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  #1  
Old 02-24-2011, 08:31 AM
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Blankso Blankso is offline
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Default Remember tempos when about to count off.FRUSRATING

I think I have a problem remembering...well ya, you read the title.
Sometimes im close. Example: If the tempo is 150, I might count and play the song at 155 or 146. But sometimes (maybe half the time) I might be at 134 or 168.
Is this bad? what can I do to make this better?
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Old 02-24-2011, 08:41 AM
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Default Re: Remember tempos when about to count off.FRUSRATING

Sometimes it doesn't hurt to have your Dr. Beat with you on a music stand so you can call up the exact tempo you need and get it. I've had to do that before with certain music directors, so it's not a practice that is frowned upon. I've even had a small drum machine programmed with certain beats at certain tempos, and all I had to do was call up that particular "song" and hit go to see how fast it was going and get the tempo from that.

Also, If you have access to a watch with a second hand, you will always be able to find what 120 BPM is just by sub-dividing the second hand ticking. And then you could guess faster or slower depending on where you need to be too. I've done that in a pinch and no one was the wiser!

It is frustrating, but you do have access to tools to help you through it. No one can ever remember exactly what a certain tempo is supposed to be. And if they did, I guarantee you that everything will be a little faster depending on the adrenaline pumping!
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Old 02-24-2011, 08:45 AM
brentcn brentcn is offline
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Default Re: Remember tempos when about to count off.FRUSRATING

The Yamaha Clickstation has a feature where you hold down a pad, and it "vibrates" the displayed tempo to your thumb. It's noiseless and perfect for getting the tempo in your head on stage.

The more you use a metronome for stuff like this, the better you will become at counting off songs. It's a skill like any other, and it should be practiced with the right tools.
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Old 02-24-2011, 09:15 AM
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Default Re: Remember tempos when about to count off.FRUSRATING

hm.. yaaaaaaaa. but there seem to be a lot of people that somehow think drummers have the ability to always start at the right tempo (like were different) and that using a metronome is a "crutch" or whatever cuz you suck.
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Old 02-24-2011, 09:57 AM
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Default Re: Remember tempos when about to count off.FRUSRATING

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Originally Posted by Blankso View Post
hm.. yaaaaaaaa. but there seem to be a lot of people that somehow think drummers have the ability to always start at the right tempo (like were different) and that using a metronome is a "crutch" or whatever cuz you suck.
Those people are idiots and you're doing what you can do with the right tools to make the music happen. I always look at it like this: whoever is paying you is the boss, so you do whatever it takes to make that person happy, and in turn, the people will be happy (idiots and all).
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Old 02-24-2011, 10:04 AM
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Default Re: Remember tempos when about to count off.FRUSRATING

Certain songs give me issues too, and I find that playing certain songs back to back can really screw me up. I try to get them embedded in my mind and have never used a metronome live, but there have been times I probably should have haha.
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Old 02-24-2011, 10:46 AM
deltdrum deltdrum is offline
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Default Re: Remember tempos when about to count off.FRUSRATING

Try thinking of a song that you know really well that is the same tempo (ballpark) and count it off at that tempo. I always think of Immigrant Song for tempos around 130 for example.
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Old 02-24-2011, 02:37 PM
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Default Re: Remember tempos when about to count off.FRUSRATING

Aside from using a metronome to help you count off, sing the chorus of the song to yourself before you count off the band.
That way you should have the tempo nailed before you click them off.
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  #9  
Old 02-24-2011, 02:40 PM
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Default Re: Remember tempos when about to count off.FRUSRATING

I personally don't deal in BPM. I just play and get the tempo near enough in rehearsals then change on the fly.



Sorry, didn't read the title properly, thought you meant in the actual song.

Last edited by Hellwyck; 02-24-2011 at 04:13 PM.
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Old 02-24-2011, 02:53 PM
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Default Re: Remember tempos when about to count off.FRUSRATING

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Originally Posted by brady View Post
Aside from using a metronome to help you count off, sing the chorus of the song to yourself before you count off the band.
That way you should have the tempo nailed before you click them off.
This is what I do too. It works great, as long as you sing the song at the right speed, not hard to do. Helps you to feel the song properly too. After you've done the song enough times live, you shouldn't need to sing it beforehand anymore.
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  #11  
Old 02-24-2011, 05:41 PM
shadowlorde shadowlorde is offline
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Default Re: Remember tempos when about to count off.FRUSRATING

it is a pain .. especially when you practice a song with your band for awhile and fall into a habit of playing at different tempos.. then listen back to the original song and say WTF am I doing.


songs I do that with.. fear of the dark, cemetary gates, can I play with madness
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  #12  
Old 02-24-2011, 05:58 PM
Mr. Fanzy Pants Mr. Fanzy Pants is offline
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Default Re: Remember tempos when about to count off.FRUSRATING

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Originally Posted by brady View Post
Aside from using a metronome to help you count off, sing the chorus of the song to yourself before you count off the band.
That way you should have the tempo nailed before you click them off.

Singing the bridge is also a good idea..helps me A LOT.
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  #13  
Old 02-24-2011, 06:04 PM
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Default Re: Remember tempos when about to count off.FRUSRATING

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Originally Posted by Bo Eder View Post
Those people are idiots and you're doing what you can do with the right tools to make the music happen. I always look at it like this: whoever is paying you is the boss, so you do whatever it takes to make that person happy, and in turn, the people will be happy (idiots and all).

++++1 - what Bo said.

The opinion about there being a problem using a metronome is:
1) ignorant
2) shows inexperience
3) Goes against what many (but not all) pros REALLY use live. Think about all of these R & B acts that have to sync with tracks. Are those drummers weak?
4) Will cause problems if there is any off the cuff remark about a song being too fast or too slow.

Even though a band needs to play together, somebody has to make the decision about what's the best tempo for a song. Then everybody has to go along with that. Then somebody(ies) has/have to be the gate keeper. Otherwise it depends on how different people are feeling that day, what their strengths or weaknesses are at different tempos, if they had a fight with their significant other, etc.

Not saying you can't have someone who gets most of the tempos right but I rarely have come across people that can remember the exact tempo of a song. It's always a little different. Sometimes that's important and sometimes it's not.

I have a church gig where I have a metronome (The Yamaha Clickstation) mounted off of my hi hat. I'm in charge of counting off most tempos but if I don't, I go with whoever started the song and try to keep it there. Occasionally I'm asked to 'bring us back' to the right tempo. Then they are relying on my inner clock. I work on my inner clock everytime I sit down to play, practicing with a metronome, practicing playing time without it but concentrating on keeping it straight, etc.. Also as mentioned before I'll sing parts of the song to myself. The trick there is singing it at the right tempos in your head!

Another gig I play, I back an actor who's a singer/guitarist. He starts or counts off every song and that's what's right for that song, that night. At that point, it's my job to keep it there. No metronome in sight but my metronomic practice helps to keep us all honest. Not perfect - but as honest as humans can make it.

Bring a metronome. Be VERY able to play the different parts of your bands material at the agreed upon tempos before you get to the practice session or gig. Then use the metronome to either start off the song or keep the headphones/ear buds in place for the duration of the song.

IMHO, this is being responsible about supporting the music. I've heard the sentiment about using a metronome too much and it becoming crutch and to a point I can see it. My experience tells me that most people just don't want to address their own time issues and accuse drummers that play to a click as 'making it sound like a robot'. That can be an issue but most of the times it's not. Ask any prominent session player.

Jim
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  #14  
Old 02-25-2011, 01:35 AM
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Default Re: Remember tempos when about to count off.FRUSRATING

Band Set List includes Song Key and Tempo...I have a quick time metronome near my mixing board to my left. I use it when I need tempo reference for count off. Denis
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Old 02-25-2011, 02:28 AM
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Default Re: Remember tempos when about to count off.FRUSRATING

I like the Larry Brady method too.

I've forgotten where the thread is but a while ago someone posted a list of BPMs of the more common tempos going up by 5 each time. Next to each BPM was the title of a classic song which would give you an instant reference.

Blank, if anyone remembers and can find that thread, it might help.
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  #16  
Old 02-25-2011, 03:49 AM
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Default Re: Remember tempos when about to count off.FRUSRATING

Mmmmmhhhhhhhhmmmmmm. Ok ok. Whats the smallest metronome you can think of that that has a light that flashes or vibrates on the quarters that isnt to expensive?
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  #17  
Old 02-27-2011, 02:10 PM
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Default Re: Remember tempos when about to count off.FRUSRATING

I recently downloaded the "Tempo 2 " app for my Iphone. You can programme whole set lists together. Turn the volume down and it just flashes the tempo. It costs around $2.50. I am very impressed with it.
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  #18  
Old 02-27-2011, 04:03 PM
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Default Re: Remember tempos when about to count off.FRUSRATING

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Originally Posted by Blankso View Post
Mmmmmhhhhhhhhmmmmmm. Ok ok. Whats the smallest metronome you can think of that that has a light that flashes or vibrates on the quarters that isnt to expensive?
Korg make a decent cheap metronome. Totally forgotten the model number, but it's blue and around $20ish in the states I'd imagine.
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  #19  
Old 02-27-2011, 07:05 PM
denisri denisri is offline
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Default Re: Remember tempos when about to count off.FRUSRATING

Hi Blankso
I have several..One is called Quick Time..about $20.Easy to use...and has blinking light. I mix the sound for the band and keep the mixer to my left(off the HI-HAT. I place the metronome on the mixer.
I find I don't need it for every song. Rarely refer to it during the song. It helps us in a live situation to be anchored in the heat of it all!!!
Denis
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Old 02-27-2011, 09:15 PM
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Default Re: Remember tempos when about to count off.FRUSRATING

Quote:
Originally Posted by brady View Post
Aside from using a metronome to help you count off, sing the chorus of the song to yourself before you count off the band.
Rather than sing the chorus in your head, which is affected by your inner clock and you're basically right back where you started... try to 'hear' it playing instead, as if listening to a recording. Don't tap your feet or hands, don't mouth it... just hear it. Obviously it helps if you're familiar enough with the song to hear it in your head, but once you get the concept, you'll nail the tempo within a few bpm, and probably also the correct key!

If you don't happen to know the song well enough, try remembering a different song you do know, that's the same tempo. Some of the songs I know well enough to 'hear' are:

BPM - song
74 - Hotel California
80 - We Will Rock You
105 - We Can Work It Out
120 - Dim All the Lights
125 - Ticket To Ride / Last Dance
139 - Feel Good Inc
145-148 - Molly’s Chambers
150 - All the Small Things
(some bpms are averaged)

I also know tempos of some of Al's songs that I've had drilled into me on stage night after night:

119 - Fat
129 - Close But No Cigar
180 - Party Leper Colony

It's very easy for me to 'hear' those and nail the tempo within 1 or 2 bpm.

Also do a search for the list Pollyana mentioned, I recall there were somne good ones on there.

Bermuda
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  #21  
Old 02-27-2011, 11:00 PM
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Default Re: Remember tempos when about to count off.FRUSRATING

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Originally Posted by bermuda View Post
Rather than sing the chorus in your head, which is affected by your inner clock and you're basically right back where you started... try to 'hear' it playing instead, as if listening to a recording.
That's basically how I do it. I imagine the recording playing (that's what I'm singing to myself) and get my tempo cue from that.

Are you saying not to do that?
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  #22  
Old 02-27-2011, 11:12 PM
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Default Re: Remember tempos when about to count off.FRUSRATING

Well, I guess imagining it is the same as 'hearing' it, just make sure you don't do anything to affect what you hear in your head - no foot tapping, no singing to youself, no bobbing your head, etc. Otherwise, you're imposing your tempo on the song. Just hear it, let it play in your head. Don't generate the song in any way. I know, it's kind conceptual, but it works if you do it right.

If you're not getting the right tempo, pick a song that's about the same tempo that you're very familiar with.

Bermuda
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  #23  
Old 03-01-2011, 01:40 AM
Ekim Ekim is offline
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Default Re: Remember tempos when about to count off.FRUSRATING

Gregg Bissonette used a drum machine while on tour with Joe Satriani to nail every tempo. No shame in using one.
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Old 03-01-2011, 06:39 AM
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Default Re: Remember tempos when about to count off.FRUSRATING

You can use a metronome with a blinking LED light to quickly switch tempos without hearing anything too. Although for tight transitions having a metronome in-ear is really useful.

I once played with a rock band whose lead singer would arbitrarily comment on a song being too slow, although we had played it for months to the same BPM. Made me laugh because over the months I noticed all our song tempos converging in the 160-165 BPM range. The same vocalist also insisted on doubling as a garbage can percussionist at certain points in our show, often causing trainwrecks by speeding up or coming in noticeably off time and plowing on ahead with disregard to the timing of the rest of the band.
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Old 03-03-2011, 04:23 AM
JoeLackey JoeLackey is offline
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Default Re: Remember tempos when about to count off.FRUSRATING

This is something that pretty much comes with experience. Right before you begin clicking the song off, sing the chorus to yourself. This will automatically give you the tempo. Stay relaxed, too. Try not to get frustrated at this. You'll get it : )
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Old 03-04-2011, 06:10 AM
Jim Mattingly Jim Mattingly is offline
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Default Re: Remember tempos when about to count off.FRUSRATING

I don't care what anyone says, if you are setting the tempo for say even 1/3 of the songs out of 4 sets you will never get everyone right every single time. The important thing is that if all the members in the band are professional and none of them are of the "DIVA" personality it is expected and they will be able to adapt/adjust as needed, play the song and move on to the next without it being an issue, until "discussed" at break. I have literally seen a bass player stop a song while playing live a few bars into it and say it needs to be started over because the tempo was not right, never, ever stop and and start over, unless it is at rehearsal. Even the real pros never get it right every single time, it is just hard to notice it happens, just the nature of the beast.
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Old 03-07-2011, 03:12 AM
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Default Re: Remember tempos when about to count off.FRUSRATING

I use the Tama Rhythm Watch RW105, you can program up to 30 tempos. By programming the set I can advance to the next song with the tap of the program button. I turn the volume down and glance at the flashing lights. Sometimes at rehearsal, I use the stereo mini headphone out directly into my in ear bodypack and use the volume on the RW105 to get the mix between my monitor and the click. I can hear the metronome but nobody else can. I am ALWAYS on the mark, which is good because that is my job.

Singing the the first few lines in your head is good if you don't have the fancy tools, but I can't imagine a drummer spending thousands on a kit and not spending $90 on a full featured metronome. It's all about time and space.
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  #28  
Old 03-07-2011, 04:01 AM
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Default Re: Remember tempos when about to count off.FRUSRATING

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Originally Posted by Javlib View Post
I use the Tama Rhythm Watch RW105, you can program up to 30 tempos.
I had the RW100, and it wasn't as programmable, and certainly didn't hold the tempos when turned off.

I got the Korg Beatlab, which is programmable as well, but lets you key in the tempo you want on a keypad. If I need 98bpm one song and 168 the next, it's just three keystrokes.

Bermuda
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