Re: [LAU] How to write beats

From: Thorsten Wilms <t_w_@email-addr-hidden>
Date: Sun Apr 20 2008 - 11:46:01 EEST

On Sun, 2008-04-20 at 11:59 +0800, Chris McCormick wrote:

> <>

Interesting that you like to notate in half-time. But wouldn't that make
your Hip Hop run at 45 BPM, if one takes it exactly as you write it?

I think the examples would be easier to read with vertical grid lines.

What helps me writing beats is knowing about "heavy" and "light" beats,
pulse, swing, ghost notes ...

In 4/4, 1 and 3 are heavy (downbeat), 2 and 4 are light (backbeat).
In 3/4 only 1 is heavy.

So if you want something that "stomps", you accentuate the backbeats.
If you want something light-footed, accentuate 2 and 4 and perhaps play
around one of the backbeats (notes before and after, not right on it).

Hits on the beats are "stable". Hits right between the beats (offbeats),
meaning each second 1/8 note in 4/4, are less stable. Hits on positions
available only with an even finer grid are even less stable. These often
ask to be countered with other notes, to stay in balance (it's like
stumbling and having to do another step to not fall down on your face)

The pulse is your basic grid resolution (not necessarily counting flams
and rolls). Usually 1/8 or 1/16 notes. An interesting way to build a
beat is to start with filling a bar (or several) with 1/16 notes. Edit
the velocity, for example 127, 60, 110, 90 for each quarter. Then
experiment with erasing single notes and finally move notes to different

Ghost notes are hits with low velocity that can happen in the gaps. They
should have such a low level, that they won't catch your attention
directly. It's rather something you will only notice if it suddenly

Thorsten Wilms
thorwil's design for free software:
Linux-audio-user mailing list
Received on Sun Apr 20 12:15:01 2008

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Sun Apr 20 2008 - 12:15:01 EEST