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Thread: Staying on beat

  1. #1

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    Default Staying on beat

    I am just wondering,

    When you guys drum, do you always keep count or is it just second nature to stick to the beat. Because even though i practice with a metronome I still find it easier to keep beat if I count with the metronome.

  2. #2

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    Counting with the metronome to me is like mentally saying words when you read a book. In reading, once you break that internal verbilization barrier, you can increase reading speed exponentially. In playing music, if you want to truly be fluid, you have to trust your feeling of the beat. At first you may be wrong more than right, but sooner or later you need to shed the crutch and trust yourself. You may be surprised to know that subconsciously, you really do feel the beat but you haven't learned to trust yourself yet.

    It's like singers who use a lyric sheet all the time because they don't know the words. They won't really know until they give up the crutch.

    All IMO BTW.

  3. #3

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    Start out with a metronome, but don't focus on it too much. Everyone has a sense of time no matter how bad a drummer you are. Eventually it will become second nature to you, and you can do it without thinking.
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  4. #4

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    Oh ok, thanks! i was getting worried because i wans't able to keep count during songs.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by xsabers View Post
    counting with the metronome to me is like mentally saying words when you read a book. In reading, once you break that internal verbilization barrier, you can increase reading speed exponentially. In playing music, if you want to truly be fluid, you have to trust your feeling of the beat. At first you may be wrong more than right, but sooner or later you need to shed the crutch and trust yourself. You may be surprised to know that subconsciously, you really do feel the beat but you haven't learned to trust yourself yet.

    It's like singers who use a lyric sheet all the time because they don't know the words. They won't really know until they give up the crutch.

    All imo btw.
    +1
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  6. #6

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    Your rhythm will become natural overtime, it just takes patience and practice. I don't really ever count unless the time is strange to me.
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  7. #7

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    Purely for staying in tempo, I don't think counting is crucial, though IMO practising with a metronome is. However, I DO think it's important to learn to count, either for working out patterns and particularly if you want to sight-read. I found, and I'm sure anyone would, that once you have counted for long enough, it just becomes automatic, and you don't need to think about it. It's almost like a bell goes off in your mind every 8 bars.

    BTW, If you are counting, get into tha habit, right from the start, of counting, for instance:-

    1+2+3+4+2+2+3+4+3+2+3+4+4+2+3+4+5+2+3+4+ etc. That will get you used to knowing how many bars you have played in any particular section. REALLY useful, in fact, essential, when faced with line after line of repeat bars.

    Andy

  8. #8

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    Welcome to DrumChat noname! Great question. The metronome for me is training my ears to control my muscles to a tempo where my sticking is even and controlled. As I gain strength and coordination, I will see fit to increase the tempo and try to gain the same fluidity accomplished at a slower tempo.

    I don't use this approach when I play with others especially if a vocalist insists on "leading" the tempo to feel comfortable with their song. If the tempo is one where I struggle at, I'll approach it slowly and gradually increase it until it is acceptable.

    I count during solo practices but during band practice, I will "feel" the count knowing I'm not alone in that endeavour.
    Last edited by late8; 09-28-2010 at 03:53 AM.

  9. #9

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    I would think it was the same for all drummers, when you are a beginner you have little to no control over your muscles and your timing sucks whether it is with a metronome or not.
    Practising with a metronome helps build up your 'internal metronome' and developing muscle memory allows you to keep to your internal metronome making you a good time keeper.
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  10. #10

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    I count odd times because if I don't I slip back into 4/4

    LOL

    all the best...

  11. #11

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    practicing will help guide the way, however you really need to feel the music as well, just remember even the pro's in a large symphony have a conductor..with a baton and he or se keeps the score on pace..I still can get ahead of the music at times when I lose that mental clock..its the whole band working together that makes it all work.
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  12. #12

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    Metronomes mess me up more than they help. Even counting messes me up. Rather than read notes as "1-2-3-4" or 1-&-2-&-3-&-4-&" I tend to say the sounds in my head, like "boom-boom-boom-bap-boom-boom-bap-kshhh". LOL! I can read sheet music just fine, but I read it with sounds as opposed to numbers.

    As for metronomes in particular, I find that I start trying to find the click instead of listening to the music. So it throws me off entirely.
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  13. #13

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    I don't think that there are any disagreements in this whole thread, but to clarify, are you asking about tempo or the actual count of each measure (as Andy illustrated)? When learning music or keeping track of where you are, counting like Andy showed can be great. But if you are fearful you won't know where beat "1" is unless you count every bar, then you should work on feeling the meter. No matter how accomplished you are, sometimes you have to break things down to their basic level (including counting) in order to grasp the feel and create the confidence and muscle memory.

  14. #14

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    We have had this discussion a while back and I remember Frank putting it best by saying that after some time we stop counting out loud and our internal clocks just take over counting for us.


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  15. #15

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    man this is gonna sound strange but i count with the stick i play open handed and i count when the stick hits my hand it works for me but ,ay not be the best way i know a friend of mine counts out loud under his breath and it works for him i think you just need to find the best way for you
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  16. #16

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    Count in the practice room, "play" on stage.
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  17. #17
    Larrysperf Guest

    Default Re: Staying on beat

    Quote Originally Posted by gonefishin View Post
    We have had this discussion a while back and I remember Frank putting it best by saying that after some time we stop counting out loud and our internal clocks just take over counting for us.


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    Ditto and also Ill add playing to a click is way over rated

  18. #18

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    Dave Grohl used to chew gum to help keep him on beat
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  19. #19

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    Ok, i get that after a while counting becomes natural.

    But

    One more question,

    How would you do drum fills, without knowing when a bar is over or when to end your fill?

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by nonamedude View Post
    Ok, i get that after a while counting becomes natural.

    But

    One more question,

    How would you do drum fills, without knowing when a bar is over or when to end your fill?
    I especially can't do fills with a metronome. Those are 100% feel for me. Once you allow yourself to get a sense of the rhythm, knowing where to start and stop a fill comes pretty easily.
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  21. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by nonamedude View Post
    Ok, i get that after a while counting becomes natural.

    But

    One more question,

    How would you do drum fills, without knowing when a bar is over or when to end your fill?
    This is simple. After going with say a four count, I "one" strike the bass on the 1 count and "double" strike the bass on 3 count. Of course 2 and 4 are snare strikes. But this always tells me where I am in the count and what I can fit in the measure. I know I can either fit 4 counts (strikes, each hit with a drum stick) in a fill or 8 counts, depending if it's a fill or solo. Best way I can describe this. But it's easier for me to know where I am while playing by the bass strikes for me. I do not count hardly anymore unless I'm having issues with my left arm/hand on the ride. It also makes it easier on mr because I can now concentrate on counting which measure I'm on so that I can "fill" appropriatley. I'm still working on that internal counter. I've almost worked this out of my system. I've been playing for around 7 months now, but have always had an internal counting clock, It did'nt take me long to stop counting outloud then internaly. Just alot of practice.

    To me where counting is most important is in keeping the same tempo through an entire song if need be.

    Just my experiences so far. I'm no pro by any means........yet.

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  22. #22

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    it turns into second nature, but its good to be able to do both I think. when working out different beats or parts, counting can be very helpful, especially when going slow. However, when just grooving/rocking out or playing fast or playing a song you know, the beat comes naturally and you shouldn't need to count.
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  23. #23

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    Thanks for the advice guys

  24. #24

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    No shortage of advice here huh? LOL
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  25. #25

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    we all must learn to feel the music and the rest will fall into place

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