Ableton Essential Exercises Level 1: Drum Basics | STRANJAH | Skillshare

Ableton Essential Exercises Level 1: Drum Basics

STRANJAH, Music Producer

Ableton Essential Exercises Level 1: Drum Basics

STRANJAH, Music Producer

Play Speed
  • 0.5x
  • 1x (Normal)
  • 1.25x
  • 1.5x
  • 2x
10 Lessons (27m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Lesson 1: Basic House Beat

    • 3. Lesson 2: Syncopation

    • 4. Lesson 3: Funk Shuffle

    • 5. Lesson 4: Velocity

    • 6. Lesson 5: Extending Loops

    • 7. Lesson 6: Creating Your Own Drum Kit

    • 8. Lesson 7: Mixing Your Drums

    • 9. Lesson 8: Spicing Up Your Drums

    • 10. Lesson 9: Adding Loops

  • --
  • Beginner level
  • Intermediate level
  • Advanced level
  • All levels
  • Beg/Int level
  • Int/Adv level

Community Generated

The level is determined by a majority opinion of students who have reviewed this class. The teacher's recommendation is shown until at least 5 student responses are collected.





About This Class

Ableton Essential Exercises Level 1:  Drum Basics

In this course, you will learn basic drum techniques by following simple step-by-step exercises.  Be sure to practice each lesson several times until you have the steps and pattern memorized.  By the end of the course you should have the fundamental techniques to start writing your own drums!

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image


Music Producer


Hello, I'm Stranjah and I am a music production instructor!  Through my 20 years of producing music for international labels such as Hospital Records and Metalheadz, I bring a wealth of knowledge and insight to students who wish to learn music production but are having a challenge getting started.  I have been teaching for almost as long as I've been making music.  I started by teaching friends and colleagues, and later evolved to teaching professionally in group and 1 to 1 classes.  My teaching style is direct with a simple step-by-step approach, ensuring that students can follow along and progress.

Feel free to drop me a message if you have any questions!

See full profile

Related Skills

Music Production Creative

Class Ratings

Expectations Met?
  • Exceeded!
  • Yes
  • Somewhat
  • Not really
Reviews Archive

In October 2018, we updated our review system to improve the way we collect feedback. Below are the reviews written before that update.

Your creative journey starts here.

  • Unlimited access to every class
  • Supportive online creative community
  • Learn offline with Skillshare’s app

Why Join Skillshare?

Take award-winning Skillshare Original Classes

Each class has short lessons, hands-on projects

Your membership supports Skillshare teachers

Learn From Anywhere

Take classes on the go with the Skillshare app. Stream or download to watch on the plane, the subway, or wherever you learn best.



1. Introduction: agent Essential exercises. Drum basics. Hi, My name is stranger and welcome to my able 10 essential exercises. I've been producing music for over 20 years now for a label such as metal heads, hospital records and critical music. And I'm here now to pass on to you the knowledge I've gained over the years. I've designed this course as a series of exercises that help you learn as quickly as possible. I've cut that explanations to a minimum, as I believe that sometimes the best way to learn is just by doing. If you want explanations, there's tons of videos out there that provide them. What I'm trying to do is to provide you a direct and hands on approach to learning music production. I've also provided course materials, which includes samples and Project Falls. So please download the file package info section below and make sure to practice each lesson several times until you have the steps and patterns Memorize. This will ensure your progress in your learning. So that's it. We're gonna jump right in, so I'll see you at the first lesson 2. Lesson 1: Basic House Beat: agent in essential exercises. Drum basics. All right, welcome the lesson. One basic house beat. The first thing I want you guys to do is to go to the top left menu. Click on Open Life Set and open Lesson 01 basic house beat from the downloaded Level one package and when you're going to see is a project with simply one track. Here it's a drum kit, and in this drum kit there's eight sounds and you can see the instrument on the bottom. Here there's a kick flat, close, eye hat open, high hat, sin air ride, Tom and Rim shot. The very first thing to do is to create a brainy MIDI clip, which is where we're gonna be entering our notes. So to do that double click on to slot here, you can actually double click on any slots. But it just makes more sense that double click on the 1st 1 and you'll notice on the bottom is a MIDI editor from here is where we get to enter our notes just a few things before we start. If you right click on the grid, you can change the granularity of the grid line so if you choose quarter note, then you see quarter notes. If you right click again and his ace notes, then this bar is split into eight notes. Now what you see on the left of the MIDI editor is the keyboard and the sands that are placed on each key. So notice that the very first key on the bottom is a kick. And then you got Klatt and you got your high hats and so forth. Now, if you don't hear anything when you click on the notes, make sure this little blue I gone is enabled. That just ensures that when you click on note, you get to preview how it would sound not to draw. Note. You can double click on a space intimately editor. And then, if you wanted to delete a note, you can select one note where you could select multiple little notes and then hit the delete button on your keyboard. Now there's another way to draw, which is using draw mode. So to enable draw mood, we click on the draw mode button on the top right menu. It's that pencil looking icon. We click that also, there's a short cut enabled the draw mode. It's simply entering the B button on your keyboard when you hit be, it turns on and off your draw mode and to draw using draw mode, we simply click and drag across to the right, so notice it's drawn eight notes across. Now let's clear what we did. So if you were in drama, just click and drag across again to remove the notes to make a basic house. Pete, there are four beats to the bar. What we're seeing here is one bar, so to make it easy, we can right click and she's quarter note, and now we see just four notes, and now we can draw one note here, here, here and in here not to listen to your pattern. You have the launch to clip and to lost a clip. You simply press on this play button on the clip, and then you can hit space to stop the next step to writing a house B is adding the clap. And in a typical house beat, there is a clap on the second and fourth beat, so that boom, boom ca. So since this is the first beat, this is the second beats that. There's a clap here and this is the third beat. So there's a clap on the four beat there. Now you can hit space to play, and it's space. The stop now. The next part of writing a host B is to add the open high hat and open high hat falls under downbeat. That's in between the beats. So right click and choose eighth note. And now the grich is the down beats. So I'm going to go into draw mode and a we can at a open high out there. There, there, there hit space not to play. Finally, we at the close tie hat into close high hat simply goes right before the open Hi hats essentially closed in the open. Hi. Hats play in Tandon, meaning a closed high hat usually precedes an open high hat. So let's out of clothes I had there, there, there and there. And then let's hear what we got. Once you're done, go to the file menu. Save the life set as you can give it a specific name. If you don't want overwrite the lesson, just call it too and a hit safe. All right. You're doing great, guy. So really, get this down, and then we're gonna be building on this under next lesson. 3. Lesson 2: Syncopation: agent in essential exercises. Drum basics welcome the lesson to Syncopation. Segregation is when we add additional beats and between the main beats of a rhythm, these off beats act as an accent, which give your groove alot more interesting resume. You can use a variety of sounds and sick compeition, however common sounds to use our Tom's would percussion such as Class Congo's and Bongos, as well as rim shots and snares. In this example, we're going to use a Tom. Let's open up the lesson too far, and in this fall we have a basic house beat written for you already. Also, if you don't see the MIDI editor on the bottom here, just make sure you double click on the house beat clip. So sometimes, if we double click on the top was his drum kit. You just show the instrument. Just make sure you click the clip to open up the editor, and the most basic Syncopation pattern is known as the off beat. Put simply, it's the note in between each quarter note. So to add an off beat with your Tom, we're gonna right click. Make sure we're on eighth note view enable draw mode and we're going to draw a Tom on each off beat now hit space. The play. Now, the second pattern we're gonna learn as a slight variation of the previous pattern. We're simply going to move the first and third Tom 1/16 note over the right click under grid. And make sure you see that 1/16 note selected and then use cursor mode. So disabled draw mode and then move the first note. One note over and the third note. This is what we had. Now let's add the high hat pattern we learned in the previous lesson to hear everything put together. Right, Click Select the eighth note view, and I'm gonna enable draw mode. So close I had here open high hat when you're ready. Hit space to play. Okay, you guys are doing great. Make sure you repeat this lesson over until you remember to patterns off by heart. In the next lesson, we're gonna be learning about another Syncopation pattern known as the Funk Shuffle. 4. Lesson 3: Funk Shuffle: agent in essential exercises. Never One drum basics. All right. In this lesson, we're gonna be learning about the funk shuffle. The funk shuffle is a Syncopation pattern that uses snares in particular. Sometimes the rim shots are used, which is a variation of the same hair. And the shuffle typically happens between the second and third beat and their place study ghost notes. Ghost knows they're typically placed under 16th note positions on the bar. So let's open up the lesson three fall and again, we have a basic house beat written for you already. Now we're gonna be using the snare, and we're gonna be placing the snare in two positions. They're going to be on a 16 note position. So is make sure you have the 16 note position selected on the grid, and I we can simply double click this time instead of using draw mode. We're placing one snare here, and once they're here, notice the 1st 1 is in between the second beat and the 2nd 1 is everything. The third beat here. This is what we have Now. You can click and drag a select a snares, and you can move them up to the rim shots. Okay, you guys are doing great. Make sure you guys a repeat this exercise until you memorize the pattern. It's a rhythm that's used a lot in popular music across many genres. What, you're ready? We'll see what the next lesson. 5. Lesson 4: Velocity: agent in essential exercises. Never. One drum basics Welcome the lesson for velocity. If you don't have it open already, make sure you have the lesson for foul. Open velocity is essentially the intensity of a note. In other words, how hard they're heading a note. Typically, the harder you play a note, the louder and note will play now under the Shaker truck. Double click on the slot to make a new clip and make sure you're in the 16th note view in the grits or right click. Now a naval draw mode and the straw shakers across the bar. Now notice. On the bottom of the MIDI editor are a number of lines. These air velocity lines Not to have a better V. You can direct a MIDI editor up, and then, if you don't see the velocity lean here, just make sure it's a little triangular button on the bottom left of the MIDI. Editor is enabled, so sometimes it's collapsed like that. So just click and you'll see the velocity lanes again, and we can actually drag the lane up so we can see a larger view in each one of these lines represent the velocity setting for the corresponding note by default enable Tonight. The value is 100 when you write a note to adjust the value of a velocity, you simply and draw mode distraught and or you can use cursor moan so disabled draw mode and individually set each note. Now we're gonna try a pattern where we have a high velocity, followed by a low velocity note and so forth. Now let's listen to what we have. Notice the volume fluctuations. Now I'm just going to draw a new clip and let's draw 16 shakers again, and it's just playing. Compare each clip thing. Notice the one with the Velocity Fluctuation has a little more groove, so Velocity is a way to add a little more rhythm and groove to your patterns. Let's right. Click on the first clip and we're gonna rename it and then rename the 2nd 1 will call it straight. And let's create one more this one. We're gonna have a pattern where it's high, low, medium and low velocity setting. So let's start of four notes And this time I'm gonna use draw mode so high is already set. We're gonna set low and a medium and as low disabled wrong road again had be to disable and then click and drag to select the four notes and that hit control or command D for Mac to duplicate the notes. Now let's hear this clip noticed. This group has a galloping rhythm so we can rename this clip as galloping. Let's hear each clip again, up and down straight and galloping. Notice on the left is a track for a basic house beat, so let's hear the basic house beat with each shaker pattern. Notice how, by adding a shaker with velocity fluctuations adds a lot more groove on the overall beat. This is a very useful technique toe Adama, rhythm and energy to your beat, so make sure you have this practice and memorize, and then we'll see what the next. 6. Lesson 5: Extending Loops: agent in essential exercises. Never. One drum basics woken. The lesson five. Extending your loops. So once you're comfortable creating one bar loops, it's good to start extending your loops to two or even four bar loops. So let's open up less and five. And we have a one bar pattern here for you and notice on the left of the MIDI editor as a number of options. Specifically, there is a button called Duplicate Loop. When you click this button, your current loop will then be copied to the second bar. Let's listen to what we have notice. Our clip is now two bars, and now I'm gonna add the funk shuffle that we learned in the previous lesson to the second bar. So I'm gonna switch the grid via to 16th note, and I'm gonna add a sneer here in here. Let's listen to what we got. Notice how things sound a lot more interesting with some variation on the second bar. Now I'm going to take this further and extend it to a four bar loops, and to do that we just have to click duplicate loop once and now we have four bars, and now I'm gonna add a snare role at the end of the fourth bar and using what we learned in the previous A lesson of velocity. I'm gonna just the velocity of each snare. Okay, let's listen to what we got. So once you're ready, you can even move onto eight and 16 bar loops. But I would recommend you guys to really get comfortable of writing two and four bar loops until you're very comfortable. And I wouldn't get into writing anything over 16 bars because that's when we move into more arranging a soul. But don't worry. We'll get into arranging in a feature lesson. Now I'm gonna show you another way to extend your loop. Let's go back into the info section of your MIDI editor noticed there is a section goal length here in a current length, is four bars. Now. If you click on this box and then enter, say 89 enter notice. Now we have an eight bar loop. From here, we can draw in brand new notes, or we can select and and hit control. De did duplicate the notes into your remaining bars. This is a useful way of extending your loops if you want to write a completely different pattern for the remaining bars. So really, practice this and get comfortable with writing two and four bar loops, and once you're ready, we'll see what the next lesson. 7. Lesson 6: Creating Your Own Drum Kit: agent in essential exercises. Never. One drum basics Welcome the lesson. Six. Creating your own drum kit. So once they're comfortable sequencing your drums, it's important to create your own drum kit by selecting your own sounds, because that will give you a little more control over the overall sound of your drums. The's sexual sounds of a drum kit are the kick, the snare and sometimes that clap and the high hat. And those include the closed and open hi hats. So there's no lesson fall for this exercise. Simply start with a brand new set and then on the browser we're going to scroll up to where we have two instruments and we're gonna pull a drum rack over into the first MIDI track. And now we have an empty drum rack here where we're going to start, including new sounds. Now, we've included a sample pack of drums in the exercise falls, so if you haven't downloaded it already, make sure you grab it extracted to your computer, and once you've extracted it, we're gonna scroll down to the bottom of your browser and we're gonna select odd folder, and then we're gonna look for a sample pack and then select folder. Now notice on the bottom. The able 10 sample pack will now be found. So we're going to click on that and that opens up to folders. We're going to expand on the drums folder, and then we're gonna look for a kick. That one's good, and then we're going to click and drag it to the bottom left slot. So what? The drum rack? We typically start adding sounds from the bottom left and then go across and then up. So the next time we're gonna add as a snare, and then we're gonna add oclock, and then we're gonna look for a closed and open high hat. Now we're gonna sequence, um, drums and make sure you enable the preview icon in your MIDI editor so you can hear what you play. Launched a clip. Okay, that's great. And once you're ready, make sure you save this fall because we're gonna be using it in the next 8. Lesson 7: Mixing Your Drums: agent in essential exercises. Never. One drum basics Welcome the lesson. Seven. Mixing your drums. So once you've created your own drum kit, it's important to adjust the level of each drum. And to do that, notice that there's a button on the right of the drum rack up here. If we click on it, we then get a mixing track for each sound on your drum rack. So just the feeders that set the level of each sound. The goal of this exercise is the just the levels of each sound, so that entire drum set is balanced. For example, in our example, the clap might have been a bit too loud and say, for the open hi hats, and we brought those down. You can even adjust the panning of your sound from left to right in your stereo field. So, too, are just painting. There's a button here with the sea. You can click and drag that down, and that place is the sound more through the left, and if you click and drag all the way up, you get descend on the right, and if you double click, it brings it back to the center. Okay, you guys are doing great. Save this. Follow once again because we're gonna be using it in the next lesson. 9. Lesson 8: Spicing Up Your Drums: agent in essential exercises. Never. One drum basics Welcome the lesson. Eight. Spicing up your drums. So now that we have a basic drum kit created, let's add some additional sounds to make things a little more interesting. So we're gonna go back into the instrument view, and if you don't see the instrument view, you can hit shift. I've and I will shift between the instrument view and MIDI editor. Or you can simply double click on the top of the track. So additional sounds that we can add to our drum groove include Tom's Reid symbols. It would percussion such as clubs and ball goes in Congo's. So first, we're gonna add a ride Cymbal. So go under symbol Lafer, right? And then we're gonna add a Tom, and then let's add some additional percussion and let's start sequencing. So for the ride Cymbal and simply gonna add quarter notes. So I'm gonna switched 1/4 note in view, and then I'm gonna add to syncopated Tom Pattern we learned in the previous lesson. So let's switch back to 16th note view, and then we're gonna experiment with their bongos. So now Alex, extend our loop. This is where you can experiment, trying different Syncopation patterns and different no positions. Feel free to explore and try different patterns until you find something that you like. And, of course, remember that just the level of each new sound that we've added. And make sure to practice this exercise a number of times, creating your own drum kit and building extended loops. And once you're ready, you're on your way to making some awesome rhythms. 10. Lesson 9: Adding Loops: agent in essential exercises. Never. One drum basics. Walking the lesson. Nine. Adding loops. Another way to spice up your drums as by using loops lives there audio samples that can be played continuously from beginning to end and over again. There are many sample packs that provide percussive loops, which help with your creativity by allowing you to easily add interesting rhythms through your beat. We've included a number of loops that you can use for your beat. So go back to the A Bolton sample pack and open up loops. And then, if you still have the previous lesson open, we're going to collapse the drum rock. And then to add aloof, we simply look for the sound that we want. For example, the Shaker Loops sounds good, and we're going to click and drag it to an audio track. Now we can add additional loops, and if you're out of audio trucks, you can simply click and drag it over here and a new audio track will be created. Now let's listen to what we got. Sometimes we need to adjust the level of the loop notice by using loops. We can easily add more energy and rhythm to your beat. Okay, so that completes a level one able to drum basics in the next levels. You will get to learn about advanced drunk techniques, different patterns for other genres in writing melody and arranging songs. So make sure you practice every day. As the more you work in a Bolton, the quicker you will become, so keep at it and we'll see what the next lesson.