Many people may not know this, but when I was younger (and slimmer), I was the lead singer in two bands: No Significant Features and EXIT. What we lacked in band naming skills, we more than made up for with our musical prowess.
Although I loved being on the microphone and singing the night away, I confess that I always envied the drummer’s skills. It seemed almost impossible, hitting different drums and cymbals at the same time, and let’s face it, there’s nothing like a rockin’ drum solo to really get the party going. Is it still cool to say “rockin”?
Anyhoo, I was looking around cyberspace, and espied the Keezy Drummer app. Despite the fact that its icon looks remarkably like the one for the Dots app, it is completely different. It allows the player to create beats to be enjoyed by anyone within earshot, and as it was free, I had to download it. After all, I’m a starving musician.
How it works
Right after you download and open it, you may think you tapped something by mistake that made you skip past all the instructions and tutorials. Worry not; there was nothing to miss. Yessiree, it drops you in at the deep end, and all you have to do is swim. That’s the great thing you’ll quickly learn about this app: it’s extremely simple with few bells and whistles.
You start off with a simple blue circle and red circle, and those circles pulse with different sounds to get you started on your first beat.
At the bottom of the screen you’ll see three symbols. The one on the left allows you to slow or speed up your beat. The middle one is very recognizable – it allows you to toggle between “play” and “pause” mode; and the one on the right is your “settings” icon. Thing is, the settings page really only allows you to rate the app, email the Keezy team, visit the website, and other such links. You can’t change the color of the circles, or choose anything that affects your gameplay.
As I mentioned before, this is a simple app.
Probably the two most important symbols on the screen are the ones located in the main play area. The “+” symbol allows you to add more percussion instruments to your beat, and the garbage bin symbol will allow you to individually remove elements when you realize you’ve hit a bum beat.
So what instruments are there to choose from? A decent number, as it turns out. You can start with the kick drum, then maybe add a snare, a fat snare and open hi-hat. After that, maybe go a bit Bobby McFerrin on the whole thing with blips, blops, claps, clicks and snaps.
As you choose your next instrument, you’ll hear the beat going on in the background. To select where you want to place it, simply tap on the circle symbol that represents its position. Then you tap the check mark, and hey-ho you’re back to the main page with your new sound in the mix.
When I tried it
It didn’t take long for me to realize why I was always the one behind the microphone, and not behind the drums. I was initially thrown by the lack of instruction, but when I saw how easy this app was, I had to agree that it really wasn’t necessary.
I added some hi-hats and snares to the beat with very mixed reviews, so I ended up trashing a number of my choices. It sounded like a kid banging away randomly on some dustbin lids.
I was a bit better with the clapping and snapping, but I don’t think I would have been handed the Keith Moon award.
All of the above being said, I KNOW I have amazing rhythm, ‘cos I’ve seen myself dancing in the mirror. This was just going to take some practice, so I decided I would stick at it.
This is a fun little app, and will keep any aspiring drummer or music lover busy for a while. You can’t save your beats, or collect them; really its only criticisms. People have also said that it can drain your battery if it keeps running in the background, so you’ll want to properly close it when you’re finished exploring your inner Dave Grohl.
In the end, it’s free. You can’t argue with that.
Free. Easy to pick up. A good number of sounds to choose from.
There’s a strong chance that you’ll drive those around you nuts.
- Cost: Free
- Seller: Elepath, Inc.
- Devices: iOS
- Rating: E for Everyone