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68

Instruments don't just produce one frequency at a time. When you play a single note on a melodic instruments (like piano, wind instruments, string instruments, etc.), you produce many different frequencies at a single time--a whole spectrum is produced. But this spectrum isn't random. It pretty closely follows the harmonic series, which can be thought of as ...


51

The drums CAN play melodies, but the number of pitches and notes you have available are limited by the number of drums you have (not counting creative applications of "bending" the drum head to produce higher pitches). Terry Bozzio is an example of a drummer who uses a massive drumset so that he can play more complex melodies on the drums. In a video of his ...


46

This is not always true. While most bar bands have this set up, if you go to many large concerts (for instance the Eagles concert tour), you will often find many percussionists working simultaneously. But on average, and for most typical bands, I'd say you're correct. And while I can't give a scientific reason, I can give my general opinions and at no ...


28

It reduces volume, but usually the desired effect is to remove excessive ringing. If you listen to the snare on the St. Anger record by Metallica, you'll hear the type of sounds some drummers want to mitigate with the use of tape or other dampers. This technique can be used on toms too. There it's usually not the high pitched ring of the snare, but lower ...


25

The relative dearth of percussion in classical music versus rock is part of what makes those genres sound different. Nothing takes on the role of a drum kit in the classical orchestra. That role remains empty and that’s part of the sound. When a more percussive sound is desired in the classical orchestra, then percussion instruments are used. These include ...


23

Your description at the end is pretty close to the default (assuming right handed) for a rock kit, which is the most commonly used setup. There are other standard kit setups such as Jazz Kits see @Eric K's answer for a description of a Jazz kit. So for a "standard" rock kit you'd have: Snare between your legs usually just above knee height on your left Hi ...


22

At the risk of covering something you may already know well, let's take a detour and be clear about what crash and ride cymbals are and how they are different. Then the explanation of what a crash/ride is will make more sense. There are three main characteristics that determine most of a cymbal's sound: size (diameter), weight (thickness), and profile (the ...


22

No-one's mentioned pans - aka steel drums They certainly are used to play melodies. The main problem is that melodies usually contain long and short duration notes, and drums generally can only produce short, so rolls have to be performed to 'sustain' longer notes. For those who haven't had the pleasure, 40 gallon steel oil drums are cut in half, or less, ...


21

You should do both! When I just start working with other musicians, I like to get a cover or two under our belts so we can feel each other out and learn to play as a group. Literally at the same time, I like to meet for songwriting sessions to start putting stuff together for originals. Both covers and originals will improve your skills, but perhaps in ...


20

I don't see why you wouldn't be able to achieve all of your goals within a year - they are a perfectly reasonable. 1.5hrs of practice a day is a typical average of many college musicians, but I digress. Let me address your questions directly: Is it possible, within my barriers, to achieve my goals? What would a weekday excercise (1.5 hours) look ...


19

I'll add pictures to precise the answer of Meaningful Username ;) This is more for sound mitigation : This is more for tone control (to reduce some harmonies) : Since this answer is appreciated, I'll add that some drummers prefer (and advise) to use gaffer instead of duct tape to avoid adhesive residues. Duct tape uses natural adhesive where gaffer tape ...


18

In general "classical" music usually has less of a "strict time" feeling than music that typically uses percussion heavily. That's one reason that a conductor is there - to define the time feel, cue sections and so on. But when a composer wants to make the listener aware of strict time, they can and do use percussion - something like Ravel's Bolero being an ...


16

Actually, the fact that you've analyzed your playing to the point where you can describe where you're going wrong means you're halfway there, so good job so far. Some additional practice suggestions: Try feeling macrobeats: instead of listening for a pulse on every beat, listen for every two beats, or every full measure--thus de-emphasizing the snare:beat ...


15

Drums have pitches, but by the time they are in the track, then unless it is for very specific purposes, to complement a melodic line etc, then those actual pitches should not be truly apparent to the end-listener. Let the listener just get the 'vibe' of what you intend. They shouldn't really be hearing a 'tune' from the drum pitches, only the apparent ...


14

It really depends on the style of music. If you're playing military or orchestral music, with lots of rolls, you'll probably find a wooden stick rebounds better from the snare drum, making it easier to play. On the other hand, because wood has a grain, wooden tips give you a slightly different sound depending on the rotation of the stick around its long ...


14

If you are serious about drumming I have good advice: Background I've been playing 13 years.I play in my college's jazz ensemble and play in a rock band outside of that. I take lessons with the percussion instructor at my university. I usually practice 3 hours a day. I get paid for some of my gigs, but not enough for me to call myself a professional. ...


14

You're close! A paradiddle is a four-articulation pattern that alternates hands for the first three articulations but then repeats the third hand. The two patterns are L R L L and R L R R. Fancier terminology would be "alternating single strokes followed by a double stroke." I don't know where the name comes from, but I've just always assumed it was "...


14

In contrast to the question, the timpani are a drum set that can play melodies (although they are almost always given accompaniment parts only). Indeed, they are tuned to pitches (one pitch per drum) before a piece starts.


13

General Midi specifies a mapping. Roland's GS standard adds to it as does Yamaha's XG standard. Your exact keyboard (and possibly drum preset itself) may vary. see http://pianocheetah.com/midi/drum.html and wikipedia:


13

Yes, there are several things that are different: You'll find out that a real drum and a real cymbal produce much more variants in sound than the electronic version, depending on many parameters of your stroke (where you hit, how hard you hit, what kind of stick you have, how tight you hold the stick). It is a challenge, but also a possibility. You cannot ...


12

Staff music, and indeed pretty much any system of musical or rhythmic notation, is just a means to an end. You are free to invent any system you want, borrowing symbols from any discipline or making them up as you go. As long as they have meaning to you, that's the most important thing. Since you don't want sheet music (understandable, given that sheet ...


12

You are missing independent coordination between your limbs. Your brain has not yet developed neurological connections that supports such kinesthetic interdependence as it is something that takes time to do - some of us longer than others. In order to develop strict and evenly developed competence with all of your limbs, it therefore stands to reason that ...


12

I agree 100% with everything Todd Wilcox stated in his excellent answer! To add to what he said - as a songwriter myself, I find that learning covers is a great way to improve not only my skills as a musician, but also my skills as a songwriter. First of all, when I write my own songs and musical arrangements, I tend to use chords and riffs that I am ...


12

Sites like this always get lots of questions about how to soundproof thin walls, and the answer is always that you can't do much. Soundproofing is achieved by having a lot of mass in the walls (and those foam panels you see in studios are about diffusing reflections, not soundproofing). So this means that you need to look for a house/apartment that's been ...


11

I am a band director with a degree in percussion performance and played and taught Drum and Bugle corp a long time. I am an expert on drumming rudiments. I first learned traditional grip and later switched to matched grip. I now use both grips, because each has its own advantages. Traditional Grip: it is easier to produce a double or multiple bounce ...


11

I'm not a drummer, but from what I've read... closed hihat is hitting it with the stick while your foot holds it closed. foot hihat is stomping the pedal so the top and bottom crash together.


10

Much more useful than metronome tracks would be a metronome app; if you have an iPod touch or iPhone (or Android) I highly recommend Tempo by Frozen Ape software as it has a noticeably more accurate timing engine than many competitors. When riding the bus to school you have free movement of all four of your limbs, so there's really quite a lot you could do ...


10

Obviously, headphones are the very first thing to recommend if you aren't already using them. A good pair of noise-cancelling headphones works both ways; you can be thumpin' it at 95dB and nobody but you will hear it. The sound produced by you hitting a rubber pad with a drumstick is a dull thunk, typically quieter than an ordinary conversation. If you have ...


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