Counting...

Wick

Senior Member
Who actually does it when they play?

I usually just jam when I'm playing with other people, and I won't mess up much at all. I'll usually only count when I'm really trying to get a new beat/fill or something down, but my teacher says if I want to get real good I have to start counting...

So just a quick poll of who here does ;]
 

bobdadruma

Platinum Member
I count, It is the best way that I know to keep good time.
I was taught to count from day one when I first took lessons as a young teen.
I have never played without counting.
It is ingrained in my drumming DNA!
 

MLdrum

Senior Member
I don't count much (except when I'm trying to figure something out). Sometimes I sing the parts and sometimes I don't do anything. I don't like to have to worry about counting when I'm listening on the others in the band. I feel the pulse, beats and bars (although I sometimes catch myself counting each bar (like 1 . . . 2 . . . 3 . .etc) or each fourth bar). But ofcourse, sometimes I just have to count. For example when the music has odd phrases, odd number of bars, etc =)
 

daredrummer

Gold Member
I don't always count (unless like you said trying to learn something new), but I am always aware of where the beat is.
Kind of hard to explain... I'm not counting 1,2,3,4, in my head, but I'm aware of where the notes fall in whatever I'm playing.
Did that make sense?
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
I have to count in certain places so I get my parts right. I'd say that accounts for < 5% of my playing, but I play prety straight ahead music. If I played prog or even jazz, I'd be counting a good portion of the night, I'm sure. At this point, 4/4, 3/4, 2/4, 6/8 and 12/8 are so ingrained in my psyche, that they are literally part of my DNA. The odd meters in 5, 7, 9 etc are definitely not ingrained, because I don't use them that much. On those sigs I would be counting, but I'm pretty sure after a while those would get ingrained too.
 

denisri

Silver Member
A combination of counting and feel. Depends on the section of the song and the song. I spent a lot of time listening to the vocals and lead instrument. Denis
 

tezzerii

Member
Counting is for learners. Whether it's learning drumming from the start, or learning something new or unfamiliar, like a weird time sig, even if you're experienced.
We all have an internal clock, and a subconscious which is often underrated and distrusted. When you've been playing 4/4 for however long, you just know where you are, cos your subconscious keeps track. When you start to distrust your feel, you start to lose it.
Personally, if I can lose myself in the music, it flows. But when I worry and start to think about what I'm doing - it all falls to pieces!! That applies to most aspects of playing, including counting.
If I'm playing something in, say, 5/4, I literally can't count and play. I would count the music off to start with, while learning it - soon I get the basic riff in my head and it just plays itself over and over, and I just follow it like I was playing along with a record.
I've found that tapping into your subconscious is a key that enables you in lots of ways, not just drumming!! You have to learn to trust your instincts.

T
 

bobdadruma

Platinum Member
OK lets take this odd meter 5/4 tune.
Try and play it as Joe did while keeping the hats on 2 and 4.
I can't do it without counting and concentrating.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BwNrmYRiX_o
What about when you get to the solo? What do you do then?
Notice how Joe kept the solo in 5/4 and he let his hats go free for a bit.
 

braincramp

Gold Member
I find myself counting on most Metalica covers just because I try to mimic the rolls Lars uses more so then most covers I do...say what you want about him as a drummer *cklick*(That sound is the can of worms I may have just opened) but his rolls are signature and have to be in his songs when covering Metalica
 

bobdadruma

Platinum Member
Weather you are playing Brubeck or Metalica, It doesn't matter.
You still have to account for the time.
Counting is how it is done.
That is your job as the drummer in the band.
 

bobdadruma

Platinum Member
Even a simple tune like Van Morrison's Moondance can get out of hand for a drummer without counting.
If I don't count the bridge, I get in trouble every time that I play it.

Yes you all can laugh at this thread!
Take Five, Moondance, Metalica!
What do all of these tunes have in common?
They all have timing in common!
 

braincramp

Gold Member
Weather you are playing Brubeck or Metalica, It doesn't matter.
You still have to account for the time.
Counting is how it is done.
That is your job as the drummer in the band.
+1 the more I think of it there are songs I have played on and off for over 20 years and still have to count the lead breaks, bridges ect.. there are some songs though that envolve more counting then others for sure.
 

birks10

Senior Member
If the chart is in 4/4, 3/4, 6/8, or a 12 bar blues turn around, I never have to count. But i've been playing for over 40 years in all kinds of styles. Through playing experience, you should gain the "feel" (internally) for where you're at in the tune. I can feel 4 bars, 6, 8, 12,. 16, 24, 32 and 64 bars every time. The "only" time i find myself counting is when i'm learning a new chart in an odd meter, like a 7 or 9 or something like that. But after i know where the"one'"is, I can drop the counting and feel the number of bars as well as play metered solos within the tune. "Take 5" has always been an easy one for me to play (been playing it since High School). However, I always place the Hi hat "chick" on the 2 and 5 of each bar. In this area of knowing where you are in the chart, in my opinion, experience is the best teacher. :>)
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
I've been in bands where we used loops, sequencers and/or backing tracks.
So everything is done to a click, and you have to be exact, or else the backing tracks and the band won't line up.

So, yes, I really have to count and know exactly which bar I am in at all times. Because if you get off by any one bar, or any one note, the whole thing is going to be a disaster.
 

Numberless

Platinum Member
I don't always count but I do try to keep in mind where exactly I'm located in a bar. I used to play in a prog. metal band that employed odd-time sigs into the music and there's just no way I could get the parts right if I didn't count them out loud at first.
 

brady

Platinum Member
I don't count on most straight ahead tunes. Where I do count a little, feeling the time really, is on fills. Leading up to them and playing them; does this fill start on 3 or 4? Or is it a one measure fill? Stuff like that.

I also sometimes count measures in jazz. Although, you can "feel" the time there too if you listen to the melody.
 
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