One of our key design principles at the NYU MusEDLab is not to confront beginners with a blank canvas. We want to introduce people to our tools by giving them specific, real-world music to play around with. That was the motivation behind creating presets for the aQWERTYon, and a similar impulse informs Ableton’s approach to their online music tutorials. The Groove Pizza comes with some preset patterns (specials), but there aren’t direct prompts for creative beatmaking. This post introduces some prototype prompts.
The Funky Drummer boom-bap challenge
The pattern below is the first quarter note of the kick and snare pattern in Clyde Stubblefield’s classic drum break. Fill in the missing kick and snare hits to make your own golden age breakbeat. Try removing some hi-hats as well.
The Levee break asymmetrical kick challenge
The groove below uses the kick and snare pattern from “When The Levee Breaks” by Led Zeppelin. Add hi-hats and customize the kick and snare to best convey the Awesome Majesty of Rock.
Four-on-the-floor squares challenge
These two squares make a classic dance beat, kicks on the quarter notes with hi-hats in between. Add snares and break up the symmetry to make a dance floor filler.
So Fresh So Clean challenge
The pattern below is the basis for a sixteenth note hip-hop groove. Place more kicks and snares to make a crunk Dirty South beat in the spirit of OutKast.
It’s A Trap challenge
The pattern below is the basis for a thirty-second note groove. Add kicks and snares and remove hi-hats to make a radio-friendly trap beat.
Musical inspiration: I would include a link to a Future song but can’t find one that whose lyrics aren’t extremely objectionable. Just turn on the radio.