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Thread: How do you learn a song?

  1. #1

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    Default How do you learn a song?

    I am a very beginner. I have some rudiements and basic beats down and am driving my husband crazy, 'cause all I do is practice a few fills between various beats. "Learn a song" he keeps saying. But, how do you learn a song? Just play along and keep stopping and backing up the cd to try to figure out what they do or what? Drum tabs? I am unsure how to go about this. How did you all learn your first song? I'm SKEERED.

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by Drummina
    I am a very beginner. I have some rudiements and basic beats down and am driving my husband crazy, 'cause all I do is practice a few fills between various beats. "Learn a song" he keeps saying. But, how do you learn a song? Just play along and keep stopping and backing up the cd to try to figure out what they do or what? Drum tabs? I am unsure how to go about this. How did you all learn your first song? I'm SKEERED.
    Hi Drummina (sista drummer), I'm a beginner as well, as you already know, and I haven't learned my first song yet and probably wonít for a while. My teacher wants me to practice my rudiments and my technique. I've been drumming for about 3 weeks now and I've been making quite a racket around my house as well LOL Iím gearing my energy towards my rudiments, technique and some basic beats, I think learning songs will be something that will come naturally once you really learn the basics.

    Anyway, welcome and enjoy this forum, itís great and you will learn a lot.

    DC

  3. #3

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    Yeah, I was just playing along with the radio, it sounds like a mess. Maybe I should stick with my instincts and keep working on what I know, trying to make if perfect, and working on one or two new rudiments at a time. I think I will know when I am ready. My husband can just put in earplugs or go outside.

  4. #4

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    You can still practice to music but just use your rudiments. For instance, I take the song Crazy by Gnarls Barkley and I do 8th note feel rudiments (if that's how to put it) I'm still very slow...... I'll play the whole song incorporating paradiddles, singles, doubles and flams. The Crazy song and, I hate to say it, Michael Jackson's Billie Jean are fantastic songs to practice rudiments and timing......... I use to think in order to play with a song I had to know the songs drum beats to-a-tee, however, that's not really the case. As long as you can find a song that has a good tempo, for you of course, you can play along and enjoy it very much, you don't have to know the song to play with the song.
    Last edited by drum_chick; 04-16-2007 at 01:10 PM.

  5. #5

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    Hi, it took me about 3 months since i held the sticks to play a song. it was a basic rock song and it probably took another 3 months to perfect it ( actually, Im still perfecting it ( and others ) coz now its more than just getting the beat its become " does the hi-hat sound right " can i put my own fills in etc. but like i said, it took about three months to get the basic beat ( rock 4 ) to a song.

    so dont stress and it will come once you build the coordination etc to play on the kit.


  6. #6

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    From my own experience - ignore that. Pick a song, something basic, like "I love Rock n' Roll" and just play along with it. If you stuff up, don't worry about it, just keep going. After a few times of playing it you will start to get the hang of it. It's great to be able to do parradiddles, but ultimately, the only way to learn to play a song, is to actually play it (and you very rarely use parradiddles IN a song). You learn to listen to the instrument better that way aswell. And if you hear something you really like, just give it a go.

    Think of it this way - stuffing up a song is no worse than stuffing up your rudiments is it? And you learn what NOT to do next time, and it shows you what areas you need to improve. Maybe your leading with your left hand, and should be leading with your right. Maybe you need to control your speed better. Maybe you need to learn to just let go and go crazy. You won't really know unitl you give it a try.

    That's me two cents.
    "What consumes your mind, controls your life" - So, what consumes your mind?

  7. #7

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    im with Plunger-man on this one....
    pick a simple song....3 days grace "animal ive become" is a Great one to play as its really easy and not hard on the fills...and make use of the repeat function on your cd/ipod/computer thingy and just play along with it....
    PRACTICE SAFE BANGING!!! play drums! My Pearl Session Kit

  8. #8

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    Cool How do you learn a song?

    Hey, Drummina!

    Tell your husband to be patient!

    Practice the rudiments and assignments as your teacher told you. Ask him too about songs to which you can play along. Before you try playing, however, listen to the song and listen closely for the beat...as well as rudiments you might recognize...
    keep the beat goin' ... Don't keep it to yourself!

    Charlie

    "If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away." --Henry David Thoreau, "Walden," 1854

    "There's a lot to be said for Time Honored tradition and value." --In memory of Frank "fiacovaz" Iacovazzi

    "Maybe your drums can be beat, but you can't."--Jack Keck

  9. #9

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    Usually when I learn a song, I just listen to it over and over and over until i get it.

    Thats what I did with YYZ, and like all the other songs I listen to....I'm not exaclty strong with my rudiments (I end up literally changing parts if I'm nt strong in a certain area of a song)
    "If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer."
    - Henry David Thoreau

    My set: Sonor Force 2003 Fusion Kit. 16" B8 Thin Crash, 20" B8 Ride, 16" Wuhan China, 14" B8 hi-hats, 10" AAX Splash
    PDP Double bass Pedal, PDP throne.

  10. #10

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    Well I feel like an arse! I figured it was just ok for me to practice my rudiments...... I am no where near being able to learn an entire song.....

  11. #11

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    As far as I'm concerned, I've practiced along with the music I like from the start. It's the faunniest part, don't miss it!

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by bongobro
    Hey, Drummina!

    Practice the rudiments and assignments as your teacher told you. Ask him too about songs to which you can play along. Before you try playing, however, listen to the song and listen closely for the beat...as well as rudiments you might recognize...

    AC/DC is the best music to learn from, so simple, my suggestion is to listen to the song and familiarize yourself with what the drummer is doing, listen for the hi-hat, the snare and the kick, listen, listen, listen, then when you have familiarized yourself, sit down behind your kit, and start playing, it will be difficult, but don't give up, just keep listening to what the drummer is doing and then start with just the snare beat, then when you feel comfortable about that, go to the kick drum, and when your comfortable with that go the the hats, then add them all together, this is what I did, and it helped me really understand what the drummer is doing, and it helped me understand how to play it.

    Thats just my 2 cents.

  13. #13

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    Please don't listen to anyone who tells you that you will never use your rudiments or that you will become a great drummer just by playing along with a song over and over. If you want to do it right get your sticking and technique down. Playing a song is 90% knowing how to play drums and 10% knowing the song. Being able to sit in with any group and play without knowing the music doesn't come from listening to songs all the time, it comes from having the ability to take what you hear and duplicate that sound from your drums. At the end of my lessons, I have my student play to any song he brings with him, just to see where he is at; if he is playing it incorrectly, I will play it and show him what technique he needs to work on etc...then have him play it again to see if he can correct himself. This is maybe 10 mins tops out of an hour; the rest of the time is technique, rudiments, and theory as well as exercises.

    Just remember you have to crawl before you can walk;
    Last edited by yesdannysback; 04-17-2007 at 03:29 PM.
    Life is like a garden, dig it!

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    Hey yesdannysback I think you misunderstood what I was saying, they were asking how to learn a song, I recommend AC/DC because it is very easy to learn, and very easy to understand, I never said in fact I quoted bongobro because I feel rudiments are very important, as well as hand and foot technique.

  15. #15

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    I am self taught, and this is how I learned to play drums, as well as watching videos and just trying to play what my favorite drummer was doing, and think there is nothing wrong with that, I feel I am a very strong player.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by ddrumbum
    I am self taught, and this is how I learned to play drums, as well as watching videos and just trying to play what my favorite drummer was doing, and think there is nothing wrong with that, I feel I am a very strong player.
    That's encouraging, being self-taught and being as good as you are!

    Anyone else have videos like ddrumbum? I'd like to see all of you play.

  17. #17

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    To learn a song I usually listen to it a lot. I think that's pretty much how I've always learned. I listen to it over and over until I get it and have the changes, solo and ending right - unless the drummer is doing something insane I can usually learn a song just by listening to it.

    I wish we had Ipods when I was first learning it's so easy now to hear a song, I used to have to rewind the cassette over and over.
    Serve The Song, Not The Ego - NEP

  18. #18

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    Not to argue but please don't think there are any easy ways to learning a song and having it sound good. I know it's tempting to just turn on the radio and bang away but your not really being productive in that manner if you are using incorrect technique. It's like wanting a cake but not getting all the ingrediants or instructions to make it correctly; sure you "may" end up with something that looks and tastes like cake but its not the "Cake" you saw in the bakery window. This is not meant to be rude in any way to anyone, but do you think the drummers you listen to on the radio were able to make these perfect songs that everyone enjoys in a few weeks? I just think too many beginners look for these secrets that will make you better and there are none. I can't break down how to play a song. I will tell you if you keep practicing the fundamentals and rudiments of drumming, you will eventually train your limbs to move when you want; your limbs will have the ability to respond to your brains thoughts, and you will play songs whenever you want and it will sound good. Believe me, if I could tell you some secret to being a great drummer, I would and then we would all be great drummers...
    Life is like a garden, dig it!

  19. #19

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    And a good way to practice is to listen to your favorite drummer(s) and then try to play what they are playing, it also helps build creativity, and is a really fun way to learn.

    I am not sure what you mean by the cake thing, because we all have to start somewhere, and if somebody wants to listen to his/her favorite drummer(s)and then try and play along to them, I see no reason why they shouldn't, I also think practicing rudiments is also very important.

    BUT listening to your favorite drummer also trains your brain and limbs as well, because your brain is becoming familiar with the sounds, and then when you practice to your favorite drummer, your brain and limbs will learn to work together and eventually you will have it down.

    I really feel like you may be limiting your students possibilities, rudiments are important, but so is inspiration, and you get inspiration from listening and watching your favorite drummers, and that makes you want to learn and play even more.

    I am sorry but this is what I have done, and I am very proud of my playing, and I did it all myself, with a little help from my videos and my CD collection.
    Last edited by Pdplayer; 04-17-2007 at 06:24 PM.

  20. #20

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    To learn a song i listened to it a lot. Than i took the beats and fills and i practice them, than piece it all together until i get it. My first song was paradise city which took me a pretty long while to learn especially since i wasn't good at all when i learned it. I think it's process to learn a song, it takes steps no matter how you go about doing it. Also, I say it's a lot more fun to learn by ear, because to me tabs are kinda like cheat notes, I only use them when i can't figure out what drums to hit when playing a song.
    Eskimos

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    I agree ddrumbum - sorry yesdannysback. I am all for rudiments, and no one ever said not to do them - in fact pretty much evryone on this site has given alot of advice about doing them and how important they are - there was a thread about it specifically even.

    However, playing along to songs and with other musos will teach you just as much, and is where a drummer gets his or her feel from. That is where the creativity starts. I could do prradiddles all day, and at the end, I'll have good speed and stick control, but know nothing about the feel of a jazz song. Experience is what teaches a drummer how to play, nothing else. Rudiments, traingin exercises, pattern building, etc... are just part of experience, and another part of experience is playing along to music. There is no reason to restrict a drummer from playing along to a song just because they don't know what they are doing. And "incorrect technique" is purely subjective. Everyone should be a little different and unique, so will the techniques they incorporate. I play left handed on a right handed kit setup. It's how I am comfortable and it is how I play the best. Technique - maybe wrong by your standards - but it works for me, and when I am playing, that is really all that matters. I agree with ddrumbum - i think you may just be limiting your students just a bit.

    Also, no one is talking about a shortcut to becoming a great drummer - I don't think anyone here beleives there is such a thing and it was never suggested. Everyone understands it takes time, practice, discipline and dedication. If you aren't going to commit to that, then your abilities will be limited.

    As for you assertion that what we hear on the radio is perfect drumming or whatever - alot of those guys no little about drumming aswell. Take Joey Jordisson for example - purely self taught - was a guitarist and only took up drums because their drummer was crap. Now, I'm not saying JJ is the worlds greatest drummer or anything (in fact I don't find him overly special) - but my point is no different. He is quick, has good control and senses and his technique for speed purposes is very good - but do you think he sat there for 6 months doing nothing but hand exercises before even attempting to play along to a Metallica song or something? I amjust using him as an example.
    "What consumes your mind, controls your life" - So, what consumes your mind?

  22. #22

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    Wow, I love all the differing opinions, it actually is helping me come to my own conclusions.

  23. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by Drummina
    Wow, I love all the differing opinions, it actually is helping me come to my own conclusions.
    Yep, this place is full of differeing opinions LOL

  24. #24

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    Sometimes the opinions are so different that we have to prise our hands off each others throats.

  25. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jobby
    Sometimes the opinions are so different that we have to prise our hands off each others throats.
    Yea Jobby, why don't you let crazyman go now, he's turning blue......

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