Introducing three random samples equals endless beat making creativity for your participants
Rhythm Roulette is a great way to get participants experimenting with making electronic music by getting over the initial hump that’s always the most challenging… “where do I start?!” Getting a project off the ground is always difficult, but being forced to build around a particular sample or sound can be a great springboard for creativity. There are lots of different ways to use the idea of a “Rhythm Roulette” in the studio, and they can be tailored to different ages and experience levels – below are just a few examples.
This program is based off of the Rhythm Roulette | Mass Appeal Youtube series. To understand how this program works, you have to first understand the rules of the Rhythm Roulette: #1 – Find a record store, #2 – Blind-fold producer, #3 – Pick 3 random records, #4 – Make a beat by sampling
The basic concept is… Grab random samples or loops from sound libraries (like Splice or Apple loops) and help participants make a beat using all three samples. FYI: This is a great way to introduce and utilize a Splice Sounds account
Grab a 4 bar instrumental loop (or chord progression)
Each participant (and instructor/s) creates their own drum beat to go with the loop/progression
Don’t let participants listen to each others tracks while they’re making them
Keep the activity short and sweet – have participants only build a 4 bar drum track
Encourage participants to experiment with elements such as: Drum kit libraries, Tempo/BPM, Dynamics, Mute/unmute, Panning, Effects, Layering, Etc.
Everyone plays their track (over a PA speaker), listens and compares what they came up with
Discuss how different grooves and feels can make the same sample sound completely different.
For example: A loop with a 4-on-the-floor feel vs. a trap feel
For more advanced participants:
Choose three random loops and/or samples (Splice or Apple Loops)
Challenge participants to make a beat (in 30-60 minutes) that includes ALL three loops/samples
Introduce more advanced concepts like:
Matching key signatures (Ie. show how some samples won’t work well together because they are in different keys or tonalities)
For teens, before we make any beats, I show them the “I played a show using only the 1991 Casio Rapman” video from Adam Neely’s YouTube channel. This video introduces a topic that is relevant to the activity ie. how limitations can sometimes inspire creativity