Country Music

Skitch

Pioneer Member
Alright,

Some of you may have noticed that I am now located and playing in Nashville, the city that I feel, is the last bastion for live music before everyone is replaced by the DJ and his trusty iPod (no whining – just reality). While “doing the hang” and playing on Broadway and in some other states, I have compiled a list of songs which I have either heard being played or have played since moving here. Consequently, I have also uploaded the corresponding “Quick Charts” for sale, al a carte, for any and all of my drumming brethren to peruse and possibly purchase! These are not the "Nashville Number" charts (which are helpful to know how to read but don't give you any information as to the groove or fills) nor are they "Drum Tabs" which are essentially a transcription and will be difficult to read in a dimmly lit club!

The cool thing about this is that, while I have kept the price per chart to $1.49 each, if you get a setlist from your band leader in advance, you can go buy a few, some or all of the charts you will need for those gigs! The end result is that, instead of spending all of your time listening to and memorizing a bunch of songs you may not be familiar with, you get these charts and a copy of the song (or not), go through them a few times at you kit in your private practice sessions, and you can potentially nail that gig and get a callback for that next great paying country gig!

You don’t have to be a great reader to use these; they are fairly simple and have the trademark groove and fills for the songs – such as the fill in the middle of the song “White Liar” by Miranda Lambert. These “quick charts” will immediately improve your playing in the country arena and make you more legit to those people who are your potential employers! You will know the songs instead of trying to amateurishly hack your way through the night – i.e. you will look and sound more professional than the guy they just got rid of! And chick singers love and dig the drummers who can play all of their songs just like the record! It makes them feel a certain way about you!

The end result is very simple; more earning potential doing what you would rather do anyway – playing the drums!!!

Now, for those who think that Country may not be as legit as Jazz, Fusion, or Metal, my question to you is this

“Would you tolerate a hack destroying the music you love and revere?”

I didn’t think so. So why show up at a gig without being ready to put your best foot forward and, all the while, insulting the person or band that hired by disrespecting the music they love and revere?

My parting shot, so to speak, is that while I was doing all of the Country Road gigs for the last twenty years, in my down time at the hotel, I was able to have the luxury of time to transcribe, note for note, songs and tunes that I always wanted to learn but never had time! One song was “Aja” – yeah the Steely Dan tune with Steve Gadd on drums! I charted out quite a bit of Vinnie Colaiuta’s stuff! I was still getting paid to do what most other drummers wouldn’t do, learn and play Country.

Bottom line is this; You want to be a professional in any situation that you may find yourself and you want to increase your bookings. This is the way to do it.


I will post the links to all of these charts in the classified section shortly! And here is the link http://www.drummerworld.com/forums/showthread.php?p=731841#post731841

Mike

http://www.mikemccraw.com
http://www.dominoretroplate.com
http://www.patentcoachmike.com
http://www.youtube.com/drummermikemccraw
http://www.myspace.com/drummermikemccraw
http://www.facebook.com/mike.mccraw
http://www.linkedin.com/in/mikemccraw
http://twitter.com/mikemccraw
 
Last edited:

ccsimms

Senior Member
I'm not big on either genres but from a quick analysis I would consider country drumming similar to rock drumming but obviously with a lighter approach to leave more room for the band.
 

bobdadruma

Platinum Member
I have found Modern Country drumming to be so simple that it is hard!
I consider it a challenge.
Many drummers make fun of it around here. But it isn't as easy as it looks to get it right.
Yes, Modern Country drumming is a form of Rock.
 

Joe Morris

DRUMMERWORLD PRO DRUMMER
I have played country for years!!!!! and years!!!! I just finished recording a tribute to Johnny Cash record in Austin a few months back. I don't play it much anymore but when first moving to Arizona in the 90's I made a living at it. Because I had to.

Country has its own groove to it. Its all about the groove. Sometimes the hi hat is on top and the snare and kick are laid back.

IT'S SO SIMPLE ITS HARD!!

Country music taught me two very important things as a drummer. It helped my groove a ton and most of all it taught me when not to play.
 

Skitch

Pioneer Member
I'm not big on either genres but from a quick analysis I would consider country drumming similar to rock drumming but obviously with a lighter approach to leave more room for the band.
I'm not sure about the lighter approach for two reasons:

  1. Modern Country is more Rock oriented and is moving away from the Johnny Cash/Willie Nelson/Ray Price traditions. Shuffles are not the norm in Modern Country.
  • More and more drummers are playing way beyond the physical capabilites of their drums and cymbals - in short, they are breaking stuff because they are hitting far beyond what drumheads, sticks and cymbals were even meant to endure. There's a reason microphones were invented.

In either genre, it is all about the song and not just showing up and playing a drum solo on every song.

My approach is simple;

Show up and play for the song, the audience and the dancers. To steal a phrase from one of the Stax label greats, "I play for the people!" and that means knowing any of those songs like the back of my hand. These charts have been one of my "secret weapons" in getting more and more work for the past two decades. I have many charts for all of the dance/rock band gigs that I used to play - like Bon Jovi songs or J Geils Band. "Carry on Wayward Son" is another rock chart I have. I do this because I have had to play so many different styles with so many different bands that I don't always have time to sit down and work out the drum part little by little for every band I play for. It taks a lot of listening to quote on of my friends who is another fine drummer.

Case in point is the chart "You Shook Me All Night Long" by AC/DC (http://store.payloadz.com/details/836254-eBooks-Music-You-Shook-Me-All-Night-Long-Page-1.html and http://store.payloadz.com/details/836255-eBooks-Music-You-Shook-Me-All-Night-Long-Page-2.html). Hardly a Country song, many bands around here are playing it. The challenge in that song is the last part of the second chorus, the first eight bars of the guitar solo and the last chorus. It is in those places of that song, where you find out who knows the song and who doesn't - who's a pro and who isn't! Do you really want to drop you pants and show your a__ musically?

There's another part to that statement by the Stax artist, but I don't want to offend the Jazz players here. And I am not trying to come off as some know it all here; I am just letting everyone on this forum - who wants to spend more time playing drums in a money making venture - know what has worked really well for me and for them to benefit from my experience, education and knowledge - much like Zoro did with his Commandments books!

Bobdadruma, you might want to look at the "White Liar" chart (http://store.payloadz.com/details/836245-eBooks-Music-White-Liar.html) or "Crazy Town" chart (http://store.payloadz.com/details/836004-eBooks-Music-Crazy-Town.html ----- never has a song ever been more accurate about its subject!); they are both fun to play and the guitar intro on White Liar will have you pulling your hair out, looking for the beat the first few times you listen to it! In any case, they are both rockin' songs! In the end, if you sit down and play along to those songs, you'll end up having a smile on your face - they're fun to play!

All in all, it's about respecting the music, no matter what genre - just like Jeff Porcaro did!

One other thing and then I'll shut up, many nasty things have been said about producers getting that"corporate sound" on this forum. I am lucky enough to know Rich Redmond (he's one of my endorsers for the retroplate as well). You might want to look at the last MD readers poll edition (July 2010). His picture is plastered all over it because he was willing to take orders from the great Nashville producer, Dan Huff. Dan knows what he's doing and if Rich hadn't been in that mindset, to listen to what Dan was telling him to do and do it, Rich's fate might have been very different. Believe me, Rich is far more capable of playing what he plays for Jason Aldean.

In closing, we just had John JR Robinson and John Good of DW give a drum clinic. John Good stated at the very opening that this was the stop on the clinic tour which he was most frantic about because of the number of legit players in Nashville. JR was, well, JR!

If you want to talk more about that clinic and why DW went away from buying Keller shells, let's start a thread and discuss! I don't mind because it has less to do with the coolest drum finish and more with quality and you getting the sound that you want! I would love to relate everything about what I learned from John Good!

Mike

http://www.mikemccraw.com
http://www.dominoretroplate.com
http://www.patentcoachmike.com
http://www.youtube.com/drummermikemccraw
http://www.myspace.com/drummermikemccraw
http://www.facebook.com/mike.mccraw
http://www.linkedin.com/in/mikemccraw
http://twitter.com/mikemccraw
 
Last edited:

jer

Silver Member
Been away from the site for a few days, was very interested to read this thread and the wealth of information from Skitch.

I cut my teeth gigging on older country. I was 14 when I started playing with a bunch of veterans in our area, was one of the most valuable music lessons I ever got. I knew nothing about country music when I showed up for my first gig, literally. These guys were throwing dry dances every month and never picked up a solid drummer, through a mutual friend, I was invited to come and play along.

There was a huge intimidation factor going on, as I think the band age median (aside from myself), was around 45. It also didn't help much when the guys would say something like "Wow, so-and-so is here and is going to play a few songs with us..." and have this crazed look about them, that they were going to be backing folks they looked up to over the years. I never recognized any names, but they told me I played with some of the greats.

All this pretty much scared me into playing the most basic beats I could so as to not throw the band off and keep the people dancing. This worked very well for me. More often than not, someone would start a song and the rest of the band would come in after a few bars, typically I had 4 bars to figure out tempo, time signature and most difficultly - if it was straight or swung, (I vividly remember missing that one a few times!).

Although part of me thinks I would have benefited from something like Skitch's charts, I never take for granted how much I learned to read other musicians and communicate on stage when there was a change coming or some shots to be made. I don't ever remember anyone knocking anything I was playing or trying to correct me if I was "supposed" to be playing a train-beat shuffle on the snare, people were up dancing and that's all that mattered.

Remember, Country music is all about the song, not about chops
^^^ This.

Again, some great reading for me Skitch, nice to know what I was actually doing! I'm gonna have to dust off that tape we recorded all those years ago and see if it'll still play...
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
It's like our tastes and the audience's tastes are completely reversed. We want to play most what they don't care to listen to, and they want us to play most we we don't care to play. Go figure.
If we all played for the masses, this wouldn't be Drummer World, it would be Drum-Programing-World. :p

I think part of being a musicians is an appreciation for what many others do not appreciate.
But I suppose that's a different thread altogether.
 

RHD03

Senior Member
I'm not sure about the lighter approach for two reasons:

  1. Modern Country is more Rock oriented and is moving away from the Johnny Cash/Willie Nelson/Ray Price traditions. Shuffles are not the norm in Modern Country.
  • More and more drummers are playing way beyond the physical capabilites of their drums and cymbals - in short, they are breaking stuff because they are hitting far beyond what drumheads, sticks and cymbals were even meant to endure. There's a reason microphones were invented.

In either genre, it is all about the song and not just showing up and playing a drum solo on every song.

My approach is simple;

Show up and play for the song, the audience and the dancers. To steal a phrase from one of the Stax label greats, "I play for the people!" and that means knowing any of those songs like the back of my hand. These charts have been one of my "secret weapons" in getting more and more work for the past two decades. I have many charts for all of the dance/rock band gigs that I used to play - like Bon Jovi songs or J Geils Band. "Carry on Wayward Son" is another rock chart I have. I do this because I have had to play so many different styles with so many different bands that I don't always have time to sit down and work out the drum part little by little for every band I play for. It taks a lot of listening to quote on of my friends who is another fine drummer.

Case in point is the chart "You Shook Me All Night Long" by AC/DC (http://store.payloadz.com/details/836254-eBooks-Music-You-Shook-Me-All-Night-Long-Page-1.html and http://store.payloadz.com/details/836255-eBooks-Music-You-Shook-Me-All-Night-Long-Page-2.html). Hardly a Country song, many bands around here are playing it. The challenge in that song is the last part of the second chorus, the first eight bars of the guitar solo and the last chorus. It is in those places of that song, where you find out who knows the song and who doesn't - who's a pro and who isn't! Do you really want to drop you pants and show your a__ musically?

There's another part to that statement by the Stax artist, but I don't want to offend the Jazz players here. And I am not trying to come off as some know it all here; I am just letting everyone on this forum - who wants to spend more time playing drums in a money making venture - know what has worked really well for me and for them to benefit from my experience, education and knowledge - much like Zoro did with his Commandments books!

Bobdadruma, you might want to look at the "White Liar" chart (http://store.payloadz.com/details/836245-eBooks-Music-White-Liar.html) or "Crazy Town" chart (http://store.payloadz.com/details/836004-eBooks-Music-Crazy-Town.html ----- never has a song ever been more accurate about its subject!); they are both fun to play and the guitar intro on White Liar will have you pulling your hair out, looking for the beat the first few times you listen to it! In any case, they are both rockin' songs! In the end, if you sit down and play along to those songs, you'll end up having a smile on your face - they're fun to play!

All in all, it's about respecting the music, no matter what genre - just like Jeff Porcaro did!

One other thing and then I'll shut up, many nasty things have been said about producers getting that"corporate sound" on this forum. I am lucky enough to know Rich Redmond (he's one of my endorsers for the retroplate as well). You might want to look at the last MD readers poll edition (July 2010). His picture is plastered all over it because he was willing to take orders from the great Nashville producer, Dan Huff. Dan knows what he's doing and if Rich hadn't been in that mindset, to listen to what Dan was telling him to do and do it, Rich's fate might have been very different. Believe me, Rich is far more capable of playing what he plays for Jason Aldean.

In closing, we just had John JR Robinson and John Good of DW give a drum clinic. John Good stated at the very opening that this was the stop on the clinic tour which he was most frantic about because of the number of legit players in Nashville. JR was, well, JR!

If you want to talk more about that clinic and why DW went away from buying Keller shells, let's start a thread and discuss! I don't mind because it has less to do with the coolest drum finish and more with quality and you getting the sound that you want! I would love to relate everything about what I learned from John Good!

Mike

http://www.mikemccraw.com
http://www.dominoretroplate.com
http://www.patentcoachmike.com
http://www.youtube.com/drummermikemccraw
http://www.myspace.com/drummermikemccraw
http://www.facebook.com/mike.mccraw
http://www.linkedin.com/in/mikemccraw
http://twitter.com/mikemccraw
DUDE! When did you move to TN? BTW, this iis Scott from Outflow.
 

AnOasis

Member
I've been starting to listen to country (I have always listened to country somewhat,) with a critical ear on drummers.

A couple my favorites:

Fred Eltringham with Dixie Chicks is doing some pretty cool stuff.

Also for Carrie Underwood
Lonnie Wilson - Wasted
Chris McHugh - That's where it is

All three use 4 piece kits very tastefully. These guys are solid, and, they have some good chops.

I am liking what I am hearing. Not typical rock approach, but, more of a "great drummer's" approach. Their fills are those that sound simple, but, really aren't as easy as they sound. Not exactly, but kind of/sort of of what it would sound like if Benny Greb played these songs..

Worth taking a good listen. IMO
This a great thread, not a big country fan, but have all the respect in the world for it and the city of Nashville. You mentioned a few drummers here, who are some other drummers in the country scene worth listening to? I know Jim Riley from Rascal Flatts is good (also has a drum clinic in St. Louis coming up).
 

rogue_drummer

Gold Member
I've played in pure country and western and progressive country bands, Texas Country bands, and everything in between it seems.

Some of the songs require a shuffle, some a swing, some a rock beat. It all depends on how the song is structured: 2/4, 4/4, 6/8, etc.

The last country band I was in we played Drive By Truckers, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Hand Williams III, David Allen Coe, little bit of Tom Petty, etc.

One origianl song we played called "Head Full of Whiskey" I played a modified blues shuffle that was sloppy. I did this on purpose to give it a more "drunken" feeling and the crowd loved the song. Another song I played a straight blues shuffle. Still another I played a country and western shuffle. Shuffles are popular.

On several songs I played a swing beat or jazz beat in 6/8. And the "progressive" country which is almost like rock with country and western lyrics, has primarily a standard 4/4 rock beat.

It all depends on the song structure.
 

Skitch

Pioneer Member
This a great thread, not a big country fan, but have all the respect in the world for it and the city of Nashville. You mentioned a few drummers here, who are some other drummers in the country scene worth listening to? I know Jim Riley from Rascal Flatts is good (also has a drum clinic in St. Louis coming up).
Okay,

I am staying up way too late here! Go to the Jim Riley and tell him I said to say "Hi" and by his book about the number charts if you can afford it! It may be $12 but it's the only book I have ever seen which explains the Nashville number system and take your guitar and bass players - the book is for them as well, not just drummers.

Apparently, Jim and Rich Redmond were roomamtes when both moved here earlier (both UNT alums so go figure), so it's no wonder that they are doing so well at the same time.

You want a challenging Country chart, check out the Joe Diffee tune "Always Something". Lonnie Wilson played on that and the third chorus is just incredible; Lonnie has no butt left because he played it off on that tune! Chart - http://store.payloadz.com/go?id=840540.

I keep going back to Jason Aldean's "Crazy Town". I think Rich may have played on it but I'm not certain. The fills on this song are absolutely cool!

Mike

http://www.mikemccraw.com
http://www.dominoretroplate.com
http://www.patentcoachmike.com
http://www.youtube.com/drummermikemccraw
http://www.myspace.com/drummermikemccraw
http://www.facebook.com/mike.mccraw
http://www.linkedin.com/in/mikemccraw
http://twitter.com/mikemccraw
 

Skitch

Pioneer Member
DUDE! When did you move to TN? BTW, this iis Scott from Outflow.
Super Bad Scott! how are you? Guys, if you're ever in Oklahoma City, go check out Outflow with Scott on drums - he'll knock your socks off! They are mostly originals with some pretty good songwriting! Great avatar by the way - did Steve design that?

I have been here since May 20 and it was a very well kept secret! Didn't want to lose any of my gigs until I was here so I didn't let on that there was a change on the horizon! Interesting town - funk scene, metal scene, latin scene besides all of the stuff on Broadway!

Cool - didn't know that you were on here, Scott!


Mike

http://www.mikemccraw.com
http://www.dominoretroplate.com
http://www.patentcoachmike.com
http://www.youtube.com/drummermikemccraw
http://www.myspace.com/drummermikemccraw
http://www.facebook.com/mike.mccraw
http://www.linkedin.com/in/mikemccraw
http://twitter.com/mikemccraw
 

RHD03

Senior Member
Super Bad Scott! how are you? Guys, if you're ever in Oklahoma City, go check out Outflow with Scott on drums - he'll knock your socks off! They are mostly originals with some pretty good songwriting! Great avatar by the way - did Steve design that?

I have been here since May 20 and it was a very well kept secret! Didn't want to lose any of my gigs until I was here so I didn't let on that there was a change on the horizon! Interesting town - funk scene, metal scene, latin scene besides all of the stuff on Broadway!

Cool - didn't know that you were on here, Scott!


Mike

http://www.mikemccraw.com
http://www.dominoretroplate.com
http://www.patentcoachmike.com
http://www.youtube.com/drummermikemccraw
http://www.myspace.com/drummermikemccraw
http://www.facebook.com/mike.mccraw
http://www.linkedin.com/in/mikemccraw
http://twitter.com/mikemccraw
Hey brother, doing well here. Been busy...new album is almost finished, should be out by early October or so. Yeah, Steve did that one last year or so. Glad to hear things are going well for you!! Who are you playing with these days?

And you all need to go check out Mike if you can!! Awesome drummer and a heck of a nice guy! He was kind enough to fill in for me for a few weeks last year while I recovered from knee surgery.

I'm not on here very often...or as much as I would like to be, but it's always cool to run into someone you know on these things!
 

Skitch

Pioneer Member
Here are some links to Rock charts:

Absolutely http://store.payloadz.com/go?id=845209*
Always Something there to Remind Me Naked Eyes http://store.payloadz.com/go?id=845210
Carry on Wayward Son, Page 1 Kansas http://store.payloadz.com/go?id=845211
Carry on Wayward Son, Page 2 Kansas http://store.payloadz.com/go?id=845212
Centerfold J. Geils Band http://store.payloadz.com/go?id=845213*
Don't You Want Me Human League http://store.payloadz.com/go?id=845214*
Footloose Kenny Loggins http://store.payloadz.com/go?id=845215
Freeze Frame, Page 1 J. Geils Band http://store.payloadz.com/go?id=845217
Freeze Frame, Page 2 J. Geils Band http://store.payloadz.com/go?id=845219*
Heartbreaker Pat Benatar http://store.payloadz.com/go?id=845220
Heartbreaker Pat Benatar http://store.payloadz.com/go?id=845221
I Can't Tell You Why The Eagles http://store.payloadz.com/go?id=845222
Just What I Needed The Cars http://store.payloadz.com/go?id=845223*
Keep Me Hanging On Kim Wilde http://store.payloadz.com/go?id=845224
Living on a Prayer Bon Jovi http://store.payloadz.com/go?id=845225
Rock Your Body Justin Timberlake http://store.payloadz.com/go?id=845226
She Blinded me with Science Thomas Dolby http://store.payloadz.com/go?id=845228*
Talking in Your Sleep The Romantics http://store.payloadz.com/go?id=845229
Video Killed the Radio Star The Buggles http://store.payloadz.com/go?id=845231
You Give Love a Bad Name Bon Jovi http://store.payloadz.com/go?id=845233


These are but some of the songs I was playing in a cover band and I was making on average of $1200/week.


Mike

http://www.mikemccraw.com
http://www.dominoretroplate.com
http://www.patentcoachmike.com
http://www.youtube.com/drummermikemccraw
http://www.myspace.com/drummermikemccraw
http://www.facebook.com/mike.mccraw
http://www.linkedin.com/in/mikemccraw
http://twitter.com/mikemccraw
 

StickIt

Senior Member
I am resurrecting this thread because
a) It's got some good stuff in it
b) I was gonna start a "Do you or do you Not like Country Music" (or something like that) thread, but I found this in a search....so...

When I play "country" gigs, which is most of the time, we usually end up playing some classic country, contemporary country, alt-country, Texas country, western swing, southern rock, sometimes a little bluegrass, and often times a couple of straight-ahead rock tunes...and it's a blast!!! I often wonder what it is about this genre that draws so much negativity from such a huge group of people. There is a wealth of good music under the "country" umbrella, just as there is any other genre, and I wish it garnered a little more respect amongst musicians....oh well :)
 

8Mile

Platinum Member
I think the "Young Country" craze that swept the U.S. in the early 90s created a negative association with country music. It became very formulaic and conformist, which has nothing to do with the spirit of "outlaw" country music. Also, there are some attitudes towards the deep south that people struggle with that I think affects how they feel about the music.

But "real" country music can be great. It's rebellious in a lot of ways and refuses to fit in. What's not to like about that? I've played in country bands and it taught me a ton about how to play for the song, as they say. It improved my appreciation for really nailing a groove and it forced me to simplify. I think I'm a better rock player because of it.

Also, some people here lump a lot of music under the country umbrella. Some of the rootsy, Americana-style music is just brilliant. It has a cult following, but there are some amazing singer-songwriters performing out there these days.

20 years ago, I hated country music. I would have said that if you asked me. Today, I feel much differently. Playing the music gave me a real appreciation for it. Don't get me wrong, a lot of it is crap; but that's true of almost every genre of music.
 

groove1

Silver Member
Country music has evolved and so has rock. What you got away with 40 years ago has changed considerably. You really need to get inside each and every song.
 

dmacc_2

Well-known member
I think the "Young Country" craze that swept the U.S. in the early 90s created a negative association with country music. It became very formulaic and conformist, which has nothing to do with the spirit of "outlaw" country music. Also, there are some attitudes towards the deep south that people struggle with that I think affects how they feel about the music.

But "real" country music can be great. It's rebellious in a lot of ways and refuses to fit in. What's not to like about that? I've played in country bands and it taught me a ton about how to play for the song, as they say. It improved my appreciation for really nailing a groove and it forced me to simplify. I think I'm a better rock player because of it.

Also, some people here lump a lot of music under the country umbrella. Some of the rootsy, Americana-style music is just brilliant. It has a cult following, but there are some amazing singer-songwriters performing out there these days.

20 years ago, I hated country music. I would have said that if you asked me. Today, I feel much differently. Playing the music gave me a real appreciation for it. Don't get me wrong, a lot of it is crap; but that's true of almost every genre of music.
Indeed!

I played in a country band from 1984 - 1988 and worked 3-4 nights a week throughout in packed clubs for good money. Believe it or not, they weren't the typical crap holes either. Decent places... I learned so much from doing so it was amazing. It absolutely improved all other aspects of my playing. I look back on that time with great happiness and with what it brought me in terms of playing with people and supporting others.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
I'm with you David, I played in country bands for 3 years in the early 80's. Raised on classic rock, playing country gave me a great basis for future blues drumming pursuits. Rock and Roll comes from a blending of Country and Blues, so anything in those 3 genres are right up my alley. I am grateful for the time I spent in Country bands.

No jazz whatsoever in my formative years, I just wasn't exposed. Not sure how I feel about that.
 
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