Is counting in during songs unprofessional?

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
Another one:
Pat Benetar Promises in the Dark, at the pause near the end of the song, you can hear Myron Grombacker count the band back in "1, 2 3, 4"
It's in the background and not super audible (because it's only vaguely picked up by the room mics). But it's there.

Joan Jett and the BlackHearts: Do You Want to Touch Me
Right at the beginning of the song, you can hear someone count in "1,2,3,4" again it's low in the mix, but there.

And these are the studio recordings!!
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
Pat Benatar Promises in the Dark, at the pause near the end of the song, you can hear Myron Grombacker count the band back in "1, 2 3, 4"
It's in the background and not super audible (because it's only vaguely picked up by the room mics). But it's there.
"Promises in the Dark" is my favorite Benatar recording for sure. It absolutely rocks! And yes, the audible count near the end is great -- distant and subtle but very organic.

Here's a remastered version from the late '90s:

 
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SomeBadDrummer

Well-known member
Hi all,

I played a little gig last weekend and at our rehearsal last night, our singer told me that I have to stop clicking my sticks and counting in when we have little stops during songs. He says we look like amateurs and that no serious top bands do that. Really? I'm pretty sure tons of top bands do it. I also think the audience appreciate it as it shows the band are keeping it all under control. So we tried them without and I bobbed my head instead, which actually worked ok, but seriously? Is it bad to click your sticks and shout "1,2,3,4" every now and then?
There are plenty of well known hits with drummers counting, both to kick off and after a break. But to the singer’s point, count ins should be unobtrusive unless intended to be heard and in your face.

The Ocean by zeppelin immediately comes to mind, perhaps he’s heard of them.

However there are many different ways to click or count in, sounds like it could be a matter of volume. You can count in without shouting, and clicking can also be done quietly.

Perhaps you can adjust to a minimal level that accomplishes the goal of keeping the band in sync without stepping on the singer’s toes.
 
What I don't like is when the there's a drum intro but the drummer still does a count in. Now that looks amateur.
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
I was thinking the other day, there was a time when it was fashionable in glam rock-inspired bands to use the cowbell instead of sticks/count-ins or pauses.

The end of "Live Wire" by Motely Crue

"NightTrain" by Guns and Roses starts with a Cowbell count-in and the cowbell count-in repeats in the middle of the song after a pause.

"Think About You" by Guns and Roses also has a cowbell count-in that repeats several times in the song.

And the concept is repeated in numerous other records of that era.

LIke this one:
 
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cbphoto

Gold Member
I like the use of cowbell at the end to count off the last notes.

 

SomeBadDrummer

Well-known member
I was thinking the other day, there was a time when it was fashionable in glam rock-inspired bands to use the cowbell instead of sticks/count-ins or pauses.

The end of "Live Wire" by Motely Crue

"NightTrain" by Guns and Roses starts with a Cowbell count-in and the cowbell count-in repeats in the middle of the song after a pause.

"Think About You" by Guns and Roses also has a cowbell count-in that repeats several times in the song.

And the concept is repeated in numerous other records of that era.

LIke this one:
I like the use of cowbell at the end to count off the last notes.

This one has to be the most prolific cowbell count in, just so in your face

 

Bozozoid

Well-known member
This is just me. If I'm watching a band and I notice the drummer doing alot of count ins (after the tune is in progress) breaks...it seems cheesy to me. Like the band needs a Q all the time. If your in front of 20.000 screaming people and you are stupid loud with crap monitors..MAYBE it's cool then.
 

SmoothOperator

Gold Member
Counting in I think, its probably par for the course. On the other end it does sound kind of neat when bands come out and start on cue, or when there are extended breaks, where everyone is counting. Its like holy mackerel ... ... Bang... Bang Bang...... Bang.
 

Spreggy

Silver Member
Be tactful, but be sure the band knows the tempo. Do your job, right?

When David twirls his finger, count in 8:
 

Spreggy

Silver Member
One of my favorite count-ins, by none other than Terry Bozzio:


He counts it in again on the same album (Sheik) , but in the middle of the song (Broken Hearts...) where it makes no sense. And he still gets gigs, so....

And Dagmar...
1! 2! 3! 4!
...was his nay-yay-yame.
 
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