Explaining drumming basics to (amateur) singers

mpj

Junior Member
Hi there

I'm not sure I actually need to post this, but I thought I would just to try & make sure I have all the angles covered

I've got myself involved in a situation where I've agreed to help in a workshop explaining band/drumming basics (e.g. counting in, singing to the beat, basic time signatures, etc. - so V E R Y basic . . .) to amateur/weekend warrior singers who want or need to understand this stuff, in order to help them interact with a band that they don't normally/often work with. Classic scenario is they learn songs to backing trax or self accompany on guitar, then front up at a "walk up" show, & the band may not know the material, so needs some basic info (sheet music or chord charts, time sig, general feel) to clue them in. And occasionally the singer is clueless about singing to the beat !

I should be able to put something together, but if I can leverage off any existing teaching/material in this regard, that would help. Kinda feels like teaching adults to read, it's just so natural to what you do (reading & drumming) that going all the way back to explaining e.g. on & off beat and how that ties in to counting in seems ridiculous . . . but there we are . . .

So any help or pointers would be welcome

thanks

MJ
 

topgun2021

Gold Member
Teach them basic music theory about how to count and so on.

You should also try to find a choir teacher to help you.
 

mpj

Junior Member
An experienced singer/guitarist is running it. He's well versed in theory, and he's asked me to explain drumming basics. He could do it himself, but coming from a drummer it looks better. ( There are other (OT) reasons which I won't go into.)
 

Joe Morris

DRUMMERWORLD PRO DRUMMER
A drummer is getting ready to do his gig for the 2nd night. Right before the band goes on he looks at the female singer and says hey when we do "Route 66" tonight I want to start with a bar of 7, then a bar of 10, and a bar of 12 and 11. The singer looks at the drummer wide eyed and says oh my god I can't do that, and the drummer replys "why not, you did last night"
 

mpj

Junior Member
A drummer is getting ready to do his gig for the 2nd night. Right before the band goes on he looks at the female singer and says hey when we do "Route 66" tonight I want to start with a bar of 7, then a bar of 10, and a bar of 12 and 11. The singer looks at the drummer wide eyed and says oh my god I can't do that, and the drummer replys "why not, you did last night"
very good ! In my case it's not so much just at the start, but during as well . . .
 

Toolate

Platinum Member
I would think 4/4 and 6/8 would be in there with some examples. Should cover the basics.

No way to know what songs in advance?
 

mpj

Junior Member
I would think 4/4 and 6/8 would be in there with some examples. Should cover the basics.

No way to know what songs in advance?
Actual Examples are a good idea, thanks

Dunno about what songs in advance, I'm not running it, but it's a good point, if we can get originals of any covers. Have to see what we can do on that . . .

we'll have a drum machine, and I may consider taking part of my Roland TD-12 for any rhythmic points or to see what rhythm fits a song someone wants to sing or has written
 

?uesto

Silver Member
I'm in the same situation myself, as I do the same thing at the "studio" my little sister sings at. It's basically a place for like-minded kids who like to sing, play guitar or piano, dance, act, etc. So it's not a real music studio, and they're not teaching any theory or things that really matter. They mainly work on stage presence, choosing songs to cover, accompaniment, etc.

That said, I work with my sister and some of her friends on understanding basic theory, (nothing melodic, unfortunately, since I'm just as clueless, but we talk rhythm), understanding time signatures, (they're only doing tunes in 4 or 6), tempo and how that relates to the quarter note and how they sing, we go over percussive accompaniment, (shakers, tambourines, maracas, and cowbells), and things like these.

A lot of times, I'll see them go on stage and cue their CD track in while counting off in double time, or shaking a tambourine somewhere between 16th notes and broken up, scattered 32nds, etc. They don't know anything about chord changes or feel or anything like that, and just cannot communicate with a band at all.

These are some basic elements that separate singers from musicians. There are vocalists who can get up on stage for the first time and just make it easy for a house band or a pianist, and then there are those nightmares that don't know what a quarter note is..

I would just take notes of things that these weekend warriors do wrong or could do better, and teach that concept to everyone the next workshop.
 

mpj

Junior Member
There are vocalists who can get up on stage for the first time and just make it easy for a house band or a pianist, and then there are those nightmares that don't know what a quarter note is..

I would just take notes of things that these weekend warriors do wrong or could do better, and teach that concept to everyone the next workshop.
Oh so true - good suggestion to take note of on-stage errors & fix at the next workshop. Thx.

MJ
 
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