How to learn hard to hear drum part off cd ?

Brandtwi

Member
I have an audition coming up with a band I want to get in and need to learn songs off of their recording on Bandcamp. My problem is that it is very hard to hear what the drummer is doing. I wish there was a software that could pull the drum part off a recording and print out the the drum notation. What would you do if you were in my situation??? Please HELP!!!
 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
Get the structure, the main part of the groove down and anything else that's important.

Some things are optional, some are not. Depends on the song/style.

There is software that helps slow things down. That's sometimes helpful, but just listening to only one song enough times is often key.

Make a chart so everything makes sense to you structurally. Then it often becomes more clear what should be played and hence what was actually played.
 

Wave Deckel

Gold Member
Sometimes, you might have a problem hearing everything in a mix at once, especially if there is also percussion included. What I do then is to first analyse which instruments are there, what are they playing mainly. Then I listen to the recording again and concentrate e.g. only on the hihat. What do they play there? Same with the bassdrum, if I am unsure. Then I listen to everything again and again and again (and try to play my drums in my head at the same time). Works pretty well for me.

Then I ask myself: What is essential for the feel of the song, what not? What would I naturally play to this song? In the end, I play how I feel it must be played. Essential signature fills and the like will get included the one way or the other but, I do play my stuff, add my personality to the song. Nobody complained so far. :)
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
Assume that you'll need to play the parts as closely as possible. After all, the band knows what the parts are, and would probably like to hear them as they appear on the recordings. You should try a little EQ to accentuate the kick. Even if it's not more audible, you'll be able to extract a thump so you can literally feel the part. The snare should be somewhat audible, even in a poor mix. Hats & cymbals will also be more prominent with some EQ

Good luck!

Bermuda
 

Brandtwi

Member
I want to thank all of you that took time & effort to help me. I am usually good at learning songs, but this was a self made LP w/ lots of overdubs, including drum overdubs. I don't usually worry about playing beat for beat and like to do my own thing when possible. In this case the guitar was doing something weird & the drums had to copy that rhythm. I just couldn't make it out w the mix sounding the way it does. With good headphones & a lot of listening & play alongs I figured it out. YEAH! Thank all of you again!
 

Alex Sanguinetti

Silver Member
I recommend you to post the song you talk about.

Generally speaking is IMPERATIVE to read and write well music to be able to understand (transcribe) what a drummer (or any musician) plays, at the end is really recognition of notes...
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
I recommend you to post the song you talk about.

Generally speaking is IMPERATIVE to read and write well music to be able to understand (transcribe) what a drummer (or any musician) plays, at the end is really recognition of notes...
I second all of this.

Post the song.

Learn to read/write just well enough to be able to communicate the parts you need to play.
 

force3005

Silver Member
Hi Brandtwi and welcome to DW. What I do is to slow down the song. If you have Windows XP or 7, in Windows Media Player under (enhancements) a section that is called (play speed settings) , that can decrease or increase the song without loosing anything in the song.

What I do is rip the song and save it as a MP3. Then under My Music make a folder and drop the file in there. Now open the file in the folder and on the top header on the screen that reads (Windows Media Player), right click and you will see the pull-down with Enhancements. Also take a quick at the Graphic equalizer in that pull-down and try some different settings. This also helps me sometimes.

Good luck, Force3005
 

Dwayne1

Junior Member
If you have the money buy mics and a mixer, then you can adjust the volume when your listening through headphones to isolate the song parts and compare it to how your playing. This is my main method. If your still stuck, you can got to youtube and watch drum covers of the song your trying to learn. Sometimes, if the song is very technical you can find a breakdown of the song if you google it. Good luck!
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
The problem with checking online for transcriptions and YouTube covers, is that there's no way to verify the parts are accurate. I always make my own transcriptions by listening to the recording & version at hand, so I can be sure they're correct.

Bermuda
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
Write out the part, listen to it over and over, notate each note. As you do this, you'll get better at hearing the music a bit differently and your brain will automatically start to think in terms of note values and imagined stickings for the different sounds you hear.

It just takes a bit of time to get good at. Youtube can slow down songs for you which can also help.

Lastly, if it's at all popular, there's bound to be a drum cover or even an tutorial available online so you can actually see what's going down and often get tips/instruction.
 

Living Dead Drummer

Platinum Member
Anytime I run into this issue I turn to You Tube and try and find a video of the band doing the song live. It's not often that you will get good quality there, but sometimes you can get lucky. And if you REALLY strike gold you will find a video of the actual drummer, or at least a video that shows him/her prominently during that particular section of the song.
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
Anytime I run into this issue I turn to You Tube and try and find a video of the band doing the song live. It's not often that you will get good quality there, but sometimes you can get lucky. And if you REALLY strike gold you will find a video of the actual drummer, or at least a video that shows him/her prominently during that particular section of the song.
Very true. You also get the benefit of a different mix to the song as it's live. So certain elements of the drumming may be more prominent in the mix and give a better idea of the whole groove.
 
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