Free Drum Samples

When I have time after a session and the engineer is into it, I will record drum samples while the kit is set up and miked. I have a number of these available for free download on Sound Cloud. Have fun and let me know if you use them for any projects!

https://soundcloud.com/derek-m-murphy/sets/derek-murphy-ludwig-stainless

https://soundcloud.com/derek-m-murphy/sets/derek-murphy-snare-samples

Cymbalitis

Make your crashes count. 

There’s no rule that says you have to hit a crash cymbal at the top of every section or bar. There’s no hard fast rule for this but think about why you are hitting a crash. Is it adding excitement or helping the song in some way? Or is it fighting with the other instruments, vocals or even your own drums? 

Also think about how hard you are hitting the cymbal. A cymbal is very loud even when hit lightly. One of the best ways to get your drums to sound bigger is to hit the cymbals softer. This is especially true in a recording enviroment. Think about it, the best representation of the whole drum kit comes from the overhead microphones. Your cymbals are the closest, loudest thing to these microphones. If the cymbals are louder than the drums, you can’t use these the overhead tracks for much of the drum sound. They can only be as loud as the cymbals. If you are playing hard, this is easier said than done, but it is possible if you’re aware.

The Click Track as another member of the band.

This is a concept for playing drums (or any other instrument) more comfortably with a metronome or click track. 

When you picture the sound of the metronome in your mind, imagine that it's being made by another musician. Don't think of it as a rigid grid. Imagine that it has an ebb and flow, and just try to play along WITH the click, try not to play TO the click. 

It's also a good idea to practice with the metronome at lower volumes. This will help you learn to trust the metronome and help you keep from chasing it. Click volumes available in various studios can vary wildly. If you're used to playing with a click at a lower volume you can help to avoid panicking when you are in a pressure situation. 

Another problem that I will address in a future update is playing to a click with a band. Bottom line: 

EVERYONE is responsible for keeping time. 

Unfortunately, this isn't often the case. In a future update, I'll outline some techniques to help you through the gig or session.