Do You Always Count?

ZenR1

Well-known member
Do you always count every single beat, fill, whatsoever any and every time you play or listen to any drumming? Do you automatically hear everything in 1 + 2 e + a 3 + 4 e + a etc?
 
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ZenR1

Well-known member
So I'm a beginner on this journey. When do you stop having to count it all out? Sometimes I feel like it's interfering with actually hearing/feeling the rythm.
 

SomeBadDrummer

Well-known member
Do you always count every single beat, fill, whatsoever any and every time you listen to any drumming? Do you automatically hear everything in 1 + 2 e + a 3 + 4 e + a etc?
I never hear anything in those terms, or count; it’s all about feeling. Although if reading unfamiliar tunes from a chart or sheet music it might be helpful. It might depend on the music you’re playing... But that’s just me, some bad drummer.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
So I'm a beginner on this journey. When do you stop having to count it all out? Sometimes I feel like it's interfering with actually hearing/feeling the rythm.
As you gain experience, you'll develop an internal, immaterial, non-intellective sense of rhythm and timing that will permeate your drumming in every way. The interpretation and execution of beats will become automatic -- almost involuntary, similar to breathing. In the meantime, don't worry about it. Just keep playing.
 
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crash

Member
Yes. I count just about everything I play. I don't get into counting subdivisions, that's just busy work. Counting helps me keep time better. When things were open, I played in a big jazz band, everything was charted. So it was easy to count the beats.
 

ZenR1

Well-known member
As you gain experience, you'll develop and internal, immaterial, non-intellective sense of rhythm and timing that will permeate your drumming in every way. The interpretation and execution of beats will become automatic -- almost involuntary, similar to breathing. In the meantime, don't worry about it. Just keep playing.
I sometimes wonder if I already have a bit of that and am interfering with it by trying to "hear" the numbers?
 

toddbishop

Platinum Member
As a beginner, you should be learning to count-- you're supposed to know rhythm as a drummer, and that's one of the ways you do it.

You can count:
-- The combined rhythm of all the parts on whatever thing you're learning-- like with your last question. It's extremely helpful in learning new stuff.
-- Combinations of quarter note, 8th note and 16th note rhythms, including rests. And 8th note triplets.
-- Beats or subdivisions when actually playing a groove-- you generally don't need to always count while playing though.
 
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C.M. Jones

Well-known member
I sometimes wonder if I already have a bit of that and am interfering with it by trying to "hear" the numbers?
That's a possibility, of course. Understanding the numeric function of notes is important, but it shouldn't smother instinct. Count less and feel more.
 

Mr Farkle

Well-known member
I understand what you’re saying when you say it interferes with hearing or feeling the music. My vocal chords get tired and I find it distracting if I count out loud. I didn’t count much at all after I first learned to play but the last few years I’ve been learning jazz and now I count all the time again. I still count mostly in my head unless I’m learning something like Beyond Bop triplet limb independence. I have to count that stuff out loud and even loud at times. So in my case it depends on what I’m doing. Just sharing my own experience. I’m no drum instructor.
 

MntnMan62

Junior Member
Here's how I see it. Being able to count music is essential to truly understanding the rhythm you are attempting to play. And when you play with other people and are working on arrangements of songs, sometimes you have to explain to your bandmates how that part works rhythmically. So, when you are in the early stages of your drumming career it is important to count things often. You at least need to be able to count it with little thinking. It needs to be second nature. So, as a newbie, count everything. Over time you won't have to. It will become part of your feel. Counting the beat isn't always necessary throughtout an entire song. But you might need to count it out until you become comfortable and can play it repetatively perfectly. Some people responded with the response that they never count. That's great for them. Maybe it works for them. Nothing wrong with that. But I have found that counting early on in my career has paid dividends later on while playing with other people and while attempting to figure out difficult grooves, beats or fills. Do what you think makes sense for you. If you are taking lessons, that's a question you should ask your teacher.
 

bud7h4

Silver Member
If I'm playing something complex enough that counting would help me, I feel like at the same time counting also adds yet another dimension to an already complex task. I'll count while learning something, particularly polymeter and polyrhythms. After that, counting is only a distraction.
Maybe counting distracts me because I'm not used to doing it, in which case I might have to consider this a potential weakness.
 

Bozozoid

Well-known member
This counting thing you speak of is strange to me. All these years go by and I've learned from feel only. Should I change this late in the game?. Counting seems like torture to me but if it helps I'll dig in. I know I'll screw it up though. I can hear my band mates yelling dude! Just go back to your old way.
 
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