fittonmusic

Drone

What it is about

Repetition.

It goes on and on.

How it was written

The piece simulates drone music using a drone instrument.

A drone instrument has one or more strings tuned to a single note which are not fretted but played open as an accompaniment. Bagpipes, banjos and sitars are common examples of drone instruments, and there are lots of others that have drone parts.

Drone on

Drone melody
Drone melody

The main riff is played on a 12-string guitar.

Although a 12 string guitar is not strictly a drone instrument, because the strings are fretted, it can be used with good effect to simulate a drone. The effect is achieved by tuning the bottom four strings in octaves and the top two strings in unison. In addition, all fretted instruments can play the same note simultaneously or overlapping, using two different strings, and this adds to the impression of a drone. These are features that are unavailable on a piano!

Perfection

Drone chords
Drone chords

The verse is a bVII-IV-I-I chord progression, Bb-F-C-C. The chord roots descend in perfect fourths or, if you prefer, ascend in perfect fifths.

Ole Ole Ole

Drone rhythm
Drone rhythm

The polyrhythmic ending uses a handclap, on the third space of the score, and a woodblock, on the top line. They sound effective but try clapping your own hands to them, it is a devil to do right.

Makes you want to rush out and grab a tapas.

Tech spec

Title: Drone

Key: G

Tempo: 144bpm

Length: 3' 07"

Track 1: melody box melody

Track 2: dulcimer harmony

Track 3 & 4: 12 string guitar

Track 5: grand piano

Track 6: fretless bass

Track 7: drumset

Genre: Pop, Rock