Overcoming a mental block?

Magenta

Platinum Member
My drumming has been going pretty well recently, and the band is starting to gel and find its identity. A few weeks ago we decided to do a particular song, but when I came to practise it, I found I couldn't play it. It isn't difficult - at least, it doesn't have to be, it can be played simply enough - but I couldn't get it to sound the way I wanted it to.

Since then, I've got myself into a real tizz over it, to the point where I feel sick just thinking about it. I had a discussion with my bandmates, in which they assured me that I could do it and I made it clear that I damn well couldn't and it was never going to happen. We've worked on it in lessons a couple of times; at least, I worked on it once and the second time I flatly refused because I'd reached the point where I couldn't go near it.

The trouble is, I don't want to be beaten by this song, especially as it's exactly the sort of thing that suits our type of band. I've tried telling myself to get a grip and just play the bloody thing, but it's got way out of hand. Is there any way to overcome the way I feel about it, or should I just write it off for the foreseeable and maybe come back to it when hell freezes over?
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
Nah, don't give up on it. We all run into songs that prove to be much more difficult to play than they seem, even if we can hear and interpret all the parts.

Will you share which song it is?
 

Vegas Island

Senior Member
Sometmes ya gotta listen to it for a while. Be conscious and then sometimes be not too conscious of what is being played. Eventually it'll pop and and just come to ya.
 

Anon La Ply

Renegade
Madge, is it the basic groove of the song that's the problem or the arrangement? Sometimes certain beats at certain tempos are unexpectedly awkward - it's an individual thing. The only way through is patience. Chip away at it - and you find you come away a slightly more adept drummer.

I've never ever said no to a song on the basis of difficulty. I'd rather just play it (badly, if that's where I'm up to) and leave it to others decide whether it's worth persevering with or not. Meanwhile, of course, trying to brush up the rough bits at home.

One thing that helps is to aim to capture the soul of the beat - forget the detail - and try to make it groove like a muvvalovin beach. Just as it don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing, it does not behoove a drummer not to groove :) Tick the groovy box first. The rest is detail.

If anyone complains that it's "not like the original" you can mention that you're aiming for Utopia but for now you're still in Gwlad Cymru :)
 

Anon La Ply

Renegade
Another thought, in every song someone has the most challenging part. A number of times in bands I've played with I, or someone else, will have difficulties with a part.

Given that one player's difficulties impacts on the whole, those songs tend to quietly drop off the set list - certainly in my current band. The best songs are usually the ones that everyone can play without fuss.
 

MPortnoy

Senior Member
If there's a specific section of a song causing you trouble, listen to it over and over again, count it and practice it off the kit first if that helps (just moving your arms and legs)
Break it down playing maybe first the downbeats and once you have that, try incorporating the rest.
Even if you think the song is way out of your league for whatever reason, if you focus on the main strokes you might still be able to make it sound very similar.
 

Magenta

Platinum Member
It's Moondance, and I reckon you've hit the nail on the head, Grea: it has oodles of groove, and I don't. I think I'm frightened of it because it shows up all my weaknesses as a drummer :(
 

drum4fun27302

Gold Member
Make your own "version" of it. Stuff you are really comfortable with. Tell your band mates about it.
Then work on it at home , listening to the original and the one part or beat that YOU think defines it the most. And add it to your version.
Then, over time , keep on doing that until YOU feel it captures the grove of the song.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
It's Moondance, and I reckon you've hit the nail on the head, Grea: it has oodles of groove, and I don't. I think I'm frightened of it because it shows up all my weaknesses as a drummer :(
Ooh, great song! Yeah tons of groove, and a good solid swing feel to it. Definitely don't give up on it. You will thank yourself in the end, and look back at it and think the work was totally worth it and really not so bad.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Any part in particular, like the bass drum, giving you problems? Or is it just the overall feel? What exactly are you playing? BTW I asked Glen. He's getting back to me.
 

WhoIsTony?

Member
a couple books to check out

The Inner Game Of Tennis by W. Timothy Gallwey
and
Effortless Mastery by Kenny Werner

none of this will happen to you again on any level

I enjoyed them very much
 

Anon La Ply

Renegade
We're doing that one too. Definitely one of the more involved songs in our set and our poor old keyboardist frequently messes it up. I enjoy playing it drumwise, even if it's a hoary old standard; it has a nice bounce to it and some fun variations.

You know how the jazzers and Larry sometimes blather on about the quarter note pulse? That's the key to Moondance - not heavy, but steady - Dang dang dang click Dang dang dang click.

Practice at home and then fudge it any way you can :). Keep any backbeats fairly light.
 

Magenta

Platinum Member
Any part in particular, like the bass drum, giving you problems? Or is it just the overall feel? What exactly are you playing? BTW I asked Glen. He's getting back to me.
No, there's nothing specific, just Everything. Wail.

I'm pretty sure that if I ever did manage to crack it, it would be one of my favourites, MrIP, but I just cave in pathetically every time I think about it. I can't attempt it.

Larry, I know he's giving it careful consideration. The house could do with re-wiring.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Blather? Moi? Look here cupcake, this gangster doesn't blather, see? (said like Edward G. Robinson, or, The Frog, from TopCat)

I blither. As in blithering idiot.

You never hear, he's a blithering genius.

Haga!
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
No, there's nothing specific, just Everything. Wail.

I'm pretty sure that if I ever did manage to crack it, it would be one of my favourites, MrIP, but I just cave in pathetically every time I think about it. I can't attempt it.

Larry, I know he's giving it careful consideration. The house could do with re-wiring.
I'll rewire your whole house...and your entire families houses....for one night and brunch with you Madge....sigh....
 

Hollywood Jim

Platinum Member
I wonder, is the rest of the band playing it correctly.
Many times when a drummer tries to play a song to make it sound like the original version, and the rest of the band is not playing it correctly, it can sound terrible.

You might try playing the song like the rest of the band is playing it. Play "along with" the band. And in the end your bands version might not sound "exactly" like the original song.


.
 

JustJames

Platinum Member
Madge, are you playing from sheet music, or are you winging it?

If you're winging it, it may be useful to stand back a step and write out the music (if only the first few bars). I often find that by listening as intently as I need to in order to be able to write out the music, I get a much better feel for what is going on.

Another thing to try, is to look on Ewe-Tube for drum covers. Seeing the mechanics of playing a drum part can also help to cement it in your mind. You'll also notice that if you find three drum covers on the tube you'll see four ways to play the song, none of them quite the same as the original.
 

Anon La Ply

Renegade
Blather? Moi? Look here cupcake, this gangster doesn't blather, see? (said like Edward G. Robinson, or, The Frog, from TopCat)

I blither. As in blithering idiot.

You never hear, he's a blithering genius.

Haga!
I best run this past you, Unc.

Option 1: You know how the jazzers and Larry sometimes blither on about the quarter note pulse? That's the key to Moondance

Option 2: You know how the jazzers sometimes blather and Larry blithers on about the quarter note pulse? That's the key to Moondance

And is a blithering genius a genius who blithers or someone who's gifted at blithering?
 
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