US $19.97

Drum Programming Masterclass, Part 1: Rhythms & Patterns

——   Created by Jason Allen

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3h 02m
Lesson time
Skill level

More about this course

For years I've been teaching Music Technology in the college classroom. As a University Professor, my classes are sought after, and, frankly, expensive. I believe Ableton Live can be learned by anyone, and cost shouldn't be a barrier. This class uses the same outline and syllabus I've used in my college classes for years, at a fraction of the cost.

In this class, we are going to be making beats. Drum beats, in particular. You don't need to know music theory, harmony, reading music, or any particular audio application.

I'll be using Ableton Live and some Logic in this course, but it will be easy to following along on whatever program you are most comfortable with. We will start the class off with basic rhythm theory, and learning where (typically) we put the kick, the snare, and the hi-hats. Then we will learn to adapt that pattern to work for a number of different styles.

This is a comprehensive class - that means there are three (3!) different classes that together make the complete sequence. This is Part 1. (The best place to start!)

Also in the class we will be doing a number of analysis projects. That just means we will load up some tracks, and re-construct the beat in the track. Doing this will help us to see how those beats are built, and guide us in making our own beats.

Topics include:

  • Tools of the trade
  • Working on the Audio Grid and MIDI Grid
  • The Bar
  • The Pulse
  • The 8th and the 16th
  • Meter
  • "Counting" Bars
  • Reading Drum Patterns
  • Percussion Elements
  • Cymbals
  • Where to find good, free, samples (My favorite sites!)
  • Forming the Groove
  • Variation
  • Modulation
  • Genre
  • Feel
  • Swing
  • The "Basic Pattern"
  • Off Beats and Down Beats
  • Dynamics
  • Syncopation
  • Humanism
  • ... And much more!!!

I will be making 3 (three!) complete classes in order to bring you the most comprehensive manual on beat programming techniques ever created. Each class has Sets, sessions, samples, and experiments for you to try on your own and follow along with.

You will not have another opportunity to learn Beat Programming in a more comprehensive way that this. Start here.

J. Anthony Allen is an Ableton Certified Trainer, and a PhD in Music Composition and master of Electronic Sounds. His music has been heard internationally in film, radio, video games, and industrial sound, as well as the concert hall and theater.

He currently is a professor of Music, Media, and Management at Augsburg University, and is the CEO and co-founder of Slam Academy in Minneapolis.

Praise for classes by Dr. Jason Allen:

"Without a doubt the best explanation and east of use that one can get. It leaves you enough room to go explore. The classes go by quick, so you can be on your way at being proficient. What are you wait for!"

"Amazing - Seriously Loved It! I took all his courses and have to say I'm so happy! Learnt loads! Jason is an awesome teacher!"

"I have never had any formal training in music at all. Trying to learn all the notes and how everything translated was a serious challenge. After going through this class, Dr. J has totally brought down the barriers. The content was very useful and was easy to grasp for me."

"I like these courses because you can get up and running quickly without having to spend hours of time wading through TMI (too much information!). Jason hits the high points but shows you what you need to know. Thanks!"

"I've watched many other videos on scales and chords before, however, this one has been the best. I now understand minor scales and chords and even how to analyze songs. It really gave me the confidence to start producing music because I feel like I have some structure and guidelines to follow. AWESOME!"

"Clear and Informative - Jason has a clear uncluttered style (with the important dashes of humor) of presentation that is focused on the important key aspects of this course. Recommended for those starting out!"

"Dr. Allen does it again with his music theory series. This course really opened up everything I learned from the 1st section, and now I understand more about the composition side of things for music. I highly highly recommend this course to anyone!!! Really opened my eyes to many things I wasn't aware of."

"The Best Teacher Ever, who makes you understand the ins & outs of Music Theory by all means without giving what you don't want to know."

The course project

Welcome to the course!

For this class, you are going to be making some beats! If you follow along, you will end up with a number of finished beats ready to go. But let's make a project specifically to post here. 

  • Use the samples in the zip file, "" to make a beat.
  • Set your tempo to 90bpm
  • Start with building the "basic beat," 
  • Move around the hi-hats and kick in order to make something unique.
  • Add some other musical elements (sound effects, synths, pads) to give it a little more life.
  • But keep it simple! No reason to get too fancy yet!

Post it and share!

41 Lessons

6 mins
Welcome & Overview
free preview
9 mins
About Me
free preview
4 mins
7 mins
Making Beats in Your Audio Sequencer
6 mins
Making Beats with the MIDI Grid
5 mins
The Bar
5 mins
The Beat
9 mins
The 8th and 16th
7 mins
6 mins
Counting Bars
5 mins
Reading Drum Patterns
4 mins
The 3 Essentials
4 mins
5 mins
More Cymbals
6 mins
Other Sounds
View more lessons +

About the instructor

Jason  Allen
Jason Allen
  • 2 reviews
  • 29 courses

J. Anthony Allen has worn the hats of composer, producer, songwriter, engineer, sound designer, DJ, remix artist, multi-media artist, performer, inventor, and entrepreneur. Allen is …

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Class benefits

  • Certificate of Completion
  • 30 day satisfaction guarantee
  • 24/7 streaming access
  • Project included
  • Direct teacher access
  • 3h 02m of on-demand video
  • 1 downloadable file
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