Arranging with a Group

Grutzbo

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I am a guitar and bass player and primary arranger for a garage band. I struggle to find a vocabulary for rhythms. I suspect I need a tutorial on REALLY basic rhythms. If it is not a Waltz I dont have vocabulary! Other than 'rhythm just doesnt feel right' or 'drums, bass, guitar and keys are on different pages'. Suggestions on where to start speaking 'Drums?
 

TPC

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Tempo: quarter = 120 bpm, ...

Meter: 4/4, 3/4, 6/8, 12/8, ...

Subdivision: straight eighths, triplet "swing" eighths, dotted eighth-sixteenth, ...

Accents: Hard accent on the one, rest on the one with accent on two and four, ...

Speed: 1/2 time, double time, two-feel, ...
 

Pat A Flafla

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Learn how to use the Traditional American Counting System (1e&a 2e&a). It's intuitive and grid oriented so that it makes oral transmission of rhythmic ideas smoother than just clapping a rhythm to someone.
 

Grutzbo

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Thanks! I wondered about getting with drummer 1x1 and starting with rhythm guitar and single bass drum beats until we get the tempo and 'dance beat' down. I love that he goes off in different directions with drum sounds and rhythms and have no desire to control or limit that. If we could get it down to a dance beat where we were on same page?
 

JDA

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waltz
jazz waltz
rhumba
cha cha
speak with forked tongue
fast swing
shuffle
duffle
dead cat bounce (the Black Sabbath)
shimmy shimmy koko bop
Twist (the Chubby Checker)
polychromatic (the jack DeJohnette)
 
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MelvinJones

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Try referencing a recording (that you and the drummer are familiar with) that is of a similar feel or even just beatboxing/singing the drum part can be helpful in my experience. Your drummer should be able to help you out with vocabulary from there.
 

Whitten

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^^ This ^^
9 times out of 10 this is how non drummers communicate their ideas.
It's like this....
 

Stickclick

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You might try banging on a pail, cardboard box or acoustic guitar with your hands. Try to define the rhythm that you want.
 

multijd

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Why not try your ideas out in garage band or another similar software composer? They all have built in drum loops that could inspire you and give the drummer and rest of the band an idea of what you want.
 

cruddola

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I am a guitar and bass player and primary arranger for a garage band. I struggle to find a vocabulary for rhythms. I suspect I need a tutorial on REALLY basic rhythms. If it is not a Waltz I dont have vocabulary! Other than 'rhythm just doesnt feel right' or 'drums, bass, guitar and keys are on different pages'. Suggestions on where to start speaking 'Drums?
My oldest brother was a trumpet-player and a musical genius. At 15 he was the key arranger with the 27-member Latin-Jazz band Cloud Nine we played in. That band is now based in Mexico City. It's members make a grand a night. They play three times a week, five different clubs on a rotating basis. We were kids and couldn't go. He transposed to every instrument from a piano chart. He used the term "Feel" when relating to the drum and percussion parts. "This is the feel" we're needing and voice the part. He'd come up behind the drummer, both reading from the chart and my brother would tap the emphasized on the drummer's shoulders. Worked like a charm even if you were a great sight-reader. I'm putting "This is the Feel" on hos headstone if he croaks before me.
 

musiqman

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Why not try your ideas out in garage band or another similar software composer? They all have built in drum loops that could inspire you and give the drummer and rest of the band an idea of what you want.
This is how I get a lot of suggestions from artists I work with.

From simple patterns to extended sampled loops and beats.

It gives me an idea, or at least helps in getting the timing or spark to write something completely different as a reply suggestion.
 

Grutzbo

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Excellent stuff!!! Some beyond me but there are enough 'entry points' for me to start learning and communicating!
 


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