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Writing Drums Using MIDI - For Non-Drummers

On my channel LNA does Audio Stuff, you can now find a free course for non-drummers. This series is 4 episodes long (each video containing an interview with Sara Leigh Shaw and 4 techniques demonstrated in Ableton Live 11). The course focused on writing drums using only the MIDI grid. First episode: https://youtu.be/azjnXhIyGqc


Course Content:

Episode 1: Writing Drum Patterns, Hi-Hats & Dynamics

Episode 2: Drum Genres & Rhythm Music Theory

Episode 3: Humanising Drums: Swing, Groove Pool & Ghost Notes

Episode 4: Drum Sounds, Building Kits & Using Samples


In the course series, we had the pleasure to hear drummer/producer/songwriter Sara Lee Shaw's views on writing drums. She also wanted to add:


"Here are some drummers that I would recommend to check out from different genres! The list is endless for me but I've tried to pick out some genre-defining moments - particularly ones that have instructed the sounds of an era or band. And have greatly influenced a different sound of the way of doing things! I thought it might help for people who are looking to find different inspiration for their beat-making skills."


Here are Sara's suggestions:


Bernard Purdie - Originator of The "Shuffle" Which was popularized by the famous track 'Rosanna' by Toto

Zigaboo Modeliste - Great funk drummer from the band The Meters

GC Coleman

The 'Amen Break' is one of the most famous sampled drum breaks in music by the band The Winstons, drummer GC Coleman


Moe Tucker

A drummer who had no musical training whatsoever but became the drummer of the Velvet Underground - and heavily influenced the sound of the band


Neil Peart

The drummer from the band Rush - a huge part of the band's sounds was his intricate rhythms and fills, which really went outside of the standard ' groove' box

Jack White

Jack White who we all know from the White Stripes and as a solo performer on his own, played the drums in his side project The Dead Weather - I thought he had a really interesting approach to drumming in the modern era

Madame Gandhi

Kiran Gandhi started her career as MIA's drummer before becoming a solo artist in her own right - her music is an interesting mix of Western Sounds and the South Asian sounds of her heritage.


Ginger Baker

Really interesting music and placement of the beats in '60s and 70's


Make sure to check out this cheat sheet from my shop with 30 MIDI patterns 16 genres: https://www.lnamusic.com/product-page/30-midi-patterns-16-genres-by-lna

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