Stro Elliot is the master of the pads. Recently named as an official member of The Roots, he’s continuing his amazing run of form from the last year – leading the way for pad drummers with his signature style of performance.
We were lucky enough to witness a masterclass from Stro in Berlin, at the Ableton Loop Conference. Not only did he show off his crazy fast fingers, he also broke down some of his technique and his unique performance setup.
Here’s a few pieces of wisdom from the maeSTRO.
Breaking down the 🥁 break
Since samplers arrived on the scene, producers have been creatively chopping up breaks and loops. Rather than just playing a loop, breaking it up into the individual hits gives you a palette of sounds to work with to make it your own. Stro maps these hits across his Ableton Push controller mirroring how he sets up a normal kit with variations of kicks, snares, hats, ghost hits, and vocal chops across the pads.
See how he works with breaks in the short video below to create his own pattern.
Keeping an organic feel to the kit 🌱
Stro arranges all his kits in a specific way, based on how he plays. He plays most of the beat on his right hand, leaving the left hand to add accents, play ghost hits and add complexity. Whether it’s adding the 1/16 note hi hat, or a roll to the pattern, having the extra hits available for the left hand lets him add variety.
Watch how Stro arranges his kit, and why it helps him in the short video below.
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Listen to more from Stro Elliot on Bandcamp.