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Old 01-12-2018, 08:09 AM
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jdhardrummer jdhardrummer is offline
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Default How to practice starting off songs

I'm having tempo issues with the start of songs only... the tempo I click in and what I end up playing aren't matching! Sometimes fast, sometimes slow... but once I'm playing, I'm good at holding tempo consistently.

Any tips on improving? I already practice a lot with gapped click (can go 4-8 measures at a wide range of tempos), but I don't feel like this is addressing my hands -> kit transition.

I started a new drill where I would count off for 2 measures, then play for 2 bars without click and then have the click come back in, and it's all over the place; confirming my problem. But I don't feel like this exercise is helping me get better as much as it ends up with me 'guessing'.
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Old 01-12-2018, 09:39 AM
AndeeT AndeeT is offline
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Default Re: How to practice starting off songs

I'm not sure I completely understand the problem....

Is it that you are playing in a band situation without a click track, and the song begins with all instruments on the first beat of the first measure, so you are counting in the whole band?

...And you count in at the correct tempo but then play at a different one?

When you count in are you clicking your sticks together?

Sorry I dont understand, but it is hard to suggest methods to improve if we dont know the exact problem.

Having said that, there is one thing that should help, even if I didnt understand exactly your predicament and that is filming yourself. If you are clicking your sticks to count in you should see exactly what is happening . It is a starting point at least and you may be able to self-diagnose the problem.

best,

Andy
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Old 01-12-2018, 10:48 AM
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Bo Eder Bo Eder is offline
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Default Re: How to practice starting off songs

This is usually an experience and confidence issue. Benny Goodman (you know who that is?) used to take his time when settling on a tempo before he counted the band in, and when he finally did, he was locked in to it, and so was the band.

You know how most guys pick up sticks and start their warm ups really fast? And the advice given is always to slow down and think about what you're doing.

This may be just the case of you slowing down the process, really think about your tempo, and then execute - all the while breathing normal and being relaxed. You may think you're doing that, but after watching younger players come up for decades now, I'm willing to say you're doing the same thing - regardless if you have a metronome going or not.

Try it - really take your time to internalize the tempo you've picked, breath easy, then count in the band and start playing. If at any time you're not totally relaxed, I guarantee you when you start to play, you will sound like how you feel - all wound up and erratic.
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Old 01-12-2018, 01:43 PM
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Odd-Arne Oseberg Odd-Arne Oseberg is offline
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Default Re: How to practice starting off songs

Sing the song to yourself and wait to count of until you're confident you got th tempo you want.

There is a video somewhere on youtube of Steve Gadd getting ready to count off, but then he stops. He sits the humming and nodding his head for quite a while before he feels ready to count off again.

If you're experienced daily mood, adrenalin, caffeine, mental preoccupation, stress and a nmber of other things can influence your idea. People are aware, but that's why you bring a tempo chart and metronome to serious gigs. TO be sure.

If one is less experienced it's really just the same. Learning to focus the right way. I see discrepansies with young students all the time. In ensemble class it is what it is. I can just inform them them of the issue. Mst of the ntime they get it. It's just a mater of the right focus while practicing. In a few cases we have to go deep on drum lessons.
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Old 01-12-2018, 05:18 PM
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Default Re: How to practice starting off songs

I agree with Odd-Arne. Listen to a steady click for as long as you need to while "hearing" the song in your head. Don't start playing until the two are in synch. Then you should be good.
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Old 01-15-2018, 10:10 PM
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philrudd philrudd is offline
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Default Re: How to practice starting off songs

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bo Eder View Post
This is usually an experience and confidence issue. Benny Goodman (you know who that is?) used to take his time when settling on a tempo before he counted the band in, and when he finally did, he was locked in to it, and so was the band.

You know how most guys pick up sticks and start their warm ups really fast? And the advice given is always to slow down and think about what you're doing.

This may be just the case of you slowing down the process, really think about your tempo, and then execute - all the while breathing normal and being relaxed. You may think you're doing that, but after watching younger players come up for decades now, I'm willing to say you're doing the same thing - regardless if you have a metronome going or not.

Try it - really take your time to internalize the tempo you've picked, breath easy, then count in the band and start playing. If at any time you're not totally relaxed, I guarantee you when you start to play, you will sound like how you feel - all wound up and erratic.
This is really good advice.

The only thing I'd add is something that's worked wonders for me - find a 'base' song that you're very familiar with that mimics the tempo you seek. For example, if I know I need to start a song at 110bpm, I can use 'Miss You' as a reference - after hearing that song for so many years, I have the tempo internalized; I hum it to myself before counting it off. (Toddbishop has a few lists on his Cruise Ship Drummer site that feature different songs by the Stones and the Beatles, along with the tempos to the songs.)

This is a trick I learned on this forum that has been immeasurably helpful. It's just using your internal metronome, rather than an external one.
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