Category: Alive Drumming

The Alive Drumming Organisation – dedicated to bringing convenient and inspiring rhythmic backing to the world

9 Myths About Drumming

Drummer Practising hard.

According to Music Australia, drumming has become a part of our everyday lives. Whether you play at home or go to a club, chances are you’ve heard someone say they love drumming. Drummers are sometimes stereotyped as loud, obnoxious, and annoying. In reality, drumming is a complex art form that requires practice, patience, and discipline.

Drumming has become very popular worldwide. Drumming can be done alone or with other instruments such as guitar, bass, and keyboard. Drumming is a great way to exercise your body and relax simultaneously,” says Flynn Ross, a musical instrument specialist at Guitar Tuners—Australia’s top supplier of musical instruments.

Drumming is a fun and relaxing hobby that anyone can enjoy. There are several myths surrounding drumming, but they only apply to some drummers.

1. The Physicality Is Extreme

Drums are no more physically demanding to practice than other instruments. Still, all musical instruments have a maximum volume that may be easily reached before you break it and start wasting your time or showing off.

2. The Key Is To Hit Things

Drumming revolves around striking objects, but a piano, another percussion instrument, does the same. It’s not the same as hitting something as hard as you can when you strike it to get the best sound out of it.

3. Drummers Perspire Heavily

A drummer’s working room.

They used to since the club had low ceilings and they were flanked by infernal floor lighting or a row of incandescent lamps dangling above them. The drummer was inches away from getting a tan, thanks to being on a riser. LED drummers no longer sweat more than anyone else on stage due to the environment’s low heat. Keep up with technological advancements while remaining alert in the back.

4. Drumming Can’t Be Practised At Home Without Making Others Mute

False. Practising surfaces include books, pads, and electronic drums. Also, your sister’s violin or brother’s trumpet, which requires natural playing to generate a good tone, can quickly drown out the appealing pattering of sticks on a practice pad or electronic set.

5. Drums Cannot Be Played On Your Own

That is no longer the case in the virtual world. Some YouTube drummers who “stay at home” have a business coaching other drummers online.

6. Drums Aren’t Musical Instruments

It is true that drums “have no pitch”. This is typically cited as support for this claim. On the other hand, it has an undefined or approximate pitch. The ear can tell which drum has a higher pitch than the other.

7. It Will Only Take Additional Time Away From The Books To Study The Drums In High School Or College

Maybe, but those hours will probably improve academic performance if they aren’t wasted. There is a growing body of research on the many advantages of learning any musical instrument, including patience, discipline, confidence, attention to detail, and coordination.

8. Drummers Are Not Musicians

It’s a prevalent misconception that drummers don’t need to understand how music functions. This is false; many drummers have at least rudimentary proficiency on a second instrument.

9. You’ll Experience Hearing Loss

Modern in-ear monitoring provides a level of control that allows you to have whatever sound you choose in your ears at any volume. If you turn the monitors up to their maximum volume, the drums sound fantastic, but there is a risk of ear injury. You should give it some thought.

Break The Myths And Enjoy Drumming With Alive Drumming

There are myths about everything; no one should hinder someone from doing what they love. With professional help, breaking these myths and enjoying drumming will be possible.

Alive Drumming showcases non-classical musicianship, with resources on contemporary rhythms, arrangement rhythm recordings, and provides the Song Rhythm Tracks service and mobile apps.

Contact us at marketing@alive-drumming.org for more information.

How do Songs, Rhythms and Rhyme Support Early Development?

Starting them early, at the piano

A study published in Frontiers in Psychology found that musical training can enhance young children’s reading skills and executive functioning. The study participants were 6-year-olds who had never received any formal music lessons. After eight months of regular music classes, the children showed significant improvements in their reading ability and executive function compared to a control group of children who did not receive musical training.

“Songs, rhythms and rhyme can profoundly affect early development. They can provide a fun and stimulating way to interact with your child and support their cognitive, linguistic and emotional development,” says mum, linguist, and writer Olivia Jones of Author Flair.

Curious as to how songs, rhythms and rhyme can help your child’s development? Here are some ways:

1. Songs And Rhythm Can Introduce Your Child To New Words And Concepts

Introducing your child to songs and rhythms will expose them to new vocabulary, which can help them develop their language skills. Themes can also teach children new concepts such as counting, colours, shapes, etc.

2. Rhythms And Rhyme Can Help Your Child Learn To Read

According to the study, music can help support your child’s reading skills. It is believed that regular exposure to rhythms and rhyme found in songs helps children develop the ability to read with greater fluency.

3. Songs And Rhythm Can Help Your Child Develop Their Memory Skills

Songs are a great way to help children practice and develop their memory skills. Through repetition, they can learn the words and melodies of songs quickly. This ability to remember and recall information can also help in other areas of learning, such as reading and mathematics.

4. Songs And Rhythm Can Help Your Child Develop Gross And Fine Motor Skills

Singing and moving to music help children develop their gross and fine motor skills. Clapping, dancing, and playing instruments require large muscle groups, which helps kids develop coordination and control. Additionally, songs that need children to use small movements, such as finger-plays, help them develop fine motor skills.

5. Songs And Rhythm Can Help Your Child Express Themselves

Songs provide an excellent outlet for children to express themselves. Through singing, they can share their feelings and emotions in a safe and non-threatening way. Additionally, making up their songs or adding words to familiar tunes is ideal for children to be creative and use their imagination.

Explaining musical concepts

6. Songs And Rhythm Can Help Your Child Bond With You

Singing together is a great way to create a special bond between you and your child. It’s a time for cuddles, eye contact, and smiles – all of which help your child feel loved and secure. Additionally, singing songs is a great way to create positive memories that your child will cherish for years.

Break Out Into Song And Rhythm When You’re Spending Time With Your Little One

These are just some ways that songs, rhythms and rhyme can help support your child’s development. So, go ahead and bust out those tunes – your child will indeed thank you for it later! It might help them develop in more ways than you ever thought possible!

We at Alive Drumming are ecstatic about drumming — actual drummers striking genuine drums, as opposed to simulated drumming. Our Song Rhythm Tracks are recorded by top studio drummers and sequenced by AI technologies into complete, fully-arranged backing tracks that fit specific songs. We strive to provide our customers with the best possible rhythms and beats worldwide. We want to make it as easy and convenient as possible to get the inspiration you need!

Get your children started on their song and rhythm learning journey today by contacting us!

Usability Evolved

The story of making Song Rhythm Tracks even more usable.

The challenge

The initial concept of Song Rhythm Tracks was always of an app having much more usability than what was then available. That was the key motivation. The then options were all too limiting – creating rhythmic backing tracks of high quality for backing to songs in less than a minute, even less than half a minute and having this track easily searchable on a mobile device.

PC Workstations are not fit for the purpose.

We used PC workstation products that had quality. Still, they took far too long to use and didn’t provide a mobile usability experience – no easy download to a mobile device and no MP3 tags once they were there. The iOS music player could never be considered a musician’s player.

Here are some usability improvements that have brought Alive Drumming to its current-day Song Rhythm Tracks app.

A ‘table’ mobile app

The Song Rhythm Tracks interface continues to evolve.

The table app is a proven mobile experience that Apple innovated with iOS.

Alive Drumming has wrung every last bit of utility out of this iOS collection, adding comprehensive search facilities and section headers, providing complete setlist functionality for the tracks.

Recently we added features to help with very large setlists – next and previous setlist buttons and a setlist fold feature to close them while you are browsing.

A musician’s player

Dark mode on the Song Rhythm Tracks musician’s player

Musicians have different needs for audio players, so we added speed (tempo) control to the playing, displayed the arrangement in the text while it plays, and showed a progress bar. Hence, the musician knows how many repeat choruses are left. Our latest innovation is to include a configurable fade ending—country folk like this. Oh, and with those setlists, you can play the whole setlist at once, with a configurable pause between them or an auto-pause at every track, and we always show what’s up next and count down to the next track. Musicians have different needs when it comes to audio players.

The evolution of assistance

Apps, particularly innovative ones, have always needed a degree of help within the app to explain and guide. We added a guide button with explanations for each part of the interface. Then in a later release, we included a ‘video’ button that opens our website page with the video instruction. Most recently, we have added balloon-type tooltips, which we feel some will prefer.

Selecting an arrangement

The key to Song Rhythm Track’s usability has always been Alive Drumming’s innovation in arranging the rhythm track. We believe we are the only developer to take this approach or anything like it. Instead of using a digital audio workstation (DAW) method to arrange the playing sections, complete with fills, pre-fills, pushes and stops, and everything else that drummers do, we take the approach that ideally our user should not need to know anything about all that. All they need to be able to do is describe the form of the song, and the app will do everything else – arrange the sections, the repeats, the middle choruses, any intro and outro sections, and always include a count-in and characteristic ending. We look at it this way; the app should do what you expect your drummer to do. You wouldn’t be telling them how to arrange their Drumming, would you?

Alive Drumming has analysed all the artist’s audio; we know where everything is. We catalogued all the artist’s recordings and categorised them all. The interface to you is a page of ‘pickers’ where you select your rhythm and arrangement. It usually takes less than a minute. That’s it – your ‘arranging’ is complete.

Later we figured that a common need was to create an almost identical track with everything pretty much the same but with minor changes, such as a new rhythm, so we added a ‘copy track’ feature. Some excellent arrangements now take less than 5 seconds! No other app has this sort of usability!

Let’s let everyone share!

Sharing has kept evolving within the app: Now you can share arrangements, setlists, and audio. This makes the app so much more usable.

Sharing Arrangements

Press the share button when you are viewing the arrangement details, and that arrangement gets posted for everyone to copy using the track’s name. Simple, almost silent and tremendously effective.

Sharing Setlists

There is a similar mechanism for setlists – view the details of the setlist, press the share button, and your entire setlist of tracks is shared using the name you have given your setlist. Anyone else can get a copy of it by searching for that setlist name from the same place.

Audio File Sharing

From the main table, pressing a track’s share button share’s its audio. It uses the standard iOS interface allowing you to use whatever facilities you have configured on your device, such as email, messaging, the filer app, and much more. Moreover, the shared audio has MP3 tags for the arrangement and the rhythm, including tempo. So useful.

Everyone appreciates a demo’

Early on, we figured out that having ‘factory tracks’ in the app would help newcomers better figure out how to use the app. It did and we never looked back. Later, we took it a step further and developed sampler apps containing even more tracks pre-arranged and included within the app. They may not be precisely the arrangement you wanted, but they showed the way! They have been an enormous success. Folk love them. Our latest release of the core app, Song Rhythm Tracks, includes all the samplers apps’ track definitions in the main app, in folded setlists, so that folk can download whichever tracks they want to. We hope this allows our users the best of both worlds.

And then we had an ah-ha moment.

The Future

Since that is what so many folks appreciate, why not give them exactly that and only that? The idea of the Rhythm Tracks Collective was born, a Netflix-like service of pre-arranged rhythm tracks that you search and consume, much like movies on Netflix. We are working on it now and can’t wait to bring it to market.

We feel the evolution of Song Rhythm Tracks and its focus on usability is nearing completion. There is less and less we want to change to make it more usable. Instead, Alive Drumming will focus on this new product and make it available. Song Rhythm Tracks distinguishes these two products as the ultimate powerful arranger. At the same time, Rhythm Tracks Collective, we hope, will be the most available rhythm tracks, easily accessible with easy adoption.

Song Rhythm Tracks Goes Unlimited Downloads!

Drumming close-up

It is almost October 2021 and Alive Drumming’s premier iOS app, “Song Rhythm Tracks” has changed to the “unlimited downloads” commercial model.

Alive Drumming’s journey with Song Rhythm Tracks is almost five years in; starting with a desire to provide an easy-to-use mobile app for creating rhythmic backing tracks, Alive Drumming continues to add more and more usability features with every iteration of the app. This year Alive Drumming takes a new turn with a new commercial model for the app and a new product on the horizon.

Reducing Friction

We feel our backing tracks are the highest quality and most flexible backing tracks available, with usability features in a class of their own. There has always been some friction for musicians using these tracks, partly because the arrangement approach is new and partly because of the cost model of effectively charging per track. We are changing that now, with version 4.1’s move to unlimited downloads for the current app and our design of a new product that will adopt a Netflix-like low service fee for downloading limitless pre-built tracks.

We hope this will accelerate the adoption of Song Rhythm Tracks and help many more musicians enjoy great backing every time they practice, jam or gig.

Get the 4.1 version of Song Rhythm Tracks now, and keep a lookout for the release of our new Rhythm Tracks Collective product.

Version 4 of Song Rhythm Tracks released

Song Rhythm Tracks has been available at release four (4) since late last year, and now the final sampler app, “Classic Country Music“, has just been released. The changes have been received well. Here’s a summary.

SetList Folding

Here is the app on an iPhone showing three setlists, with two having been folded away. The three setlists contain tracks of ‘sampler’ apps.

Setlists are a great feature of the table design of Song Rhythm Tracks. They partition your collection of tracks into lists for various uses – personal or group practice sessions, gigs, or genres of music—anything you want. As one’s collection of tracks increases, it is nice to focus on just one setlist, and the ‘setlist jumping’ feature (blue up and down arrows ) is handy navigation. The “setlist play” (blue play triangle) feature is our favourite feature. New for version 4 is the ‘setlist folding ‘feature, which hides and reveals the setlist so its tracks do not appear in the table. This also affects searching: Search results do not include tracks in folded setlists.

Audio File Sharing

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is ipad-air-srt-shareaudiofile.jpg

At last! Now we have incorporated the standard iOS feature to share the high-definition MP3 audio file in whatever ways your device has been configured – AirDrop, Messages, Mail, Notes, Box, ‘Save to Files’, and ‘Save to Keep’ are just some on my iPhone.

Press the track’s share button (pink box with an up arrow) on the app’s main table. We feel the mobile app is still the best player for these files because of its musician-friendly features – tempo control, clear display of arrangement details, large buttons and more. Still, if you want to use the backing tracks elsewhere, it is now easier to achieve, and we include the arrangement details in MP3 tags if that helps.

Track definitions can still be shared by pressing the share button from the track definition page – the one with the rhythm and arrangement selections.

Refreshed visual design

The main table, with search enabled, shows the track’s rhythm in orange and its arrangement in green.


The selection page now has headers for the arrangement aspects of (i) Song Form, (ii) number of introduction bars, (iii) number of repeats of the form and (iv) number of ending bars. Arrangement details are in green, and rhythm selection is in orange.

At Alive Drumming, we’ve always liked minimalist design and are trying to stay true to that. We included some animations to help see things like the duplication of tracks. We’ve also improved the dark mode. We moved to symbols-only for buttons some time ago, with descriptions for each button in the in-app help files (accessed via the ( ? ) button).

One of the most noticeable changes of release 4 is the consistency of colours; Now, everywhere in the app,
(i) rhythm selections and descriptions are always orange and
(ii) arrangement selection and descriptions are always green.
We feel this consistency helps navigate the app.

We have updated in-app guides and videos!

In-app guides are selected using the ( ? ) button, followed by a left-right swipe to access the multiple guide pages. We’ve updated these and added video guides for making the most of the apps. We feel this provides the best help for using our apps.

Polished recent upgrades

We’ve also polished our recent upgrades so they shine.

Sampler Tracks available via setlist sharing

In all four apps, the list of sampler tracks for any of the three samplers can now be downloaded as setlists.

A new setlist is configured with the name “Jazz and Blues “, with 5-second gaps between tracks when playing setlists.

In any app, perform a setlist search (using the blue hour-glass button from the setlist definition screen) once you have configured any of these names,

  1. “Afro-Cuban Salsa”,
  2. “Jazz and Blues”, and
  3. “Classic Country Music”.
Popup advises that the “Jazz and Blues” setlist is being searched for and downloaded if found.
Go ahead, press the “OK”.
Great! The setlist of that name was found. Press OK and then the blue ‘tick ‘to save it.


(Remember to save (with the blue ‘tick ‘button) when you receive the successful download message)
You receive all the track definitions (in the “deferred” state), and you can choose to download the audio for the tracks at any time.

Holds and Pushes

Holds and Pushes – We recently added “whole-bar holds” and “eighth note pushes” to the detailed user-defined arrangement facilities. We find the holds particularly useful for those songs requiring them.

So those are the main changes for release 4.0. We are delighted with them. We hope you are too. As always, please send your feedback to marketing@alive-drumming.org.

Why Song Form with Rhythm Tracks?

Check out the article above, “Dealing with Song Forms: Tips for Drummers” from the Learn Jazz Standards website. It is great advice for drummers on how to reinforce the song form while drumming.

Have you ever wondered why “Song Rhythm Tracks” and not justRhythm Tracks“?

It’s because the drumming should always outline the form of the song you are playing.  That’s fundamentally the role of the drummer or the rhythm track if you play without a drummer.  The article above, about tutoring drummers, explains this very well.

Always play in “song form”

You shouldn’t be using a rhythm track that doesn’t outline the form of the song because, if you do, that then counteracts the form and defeats the music you are trying to play.  This can be subtle, mainly if you haven’t considered it before.  New musicians often haven’t and wrongly believe that any metronomic sound or groove will do.  They miss out terribly, and not having the songform outlined will hamper your progress.

Continue Reading

Version 4.0 of Song Rhythm Tracks

monoTone old Piano

Song Rhythm Tracks and its companion ‘sampler’ apps have been out at release four (4) since late last year, and the final sampler, “Classic Country Music”, has just been released. The changes have been received well. Here’s a summary.

SetList Folding

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is simulator-screen-shot-iphone-12-pro-2021-06-23-at-16.11.10.png

Setlists are a great feature of the table design of Song Rhythm Tracks. They partition your collection of tracks into lists for various uses – personal or group practice sessions, gigs, or genres of music—anything you want. As one’s collection of tracks increases, it is nice to focus on just one setlist, and the ‘setlist jumping’ feature (blue up and down arrows ) is handy navigation. The “setlist play” feature is a favourite feature of mine. New for version 4 is the ‘setlist folding’ feature, which hides/reveals the setlists so their tracks do not appear in the table. This also affects searching: Results do not include tracks in folded setlists.

Audio Sharing

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is ipad-air-srt-shareaudiofile.jpg

At last! I hear you cry. Now we have the standard iOS feature to share the audio file in whatever ways your device has been configured – AirDrop, Messages, Mail, Notes, Box, ‘Save to Files’, and ‘Save to Keep’ are just some on my iPhone.

Press the track’s share button on the app’s main table. We feel the mobile app is still the best player for these files because of its musician-friendly features – tempo control, arrangement details, large buttons and more. Still, if you want to use the backing tracks elsewhere, it is now easier to achieve, and we provide the arrangement details in MP3 tags if that helps.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is simulator-screen-shot-iphone-12-pro-2021-06-23-at-17.25.32.png
Track definitions can still be shared by pressing the share button from the track definition page, which has the rhythm and arrangement selections.

Refreshed visual design

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is iphone-12-pro-03-maintablescreen.png
The main table, with search enabled, shows the track’s rhythm in orange and its arrangement in green.



This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is iphone-12-pro-02-pickersscreen.png
The selection page now has headers for the arrangement aspects of (i) Song Form, (ii) number of introduction bars, (iii) number of repeats of the form and (iv) number of ending bars. Arrangement details are in green, and rhythm selection is in orange.

We’ve always liked the minimalist design and are trying to stay true to that. We included some animations to help see things like the duplication of tracks. We’ve also improved the dark mode. We moved to symbols-only for buttons some time ago, with good descriptions for each button in the in-app help files. One of the most noticeable changes is a rationalisation of colours; Now, everywhere in the app,
(i) rhythm selections and descriptions are always orange and
(ii) arrangement selection and descriptions are always green.
We feel this consistency helps navigate the app.

We have updated in-app guides and videos!

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is ipad-8th-generation-011-guidescreen1st.png

In-app guides are selected using the ‘?’ button with a left-right swipe for multiple guide pages. We’ve updated these and added video guides for making the most of the apps. We feel this provides the best help for using our apps.

Polished recent upgrades

We’ve also polished our recent upgrades so they shine. In all four apps, the list of tracks for each of the three samplers can be downloaded as setlists. Perform a setlist search for any of these names,

“Afro-Cuban Salsa”,
“Jazz and Blues”, and
“Classic Country Music”.
(Remember to save (with the ‘tick’ button) when you receive the successful download message)
You receive all the track definitions (in the “deferred” state), and you can choose to download any audio tracks at any time.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is iphone-12-pro-05-userdefinedsongformscreennew.png

Holds and Pushes – We recently added “whole-bar holds” and “eighth note pushes” to the detailed user-defined arrangement facilities. We find the holds particularly useful for those songs that require them.

So those are the main changes for release 4.0. We are thrilled with them. We hope you are too. As always, please send your feedback to marketing@alive-drumming.org.

The History Of Rhythmic Education Throughout The Ages

History of rhythmic education throughout the ages

So what are the beginnings of music? Did our forefathers start by pounding objects together to generate rhythm or singing with their voices? What were the tools they used? Has music always been such a significant part of human culture, and if so, why? These are among the questions about rhythmic education and how it evolved through the ages.

So let’s take a tour down history lane and clear some clouds on these questions.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is the-history-of-rhythmic-education-throughout-the-ages-sheetmusicimage-1.jpg

What Exactly Is Music?

This is a tricky question to answer since everybody has their viewpoint. For example, Jeremy Montagu of Oxford university characterises music as a “sound that expresses emotion.” Using such a definition, a mother trying to sing or hum to soothe her newborn would most likely be considered music, yet this basic melody would have signified speech.

Therefore, where do we draw the distinction separating music and speech? You may assume it’s rhythm, pattern, and pitch control—and you got it right!

Rhythm, pattern, and pitch control are crucial aspects of music. Our forefathers may have produced rhythmic music by clapping their hands. This might be traced back to the first musical instruments when someone discovered that banging sticks or stones together doesn’t cause as much pain in the hands.

Since then, rhythm and music have evolved in many respects, along with the dynamic changes experienced by civilisations brought about by technology. Today, musicians enjoy various tools to make the most out of rhythm and music.

Song Rhythm Tracks—A Breakthrough In Creating Rhythm Tracks

Particular to playing the drums, one great example is Song Rythm Tracks. It’s an app that allows for creating collections of rhythm tracks used as a backing in playing songs. With Song Rhythm Tracks, one must adopt a unique approach to creating rhythm tracks unfamiliar to a prospective user. The application uses bar numbers to indicate where drumming breaks occur.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is image-1-118.jpg

“Using the app, I find it much quicker and more valuable than other alternatives. For instance, when my band and I pick a track to play, the arrangement is displayed as “3 choruses of 32 bar AABA with a 4-bar intro’ and an 8-bar ending”. From that, we know straight away what the drummer will be playing. The app also makes us play along the track correctly,”

says music enthusiast and CEO of Credit Capital Alister Clare.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is the-history-of-rhythmic-education-throughout-the-ages-sheetmusicimage.jpg

Why Use Song Rhythm Tracks?

Educating musicians about song form is a challenge that requires some technical content—that cannot be avoided. However, song form should not be a difficult concept. It’s essentially counting the number of bars in sections, which is where some musicians might struggle. Song Rhythm Tracks takes the burden away so you can jam, sing, and play your heart out.

Moreover, you’ll always have great background tracks on your phone or iPad with track listings and a player. Song Rhythm Tracks are high-quality rhythm backing tracks that are simple to use. You will not be required to sequence anything.

Plus, the user interface will make you love to use it again and again. With that, you will have a greater appreciation for your music, and you may decide to incorporate these tunes in your singles and album releases. Don’t let terrible experiences with some other mobile drumming apps deter you. The Song Rhythm Tracks are perfect for learning a new song, jamming, performing, or recording your current album.

Get That Perfect Rhythm For Your Song Using Song Rhythm Tracks

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Music exists and continues to exist because it draws people together. So the next time you’re learning a new tune or excited to have a solid jam with your friends, never forget your phone or iPad.

Song Rythm Tracks by Alive Drumming offers a streamlined and easy-to-use solution for your needs to get that perfect rhythm. Take what Alive Drumming’s clients say about the app and contact them if you need help.

  • By Jude Young, a contributing author.

Importance of Rhythmic Activities

Ballet
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is image.png

Enjoy this article from the contributor, Jude Young, about the great value of rhythmic activities, at any age.

Rhythmic activities have been around since the beginning of time and have been a part of every culture. Some examples of rhythmic movements include folk dances, jotas, ballet,  and Zumba.

But rhythmic activities are more than an exploration of movements and shapes. Here are the reasons why they are essential:

Expression

Even before the concept of dancing was invented, humans used rhythmic movements to express their thoughts, feelings, values, and ideas. 

During ancient times, men and women express their affection through movements. Even today, some performers express their sentiments or protest through dancing.

When you see a couple, who are slow dancing with arms around each other, you instantly conclude that they are strongly attracted to each other. When you see a person tapping his toes on the floor, you tend to think he’s in a good mood.

Brings People Together

Rhythmic activities appeal to human emotions. This is why these are used to gather and entertain people of all ages and backgrounds. The upbeat environment draws attention and distracts people from life’s daily frustrations. The dancers’ energy inspires others to join, engaging the community in a positive activity.

Rhythmic activities allow people to share an intimate experience and will enable them to form strong bonds.

Max Funding investment consultant Shane Perry believes that engaging in physical activities is also an investment, “By regularly partaking in rhythmic activities, a person also gains better self-confidence and self-image. With an improved self-image, one is more driven to pursue personal goals. They also have better impulse control and flexibility when faced with difficulties. The outcome is a positive attitude and an improved state of happiness that leads to life satisfaction.”

Entertainment and Relaxation

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Rhythmic activity is a channel through which we communicate with others. When we watch a performance, the subconscious interprets the movements and triggers certain emotions inside us. This is why we get teary-eyed when watching a graceful ballet performance electrified at flamenco.

For the performers, a rhythmic activity is also helpful in diverting their attention and energy away from stressful things. And what’s more relaxing than laughing while dancing with friends?

Exercise

Rhythmic activities are forms of aerobic exercise. These involve muscle stretching, toning, and conditioning while increasing heart rate at the same time. You’ll feel its effects in all aspects of your life when performed regularly. However, like any other exercise, you must have a cool-down period. This period is necessary to allow muscles to repair, mainly if you’re engaged in intensive.

Warm up your muscles before any rhythmic activity to prevent soreness and cramping. Stretching out your arms, legs, and hips between exercises would be best.

Do you need high-quality backing tracks to complete your stirring musical performance? Song Rhythm Track saves you from sequencing drum loops! It automatically sequences the rhythm track for your song. Download this app now through the Apple App Store!

———- Jude Young, contributing author to Alive Drumming.

Appreciate your songs more with Song Rhythm Tracks!

Whether you are learning a new tune, jamming, gigging or cutting your latest album, these tracks are what you need!

Importance of Rhythmic Activities

Enjoy this article from the contributor, Jude Young, about the great value of rhythmic activities, at any age.

Rhythmic activities have been around since the beginning of time and have been a part of every culture. Some examples of rhythmic activities include folk dances, jotas, ballet,  and Zumba.

But rhythmic activities are more than an exploration of movements and shape. Here are the reasons why they are important:

Expression

Even before the concept of dancing was invented, humans have been using rhythmic movements to express their thoughts, feelings, values, and ideas. 

During ancient times, men and women express their affection through movements. Even today, some performers express their sentiments or protest through dancing.

When you see a couple, who are slow dancing with arms around each other, you instantly conclude that they are strongly attracted to each other. When you see a person tapping his toes on the floor, you tend to think he’s in a good mood.

Brings People Together

Rhythmic activities appeal to human emotions. This is why these are used to gather and entertain people of all ages and backgrounds. The upbeat environment draws the attention and distracts people from life’s daily frustrations. The energy of the dancers inspires others to join, engaging the community in a positive activity.

Rhythmic activities allow people to share an intimate experience and gives them an opportunity to form strong bonds.

Max Funding investment consultant Shane Perry believes that being engaged in physical activities is also an investment, “By regularly partaking in rhythmic activities, a person also gains better self-confidence and self-image. With improved self-image, he or she is more driven to pursue personal goals. He or she also has better impulse control and flexibility when faced with difficulties. The outcome is a positive attitude and an improved state of happiness that leads to life satisfaction.”

Entertainment and Relaxation

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Rhythmic activity is a channel through which we communicate with others. When we watch a performance, the subconscious interprets the movements and triggers certain emotions inside us. This is why we to get teary-eyed when watching a graceful ballet performance and electrified at flamenco.

For the performers, a rhythmic activity is also useful in diverting their attention and energy away from stressful things. And what’s more relaxing than laughing while dancing with friends?

Exercise

Rhythmic activities are forms of aerobic exercise. These involve muscle stretching, toning, and conditioning while increasing heart rate at the same time. When performed regularly, you’ll indeed feel its effects in all aspects of your life. However, just like any other form of exercise, you must have a cool-down period. This period is necessary to allow muscles to repair, mainly if you’re engaged in intensive.

Warm-up your muscles before any rhythmic activity to prevent soreness and cramping. Between exercises, you should also stretch out your arms, legs, and hips.

Do you need high-quality backing tracks to complete your stirring musical performance? Song Rhythm Track saves you from sequencing drum loops! It automatically sequences the rhythm track for your song. Download this app now through the Apple App Store!

———- Jude Young, contributing author to Alive Drumming.

Appreciate your songs more with Song Rhythm Tracks!

Whether you are learning a new tune, jamming, gigging or cutting your latest album, these tracks are what you need!

“Jazz and Blues” Sampler iOS App released by Alive Drumming

illustration sax AndySnitzer

Check out Alive Drumming’s first ‘Sampler’ edition of the ‘Song Rhythm Tracks (SRT)’ iOS App, the “Jazz and Blues Sampler“.

Jazz and Blues Sampler has the same facilities as the standard App. Still, it comes pre-installed with 20+ Jazz and Blues arrangements and an allocation of 4 downloads for your arrangements (more are available via In-App Purchasing). What an opportunity to sample arrangements of these well-known standards before using the App for your arrangements!   It’s the same Song Rhythm Tracks App with the latest graphics and facilities.

Price Reduced for a limited time!

Alive Drumming has reduced this App’s price for a limited time, after which it returns to full pricing. This is an excellent opportunity to try out this heralded rhythm track arranger at no cost.   Try the Jazz and Blues standards and arrange some more tracks for whatever tunes you are playing currently. There’s a vast selection of authentic rhythms from talented artists across many genres in addition to Jazz and Blues.

The Tracks

Song For My Father” – 4 choruses of 24-bar AAB (as 8|8/8 bars) with no intro’ and no ending, using a Rock Bossa at 140 bpm
The Way You Look Tonight” – 3 choruses of 68-bar AABC (as 16|16/16|20 bars) with an 8-bar intro’ and no ending, using a modern Jazz rhythm at 210 bpm


Blue Monk “- 6 choruses of 12-bar Blues (3 x 4-bar phrases) with no intro’ and a 4-bar ending, using a bluesy shuffle at 100 bpm
Georgia On My Mind” – 4 choruses of 32-bar AABA (as 8|8/8|8 bars) with an 8-bar intro’ and no ending, using a bluesy, slow swinging rhythm at 65 bpm
Blame It On My Youth” – 4 choruses of 32-bar A1A2 (16|16 bars) with no intro’ and no ending, using a slow swinging Jazz ballad rhythm, with a 2-feel during the middle choruses, at 45 bpm
Blue Bossa” – 6 choruses of a 16-bar Tune (with 4 x 4-bar phrases) with an 8-bar intro’ and no ending, using a grooving funky rhythm at 110 bpm
Fly Me To The Moon” – 4 choruses of standard 32-bar A1A2 (as 16|16 bars) with an 8-bar intro’ and a 10-bar ending, using a swinging light pop rhythm at 130 bpm
Bye Bye Blackbird” – 4 choruses of a user-defined form (16/8/8 bars) with an 8-bar intro’ and a 4-bar ending, using a standard Jazz brushes rhythm at 120 bpm
Dearly Beloved” – 5 choruses of a user-defined form (8|8|8|8 bars) with no intro’ and an 8-bar ending, using a straight ahead Jazz rhythm at 146 bpm
All Blues” – 3 choruses of a user-defined form (12|12 bars) with no intro’ and no ending, using a 6/8 country pop and rock rhythm at 110 bpm
Just Friends “as a Cha Cha – 5 choruses of 32-bar A1A2 form (16|16 bars) with no intro’ and no ending, using a regular Cha Cha rhythm at 135 bpm
On Green Dolphin Street” – 3 choruses of a user-defined form (8/8|8/8 bars) with a 12-bar intro’ and an 8-bar ending, using an alternating Bossa and Swing rhythms at 145 bpm
Take the “A” Train” – 5 choruses of 32-bar A1A2 form (16|16 bars) with an 8-bar intro’ and no ending, using a straight ahead Jazz rhythm at 146 bpm
All The Things You Are” – 3 choruses of 36-bar ABC form (16/8|12 bars) with an 8-bar intro’ and no ending, using a Jazz Brushes rhythm at 120 bpm
How High The Moon” – 4 choruses of 32-bar A1A2 form (16|16 bars) with no intro’ and no ending, using a straight ahead Jazz rhythm at 100 bpm
Almost Like Being In Love” – 4 choruses of 36-bar ABC form (16/8|12 bars) with no intro’ and no ending, using a standard swinging 8th Jazz rhythm at 145 bpm
St. Thomas” – 3 choruses of a 16-Bar Tune form (as 4 x 4-bar phrases) with no intro’ and a 4-bar ending, using a merengue tipico Salsa rhythm at 130 bpm
How Insensitive” – 4 choruses of 32-bar A1A2 form (16|16 bars) with no intro’ and a 4-bar ending, using a sophisticated latin Bossa at 120 bpm
Stormy Weather” – 3 choruses of 32-bar AABA form (8|8/8|8 bars) with a 4-bar intro’ and no ending, using a slow swinging 8th Jazz rhythm at 50 bpm
Moonlight In Vermont” – 3 choruses of a user-defined form (3 x 6|6|8|8 bars) with no intro’ and a 2-bar ending, using a Jazz brushes rhythm at 70 bpm
Perdido” – 5 choruses of 32-bar AABA form (8|8/8|8 bars) with an 8-bar intro’ and a 4-bar ending, using a swinging shuffling Jazz groove at 145 bpm
I Love Paris” – 3 choruses of a user-defined form (16|16/16 bars) with an 8-bar intro and an 8-bar ending, using a regular Cha Cha  rhythm at 110 bpm
In The Wee Small Hours Of The Morning” – 3 choruses of a user-defined form (8|10 bars) with an 8-bar intro’ and a 6-bar ending, using a slow swinging ballad Jazz rhythm at 45 bpm

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More Audio Samples Released

drummer's hands

Check out the Audio Samples page for more of the thousands of rhythms available.

Audio samples are provided in many different formats –

  • HTML5 audio preview
  • Download options
  • hearthis.at tracks
  • Backing tracks
  • Mixed by our supporters

For the best experience selecting all possible combinations of rhythms and Song Form, as well as a great player and setlist manager, download our Apple iOS App on the App Store.

The Primacy of Rhythm in practicing popular music

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When learning a new piece of music, when should a musician work on getting right the rhythm and feel of the piece?

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Introduction

I have long believed it has to be the very first thing to get right and there’s little point playing notes at all unless they are in the desired rhythm and feel.   Tempo, however, is a whole other subject – there’s a lot to be said for precision and even playing tunes at markedly different tempos to internalize the piece better.

Timing is the bedrock of music:  “When a note is struck at the wrong time, it’s the wrong note”.  Getting playing in the right rhythm as soon as possible is why I’ve always sought out structured and inspiring rhythmic backing.  This ultimately leads to  “Song Rhythm Tracks“.

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iOS App, Song Rhythm Tracks, now available on the Apple App Store.

Bop Jazz Drummer B&W

Alive Drumming has released it’s Apple iOS app, Song Rhythm Tracks.  It is now available in the Apple App Store at

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/songform-rhythm-tracks/id1254346877?ls=1&mt=8

If you are interested in reviewing this app please email reviews@alive-drumming.org

“Song Rhythm Tracks” – A Comparison

iPhone X

Song Rhythm Tracks” is Alive Drumming’s mobile Musician’s App providing production-ready rhythmic backing.  It is available on the Apple iOS App Store.

Alive Drumming brings musicians production-quality rhythmic backing, in it’s most convenient form — a mobile App to select, download and play Alive Drumming’s “Song Rhythm Tracks”.

Song Rhythm Tracks

Song Rhythm Tracks are a new type of backing track composed entirely of rhythmic backing (no melody or harmony) arranged to the musical form of the song — it’s “songform”. These tracks are complete performances like one gets from a professional drummer. They have a count-in, introduction section, choruses and characteristic endings, framed by fills showing where sections start and end. Even musical bridges and middle choruses have higher intensity where appropriate to the style. All this without a typical arranger’s interface, keeping it simple. One selects a track in under 30 seconds — under 15 seconds after getting the hang of it.

The App’s musician’s player has tempo adjustment and a facility to sequence tracks for your gig or jam session. It is for musicians of all abilities. New musicians use the App to provide an accompaniment to songs. They get a rhythm that is sympathetic so they learn to keep time, get into the groove and internalise the song’s musical structure – All this while enjoying engaging and inspiring rhythms. Gigging musicians catalogue their backing into setlists and use it to guide performance. Having quality rhythmic backing, with a setlist facility and a musician’s player, all in the one App is so convenient one finds oneself using this rhythmic backing more and more.

Musician’s Player

A “Musician’s Player” — what’s that? One that dims the screen, will play in the background, has good-sized buttons and allows you to change the volume with the physical buttons. Yes, that but this player also displays the musical form of the track such as

“4 choruses of 32 bars of standard AABA form (8|8/8|8) 
with no intro’ and a 4-Bar ending”, 

and provides visual tracking against this as it plays. This is the information musicians want right before they are about to play a track. If they start to lose their place a bit while they play, a quick glance at the display will likely get them back “on track” again.

Massive Library of Rhythms

There’s a huge number of rhythms and endless musical forms for your songs. Once selected, the arranged track is downloaded from Alive Drumming’s servers and then it stays on your device for playing. Alive Drumming grants the user rights to remix the track so they may be transferred to a computer to be included in the user’s own compositions and album releases.
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Alive Drumming Releases 3.0 – The Giant Panda release of Song Rhythm Tracks

The Giant Panda, “User-Requests” Release – 3.0

The community asked; Alive Drumming listened.

  • SetList Sharing – Share your setlists in a similar way to sharing tracks
  • Search for SetLists – Download an entire album of tracks shared by others. Very handy for your rehearsals.
  • All samplers now can be downloaded as setlists.  Simply perform a setlist search for any of these names, “Afro-Cuban Salsa”, “Jazz and Blues”, and “Classic Country Music”.  You will then receive all the track definitions (in the “deferred” state) where you can then choose, at any time, to download any of the tracks.
  • Reworked Search – More stable + Allows for more functions during a search, such as duplication + Auto-browse to last track accessed at the conclusion of the search.
  • Introducing Holds and Pushes – This release adds options for holds and pushes to your arrangements, accessible via the user-defined arrangements page.
  • Updated On-line Guides – in all supported languages
  • Stability improvements.

Always Yours:

Your arrangements, in your language, designed for your device.
– Free Audio samples available on our website and YouTube

 

Alive Drumming Continues To Innovate

This is a significant release for Song Rhythm Tracks, bringing much more functionality and more stability.  Search has really matured allowing for track duplication during search and, on search completion, auto-browse to last track accessed.  These two features really assist those with large collections of tracks in a very common use-case – searching for a song by name, playing it, and then deciding to create a duplicate and edit the duplicate for an alternative arrangement.

Drumming Holds

Drumming Holds – or breaks – is where the drumming stops for a bar.  It adds drama to a drum arrangement and some songs have very characteristic breaks – “Song For My Father” and “I Get A Kick Out of You” come to mind.  It’s now possible to add these holds to your arrangements as part of a user-defined arrangement.  The screen-shot shows three holds added to an arrangement of “Song For My Father” providing the characteristic holds for this song.  These bars will start with a drum hit and hold off playing until the next bar is started. They will do that at the selected bars, 6, 14, and 22, for each chorus of the song.

Drumming Pushes

Pushes are where an extra drum hit is added, slightly earlier than expected, to push along the rhythm.   Their selection works in a similar manner to holds.  Select the location and press the pink “+” button to add it to the table.  Entries may be removed from the table by swiping left.  The selected location will receive an extra drum hit, an 8th-note early to push the rhythm along.   The location of pushes may use bar-numbers, in the same way as holds, but also beat numbers and sub-divisions.

The Focus Remains on a Simple Arrangement Philosophy

It is pleasing to note that Alive Drumming is in no way moving away from their original philosophy of a truly simple arrangement interface – where a description is preferred over users needing to prescribe each step of the arrangement process.  We describe what holds and where they are to occur, and that’s it.  We keep it as simple as possible.   This is not going to change.   Song Rhythm Tracks are arranged for their users by Alive Drumming who anticipate their users “just want to play their songs” and don’t want to play the drums.  Users simply want to benefit from great drumming.

Setlist Sharing Facilities

A great new feature for the Giant Panda, also requested by users, is the Setlist Sharing Facilities.  They work in a similar manner to track sharing.  Users may share their setlists by name by pressing the share button once a setlist list name has been entered.  This is accessible on the setlist configuration page, which is where you name setlists.  Once shared, that setlist can be searched for and retrieved by any Song Rhythm Tracks user, and when found the setlist gets populated with all the tracks in the shared setlist. Again, it is the name of the setlist that is the key to both sharing and searching for setlists, and this name must be an exact match (other than upper and lower case).  The tracks are populated into your device’s setlist in the ‘deferred‘ state, meaning that the definition of the track is complete but it has not yet been requested for download.  The track-lists of all the existing ‘Sampler’ iOS apps have been shared as setlists making it so convenient to retrieve a list and then select the particular track you wish to download.

Available Now

Version 3.0, Song Rhythm Tracks is now available in the Apple App Store at

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/songform-rhythm-tracks/id1254346877?ls=1&mt=8

We would love you to review this App – If you are interested please email reviews@alive-drumming.org

 

Alive Drumming’s Smart Web Services with Elixir, Phoenix and GCP

Ever wondered what technology lies behind Alive Drumming’s smart web services? Here’s the gist –

Alive Drumming’s innovative web services have been engineered in the Elixir programming language. The web service supplies Alive Drumming’s fully arranged rhythm tracks constructed from multiple takes of long-form audio of very talented drummers.

Simply put, this service –

  1. Parses a web request,
  2. Determines the arrangement structure of the requested track,
  3. Creates the audio-engineering scripts to splice slices of the long-form audio into the result, and finally,
  4. Executes these scripts, delivering the resulting audio as the output of the service.

Language Compiler as Web Service

Much of this is the textual lexical analysis and classic compiler design. The track description is a simple LR1 language, and the ejected audio-engineering scripts are optimised with a peep-hole optimisation phase. Step 3 above, “Creating the audio-engineering scripts”, additionally involved parsing textual meta-data relating to the long-form audio’s location of differing drumming intensities, fills, pre- and post-fills, drumming breaks, pushes, count-ins and endings. Each has multiple ‘takes’, and algorithms apply a weighting in pseudo-random selections. Initially, languages strong in textual manipulation were considered with the early algorithms prototyped in GAWK, but it became clear a language suitable for massively scalable web services was needed.  

Technology Stack – Phoenix / Elixir / Erlang / Linux / GCP

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Smart Music Creation

painting femaleJazzGroup

What’s meant by Smart Music Creation?

Smart often means that technology has been added to something that previously had not had it.

With ‘music’, the term ‘digital‘ has been used for the distribution of consumer music in a ‘digital form‘ – Audio-CD, mini-discs, DAT and later the revolution of online distribution through the iTunes Music Store.

Smart Music Creation‘ could perhaps be considered to be where computerized devices help with the creation of music – the synthesizer, the drum machine, and MIDI generally. Drum Machines and Synthesizers are really new musical instruments lending themselves to new musical sounds and therefore new genres of music. That’s not smart really, it is just a different type of instrument.

Enter – Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI)

The MIDI platform has been around for 30 years or more and deserves the name ‘Smart’.   It automates the playing of the instruments by encoding and reproducing the act of playing
that  note,
on  that  instrument
with  that  intensity
precisely at  that  time.

That’s not just a new type of instrument, it is a way of codifying the playing of any and all instruments. Complete orchestral scores have been codified and rendered with MIDI. Great performances have been captured using MIDI recording. MIDI doesn’t have to mean sub-standard music – it can, if used with care, mean superb musicianship and great music production. Unfortunately, too many substandard performances have been codified and rendered with MIDI, leading to bad experiences and a bad reputation for the technology.

Enablement versus Truly Smart Music Creation

MIDI is a great enabler.

We shouldn’t blame MIDI for what we have, and haven’t, done with it over the last 3 decades. For truly ‘Smart Music’ what we need is to go further, more intimately marrying technology with music production.

incredibleTrumpet
IncredibleTrumpet

The innovator – Band-In-A-Box

The first, mass-adoption innovation from MIDI was the song-based accompaniment application – PG Music’sBand-In-A-Box” available on PCs and Macs. This delivered on its promise of providing tailored accompaniment for songs. It helps students understand the form of the songs they play and to provide backing music for enjoying and learning new songs. Importantly, the interface or ‘language’ of the application is that of traditional music notation and concepts. It doesn’t rewrite musical terminology, it adopts it and extends what can be done with it. Band-In-A-Box truly is Smart Music Creation.

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Alive Drumming’s favourite Frequently  Asked  Questions  (FAQ)

We have hand-picked some of our favourite  F.A.Q.s about Alive Drumming and Song Rhythm Tracks.


Why do these Song Rhythm Tracks sound so great?

They do, don’t they! And for a number of reasons:

  1. Great Recordings of Great Drummers – Song Rhythm Tracks are arranged from careful studio recordings of excellent drummers.  They are not constructed from midi files fitting together “samples” from single drum hits to form a mechanical style but rather multiple longer-form full recordings by top studio drummers, lasting from up to 8 bars at a time where you hear subtle drum rolls, variations in ride cymbal taps, complex fills and more.  The rhythmic style comes from talented drummers that are very experienced in that particular style be it Reggae, Salsa, Bossa, Rumba, Tango, Rock, Country, Jazz, Pop, Celtic, Praise & Worship, Blues, and lots more!
  2. There is natural variety promoted over the repeats.  That is a number of recordings of, say, a fill or shot are taken and selectively chosen while sequencing and engineering the final audio.  This provides the natural variety one gets with drummers.  It helps prevent the drumming from becoming monotonous and repetitive.
  3. The drummer is spelling out many aspects of the song’s form as (s)he plays.  This might have a larger contributor than one might imagine.  It is what real drummers do, but drumming software rarely does.   The drumming is indicating
    • When you are returning to the ‘top of the form’ again
    • When your sections are ending and starting again
    • When you are starting or finishing a bridge section
    • Whether you are playing a middle chorus or, alternatively, the first or last chorus.   This not only helps you keep place while you are playing but it makes the whole experience so much more enjoyable to listen to or play along with.

All this takes a lot of careful preparation and curation, huge storage, and sophisticated algorithms.   We feel this cannot be achieved on mobile devices themselves which is why our solution involves our cloud services working with the mobile App.


Could you give me some examples of Song Forms?

Song Forms for a number of songs are here


Your drumming audio is dry! Will Alive Drumming, or can I, add reverb?

Alive Drumming’s Song Rhythm Tracks  are supplied without reverb (aka “dry”). We are endeavouring to make our iOS app Apple inter-app audio (IAA) compliant.  When it is, you will be able to use other, 3rd party app’s to add reverb to the audio.  See this youtube video for some of them in action.


Is Alive Drumming supporting my country or region?

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globe

Alive Drumming aims to cover all regions, countries, languages, and cultures, embracing a wide diversity of rhythms is what we are all about.  If we haven’t adopted yours yet, we almost certainly aim to in the future.  If you want yours to be supported now, why not contact us at marketing@alive-dumming.org


What song forms does Alive Drumming support?

We support all the popular, essential song forms by name – 12 bar blues, 16 bar tunes, 32-bar A1A2 and 32-bar AABA, and about 30 other less common also by name.    The list is increasing!  We also support selecting these same song forms using stick notation instead of names.  This simply specifies section lengths in bars, for example, ‘8|8/8|8’, where ‘bridge‘ sections are preceded by a ‘/’ instead of ‘|’. Additionally, we support users defining their own forms via stick notation, including repeats, and concatenation of up to four (4) parts.  This allows for a truly huge flexibility, enough to describe any song’s form.   See this user guide for more information,  Song Rhythm Tracks.


What rhythms are available for Song Rhythm Tracks?

The app currently supports about 60 different distinct rhythm categories, which includes about 250 distinct rhythms.  Of these, most are available with differing instrumentation such as ‘rim’ shots or, say, wooden blocks, and many at multiple tempos.  In all over 3,700 different rhythm track recordings are available that can be applied to a song form.   The app makes the selection of one of these 3,700+ recordings easy by providing filtering on a musical meter (say 4/4 or 3/4 time) and feel (even or straight, 8th or 16th notes).
Here is a tiny sample of the styles represented:

  • Jazz, swing, straight 8th, modern, sophisticated, old-time
  • American Country styles, including Nashville
  • American Blues, shuffles, hard shuffles, old-time, slow, fast
  • Salsa, Samba
  • Bossa, Jazz Bossa Brushes, Latin Bossa, bongos, percussion
  • Techno, various forms
  • Rock, hard rock, heavy
  • Pop, straight 8th, straight 16th, slow, medium, fast

For a full list of all rhythms and sub-rhythms see the page catalog-rhythmic-styles.


How can I use the Song Rhythm Tracks? What’s my licence?

Alive Drumming grants license to remix its tracks.  That is, you can take the Song Rhythm Tracks audio, mix it with your own content, and sell that mix as your own work without paying a fee to Alive Drumming.
Alive Drumming prohibits resale or redistribution of its un-mixed, original Song Rhythm Tracks.  You cannot sell or give away these tracks unless you mix them into a new creative piece of work.
Alive Drumming appreciates artistic attribution but does not require attribution in your remixed works.  You do not need to attribute Alive Drumming for the rhythm track in your remixed original work but if you wish to please add, “rhythm track supplied by Alive Drumming (c)” and include a reference to this website.


How can I get these Song Rhythm Tracks? Are they available on Amazon or iTunes?

The tracks are available via Apple iOS mobile App and will later be available via an Android mobile app.
The huge permutations of song forms and rhythms available means the traditional audio file distribution channels of iTunes and Amazon do not fit this new medium of Song Rhythm Tracks.
In particular, Amazon and iTunes do not accommodate the additional assistance that is required for musician’s to select the appropriate track.
Alive Drumming has no plans to market these tracks on legacy media such as Audio CDs or DAT tape.


Who is Song Rhythm Tracks for?

All Musicians!   New Musicians;    Experienced Musicians;     Great Musicians;
Really, any musician including Pianists, Guitarists, Horn Players, Singers and even Drummers.
The tracks can be used for practice, performance and cutting a release.
To learn more about their benefit in practice, using the Song Rhythm Tracks app, see the news articles,
When to work on your rhythm?

How to practice, then how to jam

Why songform with rhythm tracks?


Would Alive Drumming include this extra rhythm?

If we don’t already include a particular rhythm, we would like to work with a drummer to include it.  This involves making high-quality audio recordings of the drumming at multiple tempos including multiple shots and fills used in turnarounds.   The audio recording will be analysed to identify where the various aspects occur and the preference level of each occurrence.   This is the basis for Alive Drumming to incorporate additional rhythms into their Song Rhythm Tracks.    If you are a drummer and have a rhythm you’d like to be represented please email feedback@alive-drumming.org


What’s Alive Drumming’s policy on privacy?

Alive Drumming takes personal privacy very seriously.  We are committed to proactively protecting the privacy of our customers by not storing any personal information unless it is absolutely required, and should that be the case, it will always be protected by strong encryption.  We will never sell or otherwise disclose any personal, private or confidential information we hold on others.


How can I learn about song form?

Song form is based on the concept that every song has been composed around a musical form or structure.   Popular song often chooses simple forms as a basis for a song but forms can be more complex as well.
A good reference on song form (structure) is the Wikipedia article,  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Song_structure

Alive Drumming wants to provide you with the easiest and most reliable methods to describe song form.
Song Form may be selected using both (i) traditional names such as ’16-bar Tune’, or (ii) the  ‘stick notation’ equivalent of ‘4|4|4|4’ if that is what you prefer.
For full information on Alive Drumming’s Song Rhythm Tracks mobile app and it’s flexibility in identifying Song Forms see the page, Song Rhythm Tracks

You may describe any Song Form with “user-defined” Song Forms in the mobile app, and for popular tunes, searching for a user-contributed Song Form for that song, again within the mobile app.   There are now tens of thousands of these being shared.


Song Rhythm Tracks

are a new type of backing track composed entirely of rhythmic backing (no melody or harmony) arranged to the musical form of the song — it’s “songform”. These tracks are complete performances like one gets from a professional drummer. They have a count-in, introduction section, choruses and characteristic endings, framed by fills showing where sections start and end. Even musical bridges and middle choruses have higher intensity where appropriate to the style. All this without a typical arranger’s interface thereby keeping it simple. One can select a track in under 30 seconds — under 15 seconds once one gets the hang of it.

The App’s player has tempo adjustment and a facility to sequence the tracks for your gig or jam session. It is for musicians of all abilities. New musicians use the App to provide an accompaniment to songs. They get a rhythm that is sympathetic so they learn to keep time, get into the groove and internalise the song’s musical structure – All this while enjoying engaging and inspiring rhythms. Gigging musicians catalogue their backing into setlists and use it to guide performance. Having quality rhythmic backing, with a setlist facility and a musician’s player, all in the one App is so convenient one finds oneself using this rhythmic backing more and more.

Song Rhythm Tracks are truly high-quality rhythmic backing that is convenient to select and play. You are not going to get tired of these backing tracks. You are not going to have to sequence anything. You will find that the player and setlist’s user-interface encourages continued use. You will get to appreciate the form of your songs more and you might include these tracks into your own single and album releases.

Whether you are learning a new tune, jamming, gigging or cutting your latest album, this Song Rhythm Tracks provides a solution.

Check out samples of the audio at Alive Drumming’s Samples page

Check out these articles from Alive Drumming that give further insights into the thinking behind the product –

When to work on your rhythm?

How to practice, then how to jam

Why songform with rhythm tracks?

Download the Song Rhythm Tracks App on the Apple App Store

Try Alive Drumming’s sampler apps to sample previously arranged tracks of popular tunes. It is then easy to use the app to adjust these to your practice and performance requirements. All the sampler apps are the same Song Rhythm Tracks app but with the included sample tracks.

 

Why do these Song Rhythm Tracks sound so totally great?

drummer AJAZZGO2017

These Song Rhythm Tracks do sound totally great, don’t they?

This is one of the most frequent things I hear.  The great sound quality often comes as surprise, perhaps because of the widespread familiarity everybody has with ‘Midi Drum Machines‘, which don’t satisfy in the same way as Song Rhythm TracksMidi Drum Machines and Song Rhythm Tracks are two very different products; we summarize their differences below.

The Song Rhythm Tracks Way

Song Rhythm Tracks

Here are the three top reasons why we believe these tracks are so great to jam to, to gig to, and to cut records to.

One – Great Recordings of Great Drummers – Song Rhythm Tracks are arranged from careful studio recordings of excellent drummers.

They are not constructed from midi files fitting together “samples” from single drum hits to form a mechanical style but rather multiple longer-form full recordings by top studio drummers, lasting from up to 8 bars at a time where you hear subtle drum rolls, variations in ride cymbal taps, complex fills and more.  The rhythmic style comes from talented drummers that are very experienced in the particular style be it Reggae, Salsa, Bossa, Rumba, Tango, Rock, Country, Jazz, Pop, Celtic, Praise & Worship, Blues, and lots more!

Two – There is natural variety promoted over the repeats.

That is, a number of recordings of all aspects of playing, fills, post-fills, shots and more are taken and selectively chosen while sequencing and engineering the final audio.  This provides the natural variety one gets with drummers.  It helps prevent the drumming from becoming monotonous and repetitive.

Three – The arrangement is always spelling out aspects of the song’s form.

This might have a larger contribution than one might imagine.  It is what real drummers do, but drumming software rarely does.   The drumming is indicating

  1. When you are returning to the ‘top of the form’ again
  2. When your sections are ending and starting again
  3. When you are playing a bridge section
  4. Whether you are playing a middle chorus or, alternatively, the first or last chorus.   This not only helps you keep place while you are playing but it makes the whole experience so much more enjoyable to listen to, or play along with, as well.

All this takes a lot of careful preparation, curation, huge storage, and sophisticated algorithms.   We feel this cannot be achieved on mobile devices themselves which is why our solution involves cloud services working with the mobile App.

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