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  #1  
Old 10-21-2011, 06:07 AM
Thecowslayer Thecowslayer is offline
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Default How do you start breaking down complicated grooves?

Hey everyone,
I was wondering if anyone is willing to tell me how you start to break down more complicated grooves to learn them. I have Audacity, so I can slow down the song to try to figure out what the drummer is doing, which can help a lot, but I want to hear how everyone else figures out stuff like this as well. Specifically, I'm trying to figure out a few parts from this song, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_YNFayQoTmk , I haven't started yet, but it sounds like it will be challenging. I'm not asking about only this song though, it could be any song.
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Old 10-21-2011, 07:45 AM
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Default Re: How do you start breaking down complicated grooves?

I listen to one piece at a time. When I think I have it, I listen to another piece, and add it to the first piece, and so on.
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Old 10-21-2011, 07:51 AM
aydee aydee is offline
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Default Re: How do you start breaking down complicated grooves?

...

Just listen to where each note lines up on the 1, ee, and, aah,....... one note at a time.

....
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Old 10-21-2011, 10:35 AM
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Default Re: How do you start breaking down complicated grooves?

I learn the song first, and if there's a vocal, I learn to sing it too. Once I've assimilated the song, then I start hearing the drum parts and begin to emulate those. I'm more concerned about getting to the next bar in time as opposed to getting the part right. Then eventually the part starts to happen correctly. I know this sounds opposite but my thinking is that it won't matter if you're playing the correct complicated drum part if you're screwing up the song. Does that make sense?
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  #5  
Old 10-21-2011, 10:42 AM
DanJacobs DanJacobs is offline
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Default Re: How do you start breaking down complicated grooves?

I would first of all understand what is being played on the pulse, then think about 16ths in each beat and even split those into 32nds.

Start with one thing and, when the muscle memory is there, gradually add in the rest - it's kind of groove progression but backwards!

I remember i had a real headache a few years ago trying to work out Weckls playing near the end of 'Amanacer' from the album Transition.

Good luck!
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Old 10-21-2011, 10:53 AM
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Default Re: How do you start breaking down complicated grooves?

I find it very assuring to learn that the experienced guys also apply mostly obvious/down to earth strategies to break complicated stuff down. No secrets here...

Starting slow and focusing on one element at a time, first separately (which might already take some time) and then gradually adding it (which may take the same amount of time additionally) is how I learn complicated stuff on the acoustic guitar when I'm playing percussion style (Andy McKee inspired). Sorry this isn't drumming but there are some parallels as I try to emulate the bass drum and snare with my picking hand (which is turning into a striking/hitting hand).

No idea what I'm talking about? Here's a (prime) example - Petteri Sariola from Finland - but he's at the very top what can be done in this style:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jbR-XHlUw8Y

Here's Andy McKee himself - he propelled this style to a wider popularity, and you drummers might enjoy the percussive elements:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ddn4MGaS3N4

As to drums I'm still a beginner and I'm coping with basics, not working on grooves (yet). When I started getting into the ac. guitar (coming from the el. guitar) 3 years ago and instantly started to learn percussion style this was the first time that I had to get my brains going differently than before, coordinating my hands. Meaning that both hand can do either melody or rhythm/percussion. Ok, I was experimenting with some advanced tapping technique before but that percussion thing was completely new for me. I guess playing both percussive guitar and a bit of drumming is a neat combination. What I've learned from this is that about anything can be broke down if one takes the time and discipline to do one bite at a time - well there's simply no other solution. I can't lean back and expect complicated stuff to happen right away.

Last edited by Arky; 10-21-2011 at 01:45 PM.
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Old 10-21-2011, 05:26 PM
Thecowslayer Thecowslayer is offline
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Default Re: How do you start breaking down complicated grooves?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bo Eder View Post
I learn the song first, and if there's a vocal, I learn to sing it too. Once I've assimilated the song, then I start hearing the drum parts and begin to emulate those. I'm more concerned about getting to the next bar in time as opposed to getting the part right. Then eventually the part starts to happen correctly. I know this sounds opposite but my thinking is that it won't matter if you're playing the correct complicated drum part if you're screwing up the song. Does that make sense?
Yeah, it definitely makes sense, and that's what I normally do, make sure to get the feel of the song down before working on playing the exact groove. For this song though, it seems like it would be really challenging to do.
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Old 10-21-2011, 06:04 PM
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Default Re: How do you start breaking down complicated grooves?

As the old saying goes, "Slow is smooth, and smooth is fast". Slow that puppy down.

If you're more into visuals, maybe you can diagram the groove (notation or drum tab, or whatever works for you). Find out where the quarters and eighths fall. I like Bo's idea of singing the vocal too; for auditory learners that's a great way to get it down. You can also sing or scat the bass, rhythm guitar, or keyboard part as needed.
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Old 10-21-2011, 07:03 PM
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Default Re: How do you start breaking down complicated grooves?

Usually there's something "strait" to key off. Like an 8th or 16th pattern on the hats or ride. I'll write it out with that as the base, and add the other elements until it looks and sounds right.
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  #10  
Old 10-21-2011, 08:09 PM
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Bo Eder Bo Eder is offline
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Default Re: How do you start breaking down complicated grooves?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thecowslayer View Post
Yeah, it definitely makes sense, and that's what I normally do, make sure to get the feel of the song down before working on playing the exact groove. For this song though, it seems like it would be really challenging to do.
I understand. I recall going through stuff like this, but just to be able to play it with the band, I would definitely be working more on the groove, but still working on the hard parts on my own time away from the band. Each night we'd play it I would be getting closer to the original part, but in the process because of my omissions the song was becoming 'mine'. By the time I got the point where I could play it note-for-note, it was anti-climatic because the band liked the way it grooved without the complicated part! Doh!
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Old 10-21-2011, 09:51 PM
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Default Re: How do you start breaking down complicated grooves?

I halfway figure it out and then give up.
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  #12  
Old 10-21-2011, 10:23 PM
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last man to bat last man to bat is offline
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Default Re: How do you start breaking down complicated grooves?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arky View Post
I find it very assuring to learn that the experienced guys also apply mostly obvious/down to earth strategies to break complicated stuff down. No secrets here...

Starting slow and focusing on one element at a time, first separately (which might already take some time) and then gradually adding it (which may take the same amount of time additionally) is how I learn complicated stuff on the acoustic guitar when I'm playing percussion style (Andy McKee inspired). Sorry this isn't drumming but there are some parallels as I try to emulate the bass drum and snare with my picking hand (which is turning into a striking/hitting hand).

No idea what I'm talking about? Here's a (prime) example - Petteri Sariola from Finland - but he's at the very top what can be done in this style:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jbR-XHlUw8Y

Here's Andy McKee himself - he propelled this style to a wider popularity, and you drummers might enjoy the percussive elements:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ddn4MGaS3N4

As to drums I'm still a beginner and I'm coping with basics, not working on grooves (yet). When I started getting into the ac. guitar (coming from the el. guitar) 3 years ago and instantly started to learn percussion style this was the first time that I had to get my brains going differently than before, coordinating my hands. Meaning that both hand can do either melody or rhythm/percussion. Ok, I was experimenting with some advanced tapping technique before but that percussion thing was completely new for me. I guess playing both percussive guitar and a bit of drumming is a neat combination. What I've learned from this is that about anything can be broke down if one takes the time and discipline to do one bite at a time - well there's simply no other solution. I can't lean back and expect complicated stuff to happen right away.
Thanks for those links Arky, Andy McKee really is something, I haven't come across him before. Not for the faint hearted trying to learn any of that.
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