Well, maybe with your extensive musical background, playing the drums to a song is just too boring for you. Every time I play with a live band I wish I played a different instrument so that I could better entertain the audience. Drums are mostly a support instrument. Very important to the song, but easily replaced by a machine.You might not be though. Anything is possible maybe I have a music listening problem.
Biggest thing in my experience to internalize songs, is feeling the different "building blocks" and how they relate to the structure of a song...No offense taken. For the most part, I am a very musical person. Been playing and learning music/instruments since I was 4 years old. I am a 'songwriter' and "pRoDuCe" my own "mUsIc"(hate saying that). I am very critical/analytical when listening to music. I can identify different instruments, keys, chord changes, time signatures, modulations and whatever else as well as the next guy/gal. But I have been told by other musicians and producers that I am a little different in the way I approach music/writing, which they framed as a good thing, but it could be a bad thing. Might be a backhanded compliment
Here's another vote for actually writing out the arrangement. On paper. Something about taking a pen to paper really ingrains it in my head.
My arrangements look like something like this: Intro/V/V/Ch/Lead/Br/Ch/Ending. I'll notate what beat to play, what time sig, tempo etc.
I don't bother writing the number of bars in each part, because I have a good memory for that stuff once the song is rolling. Unless there are really tricky parts, then I do notate that.
But it's vital that I have a clear map of arrangement the song. Once I actually write the arrangement down on paper, it's for the most part memorized.
Personal story...I did a fill in for an original band a few years back, no rehearsal, probably 20 songs. Did I mention that I had no rehearsal and all original music I had never heard before? I did have access their music online so I was able to map out all the arrangements. I just came to the gig with my stack of my arrangements written out on big index cards in black sharpie.
The agreement was to play their songs in a certain order, and I stacked my index cards accordingly. Nailed the gig. Nailed it! Couldn't have done it without my arrangements. One really useful trick I learned when mapping out an arrangement of a new song that I had never heard before...is to write on my little card that this song has the same groove as (insert similar song here) That little reminder helped me greatly to remember the song before starting it.
TL;DR: Map out the arrangement
When i hear a song with a drum machine i dont feel the rhythum in an organic , natural way JMO.Well, maybe with your extensive musical background, playing the drums to a song is just too boring for you. Every time I play with a live band I wish I played a different instrument so that I could better entertain the audience. Drums are mostly a support instrument. Very important to the song, but easily replaced by a machine.
You might not be though. Anything is possible maybe I have a music listening problem.
That's actually reassuring, thank you for sharing. I'm starting to think it may be a matter of perfectionism on my endHere's an anecdote for you. The singer/guitarist in our origials band can only practice/play the songs all the way through. If we stop, it's back to the beginning. I have never practiced the songs front to back alone. Guess who makes all the boo boos (not me.) Guess who had better be listening for "non standard" forms to our songs lol.
Maybe it’s just not your thing, to solo practice songs front to back. I suppose it is important for players who do note for note playing, but not everyone does that either.
I find that I learn songs more quickly by sitting down with a pen and paper and writing out a chart than I do by listening/playing along to it.I do both at times. I've actually found that I can get through it further/cleaner with just a click. I often ask myself how many times should you have to play a song to 'get it down'?
I know everyone is different, but there's a point where you start to question your own competency
very good insight, thank you