How to Get Started in Drum & Bass: A Beginner’s Guide to Greatness

Did you know that Drum & Bass (or D&B as it is commonly known) originated in the UK?  That’s just one reason it is near and dear to my heart but there are a thousand other reasons as well that it is my favourite genre.

If you are interested in learning the techniques of D&B, it will help to know the basics and a little history as well.  Drum & Bass originated in the form of Wave music way back in the late 80’s and early 90’s.  Then it progressed into Jungle, Jamaican and so on.  The development of D&B as we know it has been an interesting one that has made way for all the sub genres we enjoy today.

To really excel in D&B, you need an ear for rhythm, of course.  The mixing of the bass lines and drum lines, the tones and the volume of each requires a keen ear and, in my opinion, some talent as well.  I believe, when it comes to putting out D&B, you either have it or you don’t.  That’s not to say you cannot acquire the skill but to a certain extent, it comes fairly naturally to those who are great at it.

What equipment do you need to get started?  Electronic music is pretty easy and inexpensive to get into compared to many other forms of music.  A great program is the simplest way.  I recommend trying one like Reason, Synapse Audio’s Orion, Spinwarp and Sound on Sound.  You will be able to mix and record with a myriad of features at your fingertips like loop players, machines for drums, guitar sounds, vocals, loops, synths and so on.  You can basically be a pro without paying pro prices.

Of course the more you put in, financially and otherwise, the more you will get out.  A program like Reason that calls for a little more in the brain and talent department can take you to the top of your game if you are wanting to master R&B rather than just play around with it.

You can learn D&B on your own or by way of a program.  If you do, it is a good idea to follow some forums and blogs so that you glean from the knowledge and experience of others.  You can avoid some common mistakes and get a head start.

Lessons are another option.  There are individual classes as well as group classes that can be found on the web or in at a physical location.  Of course there are tremendous obvious advantages to taking a course.

You can start with little or no equipment but…it will show.  You will want to upgrade as you can.  You’ll want an audio interface, a microphone of good quality and eventually, a pro-program will need to be in the picture as the free or cheap one that serves a beginner’s purpose doesn’t live up to the needs of a pro.

What’s great about learning R&B is that you can start on the ground floor and work your way up.  You will get good experience by doing so.  Along the way you will discover if R&B is really where you want to go and if you have what it takes to do so and if you find that the answer to both of those is “yes”, God speed to you.