Books: Drum Machine Programming A Musician's Notebook By John H. Hinson III

Beware the mark...
Beware the mark…

Even though I claim guitar as my passion, drums are my first love.  When I listen to music, it’s always the drumming that I pay attention to.  I almost never play air guitar, but I’ll air drum whenever I’m sitting alone. I even still own the bass drum from the kit that my parents bought me when I was five…

A kit that they bought me despite the existence of the above public service announcement, which was released some 20 years before my birth.

This all makes it much more ironic that I loathe drum programming.

Is loathe even the right word?  Is hate better?  Programming drums is like the Monday morning of music creation. Scott Hull I am not.  This is why I decided to harness the awesome power of the internet to get a book to help me program drums in a better way.

All I did was waste five dollars.

I’m not going to draw this out much longer.  This book is a collection of basic beats in a variety of (often ridiculously contrived) genres (no, really, “hip-hop” and “holy hip-hop” are given their own sections).  It looks like it was written by taking screen shots of Fruity Loops and then shifting the colors.  There’s nothing here about humanizing via velocity changes or adding swing or effects or anything. besides. basic. beats.  Beats, written in a handy, 16 step sequencer.

Adding insult to injury, it looks like it was re-released at twice the price (now with fewer negative reviews).  I would have a hard time recommending this at $4.99, at $9.99, this is a joke.

If you don’t know what “on the one” means this book may be helpful, and that is the only thing saving this from a complete garbage rating.  However, if you’ve ever opened a step sequencer, you’d do better just by experimenting.  As it sits, this just barely comes in above trash. No, seriously, don’t buy this book.

Garbage Recommended Essential

You can buy John H. Hinson, III’s Drum Machine Programming at Barnes and Noble.  But I wish you wouldn’t.