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Thread: Super newbie question

  1. #1

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    Default Super newbie question

    Hi guys, haven't posted for a while (even though I only ever tend to ask questions on here, the responses I get are super helpful)

    Basically, I'm forcing myself to start using a click when I practice at home and it helps loads... gives me some sort of direction when I'm playing beats and trying to practice foot technique for example.

    When it comes to playing songs, lets say any song you and I listen to that has drums in it... does the song have to stick to the same bpm all the way through? If so, how do you find the bpm of a song you'd like to play? Also, I've read a few places about drummers playing with clicks in their ears when they play live... is this true?

    Hope I explained stuff clearly...

  2. #2

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    A song does NOT have to stick to one BPM. It all depends on the song and music style. I was in a progressive metal band and we'd have various tempos on purpose. Same with my new rock band we have a couple of songs that differ within the song.

    I have seen people use clicks live but mostly I hear of drummers using the click just to get the song started. I don't think live I could play along to a click track I'd be to focused on that and miss all the fun and excitement of playing for the crowd.
    12pc Yamaha Maple Custom Vintage (23pc in total) | 12pc PDP X7 | 9pc Ludwig Jr. | 8pc Pork Pie ZebraWood | 6pc Sonor | 4pc Ddrum Dominion | 5pc Orbitone |4pc Sonor Martini | 50 Snare drums and growing!

  3. #3

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    if you look online at song bpm's you'll find them or even wiki, also someone once told me if you listen to a song for 15 seconds and count how many time you Bop your head x by 4 that's roughly the songs BPM.
    Have you got you're ticket for the rock train? You gotta earn that Ticket!!

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  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vampires View Post
    ... does the song have to stick to the same bpm all the way through? If so, how do you find the bpm of a song you'd like to play? Also, I've read a few places about drummers playing with clicks in their ears when they play live... is this true?

    Hope I explained stuff clearly...
    1) Most pop songs should stay pretty close to the original tempo. As Spaz pointed out, some songs demand that the tempo vary. Depends. But for 90% of songs - keep the original tempo. If you want to introduce some urgency to a song, you can do so without changing the tempo by learning to play the snare just ahead of the beat.

    2)Find the tempo of a song by listening to the original and counting the beats, then matching that up to your metronome. My Yamaha metronome has a "tap tempo" function that allows you to tap a button along with a song and the tempo will be displayed.

    3)I've used a metronome live quite a lot, but stopped using it. I just spent too much time obsessing about the tempo and not enough about the groove. I use it now only to count off the tempo for the band.

    GeeDeeEmm

  5. #5

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    i know some drummers whodo that, and some bands practice with the click (i've suggested it but one member shot it down).

    Apparently Van Halen sped up their songs even on albums, so no, even when you don't intentionally change tempos, it happens.

    Two things: I would strongly recommend not playing to a click while playing to a song. Most importantly, the devices (or apps) will run at slightly different speeds so even if you have the correct bpm, it can easily happen that after 1-2min they will be off. Second, if oyu have the click going, you're not listening to the music, so you're robbing yourself of the most important part of playing to music!

    Also, I would not go online to find the BPM. Listen to the song, and use an app on your phone and tap out the BPM. This will in most cases be faster anyway, plus it's a bit of extra training for your ears.

  6. #6

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    Hey Vampires! In varies cover bands I've played in, I made it a habit to tap out the bmp on my metronome to notate where the tempo was for each song we attempted to cover. I've always noticed the bmp varied from the start of a song to the finish. Sometimes I found the tempo varied by at least by 4-6 bpm which tells me that there's a constant ebb and flow as the song is being played. With that said, get a general sense on where you feel the bpm sits and use it as a reference. Don't be obsessed with sticking to each beat as GeeDeeEmm stated but rather "feel" the pocket instead.

  7. #7

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    I played for years without a click...........but for the last two years, I use a click every weekend. It took a while to get used to, but now I like it.

    The songs we play very rarely change tempo mid-song...........but there are genres where it happens a lot.

  8. #8

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    There is often a little variation in bpm as the song plays.

    Sometimes I find the bpm of a song by playing a metronome while listening to the song.

  9. #9

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    Metronomes........................................ .................................................. .................................................. .................................................. .................................................. .................................................. .................................................. .............and that's about how I feel about metronomes.

  10. #10

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    ^well said Rick well said......................
    12pc Yamaha Maple Custom Vintage (23pc in total) | 12pc PDP X7 | 9pc Ludwig Jr. | 8pc Pork Pie ZebraWood | 6pc Sonor | 4pc Ddrum Dominion | 5pc Orbitone |4pc Sonor Martini | 50 Snare drums and growing!

  11. #11

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    I used a click to play live for 4 years. We had a sequencer that we programmed all the bass parts with so no bass player, more cash for the rest of us. In order to keep the band on time with the sequencer I had a click in my headphones.

  12. #12

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    I've played in bands where we used tracks for various things and in that case, a click was absolutely essential. I agree, the tempo can change in a live setting but shouldn't be by too much. You won't hear on a pop album any tempo changes because studio drummers play to a click. You just have to.
    Temp changes like Spaz mentioned would be more of time signatures or doubletime/half time, etc. You don't want it speeding up 10 bpms randomly otherwise that would be bad.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by rickthedrummer View Post
    Metronomes........................................ .................................................. .................................................. .................................................. .................................................. .................................................. .................................................. .............and that's about how I feel about metronomes.
    Now, now, Rick! Nobody hated metronomes more than I did when I first tried practicing basic timekeeping to one - I resented that I just could not keep time well, and that little machine proved it. And I never knew it. Nobody ever mentioned it. But it bugged the crap out of me, and I was determined to defeat the little monster. Heck, little girls learn to play piano to a metronome. I'm supposed to be a timekeeper, but I can't keep perfect time? No way.

    I don't use a metronome during performances because I don't believe live rock/pop/country music functions well without some fluidity. But, after lots of work, I can play to a click. I hate it, but I can do it. So my assertion is that, even if you don't use a click, you should be able to. Don't let the little girls outdo you. Conquer the machine.

    GeeDeeEmm

  14. #14

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    GeeDeeEmm,

    With all due respects, my friend, I have never played with nor had the need for a metronome.

    My 1st band was in 1961, and I doubt if we even knew what a click track was.

    I played steady up until Nov of '65, when I went into the service where I played in a band for a year and change until I went overseas.

    Out of the service in Nov '69, and not too long after, I was back in bands. In college I played in a improvisational jazz band and numerous jam sessions mainly in NYC.

    After a band I was in imploded (husband & wife), the bass player and I decided to put our own band together. That band worked steady for 30+ years even with the bass player (and my best friend) died of a massive heart attack 3 days after we got home in the early '90's.

    When we finally called it quits, I played with a un-amped trio for a couple of years just for the change of pace.

    Through all that I have heard it all (as I have posted before), too loud, too soft, too much drums, too little drums, but, never once in all those years was my timing called into question.

    Now after not playing with a group of any kind for about 10 years. I have no use for a metronome. Not now, or 50+ years ago.

  15. #15

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    I have always worked with a metronome . I've had to do gigs with the click track in my ear for every song all night long . Every time I go to the studio to record the first thing that is discussed is what sound do I want for the click track . I get called for the sessions because I can play to the click track without making it sound stiff and boring . Most of the time guitar , synth and even the bass lines have already been laid down to a drum machine and I come in and replace the drum machine part . Yup..your timing has to be dead on . No rushing or dragging or ending two bpm's faster than when you started . That is my reality . I make my living doing this .

    Now a days playing to a click is a must . There are far more drummers doing it than those who don't . The ones that do are the ones who get the gigs , the GOOD PAYING GIGS !

    My advice is to keep working with the metronome . Embrace it . Make it your best friend because he will be popping up everywhere you go . Record yourself and be honest about what you heard and work to make it better . Be the kind of player that people seek out and enjoy playing with...not the player people tolerate because "there is no one else around" .

    Yea...talk is cheap , so....

    In the following video I recorded the drum track on the first take . There was a sequenced bass line and some guitar parts already laid down to a very simple drum machine track . No vocals , the guitar intro was added later for the making of the video . The video editing is pretty bad but I had nothing to do with that . That day I recorded three songs in less than an hour and I got payed very well for it . Every song was an original and they all were good songs . I had fun and everyone was more than happy with the results .
    Rudy .






  16. #16

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    Your click track should be in your head when you play. Have seen drummers use click tracks to play to live & they are terrible. Stifles the "Feel" Most bands to tend to very slightly deviate from the tempo but that is human nature. Hate clinical playing with a passion. Go with the feel...........

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevaruka View Post
    Your click track should be in your head when you play. Have seen drummers use click tracks to play to live & they are terrible. Stifles the "Feel" Most bands to tend to very slightly deviate from the tempo but that is human nature. Hate clinical playing with a passion. Go with the feel...........
    You've seen bad drummers then. If you can't play to a click and have it sound natural/organic, you're not a good drummer.

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cdeleone View Post
    You've seen bad drummers then. If you can't play to a click and have it sound natural/organic, you're not a good drummer.

    That is a crock of................................................ !

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cdeleone View Post
    You've seen bad drummers then. If you can't play to a click and have it sound natural/organic, you're not a good drummer.
    The music I have always played is impossible to play with a click. Go with the feel

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by jedi View Post
    I have always worked with a metronome . I've had to do gigs with the click track in my ear for every song all night long . Every time I go to the studio to record the first thing that is discussed is what sound do I want for the click track . I get called for the sessions because I can play to the click track without making it sound stiff and boring . Most of the time guitar , synth and even the bass lines have already been laid down to a drum machine and I come in and replace the drum machine part . Yup..your timing has to be dead on . No rushing or dragging or ending two bpm's faster than when you started . That is my reality . I make my living doing this .

    Now a days playing to a click is a must . There are far more drummers doing it than those who don't . The ones that do are the ones who get the gigs , the GOOD PAYING GIGS !

    My advice is to keep working with the metronome . Embrace it . Make it your best friend because he will be popping up everywhere you go . Record yourself and be honest about what you heard and work to make it better . Be the kind of player that people seek out and enjoy playing with...not the player people tolerate because "there is no one else around" .

    Yea...talk is cheap , so....

    In the following video I recorded the drum track on the first take . There was a sequenced bass line and some guitar parts already laid down to a very simple drum machine track . No vocals , the guitar intro was added later for the making of the video . The video editing is pretty bad but I had nothing to do with that . That day I recorded three songs in less than an hour and I got payed very well for it . Every song was an original and they all were good songs . I had fun and everyone was more than happy with the results .
    Rudy .







    I have no idea if this is aimed at what I said or if it's just a regular post on the topic. I'll treat it both ways.

    I doubt if jedi and I are from the same generation. I started playing in 1956, possibly before his father was born. (I mean no sarcasm by that, just a possible statement of fact) My 1st band was 1961, and I can pretty much guarantee that no one played to a click back then.

    At the same time, we did not have to deal with sequenced tracks and all the other tricks and gizmos that musicians have to deal with today, so as far as studio work, a 'nome is a must.

    "Now a days playing to a click is a must . There are far more drummers doing it than those who don't . The ones that do are the ones who get the gigs , the GOOD PAYING GIGS !"

    I do take exception to that statement. While it may be true for today's musicians to a point, I have seen "big name bands" where the drummer had nothing on him (or her) that could possibly be a click, so unless they were getting it by osmosis, they weren't using one.

    As for making the GOOD PAYING GIGS. If I was able to put my 3 daughters through UNC, AT THE SAME TIME ( well, actually, my youngest dropped out after her sophomore year to get married), I (we) weren't exactly getting the crap gigs for 30+ years.

    So while I agree with most of what you are saying, you can't make a blanket statement about music (basically click or go home) because there will always be someone out there that will prove you, me, or someone else wrong.

  21. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by rickthedrummer View Post
    I have no idea if this is aimed at what I said or if it's just a regular post on the topic. I'll treat it both ways.

    I doubt if jedi and I are from the same generation. I started playing in 1956, possibly before his father was born. (I mean no sarcasm by that, just a possible statement of fact) My 1st band was 1961, and I can pretty much guarantee that no one played to a click back then.

    At the same time, we did not have to deal with sequenced tracks and all the other tricks and gizmos that musicians have to deal with today, so as far as studio work, a 'nome is a must.

    "Now a days playing to a click is a must . There are far more drummers doing it than those who don't . The ones that do are the ones who get the gigs , the GOOD PAYING GIGS !"

    I do take exception to that statement. While it may be true for today's musicians to a point, I have seen "big name bands" where the drummer had nothing on him (or her) that could possibly be a click, so unless they were getting it by osmosis, they weren't using one.

    As for making the GOOD PAYING GIGS. If I was able to put my 3 daughters through UNC, AT THE SAME TIME ( well, actually, my youngest dropped out after her sophomore year to get married), I (we) weren't exactly getting the crap gigs for 30+ years.

    So while I agree with most of what you are saying, you can't make a blanket statement about music (basically click or go home) because there will always be someone out there that will prove you, me, or someone else wrong.

    I'm 55 years old . I never made the "click or go home" statement . I never said that EVERYONE has to use one . I simply state that in this day and age you are better off learning to play with one . None of my comments were directed at you as I posted before you did . My comments were directed at the OP who asked if playing with a click was a good idea . My answer to him is YES IT IS A GOOD IDEA . I don't always play to a click and he may not always have to play to a click but if he ever has too he will nail it .
    I don't understand your hostility towards the click and those of us who advocate the use of it . It never hurt my playing and it certainly won't hurt the OP's playing .
    That's all .... have at it .
    Rudy .

  22. #22

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    I have a metronome app on my phone and it allows me to set it to automatically shut off after 4 bars. It allows us all to start a song right on the money, but then it goes away and we are on our own. The only songs I use this for are ones that are really slow in tempo. Those seem to be the hardest for me to count off without on. Last night we played a two hour set and used it twice; one song that was 73 and the other is 82.

    Tex

  23. #23

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    I'm going to start practicing with the click more. But for live shows i'll probably stay away but with better practice I feel it will help for live.

    But ever since I posted up my own videos and I talked to some about tempo I've stopped goofing off more and focusing more on time.
    12pc Yamaha Maple Custom Vintage (23pc in total) | 12pc PDP X7 | 9pc Ludwig Jr. | 8pc Pork Pie ZebraWood | 6pc Sonor | 4pc Ddrum Dominion | 5pc Orbitone |4pc Sonor Martini | 50 Snare drums and growing!

  24. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by jedi View Post
    I'm 55 years old . I never made the "click or go home" statement . I never said that EVERYONE has to use one . I simply state that in this day and age you are better off learning to play with one . None of my comments were directed at you as I posted before you did . My comments were directed at the OP who asked if playing with a click was a good idea . My answer to him is YES IT IS A GOOD IDEA . I don't always play to a click and he may not always have to play to a click but if he ever has too he will nail it .
    I don't understand your hostility towards the click and those of us who advocate the use of it . It never hurt my playing and it certainly won't hurt the OP's playing .
    That's all .... have at it .
    Rudy .

    Rudy,

    The last thing I want or need is to be arguing with a fellow drummer over this. I thought your post was a response to my response to GeeDeeEmm's post.

    The "click or go home" remark was off the mark, and I definitely should have worded that differently.

    If you re-read my post, you will see that I agree with you considering all the bells and whistles that musicians deal with today, and, by the way, I did post before you.

    1 thing that I have to bring up is that you said in your 1st post that you always played with a click (metronome), yet in your 2nd post, you said that you don't always play with a click. Always is the key word, can't be both.

    As for me having so much hostility towards 'nomes. The truth is, I seldom, if ever, gave them a thought for decades. The only time they ever came up was in the studio.

    The anger started on another forum with a 16-17 year old kid who, because he had been taking lessons for several years, thought that he knew everything there was to know about playing drums, when in reality, he was a kid on a tricycle thinking he was ready for NASCAR.

    The topic of 'nomes came up, and all I said was that I never used 1. End of sentence. A day or 2 later, there's a post saying that I must be a lousy drummer if I don't use a 'nome. I let that go. A couple of days later there was a post that read: "You can't be a drummer if you don't use a metronome", and that was in a post about 100 times.

    After that, we went back and forth until a Mod said take it to PM's. We did, and it got nasty. I have always treated PM's as private, that they go no further than the 2 people involved.

    Anyway, he sent a PM that was really nasty, and I replied in kind. He sent that 1 to the guy who ran the forum, and I was gone. I could have sent the man the PM that was sent to me, but I just let it go.

    Actually, it was the right move because not too long after, I discovered DrumChat, and while the topic of 'nomes has come up several times, the debate remains civil.

    Have a good 1

  25. #25

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    First to Rudy- your playing sounded great in that video. It's a perfect example of using the click to benefit the playing, not hurt it. Great job. It's impressive to me because using the click in a beneficial way was something I was never able to achieve - probably because I never worked hard enough at it. I had to use a click in the few studio recordings I've done, and I pulled it off, but not with the comfort that you obviously have.

    And Rick, I agree with you totally that saying anybody who cannot play to a click is a bad drummer. That's demonstrably not true. The reason I suggested trying it was for the same reason that I worked on it -- it's a fun challenge, and sometimes it can be a real eye opener. I'm an older guy, too, at 62 years old. I've been playing for over fifty of those years, and in all that time, nobody had ever complained about my tempo, either. But in my last band, one of the members said that we were playing one song too slow. So I used a metronome to chart out the proper tempo to every song we played.

    On a lark, I decided to practice some of our songs with the click. It was then that I noticed that my tempo varied a bit on every song. It wasn't an issue, because the variation was so small that it caused no problems, but I was challenged to see if I could play it perfectly with the click. The challenge was bigger than I thought. I had to work hard to ever accomplish that challenge. But I must say that I never succeeded in using the click with as much groove as I normally have. That needed a lot more work. In the end, I dumped the metronome during performances, but the end result was tremendously improved timekeeping.

    So please don't take any discussion of metronomes or clicks as a challenge to your drumming ability. That's not what's intended. My statements are just remarks on my own frustrations with being able to play to clicks easily - and a light hearted challenge to you and others like us - if you haven't tried it, do so. Just for the fun of it. Nothing more - just for the fun of it.

    GeeDeeEmm

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