Hate Learning Covers

heavy-metal-bongos

Junior Member
I do not enjoy learning cover songs, personally I just want to write stuff but in a band you find yourself learning covers that you may not even like.
If I can i'll just put an ipod on the input of my electric kit and play along, hopefully learning it while doing so but there are some songs that have complex drum parts which you actually have to work out or otherwise things get messy when playing, or perhaps it is a long song and has a structure which isn't memorable and you find yourself counting how many times this part goes through and so on, all very time consuming and demotivating if you don't enjoy it.

So I would like to hear how other people go ahead about providing a drum part to a song for a band when they aren't really bothered about learning it, but still being able to be confident in the playing and tight enough to play live rather than just guessing what comes next or hoping my improvised fill falls back on the right beat of the song which is what i do... :/

Thanks
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
aren't really bothered about learning it
And that's the issue right there. Few of us exist in our ideal creative environment 100% of the time, so we need to motivate ourselves in situations where we're effectively "going through the motions". For most of us, the sheer joy of playing drums is enough, it certainly is for me.

Sorry to sound a bit tough but, get over yourself, get some pride in your craft, & realise that music creation is often a team effort that requires a degree of compromise.

BTW, welcome to the forum, & are you a "Deathmetalconga" lite?
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
If you don't like learning covers, then don't.

Find an original band that only does original music.

I have nothing against covers, I've done plenty, but I became a drummer to play originals, so I tend to focus most of my time on original music.
 

toddbishop

Platinum Member
Learning other people's material is pretty much the entire job of being a drummer, so I'd work on getting comfortable with it. It's not supposed to be that difficult, so maybe the stuff your band is attempting is exceptionally hard, and you should get with a group who's music you would enjoy learning.

Or you could take the difficulty as a challenge to your commitment, do the hard work and learn the tunes. It does get easier, the more of them you do.
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
And that's the issue right there. Few of us exist in our ideal creative environment 100% of the time, so we need to motivate ourselves in situations where we're effectively "going through the motions". For most of us, the sheer joy of playing drums is enough, it certainly is for me.

Sorry to sound a bit tough but, get over yourself, get some pride in your craft, & realise that music creation is often a team effort that requires a degree of compromise.
Yep.

If you don't like learning covers, then don't.
Find an original band that only does original music.
And yep. Or, write your own music and surround yourself with players who are comfortable doing your material. Of course, you will probably run into some folks that want to do their music...

Very few drummers can completely carve their own niche. Pretty much everyone has to play someone else's music at some point. But first and foremost, you've got to find pleasure just playing drums. The music around you should be secondary.

I play drums to a lot of music I don't normally listen to, but I have a great time because I enjoy playing drums. No internal conflicts, and I even get paid!

Bermuda
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
...but there are some songs that have complex drum parts which you actually have to work out or otherwise things get messy when playing, or perhaps it is a long song and has a structure which isn't memorable and you find yourself counting how many times this part goes through and so on, all very time consuming and demotivating if you don't enjoy it.

So I would like to hear how other people go ahead about providing a drum part to a song for a band when they aren't really bothered about learning it, but still being able to be confident in the playing and tight enough to play live rather than just guessing what comes next...
Learning is just a matter of listening, and practicing. It's never an instant process. And it doesn't matter if the songs are covers, or originals. Anyone looking for an easy way to play music by doing originals where they think the parts don't matter, is basically a someone who doesn't really care about the music, or their playing.

However, if you're just trying to play for fun, and what you do doesn't matter to you or anyone else, that's a different matter. In that case, you shouldn't even be asking the question, just go hit drums and don't give it another thought.

Bermuda
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Here are your choices, from what I can gather.

Quit the band and find an original band
Start your own original band
Join a band that does covers you like
Bite the bullet and learn to play songs you don't like

Do you really not like the songs or is it just too hard to learn the stuff?
If you really don't like the music, then you shouldn't be in the band. You should save yourself and the others the aggravation. No band should contain a player who doesn't like the music.
 

heavy-metal-bongos

Junior Member
It's not that they are hard songs, it is just I find it tedious learning them and when there is a bit i'm not sure about and it is a case of sitting dow and tabbing out what i'm meant to be playing, which usually takes me a while.
Also it takes me about 50 times of listening to the song as often as I can trying to learn it by heart by which time I usually bore myself of it and end up dreading everytime I hear it.
There are a lot of songs I don't listen to anymore because I've played them in a band.
Why do i make things so difficult for myself.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Sounds to me like any song you have to learn, you will tire of eventually. You are your own worst enemy. You are the only one who can make something boring.... or exciting. Things aren't boring, people are. If you get bored with learning a song you like, then that makes you kinda whiney.

Imagine if someone took your drums from you, and you couldn't play. You need some gratitude and appreciation. There are people who would walk a thousand miles to own your drums.

Leo Battery comes to mind.

If you come here wanting sympathy because you get bored, well, I'm not the guy to offer any.

They are not hard songs but you have to listen to them 50 times? That doesn't add up.
 

Duckenheimer

Senior Member
go ahead about providing a drum part to a song for a band when they aren't really bothered about learning it, but still being able to be confident in the playing and tight enough to play live rather than just guessing what comes next or hoping my improvised fill falls back on the right beat of the song which is what i do... :/
The more you transcribe and improve drumming technique/reading skills/hearing/following song forms; learning covers will go much easier and quicker - whether you're aiming for a note for note cover, an approximation, or a re-interpretation. Improve your drumming fundamentals in these areas and learning covers will become more and more of a breeze.

The problem is the amount of work needed do get to those higher levels of ability and ease!

If you have to listen to a song a huge amount of times and engage in painstaking time consumption to know where you are in the song and cannot already play the drum part or be certain that your fill will land on the right beat; that is the definition of something that is difficult/hard for you. A song can be difficult to get good if you have none of these problems; these problems are a very large amount of difficulty to overcome.

It is a question of whether you want to make the effort of continually getting to the next level or do you just want to relax more and have fun within your current abilities.
 

ddrumman2004

Senior Member
Our band does nothing but cover songs and there are a few that I don't care to play but I do it.
One song I hate to do is "Wipe Out" but I do it because people want to hear it. If it makes just one person happy to hear it...it's worth it to me.

I am also put in a situation of playing a song for the first time on stage. In that case, whoever is doing the tune will play a little of it for me before the gig starts and I then play what I feel for that song. Most of the time I keep the beat and fills simple as in some situations....less is more....or I should say....less is just enough.
 

rolaball

Member
If you have to play a song 50 times to learn it off by heart why not just learn the basic structure of the song then adlib your own fills then youve got the best of both worlds
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
Also it takes me about 50 times of listening to the song as often as I can trying to learn it by heart by which time I usually bore myself of it and end up dreading everytime I hear it.
And that's the real problem: you bore easily. It's not the learning process. If you learned a song in just a few listens, you'd still get bored with anyway down the line. Sounds like that's going to happen whether you're playing covers or originals.

A little perspective might be helpful. As mentioned, you should appreciate that you get to play drums. Skill takes work, and time, and patience. You're not going to learn new drumming tricks or new songs instantly, and if you have a defeatist attitude, you will never learn them at all.

To badly paraphrase an old saying, you have to do the time if you want to do the crime. That is, you need to work at drumming before you can drum.

Bermuda
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
why not just learn the basic structure of the song then adlib your own fills then youve got the best of both worlds
A great point, & well made. Unless you're in a tribute act, you can choose (if it's ok with the band vibe) to keep with the original structure & feel, but put some of your own stuff in there, as long as it adds to the presentation. That's what I do, but that's in the context of a band that habitually screws with covers, & a mission to piss off Larry as frequently as possible (eh Larry!) :) :)
 

sonarbell

Junior Member
If you have to play a song 50 times to learn it off by heart why not just learn the basic structure of the song then adlib your own fills then youve got the best of both worlds
I agree with this too. Just dont detract to far from the original groove..
 
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