So what are the things that you can take away from the analysis and application part of the book?
1. Each beat has a “concept”. Each beat should have something special, something that clearly differentiates it from other beats. Nurture these concepts, and make sure that you convey the special parts of the beats to the listener.
2. Analyse your own beats. Use the methods from the analysis of 9a-9e as guidelines, a set of ideas, to make your own beats more musical. Take the time to transcribe your own beats. Change the beats around on paper, and then practice the new beats. I can’t stress enough that this process is totally worth your time. If you’ve never done this before, it will be difficult at first. But you will get better at it.
3. Maintain the core beat. It is important to note here that the core of the beat, the accented snare drum, bass drum, and ride patterns, are the most important parts of the beat, and come first. The offbeat 16th notes, while they are an important part of the DnB sound, are secondary to the core. Stamina is also an important issue here – you must be able to maintain the core of the DnB beat while consciously dropping the offbeat 16th notes in and out of the beat at will.
4. How do the layers relate? Another important concept to keep in mind in the analysis and application of a beat is how the 3 major layers relate to each other. That is, what do just the ride and bass drum layer sound like? What do the accented snare and bass layers sound like? How does it feel when you play just the ride and accented snare layers together? If you are able to drop out one of the layers at will, you will easily be able to keep the flow going, while giving your limbs a rest.
5. We’ve explored many of the music fundamentals in the different analyses, and we’ve been pretty specific with each beat. But remember that any of the music fundamentals could potentially work on any of the beats. In music, anything goes – as long as it grooves.
6. JUST DO IT. It’s really just a matter of looking at the beat, deciding how you are going to handle it, and then practicing it. Your own applications of your own beats can be as complex as 9a, where we looked at each layer separately, or as simple as beat 9c, where we simply said “Let’s apply some dynamics here.” Either way, just PLAY YOUR DRUMS!
7. Finally, yet another step towards making your drumming more musical is to take a step back and see which other drummers have had this goal, and then cop their style. I don’t mean mimic their licks, but instead mimic their approach to making music. Jazz drummers are a great place to start. They get solos on a regular basis, so they must be doing something right. (Check out John Riley’s The Art of Bop Drumming if you have a chance. It is a great resource for making music on the drums.)