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  #1  
Old 08-17-2017, 09:59 PM
ERock82 ERock82 is offline
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Default How do you cover band drummers learn a whole set list in just a couple of weeks?

So, I am wondering how a drummer would join up with a cover band in a short period of time, say 3 weeks. I am talking about an original drummer who is very skilled but has never been in a cover band and therefore will need to learn ALL songs from the bands set. I know this is usually around 40 songs just to play a gig. If you are working full time and want to jump in with a good cover band they will probably have gigs lined up in the near future. How do you compete with drummers that are switching from one cover band to another (who would already know half the current hit songs)?

I have learned cover songs before and it is usually an hour for 1 song and once played in rehearsal it is solid unless it's a more technical song. There's always super easy songs that take 30 mins but when thrown in with more technical songs I average an hour. If you add some breaks in the process, 45 hours would need to be set aside.

This seems to be a daunting task unless you are getting paid really well for the gig or really enjoy the company of the band members. It is a bit overwhelming to join up with a good cover band. I know lots of drummers write out charts but these take a good 20 mins to proficiently write out and then you gotta run through it a few times. I can't see how a drummer could learn 40 songs in 15 to 20 hours unless it's a mediocre band that doesn't care about any grooves being very close to the original and are simply okay with tempo, stops and transitions being correct.

The only way I can see learning a cover song in 20 or 30 mins would be to train myself to just hear the patterns and not be tempted to even try and get them that close but just get the feel and style right. Seems kind of lame to do that though.

I was told to learn a cover song for my original band recently and I was being lazy and just played through the song twice with no notes or chart. It was a simple song but once I played it with the band there I had to count out a few spots in my head to get transitions down. Luckily the other guys were just learning it too so I did not hold anyone up but I'm sure if I was a new guy then I would've held them up 10 minutes getting the transition timing right.

So, for you drummers out there that can do this, how do you proficiently learn songs under 30 mins? I've heard guys like Kenny Aronoff had to fill in last minute for someone famous and wrote out 20 charts, listened to the songs on the plane ride the next day, ran through some with the band backstage and played the whole set great in front of thousands. I can't imagine doing that.
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Old 08-18-2017, 12:44 PM
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Default Re: How do you cover band drummers learn a whole set list in just a couple of weeks?

difficult question because everyone is different.

When I went for an audition about a year ago, they gave me a set list of about 30 songs and choose 10 from them to audition.

I learned 10 in 3 weeks which was quite a challenge but it turns out that they were checking what kid of drummer I was by the songs I chose.

I picked things like Muse and Foo Fighters when they really wanted me to pick van morrison so I didn't get the gig.

I don't really have an issue with learning songs, I just put them onto my phone, play along to it through my headphones over and over until I have it nailed. I also don't even try and learn songs where I have to write down the notation or count for any particular range of time. If it doesn't feel right for me, I don't play it

It's worse when having to sing them as well
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  #3  
Old 08-18-2017, 12:53 PM
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Default Re: How do you cover band drummers learn a whole set list in just a couple of weeks?

I would try to:

1. Simplify
2. Pay close attention to the other musicians, especially the one in the leading role (in my band it's the keyboard player)
3. Play general transitions that keeps the time and the motion going.
4. Listen a lot to song versions that have the same structure as the songs I would be playing during the gig.
5. Try to find the "feel" and overall groove of the song/parts of the song
6. Practice particular tricky solo drum parts or essential fills
7. Fall back on experience
8. If a song has unusual song structure make notes of overall structure
9. Pay particular attention to the beginning and ending of the song.

If you have played as cover band drummer for many years, chances are that many of the 40 songs have been played for fun or gig during the years.

Particular details like if a verse is played with closed/open hi-hat or a chorus is played with open h-h or ride probably won't make or break a particular song.

Of course this goes for rather standard pop/rock/hard rock covers.

Filling in in a Prog metal cover band with short notice would be a whole other challenge :D

Hope this helped some :)
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Old 08-18-2017, 02:15 PM
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Default Re: How do you cover band drummers learn a whole set list in just a couple of weeks?

Similar situation is when my band decides to trial new (cover) songs.

The approach we all take is to learn the very basics of the song to try it out. That will give us a feel if the song suits the vocalist, feels like fun to play and generally fits with our skill set.

I'll listen to the song a few times, to get the feel of how the hats are played, where are the bass drum hits falling, what is the snare doing and where are the fills. I'll run through the song a few times to check how my notes are, and then we'll give it a crack.

Remember, if the rest of the band are properly on top of the song, that gives you room to hide. Get the feel of the groove right, nail any signature elements and for the rest of it, kick on 1 and 3, snare on 2 and 4 will get you a long way. If you're easy to get along with and make the band sound good, you're golden.
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Old 08-18-2017, 02:30 PM
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Default Re: How do you cover band drummers learn a whole set list in just a couple of weeks?

Drummers can get away with some sort of chart, so if there are a few tunes you need that on, that's fine.

I did 60 tunes in 2 days once.

How? Well, it was standard pop rock tunes. I just did them as the originals and for the few that were different I had a band demo. This gig was on guitar.

Only problem when learning things that fast is that I forget them fast, so since I was staying in the band I definetly put some extra time in after that first 2 gig weekend to make sure it was solid the next time.

Worth mentioning that this was my day job, so nothing else to do. Sore fingers, little sleep, no working out and fast food. :-)

If I'm only learning a few songs I usually sit down and play it over and over until I just get it and enjoy the slow process.

If I'm pressed for time I focus on what matters, don't waste any time and even if I have to know them by heart I probably will take some notes to help the process. Listen once first while writing a basic chart so I have a full overview is a great help.
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Old 08-18-2017, 03:03 PM
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Default Re: How do you cover band drummers learn a whole set list in just a couple of weeks?

I chart everything out. Tempo, verse, chorus, bridge, and solo lengths, fills, "this groove sounds like x tune, etc. Many times just the process of charting the song keeps it in my head, and the chart is no longer needed, but if it is I have it with me.
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Old 08-18-2017, 03:45 PM
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Default Re: How do you cover band drummers learn a whole set list in just a couple of weeks?

I always find the majority of pop/rock covers are very easy to learn arrangement wise. I tend to remember them by the lyrics as the drums rarely offer anything of note.

I'm very good at listening and learning arrangements/lyrics but if you need a chart then go for it, iPads are a godsend for that now.

The only thing you need to remember are any fills which are key to the song.

Most songs I do are straight 4/4 with the odd 3/4. You might get something interesting like Jive Talking which has a polyrhythm in the chorus outro 7/4 over 4/4.

I have a dep gig to do tonight not worried at all. It's like a job, you show up, play get paid and go home. I'm depping for another band tomorrow night same process rinse and repeat.
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Old 08-18-2017, 04:12 PM
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Default Re: How do you cover band drummers learn a whole set list in just a couple of weeks?

I think how to learn the songs depends on your learning style and what style of music the cover band plays. For example, a Rolling Stones cover band may require a different amount of time and effort as opposed to a Dream Theater cover band.

There are too many variables to answer your question effectively IMO. Learn a song in 30 min? Some songs would be very easy while others would be very difficult. It just depends on the music style and skill of the drummer.

If I was in this situation where I was having to learn a bunch of songs in a hurry, I'd get some MP3's of every song I would have to learn and listen to them all of the time while at work. When I was at home, I'd carve out some time to make notes on every song, or maybe work on it during my lunch breaks. Then I would start practicing. I have a long commute, so I would have time to listen to lots of songs on the back forth. After I'm really familiar with the songs and I've made notes, I'd start with the hardest song and move to the easiest.
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Old 08-18-2017, 04:27 PM
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Default Re: How do you cover band drummers learn a whole set list in just a couple of weeks?

Quote:
Originally Posted by PorkPieGuy View Post
I think how to learn the songs depends on your learning style and what style of music the cover band plays. For example, a Rolling Stones cover band may require a different amount of time and effort as opposed to a Dream Theater cover band.

There are too many variables to answer your question effectively IMO. Learn a song in 30 min? Some songs would be very easy while others would be very difficult. It just depends on the music style and skill of the drummer.

If I was in this situation where I was having to learn a bunch of songs in a hurry, I'd get some MP3's of every song I would have to learn and listen to them all of the time while at work. When I was at home, I'd carve out some time to make notes on every song, or maybe work on it during my lunch breaks. Then I would start practicing. I have a long commute, so I would have time to listen to lots of songs on the back forth. After I'm really familiar with the songs and I've made notes, I'd start with the hardest song and move to the easiest.
I concur with pretty much everything said here. As a drummer in a cover band as well, this is the methodology I use. I supplement this methodology by also playing along to the MP3s with my e-kit at home.

I am also not ashamed to bring my "charts" with me to the gig; I have a little 12" table attached to my hi hat stand I put my sundries on and I'll lay the chart discreetly on it. When these songs are first played out live I have internalized most of the song by this point and only glance at it when needed. Usually after 2 gigs I no longer need the charts with me and it's 100% internalized.
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Old 08-18-2017, 04:29 PM
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Default Re: How do you cover band drummers learn a whole set list in just a couple of weeks?

10 songs a day. I write out the arrangement. I usually have heard the tune hundreds of times. If not, I write myself notes. For instance, learning a set to fill in with an original band, I wrote myself a note for this one song. My note to myself said, "Play it like "Modern Love" only a little slower." That reminder is a big help in recalling the song.
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Old 08-18-2017, 04:32 PM
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Default Re: How do you cover band drummers learn a whole set list in just a couple of weeks?

Quote:
Originally Posted by PorkPieGuy View Post
I think how to learn the songs depends on your learning style and what style of music the cover band plays. For example, a Rolling Stones cover band may require a different amount of time and effort as opposed to a Dream Theater cover band.

There are too many variables to answer your question effectively IMO
Prog rock cover bands are a lot of fun but way too niche. I totally agree though, there's too many kinds of cover bands. There's tribute bands that learn live versions note for note!

I should have added that I've heard some serious horror stories from cruise ship guys who have had to learn a different two hour cover set each day for the length of the cruise (6 weeks or 42 days or 84 hours of music) with no repeats.
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Old 08-18-2017, 04:41 PM
mpthomson mpthomson is offline
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Default Re: How do you cover band drummers learn a whole set list in just a couple of weeks?

For me it's about learning the geography. As long as you know the song structure and feel that pretty much does it initially. You can develop your own little bits in time.

After playing in function bands for nearly 30yrs there isn't much of the standard repetoire that I haven't played at some point or other, so it's just getting your head round any significantly different stops or segues that may be in the set.

The other important tip is to watch whichever member of the band you've locked into like a hawk, as they'll be able to guide you.
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Old 08-18-2017, 05:00 PM
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Default Re: How do you cover band drummers learn a whole set list in just a couple of weeks?

It helps a lot if you listen to a lot of music as to increase your probability of already knowing the songs (or most of them).

If there's a song I know, even if I haven't ever played it, chances are I will be able to follow it unless it has a unusual beat or the band wants me to nail the drum parts exactly as in the recording. But for 95% of the songs, pocket beats and archetypical fills are enough... so it all comes down to knowing the structure of the song.

My recommendation would be, as soon as you have the song list, make a playlist in your player/smartphone and listen to the songs *all the time*.
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Old 08-18-2017, 05:03 PM
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Default Re: How do you cover band drummers learn a whole set list in just a couple of weeks?

It depends on the band, and what kind of work they have for you. Normally you just go in and play. Or glance at the list and see if there's anything hard/weird on it, and maybe practice that. It would have to be a very serious/demanding band with a lot of work lined up for me to sweat learning the entire list "like the record." If I do actually practice the list, and they don't have their own book, if it seems necessary I'll sketch out charts (which I end up never looking at on the actual gig), and play through the tunes with the recordings until I feel good about it.
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Old 08-18-2017, 05:25 PM
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Default Re: How do you cover band drummers learn a whole set list in just a couple of weeks?

I try to learn things in layers. First layer is needed for a very short ramp up gig.

1. Chart song structure and identify when drums come in, breaks, and end along with basic groove.
2. Tighten the groove to be more like recorded version.
3. Add signature fills and know where other fills go and when they start and stop
4. Continue to add the correct fills over time.
5. Keep adding details.
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Old 08-18-2017, 05:42 PM
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Default Re: How do you cover band drummers learn a whole set list in just a couple of weeks?

Check out this thread. Read through all of the posts.

http://www.drummerworld.com/forums/s...ighlight=chart


.
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Old 08-18-2017, 06:33 PM
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Default Re: How do you cover band drummers learn a whole set list in just a couple of weeks?

You guys get two weeks? Wow.
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Old 08-18-2017, 06:44 PM
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Default Re: How do you cover band drummers learn a whole set list in just a couple of weeks?

My max has been 35 in a week.

When I am learning lots very quickly, I absolutely sketch out the different sections. As I get older, my memory is getting worse.

One thing I learned a long time ago, very important: very, very often, either the vocals or guitar will Bring you into the next section, Before the 1 of the next section. Listen for those.
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Old 08-19-2017, 01:52 AM
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Default Re: How do you cover band drummers learn a whole set list in just a couple of weeks?

It depends on the set list.

There are many, many songs that you can play because you have heard them on the radio a zillion times and they have a simple, standard verse/chorus/bridge/instrumental progression. Just start and stop at the right time and hit the snare on 2 and 4 and you're golden:)

There are many others that you can get away with most anything without learning the fills accurately. Again, if you are in tempo and keep the backbeat solid, you don't necessarily have to play the bass drum pattern correctly.

The majority of songs I've learned are far more involved that I realized until I took the time to try and play them correctly. I played many of them "wrong" for years.

A couple years ago I learned a couple dozen "modern" country songs (a genre completely foreign to me) for a NYE gig and quickly realized how often those songs stopped in unpredictable places. The drum parts weren't difficult but the damn songs ket stopping in odd places :)

Quote:
Check out this thread. Read through all of the posts.
I tried using a simple chart method but it never really felt comfortable. It felt too much like a job and that's the last thing I want to experience. The last gig I played with my band was the first time I felt 100% on autopilot and I could look around, screw around and interact with anyone while my arms and legs just did what they were supposed to doith very little thinking or counting.

Last edited by New Tricks; 08-19-2017 at 02:04 AM.
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Old 08-19-2017, 05:16 AM
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Default Re: How do you cover band drummers learn a whole set list in just a couple of weeks?

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Originally Posted by New Tricks View Post
It depends on the set list.

There are many, many songs that you can play because you have heard them on the radio a zillion times and they have a simple, standard verse/chorus/bridge/instrumental progression. Just start and stop at the right time and hit the snare on 2 and 4 and you're golden:)

There are many others that you can get away with most anything without learning the fills accurately. Again, if you are in tempo and keep the backbeat solid, you don't necessarily have to play the bass drum pattern correctly.

The majority of songs I've learned are far more involved that I realized until I took the time to try and play them correctly. I played many of them "wrong" for years.

A couple years ago I learned a couple dozen "modern" country songs (a genre completely foreign to me) for a NYE gig and quickly realized how often those songs stopped in unpredictable places. The drum parts weren't difficult but the damn songs ket stopping in odd places :)



I tried using a simple chart method but it never really felt comfortable. It felt too much like a job and that's the last thing I want to experience. The last gig I played with my band was the first time I felt 100% on autopilot and I could look around, screw around and interact with anyone while my arms and legs just did what they were supposed to doith very little thinking or counting.
This post contains so much truth, it's almost offensive. Nobody in the audience knows what the bass drum pattern is. Play it how you feel it.
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Old 08-19-2017, 05:42 AM
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Default Re: How do you cover band drummers learn a whole set list in just a couple of weeks?

I wouldn't sweat it too much at first. 1 & 3 on kick. 2 & 4 on snare will get you through most of it. I remember subbing for guys and just played that. After the first time through the verse and chorus you have a better feel for the parts. ( going in totally cold)

Bridge and solos go to the ride. LOL. Maybe over simplified but until you have time to run down the songs a few times.

A few times during after gig get together's some one would ask if I was in the band. I'd say yeah. Then they would ask, Oh really, what do you do. LOL.

Ahhhh. the good ole days!!!!!
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Old 08-19-2017, 05:46 AM
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Default Re: How do you cover band drummers learn a whole set list in just a couple of weeks?

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Nobody in the audience knows what the bass drum pattern is. Play it how you feel it.
Hell, no one in the BAND knows or cares about what we play. We can get away with a LOT :)

It wasn't until the last couple years, when I had a lot of time on my hands, that I started trying to play more accurately. My natural default on the bass drum pattern was always 1 and, 3 and. A lot of stuff is simply played 1,2,3,4 and I sometimes had to force myself to play it that way.

Now that I at least get the kick patterns somewhat correct, I like to mock those that don't :) :)

Last edited by New Tricks; 08-20-2017 at 03:51 AM.
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Old 08-19-2017, 05:58 AM
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Default Re: How do you cover band drummers learn a whole set list in just a couple of weeks?

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No that I at least get the kick patterns somewhat correct, I like to mock those that don't :) :)
I like your style man.
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Old 08-19-2017, 07:00 AM
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Default Re: How do you cover band drummers learn a whole set list in just a couple of weeks?

Basically 99% of my work is learning other peoples songs.
I don't often do covers, but will on occasion accept a cover gig as a sub for a friend. I did this a while back and found myself having to learn 3 hours of 80's covers in about a weeks time, on top of re-learning 12 songs for a band I hadn't worked with in 2 years, because I was leaving on tour with them immediately after the cover gig.

The method I use works across the board, be it cover gigs, or original material.
CHART THAT SHIT OUT!

I NEVER memorize anyones music, lol. I make detailed charts, practice to them on my own, making sure that my transcriptions are correct. Then "IF" I get to rehearse with the band (and for cover gigs that almost never happens), I'll use them in every rehearsal too.

The first couple gigs I do with any band, I have my charts hidden next to me attached to my in-ear mixing rig. After a couple gigs I have the stuff memorized and no longer need to read.

Actually, that's what I've been doing all afternoon today, writing charts.
There is an Industrial/EDM band from the UK coming over here to do some dates in the US and hired me for those. I have 15 songs that I'm currently writing out to prepare.
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Old 08-19-2017, 07:08 AM
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Default Re: How do you cover band drummers learn a whole set list in just a couple of weeks?

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Hell, no one in the BAND knows or cares about what we play. We can get away with a LOT :)
True, BUT if I hear one more guy play the groove to Whole Lotta Love incorrect one more time I'm gonna snap!
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Old 08-19-2017, 07:21 AM
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Default Re: How do you cover band drummers learn a whole set list in just a couple of weeks?

Familiarize yourself with the song, if you don't know it.
Stick close to the bass player, and play with his/her feel.
Don't over play, you will mess up.
Remember, 99% of what you will play is in 4/4 time. Its what we are used to in our culture.
Tempo and simplicity will get you through the night.
Have fun.
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Old 08-19-2017, 07:40 AM
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Default Re: How do you cover band drummers learn a whole set list in just a couple of weeks?

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You guys get two weeks? Wow.
Half the time I'm lucky if I catch a title before they count the tune off.
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Old 08-19-2017, 07:52 AM
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Default Re: How do you cover band drummers learn a whole set list in just a couple of weeks?

Lots of good suggestions here.

I've had to do this recently, and I wrote a table saying the speed & feel, any unusual stops or breaks, then how it starts and how it ends. For some songs I'd write out one bar of the drum pattern.

eg Fast snare shuffle Start: Count 1234 3 stops in Bridge End: last line x3 + short Tag

Quicker than writing a whole chart per song, and I can fit a dozen on a page.
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Old 08-19-2017, 08:26 AM
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Default Re: How do you cover band drummers learn a whole set list in just a couple of weeks?

covering songs was quite easier to me.

most of the times some songs on the set are already known more or less, so playing them in my playlist while not at work helped a lot.

I was very in trouble when substituting a friend for 5-6 gigs that makes original songs, not technically ones but very very short and sometimes 'similar' as beat (metal/punk): it results in more than 30 songs in a week that was very hard to recognise by the title and incipit.
my solution was playing a lot in my free time with a MP3 playlist and directly in the gig's order
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Old 08-19-2017, 10:43 AM
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Frank Frank is offline
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Default Re: How do you cover band drummers learn a whole set list in just a couple of weeks?

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Lots of good suggestions here.

I've had to do this recently, and I wrote a table saying the speed & feel, any unusual stops or breaks, then how it starts and how it ends. For some songs I'd write out one bar of the drum pattern.

eg Fast snare shuffle Start: Count 1234 3 stops in Bridge End: last line x3 + short Tag

Quicker than writing a whole chart per song, and I can fit a dozen on a page.
That's exactly how I do it.
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Old 08-19-2017, 12:09 PM
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Default Re: How do you cover band drummers learn a whole set list in just a couple of weeks?

Very good suggestions here. The thing it comes down to is, what kind of music is it? If it's a blues or classic country gig, those are usually pretty easy gigs to get through with little to no practice with the band, if your up to date on your blues and country shuffles.. just watch the band leader for the starts and stops and your golden.

I assume, whatever kind of tunes they play, you'll probably know several just from playing hand drums on your dash board in the car. I would run through playing on the better known tunes, but don't spend much time there. Focus on ones that you don't know... also, ask the band leader which tunes on the list they don't play much at all and learn those last.
I play in a funk, soul, disco, old r&b group and several songs on our list we don't ever play. I learned about 40-50 songs in a couple weeks with them, but a lot of those were just applying to the drums what I've heard from those songs over the years. I focused more on the stuff like Tower of Power, and some of the syncopated horn hits on a few songs.

I would say, overall, just don't over think it. You don't have to play everything note for note. Put your own style into the music but stay true to the form.
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Old 08-20-2017, 03:59 AM
New Tricks New Tricks is offline
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Default Re: How do you cover band drummers learn a whole set list in just a couple of weeks?

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True, BUT if I hear one more guy play the groove to Whole Lotta Love incorrect one more time I'm gonna snap!

Worse yet, Billie Jean :)
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Old 08-21-2017, 01:32 AM
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Default Re: How do you cover band drummers learn a whole set list in just a couple of weeks?

OK, recent experience with this sort of thing...

On Saturday a guitarist who used to be in my band asked me to sit in with his new band on Sunday for a rehearsal. He sent me a song list, most of which I had played previously, but there were about 6 songs that I'd never played before. All classic rock, bar band stuff so nothing overly technical, and all songs which I was at least slightly familiar with. I had about 90 minutes to spare to "learn" them in.

Gave them each a quick listen, making mental notes of where any tricksy bits were, and what the basic grooves were. Then played along with each song, typically twice...once hoping for the best and the second time trying to sort-of replicate key fills.

During the rehearsal, some songs which weren't on the list were tackled. F'rinstance Long Way To The Top by AC/DC. No prob...money beat pretty much all the way, and nobody seemed to mind.

Did I nail the new-to-me songs? Oh hell no! But I provided a groove and some colour, and it must have worked 'cause I was asked if I'd like to play with them on a permanent basis.
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Old 08-21-2017, 02:34 AM
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Default Re: How do you cover band drummers learn a whole set list in just a couple of weeks?

How do you learn a whole set list in just a couple of weeks?

Here is how you do it. You post the question on a drummers forum; then instead of wasting your time discussing the question on the internet, you spend all of your time practicing the songs while the forum members waste their time trying to solve your problem.


.
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Old 08-21-2017, 02:53 AM
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Default Re: How do you cover band drummers learn a whole set list in just a couple of weeks?

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How do you learn a whole set list in just a couple of weeks?

Here is how you do it. You post the question on a drummers forum; then instead of wasting your time discussing the question on the internet, you spend all of your time practicing the songs while the forum members waste their time trying to solve your problem.


.
Nice summary Jim.

Silly 20 char rule.
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Old 08-21-2017, 05:11 AM
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Default Re: How do you cover band drummers learn a whole set list in just a couple of weeks?

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Nice summary Jim.

Silly 20 char rule.
Well of course I'm trying to be funny. There are some excellent responses and ideas on this thread.
I'm just wondering where the OP, ERock82 is.


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Old 08-21-2017, 05:55 AM
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Default Re: How do you cover band drummers learn a whole set list in just a couple of weeks?

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Originally Posted by Hollywood Jim View Post
How do you learn a whole set list in just a couple of weeks?

Here is how you do it. You post the question on a drummers forum; then instead of wasting your time discussing the question on the internet, you spend all of your time practicing the songs while the forum members waste their time trying to solve your problem.


.
I didn't want to state the obvious. But there it is ;)

Thanks Jim!
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Old 08-21-2017, 03:53 PM
brentcn brentcn is offline
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Default Re: How do you cover band drummers learn a whole set list in just a couple of weeks?

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So, for you drummers out there that can do this, how do you proficiently learn songs under 30 mins? I've heard guys like Kenny Aronoff had to fill in last minute for someone famous and wrote out 20 charts, listened to the songs on the plane ride the next day, ran through some with the band backstage and played the whole set great in front of thousands. I can't imagine doing that.
That moment you realize why universities have music programs...

If you had a very valuable skill, like being able to learn 50 songs in a few days, and you depended on this skill for your livelihood, would you give it away for free?

The drummers who can do this often teach lessons, and they're happy to show you, but not for free, of course. There are several charting methods out there, taught on YouTube, and I don't use or teach any of them, because they're not very quick, readable, or they're not detailed enough.

You have 3 weeks, which is plenty, if (and this is a big "if") you have a good process for learning songs. But once you have good charts, you'll have them on hand for any future gigs.
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Old 08-21-2017, 04:34 PM
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Default Re: How do you cover band drummers learn a whole set list in just a couple of weeks?

I know a ton of songs by heart just because I've been a music nut since I was a kid, and that makes things easier when I'm taking a cover gig. But there are always new or unfamiliar songs and I chart them. The key to charting songs when you have a learn a lot in a short time is streamlining your charting system to the bare essentials. I only write down what I can't remember. Stops and uneven bars that will be obvious if they're missed are top priority. Unless a song has signature fills, I don't chart them.

Totally agree with the comment about country music having the most unexpected stops and starts. They have the simplest beats in the world, but they can take a long time to learn because of all that.

I also sort of agree that bass drum parts can be flexible, with one huge exception: If the song has a four-on-the-floor bass drum part, you have GOT to play it that way. It makes a huge difference in the feel if you modify that, and people will notice. They may not be able to tell you what's wrong, but they'll usually know something is.
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Old 08-22-2017, 05:19 PM
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Default Re: How do you cover band drummers learn a whole set list in just a couple of weeks?

A single set? That should take you 1 day to chart and a few days to get comfortable under your hands. Don't be too proud to write out charts.
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