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.

When to work on your “Rhythm”?

illu trumpet

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

We 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 (feel and groove).   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 all 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 we have always sought out structured and inspiring rhythmic backing.  This ultimately lead to  “Song Rhythm Tracks.

Rhythm and Timing

Practice Makes Permanent

One of the most repeated terms used to, and by, musicians is that “practice makes perfect”.   I’ve heard this altered to, “practice makes permanent”. i.e. if we repeat a thing, over and over, then we do internalize it and it becomes a facility we have “without consciously thinking about it”.  This is why we can do complex coordinated movements without much conscious thought such as driving cars and even using a knife and fork.   If you’ve never done these things in your life before they can be very challenging for the very first time, but once performed daily one doesn’t even recognize them as a challenge anymore.  It’s as if an entirely different part of your mind is assigned to the task.  So, what is important is that we are very selective about using this repetition technique and make sure it affects don’t work against us because if what we are practising is not beneficial then it will get internalized just as readily….   So, practice can make perfect;  It will eventually make permanent, but that permanency can defeat you as well as help you.

Developing your own sense of timing

A key aspect of music is rhythm and timing – it’s what can make music come alive, and it’s what can kill it as well.  It’s essential that we develop good rhythm and timing.

A Pulse!

If you haven’t yet developed the sense of that regular pulse that is present in most modern music – pop, folk, country, jazz – playing along to something with a pulse is of great benefit because wherever your pulse is lacking it will be clearly shown and you will automatically adjust to follow the pulse and keep the timing.  Great: That’s a real win.   My recommendation is to be very selective about the use of metronomes and click-tracks:  There’s more to rhythm than a pulse!

But not just any pulse!

Misuse of Metronomes and click tracks Considered Harmful

Always using a click-track when you practice and when playing together in a group will likely work against developing your own human interaction on the pulse and detract from the rhythmic nuances that end up being beaten out by the demanding, oh-so-regular, ‘click’.  In a similar way also, counting when you are jamming with others will be a problem:  Counting the pulses within the meter, such as 1-and-a, 2-and-a,  is an absolutely invaluable aid when learning a new, perhaps rhythmically challenging melody: I’ve heard it said that if you cannot count a melody or rhythmic idea out, you don’t really know it:  It is great to count it out to ensure we really know it, but once you have internalized that melody, it is time to stop counting it and feel the rhythm and communicate with the others you are playing with without blocking them out by counting in your head.

The Jazz educator Steven Sedergreen in his book, “Start Playing Jazz Piano Now”, writes, “Time and feel are intuitive rather than mechanical. Reliance on mechanical means such as counting and the use of metronomes are poor substitutes for feeling it. Time emanates from within the body and moves outwardly, a natural feeling that should not be restricted”.  (chapter 21, para 4)

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Drumming 101: Basic Drum Terms You Must Know

According to the Australian Institute of Music, thousands of different types of drums are out there. From acoustic to electronic, they come in various sizes and shapes. The type of drum you choose depends on the style of music you play.

“Playing the drums became one of the good habits children around the globe discovered. The way someone plays the drums strengthens their physical flexibility and agility. It is also said that it is good for the physical development of children,” says pro drummer and news analyst Olivia Jones from 8news—one of Australia’s very reputable news sources that meet users’ expectations for updating global and local news.

Drums are one of the oldest instruments around. They’ve been played since ancient times and continue to play an essential role in music today. Here are some standard drum terms you should know before starting your journey into the world of drums.

1. Rudiments

Rudiments are various drum rhythms that you can play on a drum set or drum kit to create music or be used as drills in and of themselves. Although there are many other drum rudiments, 40 have been chosen as the most essential and practical rudiments to master.

2. Drum Fill

A drum fill, also known as a lick or a chop, is a phrase you play to bridge the gap between verses, choruses, or other musical portions of a song or to lead the band into the following section, such as the bridge.

3. Drum Throne

The term “throne” is frequently used to describe the drummer’s chair. Yes, the drummer has a specific seat, just like royalty.

4. Authentic And Coordinated Grip

These phrases explain the proper grip for the drumsticks. You hold the left stick like a fork and the right bar like a wand while using the conventional grip. Hold both bars in a wand-like fashion with palms facing down and a matched grip.

5. Groove Or Beat

A rhythmic pattern you play in sync with the music is called a drum groove or beat.

6. Tempo

Tempo is an expression of speed or duration. When practising and increasing their tempo, drummers may employ a click track or metronome. Certain drummers and ensembles even use a click track when performing live.

7. Drum Shell

The drum shell provides the framework of the drum. Shells can be crafted from metal, acrylic, or wood.

8. Drumroll

This two-handed drumming style, sometimes known as a buzz roll, generates continuous sound. Drummers frequently use the snare drum for drum rolls.

Play Drums Like A Pro With Alive Drumming

The list of drum words is endless, and as you continue your drum training, you will learn many more. Never be afraid to ask someone, preferably an expert, what a new term means if you come across one. The most excellent method to learn and expand your drum vocabulary is through practice.

Alive Drumming is a website showcasing non-classical musicianship. It offers resources on contemporary rhythms, arranges 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!

How To Drum With Rhythm And Groove?

We all know the feeling. You’ve been playing your drums for a while, and everything is going great, but then you try to play with some rhythm and groove, and things start to go downhill. It can be tough to keep a consistent beat going, especially if you’re not used to doing it. But don’t worry, with a bit of practice, you’ll be able to drum with rhythm and groove like a pro. 

“Drumming with a sense of rhythm and groove may elevate your drum playing to a new level. Though, not everyone understands what it means to play the drums with rhythm and groove. You can use several strategies in your daily drum practice to create a rhythmic and groovy feeling,” advised pro drummer and kids party planner Harry Nevin of Balloons Sydney.

Not sure where to start? Don’t worry- we’ll guide you every step of the way. So please put on your favourite tune, and let’s get started!

What Is Groove?

You can’t start playing the drums with the groove unless you first understand what a groove is. The literal definition of “groove” is: to react or interact harmoniously. This broad definition encompasses a great deal in the realm of music. Responding or interacting in harmony means flowing together well. When a drum beat flows nicely, you genuinely think, “this beat grooves.”

So, to put it another way, playing the drums with a groove is simply playing the drums smoothly and pleasantly that flows effortlessly. It may not seem like much difference at first, but there is an essential distinction between merely playing a drum beat with a groove and doing the same thing without any.

What Is Rhythm? 

The rhythm is the order, intensity, and clarity of the sounds. In music, rhythm refers to the regular recurrence of notes and silences (rests) in time. A rhythmic pattern is created when a sequence of notes and rests repeats. Musical rhythm, in addition to signalling when notes are played, also specifies how long they are played and with what intensity.

How To Drum With Rhythm And Groove?

Here are several techniques to jazz up your drumming’s groove and rhythm.

Add Dynamics

You would get better results by playing the drums with more dynamics. When you include dynamics in your playing, the tone of any pattern changes. This, in turn, makes the groove and rhythm sound more interesting. You can do this by incorporating different volumes, as well as speeds, while you’re playing.

Experiment With New Beats

If you want to find a new groove or rhythm, it’s essential to experiment with different beats. Experimenting will help break any monotony that might have set in and make your playing more exciting. You can do this by trying out new drum patterns or beats with which you are unfamiliar.

Create A Strong Backbeat

The backbeat is one of the essential elements of any groove. It helps to create a sense of rhythm and movement, making the music more exciting. You can create a strong backbeat by playing the bass drum on the beats that fall on the “two” and “four.”

Play Around With The Tempo

The drummer is starting to up the tempo!

The tempo is another critical element of groove and rhythm. You can make your playing more interesting by experimenting with different tempos. Changing the beat will help to break any monotony and make your playing more exciting.

As you can see, you can use many different techniques to improve the groove and rhythm of your drumming. By incorporating these techniques into your daily practice routine, you’ll be able to take your drumming to the next level. So don’t wait any longer; get out there and start grooving!

Looking For A Way To Spice Up Your Music?

Alive Drumming offers Song Rhythm Tracks based on top studio drummers’ recordings. Their tracks are sequenced and engineered by innovative technologies into complete, fully-arranged backing tracks specific to a song. This is the perfect way to add excitement to your music!

These are only a few tips- for more in-depth instructions, check our website or contact us. We would be happy to help you take your drumming skills to the next level.

Published on , by judewhitworthyoung

How To Identify Popular Music Genres By Ear

Australia is a multicultural and geographically diverse nation. This diversity is reflected in our music, which embraces various genres and forms while pushing the boundaries of creativity and experimentation.

According to Learning Potential, in many developmental areas, including language, numeracy, focus, and social skills, music can help your child. So take advantage of the various opportunities by exposing your youngster to music as frequently as possible!

“A music genre is a recognised classification that identifies musical compositions as belonging to a shared tradition or set of conventions. Understanding the historical background of the main musical subgenres is essential,” according to Kelly Woods of Youtubetomp3—Australia’s most well-known online affiliate partner.

Even when identifying a music genre by ear, there is no precise technique that is certain to work. It is even more challenging these days because so many genres and subgenres have been combined from popular, well-known genres. Here are a few, but not all, methods for determining a musical genre with our ears.

1. Examine The Tempo

One of the most important aspects of music is the rate at which it is played. These days that is typically stated in BPM or total beats per minute. You must first be aware of the normal BPMs for the most popular genres of music to recognise them using this method.

2. Listen To The Tempo Of The Drums

Music can be challenging to understand because some genres have overlapping speed ranges. In this case, changes in the drum beats are the primary way to determine the genre.

3. Consider Listening To Many Genres

Extend your listening repertoire to improve your ability to distinguish genres. Select a piece of music, look up the genre it belongs to, listen to it, and make notes about anything that stands out. By doing this, you may learn about a wide range of genres. In time, you will be able to differentiate between the genres based only on the first few bars.

4. Join Ear Training Genres

Anything we wish to accomplish requires training. Although taking part in this stuff is optional, it will improve your expertise. A professional will guide you and make the subject simpler for you to learn if you take part in the training.

Master Music Genres With Alive Drumming

When music is played, a child’s brain grows differently on all levels—academically, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. Participating in music has several advantages that are beneficial to our life. Music can be used as a therapy to treat a variety of ailments and disease processes, from stress management to anxiety, depression, and depressive disorders. It will be beneficial to discover the kind of music that is best for you over time.

Alive Drumming offers resources on contemporary rhythms, arranges rhythm recordings, and provides the Song Rhythm Tracks service and mobile apps. In particular, it emphasises groove and rhythm.

If you have any questions or want to use our services, please visit our website, fill out the contact form, or email marketing@alive-drumming.org.

Top 8 Drumming Styles and Genres: A Quick Guide

Drumming close-up

Trying out something new can be difficult. However, when it comes to drumming, challenging yourself is the best way to learn. You can try out and learn from many drumming styles and genres to make you a better musician.

“The best way to become the best drummer is to practice. Try out different styles and push yourself out of your comfort zone,” says Angelina Jackman, professional voice coach at The Verses

Becoming a great drummer takes lots of practice and jamming. This means trying out things you haven’t done before and perfecting them. Don’t be afraid to challenge yourself by trying out different drumming styles and genres.

What Are The Greatest Drumming Styles And Genres?

Drumming is a diverse art. We’ve prepared 8 of the most popular drumming styles to familiarise yourself with the instrument’s variety.

Rock

This style is characterised as straightforward and no-frills attached music. Rock drumming uses loud and intense drum grooves partnered with big fills. Together, they make an even more significant impact.

Metal

Metal drummers have larger drum kits to achieve metal music’s aggressive, loud, precise, and powerful sounds. Playing the drums in this genre and style requires endurance, speed, coordination, and precision.

Punk

Punk drumming bears a striking similarity to intricate rock drumming. The only difference is that it is played faster and thus requires more precision. The genre itself is characterised by loud and fast music.

Jazz

This style of drumming has continued to evolve. Many sub-genres stem from jazz. It uses a broad range of notes, making it more complex to learn and master than the other genres in this list.

Pop

Pop music is elementary and structured, so it follows that pop drumming is the same way. It is easy to learn, but there are some subtleties to note. For example, pop drummers need precision and coordination to stick to the structure.

Blues

This is often associated with rock and jazz. It uses various techniques and notes to achieve its unique bluesy sound.

Latin

Latin drumming is famous for the clave or the heartbeat of the song. It uses elements like the clave and other traditional patterns that can be difficult for newbies.

Reggae

Playing reggae requires a lot of precision and tightness despite its fun and carefree sound. A reggae drummer has a difficult job because they are the song’s foundation, along with the bassist. The drummer must always stick to a steady and tight groove.

Bring The Beat In With Alive Drumming

The art of playing the drums is incredibly diverse. We’ve listed only eight of the many ways to play the drums. There is so much variety.

Alive Drumming Song Rhythm Tracks arranges and provides rhythm tracks through their mobile app. So, whether you’re a professional or aspiring drummer or any musician, this innovative app might be what you need to experience many styles in your playing.

Want to be the very best drummer there is? You may send us a message to start your journey.

— Alive Drumming is so happy to share these Insights from our popular guest contributor, Jude Young.

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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.

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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

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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

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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.

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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

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



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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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“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.

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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
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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

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

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!

How to Promote Literacy Through Music

Rhythm and Language

Enjoy this article from contributor, Jude Young, about the great value of rhythmic training in the young.

Maria Kay has highlighted the integrated relationship between literacy and music in the earlier years and has suggested a few simple activities that will assist you in developing children’s skills.

Usha Goswami, a professor from Cambridge specialising in cognitive-developmental neuroscience, discovered that perceiving rhythm is important in association with literacy. She has dedicated her time and research specifically to do with children that are dyslexic.

In 2012, these findings were presented on BBC Four’s ‘Growing Children’. In this programme, she highlighted why rhythmic-language activities are important in preschool for supporting language development. These typically include songs, nursery rhymes, language games, clapping, stepping, large motor movements, and action rhymes.

Syllables And Rhythm: Great Assistants for Learning Language

Syllables And Rhythm: Great Assistants for Learning Language

Words are broken down into syllables, explained as “chunks of sound”. For instance, a word like “ex-am-ple” consists of 3 syllables. Being able to break words down using this method is one of the important skills children use to break up a word in a simple unit when spelling or reading. 

The rhythm in songs also reveals syllables in all the lyrics. Here is an example of a rhyme, “Can You Hear the Falling Rain”, and you will notice how syllables in each word are given a note. For example, “fal-ling”, maybe a single word but contains 2 syllables. It is also sung on 2 notes. 

Audio Specialist from Direct Appliance Rentals, Karina Wolfin says, “Assisting young children to recognise syllables by pointing them out in music happens to be an effective technique to help children break down a word. By adding in movements to point out the syllables provides even further emphasis. For this reason, playing instruments, dancing, clapping, and marching assists with embedding essential literacy skills.” 

Musical Activities: Making Learning More Enjoyable

Musical Activities: Making Learning More Enjoyable

Here is an example of a music activity:

Can You Hear The Falling Rain?

Can you hear the falling rain?

Listen here it comes again.

Down the river, down the lane,

Tapping on the windowpane.

To highlight the rhythm in the song use sticks (claves), tap a drum, or clap hands. When using an instrument like a drum you can change the sounds for the falling rain, flowing down the road, a window, or river. 

This is a simple rhyme that you can also use to discuss rain and the sounds that it makes on different surfaces or flowing into a river. You could also compare these sounds to water that comes out of a tap or the waves that crash onto the beach.

Syllable Activities

Here is an example of one of the activities used to identify syllables:

Holding a drum, give the children a beater, giving each child a turn. Ask each child a different question. For example, “What did you eat for breakfast?” Each child must reply by beating out syllables on your drum while they speak. One example of an answer would be “ce-re-al”, 3 beats (syllables), jam and toast, 3 beats (syllables). 

Children that do not know how to tap rhythms, often have difficulties with spelling. Even older kids often benefit from using a tapping technique to tap out rhythms present in words. This method breaks the words into more manageable and smaller units making it easier to spell and read. Being able to pay attention to sounds in words is very important to become proficient in literacy. 

———- 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

 

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