Record Gems with Open Drum Sounds
|By AMIR SAID (SA'ID)|
I'm a strong advocate for using custom drum sounds. And although I have no issue with stock drum sounds (I've used stock drums in the past, and I have no problem with using them in the future) I believe that one of the most effective ways of creating your own style and sound is through the use of your own customized drum sounds.
That being said, I will be compiling an ongoing list—the BeatTips List of Great Records for Drum Sounds—of ALL of the records that I (and many others) have found to be great for drum sounds. For each installment or volume of the list, I will try to post at least five songs. Furthermore, this list will also include those songs that I have studied as a guide for drum pattern arrangements. And it is my hope that the songs on this list well help serve as a guide for those who want to tune the drum sounds that they already have to the sounds showcased on this list.
Finally, although some readers will note that there are some obvious choices that should be on this list, please bear with me, as I will be rolling out this list periodically without, necessarily, any preference to the most well-known "break-beats" (this is not a list of break-beat records). In fact, I suspect some songs on this ongoing list will surprise some of you. But after a "full-listen" of the record, you'll see just why it earned a spot. Still as always, I invite discussion. So any and all suggestions, whether well-known or obscure, are certainly welcome.
The music and videos below are presented here for the purpose of scholarship.
ZZ Hill- "I Think I'd Do It" (1971)
Beatmakers are sure to be immediately pleased with this joint, as the drum break opens up the song. In the intro, the kick, snare, and hi-hat are all open and free from other sounds.
The Soul Searchers - "Ashley's Roachclip" (1974)
The sly brass section and the furious wah wah guitar-lead rhythm keeps me returning back to this classic by The Soul Searchers. Throw in the tambourine and the bass, and you've got one of the finest songs for MusicStudy. And as far as drum sounds to sample go, catch the break at the 3:31 mark.
Monk Higgins - "One Man Band (Plays All Alone)" (1974)
For the most part, this song is laid back jazz/rhythm and blues fusion. But don't let that fool you, as a mean 21-second drum break comes in at the 2:17 mark.
Duke Williams - "Chinese Chicken" (1973)
A serious early funk number that had countless b-boys destroying the dance floor. Short, but dope, drum break appears at the 1:40 mark.
Dennis Coffey - "Son of Scorpio" (1972)
This is the one Dennis Coffey song that I studied the most. The "marching", half-open hi-hat sound on this song is something that I incorporated in to my own style of drum programming. Then there's the bongos and the rumbling bass line: Classic... As for the drum break, catch the 1:30 mark.
Funk Inc. - "Kool Is Back" (1971)
One tough, but short, break. Catch the 1:48 mark.