« BeatTips Rating: Big Noyd, Large Professor & Kool G Rap – “Naturally Born” (prod. by Ayatollah) | Main | Do You Like to Pre-Treat Your Sounds or Make Major Tweaks to Them in Real Time? »

January 25, 2013

BeatTips Tutorials: Working from 3-Bar Loop Arrangement Schemes

My Method for Building 3-Bar Loops

By AMIR SAID (SA'ID)

Although 2- and 4-Bar loops are among the most common arrangement (sequence) structures in Beatmaking, the 3-bar loop is not only just effective, it can often produce more interesting results. Still, getting the 3-bar loop to work can be difficult. A couple of weeks ago, TBC member Ace2CWB posted a question about 3-bar loops in the community (3 Bar Loops). There were some good replies. sframpt pointed out that "you can do interesting things in terms of composition with a 3 bar loop,... for example, consider creating a 2-bar rhythmic pattern against the loop (ie the clave in latin music). The rhythms will only sync up every six bars in that case. it gives the music rhythmic tension and makes it less predictable." I also chimed in with a response, seeing how I dig working from 3-bar loop schemes.

There are many ways to go forward with a 3-bar loop. However, it depends a lot on which part of the sample (samples are not loops, we *make* them loop) that you like or need the most. If you want to keep the entire sample *as is*, then within the 3-bars, you can create a drum pattern that makes everything mesh together.

In the past, when using 3-bar loops, I've placed a snare on the first step of the sequence, and then arranged my kick pattern around it, usually something rather simple. Most of the time, that solved the issue. Other times, an additional "covering sample" (usually just a snippet of the same sample) at either the end of the 2nd bar or 3rd bar solved the issue for me. Usually, this would involve somehow getting a 4-bar structure, though.

But in those cases where that didn't work, I copied the 3-bars, making them six. Now with the six bars, I deleted the last two, giving me 4 bars. I'd play the 4 bars to see what/where I was lacking something. Keep in mind, I would not delete the original 3-bar loop, because I wanted to use it as a reference. So even though I was working on just one beat, I would have three (or more) separate sequences of the same idea. This means that I would have the original 3-bar loop sequence, the 6-bar loop sequence, and the 4-bar loop sequence. For each sequence, I would construct a slightly different drum pattern, varying in complexity and syncopation.

Now, this is where mute groups (I call them "cut offs" in The BeatTips Manual) really helps. On each of the sequences, I would experiment "cutting off" different points of the sample. Often this would tell me exactly which part/moments of the sample that I really wanted and which parts I didn't actually need. Having discovered that, it became easier to identify if I needed a 3-, 2-, 4-, 6-, or 8-bar sequence. If I still found—after all of that—that the 3-bar loop was the best, I would just make a 2-bar drum structure (lead by the snare) inside of the 3 bars, then I'd duplicate everything to give me 6 bars (a pair of 3-bar sequences). Main reason I duplicate up to 6? Because as a rhymer, I like the longer structure, because it allows me to put in a specific sound (like my infamous Hat X) on the 6th bar, which helps me with my timing, and gives sound a level of uniqueness.

---
The BeatTips Manual by Sa'id.
"The most trusted name in beatmaking and hip hop/rap music education."

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00e554d2e4f48834017c3640c34a970b

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference BeatTips Tutorials: Working from 3-Bar Loop Arrangement Schemes:

Dedicated to exploring the art of beatmaking in all of its glory.

Your email address:
  

  • Donate Sidebar

  • BeatTips Top 30 Beatmakers

  • Build Your Skills

  • Top 5 Myths About Sampling and Copyright Law


    "Sampling is piracy."
    WRONG! Piracy describes the wholesale, verbatim copying and distribution of copyrighted works. That is not sampling; that's something entirely different.
    Read more

    "You can legally sample and use any recording up to 1, 2, 3, or 4 seconds."
    WRONG! Under existing copyright law, there is no clear, predetermined length (amount in seconds) that is “legally” permissible to sample.
    Read more

    "If you use samples on a free mixtape, it’s perfectly O.K."
    WRONG! A free mixtape does NOT permit you to use samples from copyrighted recordings without the permission of the copyright holders.
    Read more

    "Sampling is easy; there’s nothing to it. Anyone can do it well."
    WRONG! Sampling is an art form that requires technical skill, imagination, and artistic understanding.
    Read more

    "Sampling involves the use of pre-recorded songs only."
    WRONG! While the art of sampling is most commonly understood to include the use of pre-recorded songs (traditionally from vinyl records), source material for sampling includes any recorded sound or sound that can be recorded.
    Read more



  • BeatTips
    Essential Listening

  • RIGHTS DISCLAIMER:
    BeatTips.com is a website dedicated to music education, research, and scholarship. All the music (or music videos) provided on this site is (are) for the purposes of teaching, scholarship, research, and criticism only! NOTE: Under U.S. Code, Section 107 “Limitations on exclusive rights: Fair use” of the Copyright Act of1976: “Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 106 and 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching… scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright." (U.S. Code)

Categories