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Drum Loops for Jamming & Practice

iOS now provides this fantastic resource for bass players.

The LumBeat drum machine apps, the excellent DrumGenius app, the apps by Go Independent Records, Skaka, and MANY others, these all give bass players 1000's of different patterns to play/practice/jam along with.

I've been into music tech for over 30 years. Great quality drum sample loops and jam-along options have been around for a long time. That part is nothing new. What is new is that they are now available on a very portable device, they are dirt cheap, the organization is better, and access is faster as well.

Over in the Mac/Windows world, the drum libraries (like BFD, Steven Slate Drums, and Superior Drummer) are all still pretty expensive. The least expensive is SSD5 (Steven Slate) which I got with an education discount. They all provide expansion packs. Superior Drummer has the nicest variety and sounds of all of them-- but it was way out of my budget. As for patterns, they all come with a selection of MIDI patterns. I think they all use Standard MIDI Files for their patterns. You can buy groove packs of SMFs from them and 3rd parties like OddGrooves. But the bottomline is that you can spend $100-1000 for sounds and patterns that are available on iOS for more like $40-100.

As organized as these sounds and patterns can be, it is still kind of a daunting task to familiarize yourself with what is available and manage that content which is spread between maybe 10 apps . As a teacher, I need to find things quickly and not fumble around during lessons. When the app provides a means to star the faves, and/or tag things, that's a great bonus.

There is no substitute for playing with a skilled, flesh and blood, sentient, responsive drummer. Hopefully, they feel the same about us bass players (?). These drum machines, apps, sounds, and pattern and audio-loop libraries give us a massive set of tools/toys to sharpen our game so we're ready for anything.

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