Counting When Playing

dRummmmmmm

Member
Now I have just been thinking about that do you count in mind or do you just use click beats or something? I dont never use any of those, for me its natural. I dont usually mess up with beats and I dont use any of those while playing songs and even practising. I have tried to use those click beats from my DTXPLORER drum trigger while practising double bass and it hasnt helped me at all.

Some people told me that it helps them.

Do you use any of those?
 

Mad About Drums

Pollyanna's Agent
Do you use any of those?
Yes I do, I use a metronome and I have a basic drum machine on my computer to create pattern that I wish to work with my practicing time, I also play a lot with CD's in various style of music, all of which help me to have good timing, I also practice without them, I record myself from time to time on an audio tape (cassette) to evlauate my timing, both with and whitout a metronome, it helps to see where I'm lacking, but it also show me where I'm good and the tape doesn't lie...

While playing, my left foot/leg is my time keeper, it keeps the beat for me. :)
 

Deathmetalconga

Platinum Member
If I am trying to learn something new or difficult, I may use a metronome and count aloud to help me. After I get it nailed down well enough, this counting is internalized and I don't need to consciously think about it.
 

NUTHA JASON

Senior Administrator
i teach my pupes that counting is like a scaffold. you put it up to build a building but then you pack it away. i also tell them that the reason they shouldn't be counting is because they should be singing backing vocs.
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Anthony Amodeo

Guest
if a metronome messes you up when you play with it this means your time is not very good

I highly recommend practicing with a met when working on anything and everything

do not trust your natural time if a met throws you off

I also believe counting is important when learning because speaking or singing is like a fifth limb

after a while it just internalizes and there is no longer a need to count

but early on I find in absolutely necessary
 

MaryO

Platinum Member
As a fairly new drummer myself, I know that if I'm ever having trouble with something, I go back and do it again with counting out loud and it almost always gets me back on track. It really is a great guide. As others have said, once you become more proficient with whatever you are working on, the count becomes more internalized.

I'm still very much at a newbie skill level but the one thing others tell me is that I seem to have a pretty good sense of timing so I guess the counting is working for me. Hope this helps! Good luck!
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
I like to think of it as developing at least 3 separate brain areas.

One area is responsible for the tempo, meter, and my 1-2-3-4 count (or whatever time sig) This area underlies everything and over the years, has come to be instinctual.

The other area is regulated by the first area, and is responsible for my ideas, my comping, my dynamics, the grooves I choose...the majority of my playing. My time circuits are independent of this area and autonomous and relentless.

The 3rd area is an "executive overseeing" area that is listening to the entire net result of my playing and evaluating if I am too fast, too slow, too loud, inappropriate, or in the pocket. I can only access this brain area if I focus my eyes far away from the drumset and up to the ceiling. This allows me to listen as if I am not playing. This is a vitally important process for me, evaluating what I am doing, right when I am doing it, and deciding if it is on the money, or is falling short.

Of course the goal is to shut off conscious thought, quiet your mind, open your ears up, and play reactively. (talking improv here, not "frozen" cover songs) Rather than thinking of things to play from my own mind, I try and feel what needs to be played from a larger perspective.... outside of my own little mind. I try and meld with the universal musical consciousness. It all sounds New Age-y and stuff, but that's where the real beauty in music lies, beyond your ego. First you need to abandon the ego and just surrender. You aren't the river, you are the riverbed, waiting to receive and channel the great waters. (from Kenny Werner's book "Effortless Mastery")

Sorry I got off track here. Yea counting should be involuntary, automatic. But first you need to do it voluntarily, until it becomes something you can't ever stop.
 

andSometimesY

Senior Member
My teacher (John DiCenso) insists that I count aloud, then progress in to singing the rhythm as I play it. I'm pretty sure his brother Dave DiCenso has some educational material out there emphasizing this concept. Also, from several drummers I have heard the expression "If you can't sing it, you can't play it". I feel a little self-conscious doing this in front of my teacher but it works!
 

Boomka

Platinum Member
My teacher (John DiCenso) insists that I count aloud, then progress in to singing the rhythm as I play it. I'm pretty sure his brother Dave DiCenso has some educational material out there emphasizing this concept. Also, from several drummers I have heard the expression "If you can't sing it, you can't play it". I feel a little self-conscious doing this in front of my teacher but it works!
Yes, Dave's book Universal Rhythms employs this concept. There, Dave has you not only counting subdivisions, but accenting/emphasising the various "universal rhythms" within the subdivisions and then playing the exercises. It's a helluva workout for brain and concentration. Really top notch.
 

marko138

Silver Member
If I am trying to learn something new or difficult, I may use a metronome and count aloud to help me. After I get it nailed down well enough, this counting is internalized and I don't need to consciously think about it.
I do the same thing. Count if I'm having trouble otherwise I don't count consciously.
 
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