There are a wide range of apps out there for drummers, many of them specially designed to be used in conjunction with electronic drums. Here are three ways these kinds of apps can help your drumming:
Most electronic drum modules — where all the sounds and features are housed — have very small LCD screens, which makes it difficult to navigate the menus and view notifications or any changes you have made. But apps make it easy. No more searching through the user manual to get a Ph.D in “Menu Diving”! No more learning button combinations to customize sounds, change kits or add effects.
Apps provide training functions and exercises that can assist you to build the skills necessary to become an efficient drummer. Whether acting as a metronome or virtual teacher, they can also provide important visual cues that you can’t get from a small LCD screen.
For example, the training exercises offered by the Yamaha DTX402 Touch app focus on several important skills that every drummer should work on. They even provide you with audible feedback and a grade! Let’s take a look at a few of them:
Rhythm Gate – Play along to the songs in the module (or to the module’s metronome), and if you’re not playing in time, sounds won’t be produced from the pads you are striking.
Dynamic Gate – Pick the dynamic category you want to improve on, and just as in the above exercise, if you don’t play within the selected category, no sounds will be heard.
Song Part Gate – Breaks down each section of every song in the module and gives you an audible and written example of each part from start to finish so you can play along to the entire song efficiently.
Part Mute – Allows you to isolate each drum part in a song in order to learn all the distinct parts happening within the groove, making it easier to understand the role played by each limb.
Fast Blast – Counts all your pad hits within the desired set time. This is a great tool to develop your endurance and speed. Challenge yourself and continue to beat your scores!
Recorder Mode – Listen back to your accuracy and assess your time-keeping abilities by recording your audio performance, whether you’re playing solo or are playing along to any of the ten songs in the module.
Having the ability to record high quality audio and video simultaneously is a tremendous benefit, not only for practice purposes, but for performance as well. The Yamaha Rec’n’Share app, for example, captures the audio from your DTX6 Series or DTX402 electronic drums (or EAD10 module) and combines it with video taken with your smart device. You can then download your performance from the app and share it on social media, or send it to a friend in a text or email.
You can opt to record just a solo performance, or, you can download songs from your iTunes® library or Dropbox™ and record yourself drumming along. If the song you’re learning is difficult and you need some assistance in getting up to speed, you can utilize an A/B Loop function to repeat tricky drum parts for efficient learning; you can even manipulate and slow down the tempo as needed.
So avail yourself of some of the fine electronic drum apps out there. Time to ditch the menu diving and focus instead on enjoying your drumming journey!
For more information, check out these blog articles:
Five Reasons Why You Should Practice on Electronic Drums
How to Get the Most Out of Your E-Drum Metronome
Click here to learn more about Yamaha electronic drumming apps.
Click here to learn more about Yamaha DTX electronic drums.
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