Music Arranger? Learn These 4 Basic Rhythms

To be a great music arranger, you need to be extremely versatile. It’s important to know and understand various types of music genres and then be able to arrange musicq quickly at given notice.

I believe that you need master the fundamentals of various music genres to be a great music arranger. I’m by no means as expert, but I do know a few things that I’d like to share with you.

Here are 4 basic rhythms with drum and bass arrangement that I learnt when I started my journey as a music arranger and producer. As a young kid with no knowledge on different music genres and how they are usually arranged, learning this 4 basic rhythms sparked my interest to study each genre deeper.

And I’m sharing them with you now. Complete with downloadable scores and MIDI files.


1 – Rock Rhythm Generic Arrangement

Rock shouldn’t be a stranger to many. Rock has influenced music we hear on the radio today and have always been a very strong and influencial genre.

In the video, you’ll learn the fundamentals in arranging rock drum and bass.

Click here to download the rock rhythm drum score and MIDI files.


2- Disco Rhythm Generic Arrangement

The dance anthems you hear today got its influence from disco rhythms. The famous kicks and snare/claps on fours and the alternating hi hats together with a moving bassline. In this video I mix up a generic disco rhythm and add some modern dance influence.

Click here to download the disco rhythm drum score and MIDI files.  


3 – Jazz Swing Generic Arrangement

I first learnt swing rhythms during my arrangement class. As an ignorant kid who listens to only very little music, it took me a few attempts before I could play swing naturally and add swing to my music arrangement. The example in the video isn’t actually a generic swing rhythm (Jazz rhythms are very free and experimental) but it’s a safe starting guideline for you if you’re new to arranging jazz music.

Click here to download the jazz swing drum score and MIDI files

4 – Bossa nova Rhythm Generic Arrangement

You might wonder why I added Bossa Nova as part of this post, but I was fascinated by the rhythm in Bossa music & strongly suggest beginners to learn this rhythm! As I wasn’t a drummer, it took me a few tries to get the drum rhythm in Bossa music.

Bossa Nova is a music genre from Brazilian music that has samba rhythms but with the influence of American and European music.

Click here to download the bossa nova drum score and MIDI files



Learning the fundamentals of as many music genres would be ideal.

A music arranger should know the many genres and their styles to be able to arrange good music. Learning various instruments will also help you as a music arranger because you learn how to write for particular instruments.

What are other rhythms that you think a music arranger should learn? Please let me know in the comment section below as I love to hear and learn from you as well.



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