Can I trust you with this?

brentcn

Platinum Member
Two seconds to dial in a tune? Sounds like superhuman territory to this beginner...
It may take you longer at first. Don't rush yourself. But yeah, once you've got some gigs under your belt, you'll get fast at it. On tunes that I've played a bunch, I can count off instantly, with zero hesitation. But it wasn't that way at first.
 

moxman

Silver Member
Two seconds to dial in a tune? Sounds like superhuman territory to this beginner...
Well.. I think it's from practice and forcing yourself to think about it.. I remember a long long time ago.. in a galaxy fa.. I used to struggle with counting the band in right away after the last song.. problem was, I'd finish a song and be pumped with adrenaline and couldn't think of anything else but the tune I was neck deep in.. then the band would look at me waiting to be cued in for the next song and I'd be the deer in headlights.. 'drawing a blank - how does that go again??' I couldn't even remember the melody to get a clue.. all I could think of was the last song Lol.. just clouded my brain. SO I started working on strategies.. like looking ahead on the setlist as you approach the end of a tune.. getting prepared.. finish the tune.. then calmly relax, clear your head and think of the next tune fast .. dial it up and away you go - with confidence, that this is the tune, meter and groove.

The other thing that forced me to nail this is playing medley's - where you have to lead the band seamlessly into the next - springboarding from one tune into the next.. usually with a slightly faster or slower tempo etc. no time to stop and think.. you just have to remember the transition as part of the tune.
 
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Yamaha Rider

Well-known member
Well.. I think it's from practice and forcing yourself to think about it.. I remember a long long time ago.. in a galaxy fa.. I used to struggle with counting the band in right away after the last song.. problem was, I'd finish a song and be pumped with adrenaline and couldn't think of anything else but the tune I was neck deep in.. then the band would look at me waiting to be cued in for the next song and I'd be the deer in headlights.. 'drawing a blank - how does that go again??' I couldn't even remember the melody to get a clue.. all I could think of was the last song Lol.. just clouded my brain. SO I started working on strategies.. like looking ahead on the setlist as you approach the end of a tune.. getting prepared.. finish the tune.. then calmly relax, clear your head and think of the next tune fast .. dial it up and away you go - with confidence, that this is the tune, meter and groove.

The other thing that forced me to nail this is playing medley's - where you have to lead the band seamlessly into the next - springboarding from one tune into the next.. usually with a slightly faster or slower tempo etc. no time to stop and think.. you just have to remember the transition as part of the tune.
Yikes
 

BonsaiMagpie

Junior Member
I can wholeheartedly recommend learning to read the music, grab a rockschool book. Each sequence is explained, and the notation is plain and easy to understand. I've learned the core notation from this method and i'm working towards my grade 2 atm.
But i'm using the skills from this to write my own music with Aered, when my band has a new tune i come up with great drums in my head that i can't play yet. So i write them down and then learn to play them from the sheet music. It's really helping me out.
 

Morrisman

Platinum Member
A few years ago I wrote these cues for a band I joined, until I got more familiar with the 50 songs. I did notes for the songs I knew too, in case I had a mental blank.

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rebonn

Senior Member
The anxiety can get in there when you aren't real familiar with the songs you're suppose to count off and start playing. For me, a lot of the problem left after I started using Pro Metronome to start the songs off. Even if your not real sure of the notes, you have the correct time down and for the most part, made me a lot more comfortable starting a song. Pro Metronome lets you save set lists with notes and has a stage mode to make it easier, plus all the other things modern metronomes have. I started off with written notes and things on the set list but the metronome helped the most.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
That's one thing I never had to practice, musical memory.

It must be frightening when those memories aren't there when you need them.

I can't even relate. Like not having a thumb.
 

Yamaha Rider

Well-known member
That's one thing I never had to practice, musical memory.

It must be frightening when those memories aren't there when you need them.

I can't even relate. Like not having a thumb.
Straight off the top of your head, no cues from the rest of the band?
 

brentcn

Platinum Member
I don't want to make you more nervous, but some bands I've worked with (some professional, some amateur) expect the drummer to count off every song. Even the songs that start with guitar, or keys, or a bass line. They just expected me to have good memory of the starting tempo. If I don't "know" the tempo off the bat, then I'll hum or sing some part of the chorus, or the guitar riff, or whatever, and get the tempo from my memory of that song part.

The good news is that you can practice this skill at home, and develop it over time. But you will need to use your voice. Why your voice? Because people are naturally very conscious of timing and rhythm when they speak or sing. Singing in your head doesn't have this advantage, so sing out loud. It's okay to be a bad singer, or have bad pitch. You're not a contestant on "The Voice".

1. Find songs that start with the band all in at once, and find their tempos using a metronome. Make a list of these songs and their starting tempo.
2. Sing, or hum, out loud, along to the songs, while tapping your hands. Also try clapping, tapping your right foot, your left foot, clicking your sticks together, etc.
3. Point to a song on the list and sing, vocalize, or hum any song part while tapping your hand on your leg. Keep tapping, and use the "tap" button on your metronome to find the tempo you're currently tapping. Do this over and over until you can come pretty close to the original.

That's it! Practice this every day, and you should see results in about 3 weeks.
 

Yamaha Rider

Well-known member
If there's one consistent point coming through - it's that learning beginnings is a skill with techniques that can be practiced. So there is hope!
 
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