# What? – understanding drums.

Best read before attempting to understand the midi drum lessons/articles on this site.

–o==->

I’m going to use the staff view in Sonar and the Piano Roll in Reaper.

–0+~+>

First let’s get a bit of knowledge –

A bar with 4 crotchets

This is a crotchet.

The first image above shows 4 ‘crotchet’ beats per bar.

This is called 4/4 time,

The bottom ‘4’ tells us what type of beat(crotchet).

The top ‘4’ tells us how many.

–o–>

Below we have 2 bars of 4 beats…

In Reapers piano roll it would look like this,

We would count this ‘1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4’

Play and count along…

o—> Kick and Snare

Look at the pictures below…

Kick Snare

In Reaper looks like this,

Kick on beats 1 and 3 - Snare on 2 and 4

Play and count along…1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4

—o–>>> Hi-Hats

Now let’s have a look at hi-hats…

In Reaper it looks like this,

Hi Hats Closed - Quaver Beats - Straight 8ths

Play and count along…

We would count this,

‘ 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 1 + 2+ 3+ 4 +’

+ = ‘and’

so we say – ‘1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and’

The above pictures both show 8 beats per bar – these are called 8ths or Quaver Beats.

The Quaver

——->Sub Divide<——

1 Crotchet = 2 quaver beats

We had 4 crotchet beats per bar,

So now we have 8 quaver beats…

–o–>>> Open Hi Hats

Below we have changed closed hi-hats for open hi-hats

Again we would count,

‘ 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 1 + 2+ 3+ 4 +’

——o>>

Let’s recap.

4/4 means 4 crotchet beats per bar counted 1 2 3 4

2 Quavers = 1 crotchet therefore a straight 8 would be 1+2+3+4+

——o>>

Learning to count this helps us understand a little better.

——o>>

Let’s look at the following simple straight 8 rock beat…

In Reaper it looks like this,

The picture above shows us,

‘Kick’ on beats 1 and 3

‘Snare’ on 2 and 4

‘Closed Hi-Hat’ on beats 1+2+3+4+

more to come…

Updated: June 7, 2009 — 5:03 am

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