe its a 1/16th note beat with snare accents on the "ands". That's just as valid a way of looking at it. Just as valid. It's all just semantics. 120 is what I would call it, but then, maybe I would call the keyboards 60 bpm.


Well certainly as long as the fast drums are exactly twice as fast. Or 4 times as fast. Or some mathematically reasonable multiple of the original tempo. Typically, double-time is quite common. You could do triplets, I suppose, and maybe get away with it. Some people would even mix the 'slow' and the twice as fast in different sections of the same song. As long as the notes line up, it's just a matter of interpretation.

OTOH, if your keyboards are at 60 bpm and your drums are at 73 bpm, it's going to be ugly.


I don't get this, if they "sound good" why do you hate them? I hate them, too - but mainly because the accents are weird.



then play it super fast. What's the hang-up?

what is it about the fast drums that makes you think it is not functional/good?


which feels weird throughout the song, the fast or the slow?

I am not even really sure what you mean by "the song". You have 2 seconds of drumming and then you have a single chord/drone that apparently rings out for 60 seconds with little or no discernible tempo. What is that 60 seconds? Is that your 'song' minus the drums? Are you asking what drums to put in there? I hear a slight modulation in the drone. Is that vibrato the only manifestation of tempo?


you are not necessarily even playing a 'different tempo' if you are playing twice as fast if that is what you mean. The tempo being 60/120 is really a matter of interpretation/semantics if you call a group of notes 'quarter notes' or call them 'eighth notes'. Where you put the accents might lead someone else to say the song is "fast" or "slow", but it is what it is.
Everything else is 123 bpm, so I could play 246 BPM drums if I want it fast. Right?



I agree that you can't tell from what I sent as I sent the unfinished bridge which is basically blank - that's silly of me. The song sounds weird because I'm playing a waltz on the keys and 4/4 on the bass and organ. So those combined makes it seem weird, plus the fast drums - it makes it more obvious. I'm wondering why with the slower drums it sounds normal and fast that is more obvious/weird.
I'm also curious what my time signature is in the drums. Can you tell?
Old 1 week ago
  #9
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by cheguevara93 View Post
Everything else is 123 bpm, so I could play 246 BPM drums if I want it fast. Right?
Correct.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cheguevara93 View Post
The song sounds weird because I'm playing a waltz on the keys and 4/4 on the bass and organ. So those combined makes it seem weird, plus the fast drums - it makes it more obvious. I'm wondering why with the slower drums it sounds normal and fast that is more obvious/weird.
In 4/4 the accents are; ONE-two-three-four. (three gets a weak accent)
In 3/4 the accent is; ONE-two-tree.

So, mxing 3/4 and 4/4 time signatures IN THE SAME TEMPO may sound weird, as the natural accents (strong accent on the first beat) in both signatures will not align (only once in every fourth 4/4 measures).
In the first 4/4 measure already, you'll notice the strong accents of the 1/3 waltz, on 1 and 4.
While in the second 4/4 measure, the waltz accents will be on 3, then on 2, etc.

The 3/4 of the waltz combined with a 4/4 OF HALF THE TEMPO, CAN sound acceptable, because the 3/4 of the waltz will end up sounding like triplets.*
[* The 3 quarter notes of the waltz divided over 2 quarter notes of the 4/4 signature.*]
The accents of the waltz will then structurally coincide with the 1st and 3rd beats (accents) of the 4/4.
This is why the "slow" drums work better, since the "fast" is probably in the same tempo and thus the natural strong accent on the first beats of the (4/4) drums will not line up with those of the (3/4) waltz keys.

Regards.
Old 1 week ago
  #10
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Prodba View Post
Correct.



In 4/4 the accents are; ONE-two-three-four. (three gets a weak accent)
In 3/4 the accent is; ONE-two-tree.

So, mxing 3/4 and 4/4 time signatures IN THE SAME TEMPO may sound weird, as the natural accents (strong accent on the first beat) in both signatures will not align (only once in every fourth 4/4 measures).
In the first 4/4 measure already, you'll notice the strong accents of the 1/3 waltz, on 1 and 4.
While in the second 4/4 measure, the waltz accents will be on 3, then on 2, etc.

The 3/4 of the waltz combined with a 4/4 OF HALF THE TEMPO, CAN sound acceptable, because the 3/4 of the waltz will end up sounding like triplets.*
[* The 3 quarter notes of the waltz divided over 2 quarter notes of the 4/4 signature.*]
The accents of the waltz will then structurally coincide with the 1st and 3rd beats (accents) of the 4/4.
This is why the "slow" drums work better, since the "fast" is probably in the same tempo and thus the natural strong accent on the first beats of the (4/4) drums will not line up with those of the (3/4) waltz keys.

Regards.

Thanks!!!!

Just to clarify, is this song, especially the piano entry, doing what you said? Vocals seem way off, but it isn't. i'm so confused.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=prW-qgEQxBI
Old 1 week ago
  #11
Quote:
doing what you said? Vocals seem way off, but it isn't. i'm so confused.
Doing what others say is pointless.

You need to play each instrument, including the drums the way YOU want them to sound like. Its your song and here are no rules!
Do what ever you want with it, as long as you are happy with it.

Play the drums slow, if thats what you want, or play them fast, if thats what you want the drums in the song to sound like. If it sounds good to you, its correct. There are no yes and no answers.
Old 1 week ago
  #12
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by cheguevara93 View Post
Thanks!!!!

Just to clarify, is this song, especially the piano entry, doing what you said? Vocals seem way off, but it isn't. i'm so confused.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=prW-qgEQxBI
The piano is indeed playing a triplet pattern, however the song, including the paino, is still in 4/4.
So, listening to the vocals, you'd count; one......two......three.....four, while listening to the piano, you're inclined to count (in your head) one-two-three quickly on each of the four quarter notes.

ONE (two-three)...Two (two-three)...Three (two-three)...four (two-three).
In this case, the count (1-2-3-4) are the quarter notes and the triplet feel is three eight notes, divided over each quarter note. (the triplets in my previous post were slower ones; 3 quarter notes divided over a half note).

But you do get the idea; though the posted youtube video is not a mix up of time signatures, that's indeed the kind of feel that you'd get when mixing up a 3/4 time signature with a half or quarter slower tempo 4/4.

It is only confusing, though, when you maybe think too much about it.
You have probably heard it many times, without knowing; there's a lot of old ballads and soul songs, where the hihat or ride is playing triplets, while the kick and snare are on the quarter notes.

I can think of (I can only recall these oldies):
- Unchained melody (Righteous brothers)
- When a man loves a woman (Percy Sledge)
- End of the road (Boyz to men)

(I don't know how to include the youtube links)

So, even if it is interesting to know your music theory*, just do what sounds right to you and worry about the theory, time signature, notation and whatnot, after.

* Any theory is just the explanation or description of an actual reality, not the other way around; so, make your musical reality and then see in what theory it might fit.

Old 1 week ago
  #13
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Prodba View Post
The piano is indeed playing a triplet pattern, however the song, including the paino, is still in 4/4.
So, listening to the vocals, you'd count; one......two......three.....four, while listening to the piano, you're inclined to count (in your head) one-two-three quickly on each of the four quarter notes.

ONE (two-three)...Two (two-three)...Three (two-three)...four (two-three).
In this case, the count (1-2-3-4) are the quarter notes and the triplet feel is three eight notes, divided over each quarter note. (the triplets in my previous post were slower ones; 3 quarter notes divided over a half note).

But you do get the idea; though the posted youtube video is not a mix up of time signatures, that's indeed the kind of feel that you'd get when mixing up a 3/4 time signature with a half or quarter slower tempo 4/4.

It is only confusing, though, when you maybe think too much about it.
You have probably heard it many times, without knowing; there's a lot of old ballads and soul songs, where the hihat or ride is playing triplets, while the kick and snare are on the quarter notes.

I can think of (I can only recall these oldies):
- Unchained melody (Righteous brothers)
- When a man loves a woman (Percy Sledge)
- End of the road (Boyz to men)

(I don't know how to include the youtube links)

So, even if it is interesting to know your music theory*, just do what sounds right to you and worry about the theory, time signature, notation and whatnot, after.

* Any theory is just the explanation or description of an actual reality, not the other way around; so, make your musical reality and then see in what theory it might fit.

Thanks!!!!

Very Helpful.

What you said last really stuck with me. I don't know any music theory. I just press the keys randomly and figure out what sounds good- and sometimes my musician friends say, "oh nice you did THAT? (a rare composition or whatever) and I'm like what is that? Haha

Do you think all musicians know some theory?
Old 1 week ago
  #14
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by cheguevara93 View Post
Do you think all musicians know some theory?
Probably not the academic theory, but certainly some musical knowledge (know why vs. know how); learning what works, through experience and practical study and exercise.
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