Bash this hook, mainly the drum choices

ok, this is a scratch hook demo. Scratch vocals thrown down thru cheap headset etc. No need to comment on RECORDING QUALITY of this scratch demo lol

Comment on the overall hookiness of it. is it worth working on etc

Mainly just want feedback on which drum approach sounds best

There are 3 short clips. the first two are halftime, the first has a more active kick and the second has a less active kick

3rd clip is standard time BUT there are still 2 different drum patterns. first time thru is one pattern, 2nd time thru is a different pattern


which is the best?? is the halftime feel or the standard time feel better? (obviously, knowing me, the sing will probably mix/match both feels)

  1. halftime with more active kick

  1. halftime with less active kick

  1. standard time, 1st time through has 1 beat, 2nd time thru has a different beat

ok, which has the better feel and how is the overall hook itself? If I redo it all ill try to get the vocal grittier OR maybe even try to sing an octave higher

Thanks, JJ

I don’t think details like this are important at this stage. The point of the hook is to be the part that people remember. If you are concerning yourself with details like this, then you aren’t working on the hook any more. The drums don’t change the hook, but they will change how the hook feels after coming out of the chorus.

You should be able to strip a hook down to its bare essentials and still have it be a hook.

I mean, it’s fine to mess with stuff like this at this stage for the sake of experimentation, but really you shouldn’t attach yourself to any idea until you can hear it in context.


I must have a totally different conception of what the word “hook” means. To me, the hook is the vocal melody over the chords. How can I “work on” the hook, when the hook is already there? I worked it out for like 20 minutes figuring out the chords and the melody etc

So what would the next step be? Obviously a halftime drum feel and a standard time feel are totally different lol. Im having a hard time seeing how that is inconsequential

I see the drums as a serious part of the foundation. How can one say “you cant decide on the foundation until you build the 2nd floor”?? Thats how I interpret what u said

Thanks, JJ

Number 2 is the winner for me. Mostly because I’m reminded of Alice in Chains when I hear that one. :beerbanger:

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yeah, the less active kick is better but i think I took out the wrong kick lol

That’s exactly what I was saying. The drums are neither of those. How you choose to put the drums here will determine how the song will flow from one part to the next. You could easily play these three different versions one after the other in the same song. All it would do is change the flow.

In this case, it depends pretty highly on what the verse feels like. If the verse is playing fast, it might be better to go half time on the chorus to separate it a bit. If the verse is slower, it might be better to use the standard time. Or maybe you want to switch to the standard time at the end of the song so you can throw an extra chorus on the end without being too repetitive

The next step would be to write the rest of the song.

I don’t, at least not in this example. There are times where the drums are a part of the songwriting, but in this, the drums are just determining the flow. But it’s hard to decide on a flow without seeing the before and after.


I don’t usually read other posts. You know I am limited for feedback capability:) I like the first because I think it brings more of the total feel of the song. Love the growl in your voice and the kick ass start. It is convincing to me. Just a couple pennies from the senior crowd…exciting



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all that being said…u still didnt comment on the hook lol

haha, thanks, yeah the vocals…pretty much the biggest challenge for all of us. Those were just scratch vocals done while sitting up in bed. No warmup etc.

Thats why i had threads trying to get my headset mic working…so i could be lazy and sing scratch vocals while lying in bed hehe

thats not my raw bare voice though. its “doubled”, which means I sang it twice on 2 different tracks…but I turned one track way down so it isnt a pronounced effect but it still makes it fuller.

There is also compression and some delay and some reverb just sort of thrown on with not a lot of thought

The range is actually pretty low for me. Thats one of the lower lines ive tried to sing and it actually felt sort of weird. it was easy to get the notes but sort of hard to get a good tone

Thats why i said i might sing it an octave higher. But what i think ill do is leave it where it is and that way i can add lots of nice fills and ad libs in the higher octave

Peace, JJ

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yeah, I see this point. example 3 sort of showed it. on the 2nd half of example 3 it feels like its going into the outro with that particular change of pattern

That being said, maybe I got lucky and picked decent patterns. Just as easily though, i could have picked a pattern that didnt work at all…then it WOULD be a fundamental issue

one of the coolest thing drummers do is switch back and forth between halftime and standard time and sometimes they can leave u guessing as to where they are at any moment

oh yeah, I forgot. My mom had called and we talked on the phone for about 20 minutes. Believe it or not THAT will rasp my voice up quicker than anything. My voice got all dried up and raspy while we were talking. I was actually kind of miffed but it didnt really matter because I wasnt too worried about the vocal quality of the part and it wasnt a high part anyway

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I wouldn’t. It’s a pretty heavy doomy sounding song, no need to go Rob Halford. The second is my favorite. Number 3 is too fast.


I would like the first beat better if the kicks were placed a little differently. Sounds like the kicks aren’t working as well as they could with the groove. A few little edits to the kick drum would improve that.

The second version was a basic version of the first one. It sounds fine but I think I might prefer the first one if the kicks grooved with the music a bit more.

The third version is fine too. All in all, I don’t have any strong preference, but the first one would be my choice if I had to choose…Just a little modification will help it though.
Use them all. It’ll add some variety.

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yeah, believe it or not this little experiment was my FIRST time trying to manually edit the drum midi with the whole piano roll thing. Ive always been afraid to go there but evidently there is no way around it

Its also like only the 2nd or 3rd time ive come up with a riff WITHOUT drums just using a metronome and then going back and trying to find drums to match

the overall point of it all is to come up with HOOKS. Meaning to sit with guitar in hand and headset on and come up with the vocal line at the same time as the chords etc. of course that means I have to then go in and try to find drums to match

its amazing how one can have thousands of EZDrummer midi patterns and yet not be able to find one that exactly matches. Sometimes, as u say, its just a kick here or there. I have a feeling though that in general i want the drums to swing a bit more than most patterns do. We will see…manual midi editing is stepping into a whole new world. Gee, just what I need :hushed:

I have ALWAYS started my jams with the drums for the whole song laid out ahead of time. intro/verse/chorus etc etc. Then i just come up with guitar parts for it all. Its very efficient and easy for me since ive done it for years. The catch is that then you have to try to come up with some nice vocal line to fit and so far Im sort of having a mental block doing it that way

So I am now trying to come up with at least a chorus vocal hook first. I have a feeling that once I get some practice coming up with vocal lines (still learning MY voice) that Ill be able to come up with lines either before or after ive laid drums down

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Yeah, I think the default EZ drummer/ SD drum patterns are usually not the optimal beats that are the most suitable for our songs. It’s often better to just create your own.

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yeah, unfortunately everything takes a certain amount of time. If I add in 500 hours of really learning how to manually edit midi, then thats 500 hours im not:—> writing songs, singing, playing guitar

It almost feels like all of this “convenience” isnt really lol. One feels like we are back to the Leonardo DaVinci days when we have to make our own brushes and painstakingly mix our own paints

But it looks like its somewhat unavoidable at this point and drums are a huge part of our sound

Last night I spent some time watching youtube vids of drummers doing rock covers of Rush etc and I was actually trying to see what they were doing, the actual stick hits on fills etc

I hope that with midi there arent THAT many limitations. I find that with stuff like EZ Drummer its like certain beats you simply CANT program because its going to quantize the hit to a place you dont want it etc. But at least with midi editing you can manually move that hit back and forth

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Yeah, I guess the midi thing isn’t what you would want to prioritize. Songwriting is king! That’s probably the best thing to focus on.

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BUT…you get to that point where something is impeding the songwriting or the general progress. Could be singing ability, guitar tone, production skills…or…DRUMS. Then what? Its gotta be addressed. In any case its about time I get some basic midi editing skills anyway, ive put it off long enough

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seek and you shall find, knock and the door will be opened

nice tool here, EXACTLY what I need

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