Funny ways to count off songs...

jodgey4

Silver Member
I've overused Bernard Purdie's "One, a two, a you know what to do," and a trumpet player's "One, two, buckle my shoe," and I need some new ideas. I figured this would be a great place to go...
 

Pocket-full-of-gold

Platinum Member
There's always Bonham's "we've done four already, but now we're steady" count at the begining of The Ocean.

Unfortunately, with every second drummer who's just discovered Zepp pulling it out, it's become a little cliched and overdone these days though
 

lsits

Gold Member
Let's see, there's the "Wooly Bully", the "Vertigo", the "Cleveland Rocks", the "Can't Get Enough", count-ins. There's another song by Ian Hunter ("Just Another Night" I think) that starts with:: 'ello, 'ello, ello, 'ello. You could always use: "Five, Six, Seven, Eight" like dancers seem to use all the time.
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
I have used a snare hit for "4" in my counts for, oh, ever it seems. Nobody ever seems to mind. "1, 2, 3, BAM", song starts.
 

?uesto

Silver Member
James brown offers plenty of inspiration for cool count offs.

You can always do it in another language, or just say random numbers or mix up the order, ("3, 6, 2, 9," "3, 1, 4, 2")

You can find combinations of words or phrases that are four syllables long, or even three times and put a flam on the snare on "4."
 

chachi

Junior Member
If its some kind of bop head or similar It might work to sing the melody of the last or up to the four last bars of a tune while snapping your fingers on 2 and 4. I've done this at jam sessions when one or more musicians don't know the tune and are sight reading it.

This is actually a very organic way to count off, since its a common practice amongst jazz players to use the changes of the last four bars as an intro to the song.
 

Aeolian

Platinum Member
I've notice that one of my favorite guitarists, Robben Ford, often hits songs off with a simple "uhh uhh" as a 3 and 4 count. The folks that play with him know the basic tempos of the tunes so it's just a "start here" kind of thing. He also bobs a bit getting the tempo to himself before the "count off" so they may watch that. I know a few of his sidemen, I'll have to ask them what it's like.
 

jeffwj

Platinum Member
I have used a snare hit for "4" in my counts for, oh, ever it seems. Nobody ever seems to mind. "1, 2, 3, BAM", song starts.
That works in the studio too. It makes the band really feel the time. And you can edit it out on the mixdown if you don't want the extra beat in there.

Jeff
 

Naigewron

Platinum Member
Rick Allen's fake German countoff for Rock Of Ages is pretty classic. I believe he's stated that he just came up with something that sounded German to his ears, and that it doesn't mean anything (at least not to his knowledge). So maybe try something similar, just in another "language"? :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Sk5aeUoOjw

For a highbrow approach, try some fake latin: "glimus, opus, baccus, domus"
 
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makinao

Silver Member
We came up with this for an album cut once. The drummer screaming count off to the choruses.

 

Naigewron

Platinum Member
We came up with this for an album cut once. The drummer screaming count off to the choruses.

Nice curveball count. Reminds me a bit of Lars Ulrich's count-off to Leper Messiah. He counts off a bar of five (ONE --- TWO --- tssch tssch tssch tssch tssch) for a song in 4/4 and where the riff clearly starts on 1. No idea if it's intentional or if Lars completely misunderstood the timing of the riff and they just kept it in.

Here it is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fm71Khu5-Lk

So yeah, that's another "funny" count-off I guess. Either make the count-off the wrong amount of beats (like Lars), or count-off in a subdivision of the actual time signature, such as counting in dotted eights or dividing a 4/4 bar into a count of five :)
 

NUTHA JASON

Senior Administrator
if i know a song is in say G i will look at the bassist and say 'ready? you sure? okay ... this song is in the key of E!' and watch him sweat the first bar!
j
 

Naigewron

Platinum Member
if i know a song is in say G i will look at the bassist and say 'ready? you sure? okay ... this song is in the key of E!' and watch him sweat the first bar!
j
Wouldn't you have to say "this song is on the root of the thickest string"? He's a bass player, after all :p
 
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jodgey4

Silver Member
You guys are awesome, keep 'em coming! They should last me a long time haha. Instead of snare on four I do a hi-hat chick, but yeah I really think it helps to have something.
 

boltzmann's brain

Senior Member
with me it depends on the song. jazz is usually either the standard "one, two, one two three four", or four grunts. "whu ooh huh owww". if it's something really angry and dark, i like "a one ah and ah two ah" BLAMMO!! with pinkies extended and everything. whatever it takes to mislead an unsuspecting audience.
 
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