and Practice oriented drum machine and Scale/Chords reference tools

Discussion in 'Music Theory [DB]' started by GCA, Aug 23, 2021.

  1. GCA


    May 2, 2020
    First of all, I apologize if this is not in the right place. Moderators feel free to change and sorry for the hassle.

    I've been busy during these pandemic times. I've been building 2 tools related with musical theory and practice.

    The first one is, which is a scale/chord/intervals reference tool. It still needs some love regarding performance and mobile viewports.

    The second and latest one, and also the reason of this post, is which is a practice oriented drum machine.

    Why Grooveful?

    I hate practicing with a metronome, I really do. I usually resort to my BeatBuddy pedal or just a drum loop on Reaper, but sometimes that’s not practical. Either because I don’t have the pedal with me, or my pc is busy with something else, anyway there are million reasons why my goto tools sometimes are not practical.

    So, I started building a custom web metronome where I could highlight any given beat within a bar which I wanted to focus my practice on. From that proof of concept I moved onto a full blown drum machine completely focused on practice.

    Who can use Grooveful?

    Well anyone… Any instrumentist that wants a drum track as a background for their practice session, even drummers can take something away from it. Teachers can create their own exclusive tracks with exercises for their students, they can even tailor a pattern exclusively to some student particular needs. Anyone that wants to focus on their tempo or speed issues. It even has room in a jam session! No drummer? No worries. Load one of the presets or create your own and jam away. I have done this myself on my last jam session and worked beautifully.

    Is it finished?

    It’s maturing. It’s on open beta while I polish the edges, but it’s fully functional at the moment. Some features can and will be improved. And I have some plans for it for the future, some not directly related with drums.


    With these two tools, I'm creating the foundations for a free practice-oriented ecosystem. That's my mission. To democratize musical learning tools!
    longfinger and jj.833 like this.
  2. Very nice, thank you for your effort! If you are looking for a feedback, read on, use it, or don't; hope it helps.
    I was giving a look at (on a PC):
    - I miss the possibility to draw 16 hi-hats with one mouse click and a pull.
    - the swing button would be useful, if I could choose what it is doing. As a musician I can play 8th swing (jazz tunes) and 16th swing (newer rnb stuff) and I can play it 'shufflier' or 'straighter'. All the drum machines I've seen have a mess in it. Usually, at 66% we hear a regular triplet shuffle, yours it about 50%? Furthermore, yours swing button swings on 8ths; I don't understand what it does with 16ths. If I were a student, I would get lost immediately.
    - I like the samples, but I would enjoy the possibility to change the whole drum kit with one click like in this. And it you want it to be more universal, I'd like the possibility to upload my own sample. (This might help you build a bigger sample library, which is I fear the heart of success of any such app.)
    GCA likes this.
  3. GCA


    May 2, 2020
    I'm always interested :)

    Yep, I feel you. Sometimes I miss this too. Will add it on the next version iteration

    I'm not happy with the state of Swing as of now indeed. Thank you for the insight, I'll dedicate a bit more study to the feature and improve it accordingly.

    This will be possible further down the road! I want to revamp the whole sample library, add other kits, add kit templates (sort of like what you showed me) and let the users upload their own samples as well.

    Thank you for your feedback!
  4. ctrlzjones


    Jul 11, 2013
    I always wonder why the “humanize” button on these things adds scaled randomness to get away from the grid instead of intentional differences.

    Are we humans only a source of chaos, error and mishaps in the otherwise perfect world of the engineers?
    jj.833 and GCA like this.
  5. GCA


    May 2, 2020
    I undestand your point. I think it's more a problem of feature naming than the feature itself. It could be an "offset randomizer"

    Essentially. Except it's not a perfect world at all! If you never developed a product meant to be used by real humans you won't understand the hell we actually live on
  6. The metronome is not meant for you to like it, but meant to straighten out your time at core level. If you are distracted by creating music while you are supposed to be working on your time you will just slow down the process. Like drum genius before it, this should NOT be treated as a substitute for metronome work but more of a substitute for playing with a drummer when you are not able to - after actual metronome work.

    Using it in place of metronome work would be engaging in the classic mistake of confusing playing with practice. If playing got us where practice gets us, practice wouldn't exist in the first place.

    The very first time I played music with someone - my best friend (the classic "I repeat a figure on bass guitar, he solos over it") - I stopped because I was tired. He said, "if music is too hard for you, then maybe you should just listen to music". Rather than being put off, I was just never afraid of the less pleasant aspects of being a musician, I.E. practice. But then I also discovered fairly quickly that playing the music I needed to or wanted to play without struggling was far better than any "enjoyable" practice "hack".

    Finally, if you really need more "interest" in your work on time with the metronome - it should come from the bass not the machine. One of my teachers, John Lindberg said, "make the metronome sound hip".
    andy rice, GCA and longfinger like this.
  7. As a drum machine, I like this ease of use of Groovful.
    I'm learning drums now, and a tool like that is helpful to enter in a beat, listen to it, then re-create it on the kit. Helpful too, when figuring out a beat and checking it, before practicing, to make sure I'm clear on what I'm practicing.
    GCA likes this.
  8. Fine, but presenting it as a replacement for the metronome is dangerous. If a drum machine of any kind worked as a replacement for a metronome we would have been doing it for years. It is a distraction. The better and more "musical" it is the more of a distraction it will be.

  9. GCA


    May 2, 2020
    It's "as musical" as you wish. You can use it as a metronome, it even has metronome presets and some samples to build your own metronome. No one is advocating for the end of metronomes.
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2021
  10. You are the one who said it, not me your quote is below. It is a playing tool, that could be helpful to get specific ideas together that you need to perform. I would almost say it is unrelated to a metronome altogether. Your language and the way it is presented seems like someone looking for work arounds and a silver bullet that will replace traditional practice. While I appreciated you've put a lot of work into it - if one bassist sets up grooves in it and thinks they are getting around actual practice then it just isn't worth it.
    At the very least, some needs to say what I am saying here.

    GCA likes this.
  11. Primary

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