January 12, 2021
Mauro Battisti is a brilliant double bass player who, obsessed with rhythm and its secrets, has created an app to study it at its best, “Drumgenius”, which has already enjoyed a great international success. We interviewed him.
I have always been obsessed with rhythm and after years of studying I began to feel the need to go beyond the usual practice with the metronome. The metronome merely indicates the regularity of a given tempo but can’t give any information on the type of groove and on what I call the “rhythmic three-dimensionality”. The groove, the drive, the different individual rhythmic orbits within a band: you never stay exactly on time in the same way, the groove is always the result of a superimposition of different “rhythmic layers. “.
I used to study certain albums to explore different types of rhythmic patterns, but the problem is that on records you have a specific song, a form and a key that you have to respect. So I used the metronome, reconstructing that rhythmic environment inside myself, thinking “it would be nice to reproduce the groove by freeing yourself from form and tonality”, to focus only on the different aspects of the rhythm.
I then began to experiment – in a very rough way – some jazz drum grooves until I had an experience with a Belgian physicist who was passionate about guitar: many years ago I gave him some lessons, it was rhythmically denied, he loved jazz but with the metronome or on records he was lost after a couple of bars. I then brought him a simple loop of a swing played with a cymbal and the following week he returned with his eyes sparkling: he had managed to establish a good relationship with rhythm!
I realized that the system could also work for many other musicians. So I began to establish a path of research and creation of a real encyclopedia of rhythms and grooves that I now create with a master keyboard and a library of virtual drum sounds.
Drumgenius over time has become a small rhythmic encyclopedia that is constantly expanding over time.
How long did it take you to develop the project?
Years. It took me three years to finish the first version because I had to work alone and learn everythinf to be able to make this virtual drummer more “human”.
Who is Drumgenius for?
Everyone, from beginners to experts, from hobbyists to professionals. There are many important endorsers, for example many of John Patitucci’s students told me that he recommends it to everyone. It is aimed at students of any instrument but is also used as a reference by many drummers.
It is an application for smartphones and tablets so it can be found on digital stores. There is a free download demo version and you can use 3 loops to get an idea of the player. Then there are three packages: 10 loops, 50 loops, all the loops. The cost ranges from 0.99 euros up to 8.99 euros for the complete package, which also includes future updates.
I’d like to say that it is an all-Italian app. The developers of the interface are also from Italy!
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