How do I count this song?

Odowalt

Member
Hey guys, I've been a sometime reader of this forum, first time poster!

Sorry if this is in the wrong section, but I was hoping someone could help me with how to count this beat.

A little background: I've been drumming for some time now, but I'm completely self taught and I never got in the good habit of counting when I first learned. So now when I need to count a part out, I'm having trouble (of course), but I'm trying to make up for lost time and learning it now.

I want to learn a part from the song Lethean by Katatonia
the chorus/intro double kick part specifically. I tried to write it out (also a first). I tried copying it over here, but it screws up the layout so I included a screenshot in stead.

Now I can play this part along by ear on feeling, but when I try to count it out, I get absolutely stumped by the china on every three beats. Is there some trick to counting this, or is it really just doing the 1 e & a and playing the china on the correct vowel?

Trying to improve myself, but it is hard trying to stick with counting when you can actually play it without counting ;)

Thanks!
 

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Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
I am in a rush out the door but it sounds pretty basic and I'd just count 4 and 16ths for this... Like the notation example you posted... That's your count up there. The trick is to listen a bunch of times and make sure you line up your notes within that 16th "grid".

Another note, I only count when I'm learning something, it's not a goal for most drummers to count all the time especially not when they play "for real".
 

Odowalt

Member
I was afraid of that, dang, then I'll have to slow it down a lot to sync up my counting to my playing!

Yeah, I can play it by ear pretty well, but I explicitly want to get better at counting, so I'm going to just have to get to work :p

Thanks for the reply!
 
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toddbishop

Platinum Member
Good job figuring that out. The accents are on || 1 a & e 4 a & e 3 - 4 - || so you could just count that, or you could add the numbered beats to that, which would be:

|| 1 a2 & 3e 4 a1 & 2e 3 - 4 - ||

I think it's a good idea to be able to count just the quarter notes (the slow 1 2 3 4) while playing that. Counting the full grid is helpful for figuring stuff out, or for checking yourself for accuracy. This is all just so you know what you're playing-- in real playing you usually don't count out loud.
 

Odowalt

Member
Thanks for the advice Todd, I'll try it all out and see what works best ;)

Yeah, I can play alright, but I feel like I need to get back to basics a little, because sometimes I tend to lose a beat here or there in more complicated stuff!
 

Alain Rieder

Silver Member
I would suggest studying my Time Manipulation drum book, and especially the second section which is on polyrhythmic grooves.
I believe that the 6 exercises from this section are going to give you all the keys you need to understand those rhythms.
Here is one of them:
 

Odowalt

Member
I would suggest studying my Time Manipulation drum book, and especially the second section which is on polyrhythmic grooves.
I believe that the 6 exercises from this section are going to give you all the keys you need to understand those rhythms.
Here is one of them:
Thanks, I'm going to check it out!
 

iCe

Senior Member
Hey guys, I've been a sometime reader of this forum, first time poster!

Sorry if this is in the wrong section, but I was hoping someone could help me with how to count this beat.

A little background: I've been drumming for some time now, but I'm completely self taught and I never got in the good habit of counting when I first learned. So now when I need to count a part out, I'm having trouble (of course), but I'm trying to make up for lost time and learning it now.

I want to learn a part from the song Lethean by Katatonia
the chorus/intro double kick part specifically. I tried to write it out (also a first). I tried copying it over here, but it screws up the layout so I included a screenshot in stead.

Now I can play this part along by ear on feeling, but when I try to count it out, I get absolutely stumped by the china on every three beats. Is there some trick to counting this, or is it really just doing the 1 e & a and playing the china on the correct vowel?

Trying to improve myself, but it is hard trying to stick with counting when you can actually play it without counting ;)

Thanks!
Haven't listened to it since my work laptop has sound turned off, but looking at tab you posted the china pattern is probably what gives the illusion of an odd time. But if you look at the snare notation, that's on 2 and 4 and indicates just a 4/4 time (except in the 2nd 4/4 bar snare is only on 2 and not on 4).
Oh and doh... i now see they list the time signature as 8/4 which is just 2 bars of 4/4.
I think they list it that way, because they china pattern is in 3/16 and at the end of the 2 bars of 4/4 everything lines up again.

Welcome to advanced counting in drumming and polyrhythms :p
 

Odowalt

Member
Haven't listened to it since my work laptop has sound turned off, but looking at tab you posted the china pattern is probably what gives the illusion of an odd time. But if you look at the snare notation, that's on 2 and 4 and indicates just a 4/4 time (except in the 2nd 4/4 bar snare is only on 2 and not on 4).
Oh and doh... i now see they list the time signature as 8/4 which is just 2 bars of 4/4.
I think they list it that way, because they china pattern is in 3/16 and at the end of the 2 bars of 4/4 everything lines up again.

Welcome to advanced counting in drumming and polyrhythms :p
Thanks man! I figured this out too, was just hoping there would be some easier way to count that china pattern, haha, should have known there are no shortcuts ;)
 

iCe

Senior Member
Thanks man! I figured this out too, was just hoping there would be some easier way to count that china pattern, haha, should have known there are no shortcuts ;)
Since you can listen to it in that song, it's just a matter of getting familiar with. When i was starting out playing these kind of things, tapping along while listening to it was the way to go. You'll get it eventually :)
 
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