Dot drummer is a simple drum sequencer application. The user works with a 4/4 beat in a very simple graphic way. Four lines, each with four dots, represent each beat of a measure and each dot represents each sixteenth note. The user chooses a drum sound from a list and can then decide when exactly the sound should be played in the measure by pressing the dots. When you press a dot, it becomes darker indicating where the sound should be playd.
The app is a good introduction to how drum sequencers work, opening up a whole world of beat making to young students. The user does not need to have any experience in beat making to use it and it´s a good tool to explain beats to students and how they are built.
The app can be used to emphasize the importance of rest in beats. When students start using the app, some are inclined to press all the dots. What this will do though is make a less than appealing. On the other hand, by placing rests at the right time, an interesting rythm can be made.
Biggest flaw: Beats can not be saved in the application.
Example Project 1
Example Project 2
Assignment – Make a Beat to a Song
In this project students use the Drummer application to create beats to a well known song. It is best if you have headphones for each student. It´s also good to have mini-jack splitters since the following assignment is designed for pairs or groups of three.
Divide students into groups of 2 – 3. (The assignment can also be done by individuals).
It´s good to start by letting students play with the app for awhile before you introduce the assignment to them. It gives them a chance to figure out how the app works and its main features. Therefore you would not need to explain the app as much to them.
Choose several songs that the students will know well enough to sing-a-long with. Those can be well known songs such as folk songs, children´s songs or easy pop songs. E.g. “If you´re happy and you know it”, “You are my sunshine”, “Frére Jacques” or “Here comes the sun”.
Write the name of each songs on a separate piece of paper and let each group draw one of the papers.
Ask your students to create a beat which the song can be sung to.
When the groups are ready, ask them to get together and sing the songs to the beats.