Any of you get stuck trying to pull off a song or another, for months? :)

haroldo_psf

Senior Member
I was wondering if this is something that happens to noobs like me (learning drums for over a year), or anyone?

Every now and then, in addition to the usal jamming to whatever, I apply myself to learn a whole specific song, note by note, and due to my undiagnosed obssession, I just can't let it go until it happens.

My "proof" to myself that I learned it (and my "pass" to move on) is when I can record a video of my playing it with minimal and acceptable screw ups.

I have been stuck on Creed's Higher since November of last year (not a Creed fan so to speak, just trying to learn a song).

Is this counter productive? (I still keep up with my teacher's material, still make progress on whatever book I'm currently into, etc. But when it's time to relax and have fun, here I come again "Can you take me hiiiiigheeeer!!!!!") somebody shoot me.
 

Anduin

Pioneer Member
I work on things (not songs per se) that can take months to nail. Or even years. That's just normal for drums.

But I would recommend that you have other things to work on as well. If you only work on the one thing, and it's really hard and frustrating, you'll probably not be having any fun, which can lead to discouragement and lack of motivation.

Besides working on the insanely complex stuff that can take forever to perfect, I also work on things that I can master in a much shorter time. I want a balance of noticeable improvement over the short-term (from the easier stuff), and ability-stretching work that only really pays off over the long term.

And, as always, I recommend ending every practice session with a few minutes of fooling around playing things that are just for fun for you personally.
 

MaryO

Platinum Member
I have had that same problem and what I'm learning (I'm a newb as well) is that it usually helps to step away for a little while if you are stuck. Leave it for a week or a month, whatever, find something else to work on and usually when I come back to it, things tend to start falling into place. Good luck!
 

BigDinSD

Gold Member
Nothing wrong with getting a song down. Depending on current skills and difficulty, it's gonna take a little bit. Plus, it's really your decision at the end of the day, week, month if it is serving you.

I've been on a song for a little bit myself that has some complicated double bass pedal work and numerous fills. What's best about learning challenging songs is that you learn techniques that you can apply later. That has been my biggest satisfaction from figuring out difficult songs.

Go at it, and have fun.
 
Playing bass, I can remember 3 songs that always seemed so wonderfully simple, but took me FOREVER to be able to "lock into":

"Dazed and Confused" by Zeppelin
"Paradise" by Sade
"Billie Jean" by Michael Jackson

Generally, it was always those heavy, thick, tight grooves that were the hardest, because it seemed like if I was one nanosecond in front or behind where I was supposed to be, at any time in the song, you could hear it.

And I still can't play "What's Goin' On" correctly, but Jamerson was almost a deity, so it doesn't bother me that much :)
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
I could never fault anyone who has that much focus. What you described, to me, is a strength. Drumming needs mental focus, in large quantities.
 

Bretton

Silver Member
I was trying to get bleed by meshuggah for a few months, still didn't have it at half speed, following a guitar pro tab. Then my computer crashed and I lost the tab, and haven't gone looking for it again since.
 

haroldo_psf

Senior Member
Nothing wrong with getting a song down. .........What's best about learning challenging songs is that you learn techniques that you can apply later. That has been my biggest satisfaction from figuring out difficult songs.
Go at it, and have fun.
You know, I never throught of it that way, but come to think of it, before this song, I have never attempted heel-toe (or any fast bass double technique for that matter), nor have I ever worked on anything with more than one single crash at the beat "1" (this songs has left and right crashes everywhere). This song also got me to learn (if played note by note) more complicated hi hat patters, like some 16th note patterns mixed with 8ths, which feel so good in the rare moments when I lock it in (and as soon as I realized I got it, I loose it!). Learning this song also drove me to buy a splash to comply :)
I just got a second wind of joy to plow forward!


I could never fault anyone who has that much focus. What you described, to me, is a strength. Drumming needs mental focus, in large quantities.
well, thank you. I just got a third wind! :)
 

aaajn

Silver Member
I recently had a breakthrough in this department. Rod Morgenstein did a book called the drum set musician. Its a beginner to intermediate book that I started on. I have played this book for about 4 years. Sometimes I put it down, pick it up and start over. The songs all have tracks with and without drums. One song in particular gave me fits. There are a few simple fills in it, 2 or 3 quarter notes, 4 to 6 total drums strikes overall. I could never get it right twice in a row. It pissed me off to no end and finally I assaulted it. I wrote the entire groove and fill out and played it hundreds of times, 5, 10, 15 minutes straight over and over. I would get it right 70 % of the time, the more I played, the worse it got. I kept going, sweared a lot too.

Finally, I am starting to play this song, verse and chorus with separate fills at the bridge correctly. But something else happened, I thought I was only learning that one song but I was training on how to learn. It seams unreasonable to me that it should take months or a year to learn a simple song, its just too long, but there is hope.

It is not the song that is my problem, it is my focus. For me, practice has to be brutal for to make progress and when I hit a plateau, I need to be more brutal. So far, stepping away and coming back a week or so later works about 10% of the time.

But the good news is, I am learning more than just that one groove and fill, I am learning how to learn it, subsequent tunes came easier.

So yes, I know exactly how you feel. I watch little kids watch the same DVD over and over. A 9 year old can watch Sponge Bob or whatever is out there now a days a thousand times. I see it once and want to watch the next episode or switch to teletubbies.

I need spongebob mentality.

That being written, time to go to the wood shed and smack the tubs.
 

haroldo_psf

Senior Member
I recently had a breakthrough in this department. Rod Morgenstein did a book called the drum set musician. Its a beginner to intermediate book that I started on. I have played this book for about 4 years. Sometimes I put it down, pick it up and start over. The songs all have tracks with and without drums. One song in particular gave me fits. There are a few simple fills in it, 2 or 3 quarter notes, 4 to 6 total drums strikes overall. I could never get it right twice in a row. It pissed me off to no end and finally I assaulted it. I wrote the entire groove and fill out and played it hundreds of times, 5, 10, 15 minutes straight over and over. I would get it right 70 % of the time, the more I played, the worse it got. I kept going, sweared a lot too.

Finally, I am starting to play this song, verse and chorus with separate fills at the bridge correctly. But something else happened, I thought I was only learning that one song but I was training on how to learn. It seams unreasonable to me that it should take months or a year to learn a simple song, its just too long, but there is hope.

It is not the song that is my problem, it is my focus. For me, practice has to be brutal for to make progress and when I hit a plateau, I need to be more brutal. So far, stepping away and coming back a week or so later works about 10% of the time.

But the good news is, I am learning more than just that one groove and fill, I am learning how to learn it, subsequent tunes came easier.

So yes, I know exactly how you feel. I watch little kids watch the same DVD over and over. A 9 year old can watch Sponge Bob or whatever is out there now a days a thousand times. I see it once and want to watch the next episode or switch to teletubbies.

I need spongebob mentality.

That being written, time to go to the wood shed and smack the tubs.
holy $h1t. to say you hit the nail in my head is an understatement.
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
I have my opinions on the obsession bit of this but will keep them to myself for now. My suggestion is to break the song down to the smallest parts possible, nail those parts, then put it together. If you have issues at that point, break down the smallest parts giving you trouble, and try the whole again. But I will say this much. Music and drumming should be fun. When it ceases to be, it's time to move on.
 

Numberless

Platinum Member
I don't remember his name but a user here posted a vid a couple of months ago, it was an insane Venetian Snare cover that took him like more than 5 months to get down.
 

toddbishop

Platinum Member
Every now and then, in addition to the usal jamming to whatever, I apply myself to learn a whole specific song, note by note, and due to my undiagnosed obssession, I just can't let it go until it happens. [...]

Is this counter productive? (I still keep up with my teacher's material, still make progress on whatever book I'm currently into, etc.
No, man, it's practically a required trait for getting good at anything. You're fine. It may seem like it's taking a long time to learn the one song, but you're just starting out- you'll get faster with it.

Then again, it could be that your body is rejecting the Creed- can I interest you in some Zeppelin, or the Meters?
 

Kg_lee

Senior Member
I'm a visual learner. Although I've been playing a very long time I can easily sit down and pick apart a song. I find it even easier to go on to youtube and find a good drummer who already figured it out and I just take it all in. Watching might help you understand how somethings should be played.
 

eamesuser

Silver Member
All good responses so far,and some food for thought.

I am not a newb,but I forget some of the principles that you all are applying when learning new things.

I always try to be working at something new or challenging,my latest is Cissy strut by the meters,I love Nawlins and second line stuff and dabble in it occasionally, I knew it (CS) would be a Bear,and was frustrating me to no end but others on these forums had posted about learning it,one fellow posted a live version of the Man(Zigaboo) playing it and that really helped,so I went back the Original version,slowed it down with Media player and started writing it out,I got the Main groove first,but the bridges are a lot harder,but I am staring to get them and am currently feeling a sense of accomplishment.What a learning tool the net can be.

I also think that when learning this way is showing some glaring weaknesses,I would probably be better served by getting back into inst stuff that deals with technique Like Chesters new breed,stick control ,poly stuff etc.
 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
This is no problem. It depends on the difficulty in comparison to your current skill level. This is how you learn true music skills and it shows you where you truly are with it. It's not just one song. The skills overlap, so it will get easier and easier.

This is also why one should have a book of snare drum etudes to read and play instead of just going through Stick Control or doing the same static technique exercises all the time.

Playing music is where it's at.
 

Big_Al47

Senior Member
I recently had a breakthrough in this department. Rod Morgenstein did a book called the drum set musician. Its a beginner to intermediate book that I started on. I have played this book for about 4 years. Sometimes I put it down, pick it up and start over. The songs all have tracks with and without drums. One song in particular gave me fits. There are a few simple fills in it, 2 or 3 quarter notes, 4 to 6 total drums strikes overall. I could never get it right twice in a row. It pissed me off to no end and finally I assaulted it. I wrote the entire groove and fill out and played it hundreds of times, 5, 10, 15 minutes straight over and over. I would get it right 70 % of the time, the more I played, the worse it got. I kept going, sweared a lot too.

Finally, I am starting to play this song, verse and chorus with separate fills at the bridge correctly. But something else happened, I thought I was only learning that one song but I was training on how to learn. It seams unreasonable to me that it should take months or a year to learn a simple song, its just too long, but there is hope.

It is not the song that is my problem, it is my focus. For me, practice has to be brutal for to make progress and when I hit a plateau, I need to be more brutal. So far, stepping away and coming back a week or so later works about 10% of the time.

But the good news is, I am learning more than just that one groove and fill, I am learning how to learn it, subsequent tunes came easier.

So yes, I know exactly how you feel. I watch little kids watch the same DVD over and over. A 9 year old can watch Sponge Bob or whatever is out there now a days a thousand times. I see it once and want to watch the next episode or switch to teletubbies.

I need spongebob mentality.

That being written, time to go to the wood shed and smack the tubs.

I'm also using the Rod Morganstein book....which song are you talking about? I'm pretty comfortable with all of the songs except for "Verse/Chorus" form. It's got a simple 1/4 note hi-hat/ride beat but this song always comes out differently and gives me problems. Was curious to know if it's same for you.
 

Midnite Zephyr

Platinum Member
I used to play that song with a band. I can see how it can be hard for a noob to play note for note. Have you listened to a live version yet. I like live versions because studio versions have overdubbing, etc. If you can pretty much do what he does live, then I'd say that's good enough, right?
 
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