Issue with counting!

Chilli78

New member
Hi I am a relatively new drummer. Self taught with guidance from a friend who is a drummer. I was hoping someone can help. I am struggling to play particular beats. I always count when I drum. But the problem is when learning new beats I end up playing what I count. So if I playing 1,and of 2,and of 3,and 4 on the kick. I end not playing 16 notes on high hats. My mind is so preocupied with when I need to hit the kick. I miss notes on highthats. I have limb independence on other beats. But I cant seem to transfer that to all beats. It’s like I have to learn everything again. And I can’t seem to play without counting which was good to start but now it’s slowing my progress. Any ideas how get over this. Many thanks in advance for your responses.
 

BonsaiMagpie

Junior Member
Honestly man, it's horrible because it's the answer you're gonna hear forever on the drums. Slow it down and keep playing it til you can.

Just last week I had a beat to play that i couldn't. Slowed it down and played for hours til I could. It was simple as hell, but my hands wouldn't do it. I'd either play the ride on the &s or I would miss the 4. Practice, practice, practice. :(
1&2&3&4&
RideXXXX
SnareX
TomXXX
KickXX
 

danondrums

Well-known member
Honestly man, it's horrible because it's the answer you're gonna hear forever on the drums. Slow it down and keep playing it til you can.

Just last week I had a beat to play that i couldn't. Slowed it down and played for hours til I could. It was simple as hell, but my hands wouldn't do it. I'd either play the ride on the &s or I would miss the 4. Practice, practice, practice. :(
1&2&3&4&
RideXXXX
SnareX
TomXXX
KickXX
That’s a really cool way to communicate a groove. And also helpful advice for sure.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
Yeah, I too was impressed with the drum tab format. Haven't seen that before--very clear.
The metronome on my phone (Beat Looper) is basically set up like that. It's very handy and easy to construct beats with. Fruity Loops works pretty much the same way also. The folks who scoff at the idea of a drum tab should really check it out. Much simpler than standard notation.
 

brentcn

Platinum Member
First of all, counting out loud is a very good learning tool. But, eventually you should become able to play beats, fills, etc. without counting. Of course this takes a long time, depending on how difficult the material is. Second, you should begin by counting (out loud) every single note. But, once that is going pretty well, you should only count the parts that are changing.

But the problem is when learning new beats I end up playing what I count.
For example, you would begin by counting all the 16ths. Do this until you can play the beat 4 times in a row with zero mistakes. Then, just count the bass and snare notes: "1, 2 and, and 4" while NOT playing the 16ths. Use the same stick to play the snare that you did when you were playing the 16ths. Finally, add in the 16th hi-hat notes, but do not count everything; only count the bass and snare notes.

If you are still making mistakes... SLOW DOWN A LOT!!! Go as slowly as it takes for you to play without mistakes. This is usually much slower that you would expect, and it requires maturity and patience. And it may not go well the first couple of days, but probably by the third day it will come together.

Once you can play it slowly, 4 times in a row, with no mistakes, while counting -- then practice it WITHOUT counting. Try closing your eyes, and just listening and feeling the notes. Now, after all this painfully slow practice, when you speed up, you will have lots of success. It may not be perfect yet, but you will notice lots of progress.

But be warned: if you do not put in the time playing slowly, while counting aloud, then, when you speed up, you will make lots of mistakes, and become discouraged and frustrated.
 

Mustion

Senior Member
Honestly man, it's horrible because it's the answer you're gonna hear forever on the drums. Slow it down and keep playing it til you can.

Just last week I had a beat to play that i couldn't. Slowed it down and played for hours til I could. It was simple as hell, but my hands wouldn't do it. I'd either play the ride on the &s or I would miss the 4. Practice, practice, practice. :(
1&2&3&4&
RideXXXX
SnareX
TomXXX
KickXX
I'm going to guess that the problem area was that first tom hit in that triplet, which flips the lead from your right hand to the left. You probably really wanted to hit the ride at the same time, no?
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
I have limb independence on other beats. But I cant seem to transfer that to all beats.
A change in perspective my be useful here. Rather than think about independence and how well your limbs operate separately from each other, think about interdependence and how your limbs work together. As pointed out, you need to start slow and stay slow until you've got it. Just take it one note at a time until your limbs become trained to play the parts with each other. Once your hands and feet learn to work together on a pattern, you may also find that you can swap parts between hands and feet, left and right, right hand and left foot, etc.

The same approach applies to singling and playing, where your vocal parts are really part of the whole song your body 'plays', and not a separate thing to concentrate on in addition to what your four limbs are doing.

It's all a bit conceptual, but makes the process of learning a little less daunting.

Bermuda
 

mrjones

Active member
Hi I am a relatively new drummer. Self taught with guidance from a friend who is a drummer. I was hoping someone can help. I am struggling to play particular beats. I always count when I drum. But the problem is when learning new beats I end up playing what I count. So if I playing 1,and of 2,and of 3,and 4 on the kick. I end not playing 16 notes on high hats. My mind is so preocupied with when I need to hit the kick. I miss notes on highthats. I have limb independence on other beats. But I cant seem to transfer that to all beats. It’s like I have to learn everything again. And I can’t seem to play without counting which was good to start but now it’s slowing my progress. Any ideas how get over this. Many thanks in advance for your responses.
I don't have much time under my belt and I've done the same thing .I think everything just takes time .when I was learning to control the high hat with my foot I adjusted it 30 times before I finally sat there for hours practicing it
 

Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX

Well-known member
and after all of this advice, which is all superb, I will - (as the marching band guy) - remind you to really make sure that the quarter note pulse is the main reference point...then the subdivision. Remember to think about how the pulse defines the vertical space that everything is happening in!! Don't forget to have the met going !!!!
 

BonsaiMagpie

Junior Member
I'm going to guess that the problem area was that first tom hit in that triplet, which flips the lead from your right hand to the left. You probably really wanted to hit the ride at the same time, no?
Absolutely! I could do it with the first tom and the third, or the second and third, or all three with three on the ride. It took me a few hours and my teacher helped me too. When I finally nailed it, I didn't care that I struggled so much because I was super proud for overcoming it. And as it's on a grade piece for my exam it was really important to get it perfect.
 

rustyfingers

Senior Member
I'm with the counting out loud folks and I will also sing the count. I do it all the time and sometimes it's the only way to keep things straight in my head.
 
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