so my band wants to do top 40s...

cr.drums

Junior Member
but I'm mainly a hard rock/metal drummer and has totally no feel for doing top 40s or pop/mainstream songs...

Remember my first gig post? Well, my bassist and vocalist are still in it and my bassist introduced another guitarist. Our plan is to jam and rearrange top 40s/pop/mainstream songs and try to partake in gigs next year.

Exams are coming in three weeks time, so we are taking a break, however, the plan is to listen and do about 20-30 songs when we get back together. My first thought was, wow 20-30 songs, how am I gonna learn them all?! But they told me to just get the feel of the songs and just play by feel...

For me, this is my first band and I mainly play to songs at home...so I am almost clueless to just playing a groove off my head. If i hear a song, I just try to replicate what the drummer plays exactly...so the problem is, I can't possibly replicate all 20-30 songs perfectly, and those songs aren't exactly my type so I don't have much feel for them...

We've been jamming for the past two weeks and playing some simple stuff but I feel rather 'unchallenged' and 'bored' playing these songs...I prefer hammering my cymbals and doing some double bass patterns...However, metal/rock bands/gigs are probably hard to find where I live (Singapore), furthermore, I don't consider myself good and solid enough to play in a metal band.

So the bottom line is...do I continue with them as a band and play stuff that I don't really enjoy, or go back to playing alone in my room to tracks and slowly find a rock/metal band?
 

picodon

Silver Member
Do you think the others will learn 20-30 songs overnight or any faster than you will? Subscribe to spotify or a similar service and you can practise and play along all of them. Don't aim for perfection, make it sound good to the audience. Play for the song. Maybe the large number of songs to learn will even help you keep it simple :)

I would continue to play with the group and learn from that. Meanwhile you can always be on the outlook for a metal band and maybe change groups later on.
 

Magenta

Platinum Member
What pico says, absolutely. You aren't in a tribute band, it doesn't have to be note-perfect, it just has to suit the version of the song that your band are playing.

My favourite way to learn songs is via an app called Anytune Pro+. I download stuff from YouTube to it, and then I slow it down so I can hear what's being played, gradually coming back up to speed. I can also repeat any tricksy bits over and over until I've got them nailed.

Playing with other people is far more fun than alone in your room, no matter what style of music (and no, I wouldn't like to play Top 40 either) - and it may well happen that as time goes on, you and your bandmates settle into a way of playing that you all enjoy.
 

A-customs

Silver Member
Hey i hear what your saying.IM a older rock guy Whos first love is Hendrix,The Doors Etc.I had the chance to join a dance band,whos songs About half of them i s not my cup of tea. Well i got to tell ya,its been a blast.We get folks up and they dance like crasy.FUN Gigs.....And the tunes are EASY...Plus the loots great to..My Vote is go for it,Good Luck man..........
 

lefty2

Platinum Member
I think you should try it. Those gigs can be a lot of fun. That kind of music is not hard to learn. Just catch all the stops and starts, and play a beat similar to the original. The challenge isn't the music, it's making the people get into it. Getting them on their feet dancing. Play that simple music with all the feel you can put into it. I think you'll like it. There's some money to be made also.
 

irish_steve

Junior Member
I have done this before with great success:
(I'm actually proud of this because it saved one of my bands so much time)

1: Choose your songs
2: Everybody learns up as far as the end of the first chorus
3: Jam it at rehearsal

If it feels and sounds good, everybody learns the rest of the song
If the feel is hard to capture, or it just sounds bad, scrap the song, nobody has invested too much time in it.

An additional bonus is that you can put a few of these "snippets" together and you have a medly!
 

drummer-russ

Gold Member
I have gotten a lot of satisfaction from playing music I would not listen to. The thrill is getting it right with your bandmates. There is a lot of skill needed to play things you might consider boring and easy.

Listen to the tune
Chart the song structure:
Into 4 bars, verse 8 bars, chorus 8 bars, break 4 bars...

I4 V8 C8 Br4...
Note when you start:
All start on 4
Make notes about the groove: hh 1/8 notes PSHP on & of 3
Ride in chorus
Short tom fills

Then practice it along to the recording. Get it as close to the original as you and the band would like. Some things need to be just like the recording, others less so.

Drum part to Come Together needs to be pretty close for instance.
Have fun!
 

New Tricks

Platinum Member
Expand your horizons.

And, a lot of pop music can be challenging. Timing and meter is actually more difficult on slower paced music. I would bet money that you will be rushing thru the fills until you get used to it.
 

shemp

Silver Member
I truly believe covering music like this and working it up and into good shape with your band is how drummers get really good.

My advice, as a long time guitarist and now drummer that has played in these types of bands is to fly through the songs repeatedly....then listen while working or cutting the grass...then get back and go through them again..

A real key is not to fret over learning some drummer'e recorded "squiggely doo" roll or fill. Only focus on really nailing those foundational beats or sequences that MAKE THE SONG or help you reach a new level in your playing.

For example....

Sweet Home Alabama: get the intro right, the verse hihat opens must be right and the chorus cymbal crashes...the rest is up to you. Lots of opportunity here

Mary Jane's Last Dance: Nothing to see here....cop the feel and time but play your own notes

American Girl: ALERT...foundational beat! and a little tricky at that. Good learning opportunity.... Learn this song verbatim...kinda got to.

.....so, in the end result look at songs that way and you will learn new stuff but alos not fret over learning everything as played on the record.

Last one.....

Tush: Foundational. Play it correctly or the band sounds like crap...get that texas two timing shuffle NAILED and make sure it drops and grooves....switch up where you land the kicks to make it even more challenging. Don't do anything with this tune but play it authentically.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
If you really don't want to do it, step aside and let someone else who really wants it...let them do it. It's only fair to everyone else.

"Problems" are actually opportunities in disguise. Personally, I would not quit until I gave it my best shot. Then, if it really doesn't appeal to you, move on. You can still do metal on the side. A working drummer.....that's the goal, right?

I hope you don't think that a Top 40 band isn't a challenge. It is. Don't put it below you.
 
G

gf2564

Guest
I have noticed over the years that many times songs that I really like to listen to are not always as enjoyable to play. Conversely, some songs that I really do not like or normally would not listen to can actually be fun to play. I say keep an open mind and give it a shot!
 

JustJames

Platinum Member
Do you want to be a drummer or do you want to be a metal drummer?

There are prolly three main distinctions among musicians:

1. Those who have the talent to be original musicians.

2. Those who have the talent to be performing musicians.

3. Those who have the talent to count to 4 repeatedly.

Category 1 is very small. If you honestly (and that's the key word) believe that you have the talent to be in an originals metal band, then go for it.

Category 2 is where most of us prolly live (or aspire to be). Playing parties, bars, functions and so on. And it looks like this is where your bandmates are aiming to be. It's no bad place to aspire to.

Category 3 is they guys who never get beyond playing along with stuff in their bedrooms. And let's remember, for most of us (all of us?) we do this first and foremost because we love to do it, and everything else is secondary.

Like many here, I came to drums quite late. It was well after 3:30. And I have found drumming to admire in all sorts of musical places where I wouldn't normally venture. Yes, even in 70's disco, it's true!

There seems to be a unity of responses in this thread. Either we're all deluded or we're all right. Possibly even both.
 

drumdevil9

Platinum Member
I was in a successful cover band for about 10 years. My approach to learning songs was to cop the overall feel of the song and make an effort to learn any signature beats/fills. At first this may seem like a daunting task. But as the band grew in experience it became much easier with time. I remember once in between sets we decided to add a new song to a medley we were doing. The soundman was there to witness our discussion as we worked it out. As we played the song on stage he relayed to an audience member that we had just learned it between sets. The guy didn't believe him.

What I'm trying to say is that no one is reinventing the wheel out there in top 40. Most music is a rearranging (or not) of stuff you already know how to play.

Playing in a good cover band can be a lot of fun. Those were some great years in my life that I look back on fondly.
 

cr.drums

Junior Member
well, i just had a talk with my bassist and it didn't go pretty well.

since my major exams are coming up, I wanted to take a break from jamming, but they still want to meet up regularly even though I alr told them on our previous session.

and since I have to learn so many songs...I can't really practice my metal stuff and play my metal songs which I prefer playing to M5 and bruno mars stuff...

i just signed up for lessons with a great drummer here and he's a rock and metal drummer too. so i guess most of the times I'll be focusing on my metal stuff and won't really touch much on the more pop/mainstream songs...
 

SquadLeader

Gold Member
Personally I'm at odds with many on here.

There hasn't been much in my musical life more soul destroying than playing covers I didn't actually like.

Only really been in a couple of covers bands...second one started out great. Taking "quirky 70s/80s songs and making them our own by giving them a twist". Worked. Then we got a different singer and before I realised what had happened we'd slipped into main stream 70s/80s pop without the twist.

I spent about three months despising everything about the band until I dropped out on very bad terms. They couldn't even begin to comprehend what had irritated me about the transformation of the band. I recall showing them an original setlist which had songs by The Specials, The Selector, Dead Kennedy's, Led Zeppelin, The Smiths, etc. etc. on then comparing that to the new set list which had Rod Stewart, Abba, and Dexy's Midnight Runners.

They just didn't 'get it'. They were probably right and I probably wrong. But I don't care.

As a part time drummer who plays for fun, I guess what I'm saying personally is that I feel that I owe it to myself to be pretty clear on what I play, and play only what I enjoy playing and in your shoes I'd be getting out and finding a metal band.



well, i just had a talk with my bassist and it didn't go pretty well.

since my major exams are coming up, I wanted to take a break from jamming, but they still want to meet up regularly even though I alr told them on our previous session.

and since I have to learn so many songs...I can't really practice my metal stuff and play my metal songs which I prefer playing to M5 and bruno mars stuff...

i just signed up for lessons with a great drummer here and he's a rock and metal drummer too. so i guess most of the times I'll be focusing on my metal stuff and won't really touch much on the more pop/mainstream songs...
 

shemp

Silver Member
......and play only what I enjoy playing and in your shoes I'd be getting out and finding a metal band.
I pretty much have the same mindset...music is not my source of income so I don't have to go-a-along to get-a..-paid.

Of course there are always consequences with polarizing decisions...If I started a band or was in one for a long time I would certainly raise my hand to veto cover songs I didn't want to play; of which there are many, but the consequences are that it creates tension and bad attitudes....

If I was a drummer looking for a covers gig, I think I would be in my garage happily playing everything I wanted to play and not doing many gigs...with that frame of mind

If you want to gig, i mean really get in there and gig and play the 30-50 song nights...and not the 4, 5, 6 band bill for your 25 to 40 minute ejaculation that you had to sell tickets for, then you will probably have to acquiesce and play *some* covers that may not be ideal.

no wrong answer, just the precipitate or consequences of such decisions.
 

SquadLeader

Gold Member
I pretty much have the same mindset...music is not my source of income so I don't have to go-a-along to get-a..-paid.

Of course there are always consequences with polarizing decisions...If I started a band or was in one for a long time I would certainly raise my hand to veto cover songs I didn't want to play; of which there are many, but the consequences are that it creates tension and bad attitudes....

If I was a drummer looking for a covers gig, I think I would be in my garage happily playing everything I wanted to play and not doing many gigs...with that frame of mind

If you want to gig, i mean really get in there and gig and play the 30-50 song nights...and not the 4, 5, 6 band bill for your 25 to 40 minute ejaculation that you had to sell tickets for, then you will probably have to acquiesce and play *some* covers that may not be ideal.

no wrong answer, just the precipitate or consequences of such decisions.
You make good points.

From a very personal perspective, and a big part of this comes from the fact that I have a decent paying day job, and playing music is a hobby.

The covers band I was in were paid decent money, frequently. And did 2 hour gigs. The current band I'm in play originals and play 30 minute sets, for peanuts or drinks. I'd take my current band any day of the week. Absolutely no contest.

But yes, there still must be some flexibility. I agree wholeheartedly.
 

Skyking

Senior Member
Last year I left my hobby band because "our leader" was going "country" and I wanted to stay with "rock". I could have handled the country music had we been having fun and getting regular gigs, but our leader IMO was too inflexible. The band was going nowhere so I left with no regrets. HAD we been gigging regularly I think I'd feel differently. Something has to make playing in a band worthwhile, either the music, or the the gig or the experience. (Don't count on the money) So it comes down to this, you already don't like the music so do you think they have a real future gigging? Will you gain enough experience playing with your band to make a years worth of practice playing the wrong music worth it?
 
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Aeolian

Platinum Member
The more music you can play, convincingly, the better you will be at the music you like to play. There's a video of Derek Roddy playing jazz and doing it well. Odd's are your heros can play many genres. Why limit your vocabulary to one thing?

I recently joined up with a classic rock band and it's kicking my ass. I played rock guitar in the '70s but stopped listening to rock in the late '70s. Although I'm aware of the crossover hits. But I completely lost touch with the feel of the genre. Since focusing on the drums the last few years I've concentrated on blues and funk. More laid back stuff. Getting the drive of rock has taken some work, and is still a work in progress. I would be completely lost trying modern metal, but that doesn't mean that at some point I won't try to learn some. All of it makes you better.
 
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