Wouldn’t it be awesome to be able to sit down behind the kit and play along to any song?
Watch this video to see how Rashid Williams was able to learn a new song and write the drum part in just 15 minutes!
Rashid listens to the song section by section, mapping out the structure in his head (you can write it down if it helps). The intro is sparse, so he decides to have no drums in this part. The vocals come in in the next section, which isn’t too built up yet, so he labels it the verse. Then the horns and backing vocals build up the chorus. After another verse and chorus, the song ends with an outro. Listen carefully for repeating sections where you can use the same beat or feel.
Since this song has a ‘trap vibe’, Rashid busts out some of the trap beats he already knows. He plays by the ‘rules’ of the style, like matching the kick with the bass. He also writes a ‘bigger’ sounding drum part in the chorus and outro to match how those parts are built up in the rest of the composition.
After getting the general feel and structure, he went back to fine-tune the parts (“going back to get the minor details that make a major difference”). Rashid noticed something unique near the end of the second verse – a slight ‘push’ he wants to accent on the drums. He skipped to that part and practiced the section to make sure he could nail it, then ran through the entire song again.
Rashid was able to write quickly because he already has the vocabulary for this style of music: he can pull out trap beats and hip-hop beats he already knows. The more you’re familiar with the ‘rules’ of a style, the more quickly you’ll be able to write drum parts in that style.
Check out some of the genre guides available on the Drumeo Beat:
Are you a Drumeo Edge member? Want to try this song yourself? “My Guy” by Bernhard Lackner is available as a playalong track in the Members area.
Rashid began playing the drums at the age of three and professionally for churches and choirs at the age of seven. He currently tours with multi-platinum and nine time Grammy Award-winning artist John Legend. He has also toured with Eric Roberson, Goapele, N.E.R.D., Diddy Dirty Money, JCole, Alicia Keys, Jill Scott and K. Michelle. To add to his credits, Rashid is listed among Cirque du Soleil’s roster of producers and drummers, and has been featured in Drumhead and Modern Drummer Magazines.
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