OK, need a head's up so I can practice this: the basic technique for fitting a tune to a beat. Take, for example, Red Red Wine. UB40 did it as a reggae song. I've heard it as a blues ballad, a pop song, even a neo-rave track!

Imagine you've got the basic drums-rhythm set up for several different styles. How do you then go about fitting the right part of the melody to the right part of the beat so it still 'sounds right'? (Another example is Galloping Home from Black Beauty - there's an awesome rave version on YouTube


Basically, any info on changing rhythms and fitting tunes to rhythms, on-beats/offbeats, how to make a tune/rhythm 'sit right' together would be greatly appreciated. All info will be practiced!

Note: I'm not looking for info on how to use a drum machine, but how to fit the music to the rhythm afterwards.

  • 1
    You mean to change the whole feeling of the song? Or even the structure of the song?
    – Nachmen
    Jan 15, 2016 at 11:52

1 Answer 1


You're asking about re-arranging the music and that is an artistic process, which no one else can tell you how to do precisely.

If you're not sure where to begin, then:

  • Learn to play the song that you want to re-arrange in the original style.
  • Learn to play several songs in the style that you want to change the original song into.
  • Get your beat going, then use your knowledge of both the original song and the style that you gained from the first two steps above to play the song in the new style.

When you have done the homework before re-arranging the song, by learning the target style and the song itself backwards and forwards, performing the song in the target style will be much easier. You'll be able to make choices about how you want to change the song almost without thinking about it. It will be a very creative, artistic process.

One larger point: Most of the time, when a question on this site is something like "How do I do ____?", the answer almost always boils down to practice! Sometimes (as in this case), you have to practice something other than what you're trying to do to gain the tools you need to do it.

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