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  #1  
Old 09-20-2017, 11:12 PM
drummerboy2015 drummerboy2015 is offline
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Default Most efficient way to learn a new song for an audition

So after putting my ad in the appropriate places I've made contact with a couple of players and we're going to meet. Date has not been decided on yet but they basically said whenever I'm ready.

I know this probably is a question with an obvious answer but people all learn differently and sometimes we can learn things quicker doing it a slightly different way.

They have three songs that they want me to play with them. One of them I'm fairly familiar with but I've never drummed to it before. The other two are brand new songs but the drum parts seemed fairly simplistic. I don't think they are looking for note-for-note type of accuracy but I would like to do the best I can obviously.

So what is the most efficient way to not only learn the song but learn to drum to it? My thought was is that at the very least I would listen to the two songs over and over again without even drumming at first just to get to know the dang things. (Probably working on one at a time for the most part) I've never really thought about it but all of the songs that I picked are songs that I have been listening to for 20 - 30 years. I could listen to the songs in the car on my way to work and back home and other down times where I'm not drumming. And as I'm listening to the songs I would pay attention to the drum parts. And in that whole process I'm assuming just getting behind the kit, listening to portions of the song and playing along to it critiquing myself as I go along. I've heard of people writing drum tabs and that seems to help them and I believe I could do that but I don't know if that will help with the learning process.

Any thoughts would be appreciated!
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Old 09-20-2017, 11:35 PM
New Tricks New Tricks is offline
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Default Re: Most efficient way to learn a new song for an audition

A recording program is an extremely helpful tool for those who don't read music.

Put the mp3 on a track and you can loop sections with tricky fills over and over until you get them down.

If they are really tricky you can write the parts using a midi kit to get the parts dialed in. Then you also have a visual reference, kind of like reading music.

Once you have it down, try to find a drumless track to play with, then play with the original track and try to compare what you are playing with the original.
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Old 09-20-2017, 11:44 PM
drummerboy2015 drummerboy2015 is offline
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Default Re: Most efficient way to learn a new song for an audition

Thank you!

I do have my Roland TD11 kit and I could Loop portions of the song over and over again.

Since I started this thread I came across a drum tab creator called drumburp. Part of me thinks if I listen to the song and create the drum tabs (I did take piano back when I was a kid for 6 years so I can kind of still read music) I might learn it quicker since I created the tabs myself? I don't know, maybe it would just be a waste of time as opposed to just listening to the song over and over again and playing along with it.
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Old 09-21-2017, 12:27 AM
crispycritters crispycritters is offline
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Default Re: Most efficient way to learn a new song for an audition

Its worth searching to see if there are any drum tabs available online. Its a bit hit and miss, there are loads for guitar - not so many for drums, but if they are well known songs your chances are 50/50 you'll find something reasonably accurate if the band are expecting a note for note rendition.

Also youtube is worth a look, much of the time the vids are that drummers interpretation of the song, but sometimes seeing and hearing helps.
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Old 09-21-2017, 01:19 AM
New Tricks New Tricks is offline
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Default Re: Most efficient way to learn a new song for an audition

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Originally Posted by drummerboy2015 View Post
I don't know, maybe it would just be a waste of time as opposed to just listening to the song over and over again and playing along with it.

There is no such thing as a waste of time if you are learning something.

Creating the tabs or midi parts will help you learn more than just the drum notes. You will learn to understand how and why some things fit/don't fit and what gives some fills their certain flair (like leaving out the first note). That said, I wouldn't bother to write anything that was simple.

Some songs have "oddly" placed accents or crashes and I have trouble remembering exactly where to apply them.

In my opinion, you can learn most parts quicker just by listening than you can searching the internet. There are of course exceptions.

And, if you don't learn anything else, at least learn the kick pattern :)
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Old 09-21-2017, 03:51 AM
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Default Re: Most efficient way to learn a new song for an audition

Print out the lyrics.

Listen to the song and check that they lyrics match the version you're listening to.

On the lyrics sheet, note what is played for each section. You can do this by writing a bar or two of notation or simply "money beat, sloshy hats on eighths"

Note where the fills are, bar counts between sections and anything odd like 2 beat bars in between 4 beat bars.

If you're playing classic rock type stuff that will be enough to let you fake your way through the songs, and will be the basis that you use to start getting the song (close to) note perfect.

If any sections are out of your comfort zone, simplify them to the point where you can play them comfortably, and then work on adding the tricksy bits back again. It's way better to play a slightly simplified well than to make a pig's ear out of playing the right pattern.
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Old 09-21-2017, 04:26 AM
drummerboy2015 drummerboy2015 is offline
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Default Re: Most efficient way to learn a new song for an audition

Great ideas! I love this idea James...printing out the lyrics.



Quote:
Originally Posted by JustJames View Post
Print out the lyrics.

Listen to the song and check that they lyrics match the version you're listening to.

On the lyrics sheet, note what is played for each section. You can do this by writing a bar or two of notation or simply "money beat, sloshy hats on eighths"

Note where the fills are, bar counts between sections and anything odd like 2 beat bars in between 4 beat bars.

If you're playing classic rock type stuff that will be enough to let you fake your way through the songs, and will be the basis that you use to start getting the song (close to) note perfect.

If any sections are out of your comfort zone, simplify them to the point where you can play them comfortably, and then work on adding the tricksy bits back again. It's way better to play a slightly simplified well than to make a pig's ear out of playing the right pattern.
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Old 09-21-2017, 05:16 AM
williamsbclontz williamsbclontz is offline
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Default Re: Most efficient way to learn a new song for an audition

All of this advice is great, writing out lyrics and marking dynamic stuff like sloshy hi hat parts etc. I think everyone learns better in different ways, but for me personally I really like to memorize the song and listen to it over and over. I'll listen to the song every time I get in the car, and I'll use really nice headphones to make sure I can hear every detail of what the drummer is doing. When I was in jazz band in college the director would give us sheet music and we would have a few days to review it before we really started practicing it. After a while though I really didn't even use the sheet music, because it was easier for me to memorize. It even got to the point where I didn't even really need to practice that much, I could just listen over and over and then sit down and play it. I also recommend throwing in your own personal flare. Fills you make up or change the groove up slightly, try to make the song sound even better! That way you can show them you are unique and musical. Practice a lot and when you aren't practicing listen a lot.
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Old 09-21-2017, 05:44 AM
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Default Re: Most efficient way to learn a new song for an audition

I listen to the track over and over again, then on the drum kit, i'll got through the song by playing with rods instead of sticks, just to get the physical motions of the drum part, ( I find it helps me visualize the song better ) and I repeat any problem areas until it's all in my thick head. I'll also section the song up until I have the sections down pat, I find it less daunting than playing the whole thing.
That said, we all learn differently. What works for one person may not work for others.
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Old 09-21-2017, 11:11 AM
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Default Re: Most efficient way to learn a new song for an audition

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roadydad View Post
I listen to the track over and over again, then on the drum kit, i'll got through the song by playing with rods instead of sticks, just to get the physical motions of the drum part, ( I find it helps me visualize the song better ) and I repeat any problem areas until it's all in my thick head. I'll also section the song up until I have the sections down pat, I find it less daunting than playing the whole thing.
That said, we all learn differently. What works for one person may not work for others.
I do the same, and one I've listened many times, I sing the song in my head a lot (while walking for instance), to inprint the fills, the structure and how it works with the lyrics. If there's a tricky break, I go on my kit or do just a bit of air drumming to get the right moves.

Last edited by Tamaefx; 09-21-2017 at 11:26 AM.
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  #11  
Old 09-21-2017, 02:47 PM
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Default Re: Most efficient way to learn a new song for an audition

Jusf listen to them abd play alonv with them a bunch of times.
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Old 09-21-2017, 03:23 PM
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Default Re: Most efficient way to learn a new song for an audition

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghostnote View Post
Jusf listen to them abd play alonv with them a bunch of times.
Try all the suggestions here if you need to, but first I suggest taking Ghostnote's advice and just sit down at the drums with your headphones on and listen to the song playing along as you learn it.

IF that doesn't work, then you might want to try the next simplest suggestion (JustJames I believe) and keep trying alternative, more time-consuming approaches until you find the one that works for you. What ever it takes to get you there, but start simple.
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Old 09-21-2017, 03:55 PM
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Default Re: Most efficient way to learn a new song for an audition

I've only been playing 3 years and only recently started playing in a band.

For me, at the moment the only way to learn a song is to either buy the drum score, or transcribe it myself. Then by playing over and over to the music, it eventually sticks. I then drop the score. However, if I have an off day practising or in rehearsal, or if someone else questions the song format, I can go back to my written score and reconfirm it.
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Old 09-21-2017, 04:53 PM
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Default Re: Most efficient way to learn a new song for an audition

JustJames' idea regarding using the words of the song is good.

Learn to write notes that you can read very quickly.

Check out this thread: http://www.drummerworld.com/forums/s...ighlight=notes



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Old 09-22-2017, 02:26 AM
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Default Re: Most efficient way to learn a new song for an audition

To add something that I think is missing from this thread:

Many of the replies are about learning every nuance of a song. There's nothing wrong with that, and for songs that your band plays it's great. I keep hearing new things in songs that I've been playing a long time.

But for an audition, I'd be concentrating on getting the basics right and playing within my comfort zone. Most auditions are about showing that your level of proficiency matches that of the band, and also that you and the band like each other as people. The personal aspects are at least as important as the technical ability stuff.

Show up on time and wear the right shoes!
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Old 09-22-2017, 04:52 AM
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Default Re: Most efficient way to learn a new song for an audition

Most efficient, let's see:

-- Listen to the song.
-- Figure out the roadmap in terms like intro, verse, chorus, solo, bridge/interlude/C section, coda. Most pop songs will have multiple verses and choruses, and one at most of everything else. Write it down, including numbers of measures for each section.
-- Figure out the groove for each of the main sections of the song. If you can't figure them out, default to a simple rock beat-- whatever simple groove fits.
-- Figure out any other major particulars: stops, ensemble figures, major fills.
-- Play it with the recording until you feel good about it.
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Old 09-22-2017, 05:15 AM
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Default Re: Most efficient way to learn a new song for an audition

Quote:
Originally Posted by JustJames View Post
On the lyrics sheet, note what is played for each section. You can do this by writing a bar or two of notation or simply "money beat, sloshy hats on eighths"

Note where the fills are, bar counts between sections and anything odd like 2 beat bars in between 4 beat bars.
Recommend against the lyrics approach. What if you're playing without a singer, or the singer gets the lyrics wrong, or sings at the wrong time?

Make a chart, one that you can quickly and easily see how many measures each section of the song is. Notate when and where to play fills, accents, breaks, etc.
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Old 09-22-2017, 07:27 PM
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Default Re: Most efficient way to learn a new song for an audition

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Originally Posted by brentcn View Post
Recommend against the lyrics approach. What if you're playing without a singer, or the singer gets the lyrics wrong, or sings at the wrong time?

Make a chart, one that you can quickly and easily see how many measures each section of the song is. Notate when and where to play fills, accents, breaks, etc.
Yeah, good point. Will you be auditioning with a live band or a recording of the song? The live band probably won't play the song exactly like the recording. I'm not trying to scare you, but being in the groove and driving the band will probably be the most important part of the audition. And like JustJames said being on time, what you wear and how you present yourself will be a huge part of the audition.

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Old 09-22-2017, 09:06 PM
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Default Re: Most efficient way to learn a new song for an audition

CHARTS CHARTS CHARTS CHARTS CHARTS CHARTS...
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Old 09-22-2017, 11:36 PM
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Default Re: Most efficient way to learn a new song for an audition

Yeah. It's always advisable to go for a chart right away.

Listen once. You can start writing a chart right away.
If not then do it on second listen.
Then fill in details on the 2nd or 3rd listen.

Even if you're not going to use charts on the gig this forces you to understand the complete structure of a new song and it provides a visual for memory. It will save you sooooo much time.
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Old 09-23-2017, 12:45 AM
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Default Re: Most efficient way to learn a new song for an audition

Or, just forget all of that nonsense and play Mustang Sally.
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Old 09-23-2017, 07:25 AM
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Default Re: Most efficient way to learn a new song for an audition

Quote:
Originally Posted by JustJames View Post
Print out the lyrics.

Listen to the song and check that they lyrics match the version you're listening to.

On the lyrics sheet, note what is played for each section. You can do this by writing a bar or two of notation or simply "money beat, sloshy hats on eighths"

Note where the fills are, bar counts between sections and anything odd like 2 beat bars in between 4 beat bars.

If you're playing classic rock type stuff that will be enough to let you fake your way through the songs, and will be the basis that you use to start getting the song (close to) note perfect.

If any sections are out of your comfort zone, simplify them to the point where you can play them comfortably, and then work on adding the tricksy bits back again. It's way better to play a slightly simplified well than to make a pig's ear out of playing the right pattern.
I learned a band's songs from youtube and wrote all my transitions while basically using the lyrics as markers and then showed up to the audition and they said the vocalist won't be there singing.

I slogged through it and did well enough listening to the guitars but it was kind of a bummer I straight up got lost a few times because of no lyrics to q transitions. I was actually trying to sing the lyrics in my head while playing to keep my cues.
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Old 09-23-2017, 03:04 PM
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Alex Sanguinetti Alex Sanguinetti is offline
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Default Re: Most efficient way to learn a new song for an audition

Most eficient way is to write a drum part/chart (no tabs, please) and practice. If you have the audio better of course, to play along, etc.


Nothing beats that!

To make an analogy, what many guys here suggest (who canīt read obviously) is that to study a poem is better to listen to it 1000 times than having it on paper and be able to practice and read it too...


Best!
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Old 09-23-2017, 06:03 PM
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Default Re: Most efficient way to learn a new song for an audition

I usually will listen through the song first. THen I go back and listen to it again and make a roadmap of notes for myself like this.

intro
verse
chorus
vs
chorus
solo over verse
verse
chorusX2

end

Sometimes I'll put a title of a song that it reminds me of speed and beat wise so I can picture it in my head before counting it in. I'll also write little notes to myself about specific fills or whatever I need. I like to write them on index cards so I can keep them in order if the sets move around. I play in cover bands, so I don't usually need to go into elaborate charts for what I'm doing.

I also like to go onto youtube videos and see if anyone has done a drum cover of the song. I use them as much for "what NOT to play" as I do for seeing someone play specific bits. maybe watch a few and mentally borrow a few bits from different versions you like. And try not to over play. Drum covers are usually a bit overplayed so drummers can show off a bit, but probably less good for playing with others that way.
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Old 09-23-2017, 08:11 PM
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Default Re: Most efficient way to learn a new song for an audition

Quote:
Originally Posted by whiteknightx View Post
I usually will listen through the song first. THen I go back and listen to it again and make a roadmap of notes for myself like this.

intro
verse
chorus
vs
chorus
solo over verse
verse
chorusX2

end

Sometimes I'll put a title of a song that it reminds me of speed and beat wise so I can picture it in my head before counting it in. I'll also write little notes to myself about specific fills or whatever I need. I like to write them on index cards so I can keep them in order if the sets move around. I play in cover bands, so I don't usually need to go into elaborate charts for what I'm doing.

I also like to go onto youtube videos and see if anyone has done a drum cover of the song. I use them as much for "what NOT to play" as I do for seeing someone play specific bits. maybe watch a few and mentally borrow a few bits from different versions you like. And try not to over play. Drum covers are usually a bit overplayed so drummers can show off a bit, but probably less good for playing with others that way.
EXACTLY the right way to do it. Unless you can write out and efficiently read charts.

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