Programming rhythms is one of my weakest skills, so I need all the help I can get. Without any training on real drums, I often find the hardest part is simply getting started with something that isn’t just kick on the 1 and 3 or four on the floor. What I’ve begun doing is to start by simply picking two accented kick notes before anything else. The beat below was something I quickly put into my TR-09. I wouldn’t call it exciting, but was fifteen minutes of work and it’s a lot more interesting than what I’d normally come up with in a short period. The placement of the main kick notes on the 1 and the and of the 3 dictate much of what other sounds will fit once these main hits are in place. Instead of putting together one mediocre rhythm in an hour of work, I managed to put four into the box that had more potential to drive interesting progressions or melodies.

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