Alive Drumming’s favourite Frequently Asked Questions (F.A.Q.)

Here are some of our favorite F.A.Q.s we’ve hand-picked -

Why do these Song Rhythm Tracks sound so great?

They do, don’t they! And for a number of reasons:

  1. Great Recordings of Great Drummers — Song Rhythm Tracks are arranged from careful studio recordings of excellent drummers. They are not constructed from midi files fitting together “samples” from single drum hits to form a mechanical style but rather multiple longer-form full recordings by top studio drummers, lasting from up to 8 bars at a time where you hear subtle drum rolls, variations in ride cymbal taps, complex fills and more. The rhythmic style comes from talented drummers that are very experienced in that particular style be it Reggae, Salsa, Bossa, Rumba, Tango, Rock, Country, Jazz, Pop, Celtic, Praise & Worship, Blues, and lots more!
  2. There is natural variety promoted over the repeats. That is a number of recordings of, say, a fill or shot are taken and selectively chosen while sequencing and engineering the final audio. This provides the natural variety one gets with drummers. It helps prevent the drumming becoming monotonous and repetitive.
  3. The drummer is spelling out many aspects of the song’s form as (s)he plays. This might have a larger contributor than one might imagine. It is what real drummers do, but drumming software rarely does. The drumming is indicating, 
    - When you are returning to the ‘top of the form’ again, 
    - When your sections are ending and starting again, 
    - When you are starting or finishing a bridge section, 
    - Whether you are playing a middle section or, alternatively, the first or last sections. This not only helps you keep place while you are playing but it makes the whole experience so much more enjoyable to listen to, or play along with, as well.

All this takes a lot of careful preparation and curation, huge storage, and sophisticated algorithms. We feel this cannot be achieved on mobile devices themselves which is why our solution involves cloud services working with the mobile App.

Could you give me some examples of Song Forms?

Song Forms for a number of songs are here

Your drumming is dry! Will Alive Drumming, or can I, add reverb?

Alive Drumming’s Song Rhythm Tracks are supplied without reverb (aka “dry”).

We are endeavoring to make our iOS app Apple inter-app audio (IAA) compliant. When it is, you will be able to use other, 3rd party app’s to add reverb to the audio. See this YouTube video for some of them in action.

Is Alive Drumming supporting my country or region?

We aim to cover all regions, countries, languages, and cultures, embracing a wide diversity of rhythms is what we are all about. If we haven’t adopted yours yet, we almost certainly aim to in the future. If you want yours to be supported now, why not contact us at

What song forms does Alive Drumming support?

We support all the popular, essential song forms by name — 12 bar blues, 16 bar tunes, 32-bar A1A2 and 32-bar AABA, and about 30 other less common also by name. The list is increasing! We also support identifying these same song forms using stick notation. This simply specifies section lengths in bars, for example, ‘8|8/8|8’, where ‘bridge‘ sections are preceded by a ‘/’ instead of ‘|’.

Additionally, we support user-defined song forms using stick notation, repeats, and concatenation of up to four (4) parts. This allows for a truly huge flexibility when coupled with the facility to add an introduction and ending section. See this user guide for more information, SongForm Rhythm Tracks.

What rhythms are available for Song Rhythm Tracks?

The app currently supports about 60 different distinct rhythm categories, which includes about 250 distinct rhythms. Of these, most are available with differing instrumentation such as ‘rim’ shots or, say, wooden blocks, and many at multiple tempos. In all over 3,700 different rhythm track renderings are available that can be applied to a song form. The app makes selection easy by providing filtering on a musical meter (say 4/4 or 3/4 time), and feel (even or straight, 8th or 16th notes) and provides a two-tier categorization for selection.

Here is a tiny sample of the styles represented:

  • Jazz, swing, straight 8th, modern, sophisticated, old-time
  • American Country styles, including Nashville
  • American Blues, shuffles, hard shuffles, old-time, slow, fast
  • Salsa, Samba
  • Bossa, Jazz Bossa Brushes, Latin Bossa, bongos, percussion
  • Techno, various forms
  • Rock, hard rock, heavy
  • Pop, straight 8th, straight 16th, slow, medium, fast

For a full list of all rhythms and sub-rhythms see the page catalog-rhythmic-styles.

How can I use the Song Rhythm Tracks? What’s my licence?

Alive Drumming grants license to remix its tracks. That is, you can take the Song Rhythm Tracks audio, mix with your own content, and sell that mix as your own work without paying a fee to Alive Drumming.

Alive Drumming prohibits resale or redistribution of its un-mixed, original Song Rhythm Tracks. You cannot sell or give away these tracks unless you mix them into a new creative piece of work.

Alive Drumming appreciates artistic attribution but does not require attribution in your remixed works. You do not need to attribute Alive Drumming for the rhythm track in your remixed original work but if you wish to please add, “rhythm track supplied by Alive Drumming ©” and include a reference to this website.

How can I get these Song Rhythm Tracks? Are they available on Amazon or iTunes?

The tracks are available via Apple iOS mobile App and will later be available via an Android mobile app.

The huge permutations of song forms and rhythms available means the traditional audio file distribution channels of iTunes and Amazon do not fit this new medium of Song Rhythm Tracks.

In particular, Amazon and iTunes do not accommodate the additional assistance that is required for musician’s to select the appropriate track.

Alive Drumming has no plans to market these tracks on legacy media such as Audio CDs or DAT tape.

Who is Song Rhythm Tracks for?

All Musicians! New Musicians; Experienced Musicians; Great Musicians;

Really, any musician including Pianists, Guitarists, Horn Players, Singers and even Drummers.

The tracks can be used for practice, performance and cutting a release.

To learn more about their benefit in practice, using the Song Rhythm Tracks app, see the news article, “The primacy of rhythm in popular music”.

Would Alive Drumming include this extra rhythm?

If we don’t already include a particular rhythm, we would like to work with a drummer to include it. This involves making high-quality audio recordings of the drumming at multiple tempos including multiple shots and fills used in turnarounds. The audio recording will be analyzed to identify where the various aspects occur and the preference level of each occurrence. This is the basis for Alive Drumming to incorporate additional rhythms into their Song Rhythm Tracks. If you are a drummer and have a rhythm you’d like to be represented please email

What’s Alive Drumming’s policy on privacy?

Alive Drumming takes personal privacy very seriously. We are committed to proactively protecting the privacy of our customers by not storing any personal information unless it is absolutely required, and should that be the case, it will always be protected by strong encryption. We will never sell or otherwise disclose any personal, private or confidential information we hold on others.

How can I learn about song form?

Song form is based on the concept that every song has been composed around a musical form or structure. Popular song often chooses simple forms as a basis for a song but forms can be more complex as well.

A good reference on song form (structure) is the Wikipedia article,

Alive Drumming wants to provide you with the easiest and most reliable methods to describe song form and uses the term, “Song Form” for the approach that it takes in identifying and using song forms.

Song Form allows for selection using both (i) traditional names such as ’16-bar Tune’, or (ii) the ‘stick notation’ equivalent of ‘4|4|4|4’ if that is what you prefer.

For full information on Alive Drumming’s Song Rhythm Tracks mobile app and it’s flexibility in identifying Song Forms see the page, Song Rhythm Tracks

Your options include, (i) describing just about any Song Form you are likely to want to use with “user-defined” Song Forms in the mobile app, and (ii) for popular tunes, searching for a user-contributed Song Form for that song, again within the mobile app. There are now tens of thousands of these being shared.

Originally published at Alive Drumming.