Learning new songs

DrumWhipper

Member
What is your method for learning new songs? I know a lot of different people have a lot of different ways.

For me I will always listen to each song numerous times. I’ll work to chart the song, then will also continue to listen to get the feel and make mental notes.

I can absolutely wear a song out from listening to it so many times. I’ve also been known to listen to them over and over again on the way to a show to keep my mind fresh.
 

Rock Salad

Junior Member
I learn the time feel, then the words. Then I go for it, still listening and trying to get it better
I've never really fully learned a cover of a record yet
 

basset52

Senior Member
Listen to the song. Print off the lyrics. Note any "signature" parts that need replicating, if any. Note the kick and snare patterns and any changes ie chorus etc. Note the BPM. Listen to the song over and over as much as I can ie , in the car. I used to sweat blood to get everything perfect, but now as long as I get the above right I'm good to go. I've notice most punters don't know if I don't play the exact fills in the exact places.
 

Frosticles

Silver Member
I have learned whole sets just by listening to them. I always make a crib sheet also with how each song starts, The structure (2 break 2 etc) Usually good with that :)
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
For me I will always listen to each song numerous times. I’ll work to chart the song, then will also continue to listen to get the feel and make mental notes

Best way, especially when something has some twists & turns, uncommon pushes and stops, etc.

I give the song a cursory listen just to get the vibe, and make some basic text notes which will be added to the set list.

I listen again, this time charting the arrangement. From there I write a simple chart with a few blanks to fill in the details, like certain figures or pushes.

I spot check the song for specific rhythms or syncopation, and fill those in on the chart.

I listen once more, following the chart so I associate the two when I sit down to play it.

Tonight's gig has a three new (to me) songs, and one will definitely benefit from a simple chart, just so I don't step in any holes. Obviously I use words for reference that I know. Where it says 'hat' I know to play a standard jazz hi-hat only part, and 'toms' in this song means a jungle rhythm. I don't even bother to put the feel, I already know what it is. Then again, nobody else is expected to be reading my charts anyway. :)

_chart.jpg
 

No Way Jose

Silver Member
Sometimes I write tempo, time signature and style on the song list. Usually I don't have to reproduce the drum part exactly.

I remember long ago, going to an audition. I had notes but I forgot how the songs went.
 
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