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  #1  
Old 12-10-2018, 12:07 PM
davor davor is offline
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Default struggling to get through a song

Hi all, been jamming with a guitarist and bassist for about a month, doing covers. We have about 7 songs weíre working on, but one of them I just cant get through without messing it up. Despite me dropping heavy hints Iím struggling with it, they seem determined to keep persevering.

Also, agreeing on song choices seems problematic generally.

Any thoughts on how to move forward? Ė do I just tell them I want to shelve it from rehearsals until I have it nailed? Admittedly Iíve not been spending loads of time trying to get it down. The whole ethos of us getting together is its meant to be relaxed and fun.
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  #2  
Old 12-10-2018, 12:26 PM
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Default Re: struggling to get through a song

Why would you want to shelve it at rehearsals? Rehearsal is the place you're supposed to practice stuff to nail it down. And the only way to get a tough piece down is to persevere. That's how you get better. I would recommend working on it on your own, outside of band practice as well, so you can work on it in peace, without feeling the pressure of the other bandmates there watching. Once you get it down, you'll be stoked, and you'll feel more confident about tackling tougher songs in the future.

Unless, of course, you feel like the song is so far out of your wheelhouse that you definitely won't get it any time soon... Then, I would recommend simply explaining the situation to them. I mean, if it's just supposed to be fun, it shouldn't be too big of a deal. I personally just love the satisfaction of nailing down a tricky drum part.
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Old 12-10-2018, 12:50 PM
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Default Re: struggling to get through a song

Simplify to the point where you can get through the song.

Then start adding the wrinkles back in.
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Old 12-10-2018, 01:37 PM
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Default Re: struggling to get through a song

I had trouble learning a few songs. I discovered that one song was difficult for me because the other band members had not learned it either. One song I simply had to rehearse at home over and over and over and over again. And one song we all agreed to just put it on the shelf to learn later.


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  #5  
Old 12-10-2018, 02:18 PM
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Default mystery

Can you tell us what song it is and which part you're having trouble with?
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  #6  
Old 12-10-2018, 02:56 PM
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Default Re: struggling to get through a song

The band is going to play some songs better than others. Possibly they will lose interest in the song that gives you trouble.

Otherwise, simplify, or work out your own arrangement.
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  #7  
Old 12-10-2018, 03:08 PM
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Default Re: struggling to get through a song

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Originally Posted by JustJames View Post
Simplify to the point where you can get through the song.

Then start adding the wrinkles back in.
** I recommend THIS **
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  #8  
Old 12-10-2018, 03:26 PM
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Default Re: struggling to get through a song

Practice the song with the band or at home with headphones at a slower tempo, then slowly move towards your goal tempo.

Always worked for me.
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  #9  
Old 12-10-2018, 03:39 PM
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Default Re: struggling to get through a song

the song is ..should I stay or should I go - my mind just goes into melt down in the transition from verses to chorus. I'm simplifying, but still causing problems!

I will do as suggested and slow down the actual song and try and play along, hopefully that will work
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  #10  
Old 12-10-2018, 04:10 PM
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Default Re: struggling to get through a song

I'm going to attempt a little help by way of explanation.

The verses are in 4/4 and the chorus is in 2/4. Or you could think of the chorus as double time compared to the verse.

For the verse, play 8ths on the hi ht, snare on 2 & 4, and an alternating bass drum for the verse. (one hit on the bass drum at beat 1. 2 hits on the bass drum on beats 3, 3 and.

For the chorus....play 2/4 time....8ths on the hi hat, kick on every beat 1, snare on every beat 2 (1,2,1,2,1,2,1,2 or kick-snare, kick-snare, kick-snare). It sounds like a fast polka...oom pa, oom pa, oom pa oom pa....

If I am stating stuff you already know, my apologies.
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  #11  
Old 12-10-2018, 04:18 PM
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Default Re: struggling to get through a song

yeah thanks larry

that's what I'm doing, but I'm finding its the transition into the double time the hardest part - mind goes blank, miss the first beat then I'm all out and cant get back in!
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  #12  
Old 12-10-2018, 04:30 PM
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Default Re: struggling to get through a song

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Originally Posted by davor View Post
yeah thanks larry

that's what I'm doing, but I'm finding its the transition into the double time the hardest part - mind goes blank, miss the first beat then I'm all out and cant get back in!
It sounds like you pinpointed the issue. Now it's just a matter of practicing transitioning from 4/4 to 2/4 seamlessly. Focus on that. Count before the transition and all the way through the transition to keep your place. I know you know this, but I'm saying it anyway.

Here's a vote to not shelf the song. It is a winner of a song, especially the double time chorus part where the dancers really cut loose.
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  #13  
Old 12-10-2018, 04:39 PM
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Default Re: struggling to get through a song

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Originally Posted by davor View Post
the song is ..should I stay or should I go - my mind just goes into melt down in the transition from verses to chorus. I'm simplifying, but still causing problems!

I will do as suggested and slow down the actual song and try and play along, hopefully that will work
That will work. My primary gig as a drummer is playing Worship tunes with a praise team, and I'm constantly having to learn something new. With so much of the current praise music being a bit "outside of the lines" from a drumming perspective, (rather than straight backbeat grooves, there's a lot of odd tribal toms grooves, or toms incorporated with rim clicks, odd stuff on cymbals, etc) sometimes I really have to sit down and dig in to learn how to successfully cover some of this stuff. Sometimes I can't do it by listening alone - sometimes I have to pull up drum tutorials that are specific to the song I'm trying to learn.

In your case, you should be able to get that tune in a couple of days - just strap on the headphones, get behind the kit and dig in. Repetition is key, and in no time you'll be nailing it.
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  #14  
Old 12-10-2018, 05:16 PM
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Default Re: struggling to get through a song

Repetition and slowly playing and breaking down the transitions over and over will help. Listen to the song a lot without playing and memorizing all the words can help also as it solidifies the tune in your head .

Found just the drum track for you . This may help you also . Great tune and fun to play . Keep at it you’ll get it .

https://youtu.be/iUXN-toR0GY

Oh and here’s the drumless track also . Play along , alternating between the two tracks . Good luck .

https://youtu.be/SylBwgetWTk
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  #15  
Old 12-10-2018, 05:33 PM
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Default Re: struggling to get through a song

do you have a singer for this song? The transition relies on the vocals for that:

"Should I stay or should I go now?......"
(no instruments)........... ^1-2 ^(start 2/4 etc)-

I come in on the "go" with 2 snare hits and follow with snare starting the "polka" beat.

Last edited by mrfingers; 12-10-2018 at 05:49 PM. Reason: edit paragraphs spacing
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  #16  
Old 12-10-2018, 06:21 PM
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Default Re: struggling to get through a song

Tell your band you are having problems with the transition, then with the whole band, cycle the thing over and over. Play like 4 measures of 4/4, then the 2/4 part, back to 4 measures of 4/4, then the 2/4 again, repeat until you and everyone else has it locked in. It could take 10 minutes, it could take an hour, but it will become second nature after a bit. Just don't over think yourself into not being able to do it at all.
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  #17  
Old 12-10-2018, 06:41 PM
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Default Re: struggling to get through a song

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrfingers View Post
do you have a singer for this song? The transition relies on the vocals for that:

"Should I stay or should I go now?......"
(no instruments)........... ^1-2 ^(start 2/4 etc)-

I come in on the "go" with 2 snare hits and follow with snare starting the "polka" beat.
This. The lead-in phrase, sung properly, should set the beat for the chorus bit.

Another way to look at it, is that the eighth notes you're playing on the hats during the verses become the "quarter notes" during the chorus.

I recommend practicing the transitions specifically, from the verse to the chorus and then back. Try it with music and with a click. Then rehearse the transitions as a band.
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  #18  
Old 12-11-2018, 02:16 AM
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Default Re: struggling to get through a song

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrfingers View Post
do you have a singer for this song? The transition relies on the vocals for that:

"Should I stay or should I go now?......"
(no instruments)........... ^1-2 ^(start 2/4 etc)-

I come in on the "go" with 2 snare hits and follow with snare starting the "polka" beat.
It would probably be easier for him to come in on the "go" which is the start of the measure, but I'm pretty sure the snare comes in on the "I" ( the 4and)

And, CRIKEY, a guitar or two are WAY out of tune in that song :0


My suggestion to ease into learning would be, just play the same simple, single kick/snare kick/snare on both parts. Just play it twice as "fast" chorus
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  #19  
Old 12-11-2018, 03:27 AM
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Default Re: struggling to get through a song

There are tools that let you slow down audio tracks.

For fruity devices, there is The Amazing Slowdowner which (I believe) can even slow down music as it streams from Spotify.

For PC, Audacity can let you slow down music. I've used it, and found that:
1. Slowing a track down by 10% makes a MAHOOSIVE difference to reducing the difficulty.
2. Once you slow a track down by 15% the audio quality degrades substantially.

Playing suggestion: Try a cymbal crash on the '1' as you change between sections, it might serve as a reminder of where you are in the song.
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Old 12-11-2018, 03:57 AM
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Default Re: struggling to get through a song

Find the song on Youtube, go to the settings, little gear at the bottom, and change the speed to 50%, and go fromthere. Then go to 75%, and move on up.when you feel good about it move to full speed.
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  #21  
Old 12-11-2018, 08:34 AM
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Default Re: struggling to get through a song

It seems to me that the OP is treating the chorus as "the fast part", when in reality it doesn't speed up.

In situations like this, I concentrate on my right hand on the hats. It should be doing the same thing in the chorus as it does in the verse.

Perhaps you could try playing the whole song just on the hats to give you a feel for it and realize that the tempo does not speed up or slow down.
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  #22  
Old 12-11-2018, 09:50 AM
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Default Re: struggling to get through a song

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Originally Posted by Erberderber View Post
It seems to me that the OP is treating the chorus as "the fast part", when in reality it doesn't speed up.

In situations like this, I concentrate on my right hand on the hats. It should be doing the same thing in the chorus as it does in the verse.

Perhaps you could try playing the whole song just on the hats to give you a feel for it and realize that the tempo does not speed up or slow down.
The tempo in Should I Stay or Should I Go (by the Clash right?) speeds up for the chorus doesn't it ?

Edit. No it doesn't. You're correct of course.
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Last edited by SquadLeader; 12-11-2018 at 10:08 AM.
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  #23  
Old 12-11-2018, 10:06 AM
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Default Re: struggling to get through a song

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Originally Posted by Erberderber View Post
It seems to me that the OP is treating the chorus as "the fast part", when in reality it doesn't speed up.

In situations like this, I concentrate on my right hand on the hats. It should be doing the same thing in the chorus as it does in the verse.

Perhaps you could try playing the whole song just on the hats to give you a feel for it and realize that the tempo does not speed up or slow down.
The BPM may not increase but the drumming definitely gets busier. When I originally learnt this I found it helped by putting kick in during the transition from verse to chorus. I cannot write music but....

Should I kick or kick or kick snare.....
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Old 12-11-2018, 10:56 AM
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Default Re: struggling to get through a song

thanks for all the comments, suggestions and links!

Interesting... as we don't have a singer yet, which may well be part of the problem when rehearsing as band.

I've noticed I miss the vocal cues on at least one other song, but that one doesn't have such a big shift in "busyness" in the drum part so I can get by in that one with nobody noticing!
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Old 12-11-2018, 11:56 AM
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Default Re: struggling to get through a song

Play it in your own style :) I have never played in a covers band but we have recorded a couple of covers that we will play live as an encore. We just play them in our style :) Works perfectly. The idea is to stand out, not blend in with a 1000 other bands doing the same stuff ;)
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Old 12-11-2018, 12:11 PM
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Default Re: struggling to get through a song

It's way to little info here to give any sort of specific advice.

As others have stated, the important thing is to get through the song and understand the structure. Chops are cool, but seldom essential for a song to work.

If there are sections wher the band is struggling you should do as an orchestra and isolate those section. Also, try to find out the basis of the issue. It might be something to work on in general in your practice time.

Yes vocals, the main ingredient that we work to back helps, but beinga ble to play without is a good exercise in keeping track on it's own. We drummers are the ones who are supposed to help if someone gets lost. Well, the whole band really, but unless everyone is on that level, know and trust eachother it's not always the case. You do what you have to, which often means just take charge. Someone has to.
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Old 12-11-2018, 12:27 PM
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Default Re: struggling to get through a song

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Originally Posted by davor View Post
...we don't have a singer yet, which may well be part of the problem when rehearsing as band...
I think that IS your problem.

Most of "us" use the lyrics as big clues to where we are in the structure of the song. Take the clues away, and everything gets a whole lot harder.

One you needs to sing, even if that singer is doing nothing more than croaking the lyrics so that everybody knows where you are in the song.
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Old 12-11-2018, 12:54 PM
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Default Re: struggling to get through a song

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Originally Posted by SquadLeader View Post
The BPM may not increase but the drumming definitely gets busier. When I originally learnt this I found it helped by putting kick in during the transition from verse to chorus. I cannot write music but....

Should I kick or kick or kick snare.....
Sure it gets busier, but the hi-hat pattern is essentially the same all the way through. He just needs to count to 8 during the break: 1-Silence, 2-Silence, 3-should, 4-I, 5-stay, 6-or, 7-should, 8-I, 1-go. Maybe that helps.
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Old 12-11-2018, 01:00 PM
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Default Re: struggling to get through a song

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Originally Posted by Erberderber View Post
Sure it gets busier, but the hi-hat pattern is essentially the same all the way through. He just needs to count to 8 during the break: 1-Silence, 2-Silence, 3-should, 4-I, 5-stay, 6-or, 7-should, 8-I, 1-go. Maybe that helps.
Forgive me. I don't recall there being hats during the chorus. Thought it was just bass and double strike on the snare ?

It's probably me. When I play it it's kick and snare and then for the chorus all hell breaks loose (crashy ride.....etc.). It's probably totally incorrect but an utter blast :) Certainly harder and faster than the original which, played at it's normal tempo (about 120BPM??) feels painfully laboured when played live. We probably play it at about 160 hahaha
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Old 12-11-2018, 01:02 PM
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Default Re: struggling to get through a song

Don't want to concern the OP even more, but isn't there a little floor tom motif in the chorus that goes with the lines, 'If I go there will be trouble/and if I stay it will be double'? Dunno if that's already been said.
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Old 12-11-2018, 01:02 PM
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Default Re: struggling to get through a song

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Originally Posted by Frosticles View Post
Play it in your own style :) I have never played in a covers band but we have recorded a couple of covers that we will play live as an encore. We just play them in our style :) Works perfectly. The idea is to stand out, not blend in with a 1000 other bands doing the same stuff ;)
<applause from Lancashire>

Too right. Make them your own. People can listen to a record if they want to hear it how the Clash played it on vinyl.
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Old 12-11-2018, 01:04 PM
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Default Re: struggling to get through a song

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Don't want to concern the OP even more, but isn't there a little floor tom motif in the chorus that goes with the lines, 'If I go there will be trouble/and if I stay it will be double'? Dunno if that's already been said.
Yep.

If I go there will be BUM BUMBADA BUM BUMBADA.....

And if I stay it will be BUM BUMBADA BUM BUMBADA....

:)
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Old 12-11-2018, 01:32 PM
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Default Re: struggling to get through a song

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Yep.

If I go there will be BUM BUMBADA BUM BUMBADA.....

And if I stay it will be BUM BUMBADA BUM BUMBADA....

:)
Yeah aware of that, but its being left out until I get the rest of it nailed! ie get through the song first haha
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Old 12-11-2018, 02:29 PM
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Default Re: struggling to get through a song

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Originally Posted by JustJames View Post
I think that IS your problem.

Most of "us" use the lyrics as big clues to where we are in the structure of the song. Take the clues away, and everything gets a whole lot harder.

One you needs to sing, even if that singer is doing nothing more than croaking the lyrics so that everybody knows where you are in the song.
There was a thread here about keeoing time and one about memorizing drum parts to songs . Concerning those to threads and this one , in my experience and this just might be me , itís so important to know the lyrics to the song and sing em in your head or out loud if you can sing ...... or unmiced if you cant . I grew up learning songs with my guitarist brother with no singer . Knowing the song front and back and singing in ur head helps to build and keep good time , helps you know where you are in the song , and makes you aware of transitions and breaks . You DO have to que off other musicians but Iíve found itís no substitute for knowing and singing in the tune in your head ,..... at least until you have it down which by then , your doing it without even thinking about it .
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Old 12-11-2018, 03:14 PM
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Default Re: struggling to get through a song

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Originally Posted by SquadLeader View Post
Forgive me. I don't recall there being hats during the chorus. Thought it was just bass and double strike on the snare ?

It's probably me. When I play it it's kick and snare and then for the chorus all hell breaks loose (crashy ride.....etc.). It's probably totally incorrect but an utter blast :) Certainly harder and faster than the original which, played at it's normal tempo (about 120BPM??) feels painfully laboured when played live. We probably play it at about 160 hahaha
There are hats in the chorus, played together with the snare and bass hits, just not very prominent. And yes, some of the chorus is toms and tambourine instead. The guy just needs to keep counting to 8 in 8ths and he'll be fine.

Last edited by Erberderber; 12-11-2018 at 03:34 PM.
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Old 12-11-2018, 04:49 PM
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Default Re: struggling to get through a song

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Originally Posted by SquadLeader View Post
<applause from Lancashire>

Too right. Make them your own. People can listen to a record if they want to hear it how the Clash played it on vinyl.
Great minds an all that :)
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Old 12-11-2018, 08:22 PM
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Default Re: struggling to get through a song

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..... we don't have a singer yet,
That didn't stop The Clash :)
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Old 12-11-2018, 10:40 PM
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Default Re: struggling to get through a song

Flashback on that song....used to play it as a kid, back when the song was current, lol.

Now I'm not one to be technically accurate on parts, but I usually get something to sound close. My solution to the chorus double time was to play 1/8 doubles, floor tom and snare back and forth. I expect that some folks will be horrified, but it used to work for me. (Of course, I was singing it, too, which added complication to the matter)

I may ask my current gang to revisit that one, used to really enjoy that. Maybe part of a medley...
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Old 12-17-2018, 08:29 PM
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Default Re: struggling to get through a song

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Originally Posted by larryace View Post
I'm going to attempt a little help by way of explanation.

The verses are in 4/4 and the chorus is in 2/4. Or you could think of the chorus as double time compared to the verse.

For the verse, play 8ths on the hi ht, snare on 2 & 4, and an alternating bass drum for the verse. (one hit on the bass drum at beat 1. 2 hits on the bass drum on beats 3, 3 and.

For the chorus....play 2/4 time....8ths on the hi hat, kick on every beat 1, snare on every beat 2 (1,2,1,2,1,2,1,2 or kick-snare, kick-snare, kick-snare). It sounds like a fast polka...oom pa, oom pa, oom pa oom pa....

If I am stating stuff you already know, my apologies.
Not to nitpick, but during the chorus, I do believe the bass drum is syncopated after each "oom pa"...so it's "oom pa" followed by an 8th note rest for the kick, before the next "oom"...so to speak. It's shown here:
http://www.drumsandco.com/Partitions...20I%20Stay.pdf
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Old 12-17-2018, 08:51 PM
bud7h4 bud7h4 is offline
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Default Re: struggling to get through a song

Quote:
Originally Posted by DrummerCA35 View Post
Not to nitpick, but during the chorus, I do believe the bass drum is syncopated after each "oom pa"...so it's "oom pa" followed by an 8th note rest for the kick, before the next "oom"...so to speak. It's shown here:
http://www.drumsandco.com/Partitions...20I%20Stay.pdf
Nope.

Oompa Loompa (followed by) Doompa Dee Do

then, Oompa Loompa (followed by) doompadee dee
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