How Do You Play Latin Trap Beats On Drums?

By | 12 August, 2020

If you are a music producer and love doing the trending styles of rap and hip-hop, you will undoubtedly enjoy making trap music. Trap music is a genre that roots from rebellious origins of Latin America and adopted in modern music.

Trap music is composed of one-third hip-hop with a standard frequency of 70 to 110 beats per minute and one-third of dance music accompanied by Dutch synth. It also consists of a one-third dub with a low rate and frequent repetition. You need the appropriate equipment like Roland TR-808 drum machine, production software for music, and a sample of killer sounds to make trap beats.

It would be best to equip yourself with the following playing tips to produce a perfect rhythm.

Set the tempo

Tempo refers to the pace or speed of a given piece of music. Setting the right tempo will help you choose your beat vibe, whether you are making a soulful trap ballad or any other trap genre. Ensure that your beat tempo lies between the range of 100-176 beats per minute (BPM), with 140 BPM being the optimal spot.

In cases where the trap music is faster and more intense, you can set your tempo within a higher range of 150 and 200 BPM. Typically, you will perceive the above paces as the main or the eight-note pulse. However, you can set your speed between 75 and 90 BPM if you love a slower vibration.

Use simple loops for harmonies and melodies

Trap music is not all about drums but also encompasses themes and balance, which help set the tone of the song. Since trap music is mostly dark and doomy, most music engineers use minor harmonic progressions and broken chords throughout the melodic lines to give the beats an upper hand.

Thus, it is crucial to use simple loops for melodies while recording your trap beats. If you can’t make simple custom loops, you can select and download sample loops from the millions of free kits on media platforms. Then filter the less important characters in the sample to remain with the best melodic and harmonic loops such as string tabs, orchestral brass, and big synths. The use of simple loops will help to make your beats enjoyable.

Make use of hi-hat patterns

The use of hi-hat patterns is one of the effective strategies of perfecting trap music. It involves the use of two cymbals and a pedal to give the beat multiple rhythmic subdivisions. Use trial and error to find the optimal combination of hats and drum patterns, which enhance the effect and bounce of your drum.

Toss open hats in different locations of your drum pattern and select the combination that interests you. For instance, you can toss the hat on the eight notes to give your beat an initial bounce, then place an open hat on beat 3 to see the bouncing effect. You can keep it if it appeals to you.

Make some snare and clap additions

Snares are crucial in setting the tempo for all the instruments. They also allow for the creation of varied drum patterns. It is thus essential to add snare drums on every beat to give value to your sound output. Give your snares a high tuning and ensure that it cracks in the mix.

You can use filters and layers, and pitch modulation to add dynamics, texture and eliminate unnecessary elements in the beat. The use of such plugins will help you to get the desired variations in your snare pattern.

Soften your rough mix with sound effects

There are different approaches you can use audio effects to enhance your beat. Use high and low-end filters to eliminate high pitches and low-end sounds. Apply saturation and distortion on 808s to get higher sound. Customize your snares, claps, and synths with a reverb.

You can also alter a sample manually using pitch bends and make the cinematic impact of slowing down a record. Alternatively, you can achieve a balanced beat frequency by adding stereo panning, EQing, and compressing to the rough mix. Softening your raw beats will give your mix a sense of originality and uniqueness.

Once you have made all the above alterations in your beat, compare your rhythm to expert producers. Identify the areas where you need to emphasize to get to their level. Ask yourself questions like, what makes their beats hit harder than yours? Feel free to seek their advice.

You can also ask for insights from friends and take suggestions and criticisms positively. The idea is to perfect your mixing skills, no matter what it takes. Once you get to the center of it, you will enjoy the fruits of your beat creation.


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