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  • Playing Along

    Hi Gals and Gals, just wondered if anyone else experiences what I do. No way do I think of myself as being a drummer cause I could not cut it in a band now to save my life, but I don't think that my timing is that far out either and playing along to stuff through the computer, be it YouTube or a Radio Station, I sometimes find I have lost a beat. Like after a break, when the song resumes, I am a beat out. Just wondered if that happens to anyone else. If it just happened occasionally I would say it was definitely me, but it is a regular thing. I like to play along to a radio station through the computer, just play to what ever comes on next. That is my fun now.

    With all the electronic gizmos they have these days, ie to keep the guitarist in tune to keep the singer on key, to keep the drummer in time, I cant see that it is anything other than me.

    Just don't want to believe it.

  • #2
    It probably is you. Donít play the drums to the song and the section that goes wrong but instead count steadily through it and see if it speeds up or slows down. Make sure you donít speed up your counting. Inexperienced drummers and come to think of it some experienced drummers speed up when doing a drum fill. Donít tense and stay with the pulse of the song when making a fill. Oh and donít hold your breath!
    Roland TD30 module on TD20 kit SD3 with various kits. Pearl Masters Kit, Yamaha 9000RC original natural wood finish. Cymbals from Zildgian Pasite and Sabian. Loads of percussion bits. Cubase and Wavelab always current versions.

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    • #3
      Practise with a metronome. Most of the music made nowadays is either programmed or recorded with a metronome so it shouldn't have tempo changes, unless it's intentional. Developing a steady time is a must for any musician, but there is a catch when playing along to a track. You don't have live band members to groove along with you, you have to lock on to the track and learn the feel they had while recording to stay in the groove. Since they probably did it to a click track, so should you. If not, then you have to learn the song by heart to every beat.

      Practicing with a click is a common thing, but playing with a band while on click is even better and more efficient at bringing everyone to the same groove. That way you learn to stay in time even if the singer tries to pull away, or you make a break and have to count in silence. Playing to a track is like recording a song where the drums are last to record. Usually only high class drummers do this successfully, but it can be a good way to develop time
      į•A kits: Mapex Saturn ltd. Mapex Meridian, Ludwig and Pearl snares, Paiste, Anatolian, DW5002TW•į
      į•Roland TD-12 brain, SPD-SX, Roland RT triggers•į
      į•Ship kits: TD-12KV, TD-30K, TD-50K•į

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      • #4
        Yea then as I suspected. I don't hold my breath I know that and I always keep the kick and high hat going. Like you say though when you have been gigging for a few years all the band members acquire the metronome and you can rely on each other to keep time when there's a break on. Also, just playing along to stuff as it happens is good but if you don't know the number well that is a major problem. If you don't know what's coming next you have to rely on your improvisation, and perhaps that is where I am coming unstuck. I do enjoy doing this though, you never know what's coming next. Obviously then it is my skill that's lacking. Cheers mate. Did not want that conclusion but half expected it.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by John.b View Post
          No way do I think of myself as being a drummer cause I could not cut it in a band
          I don't think that this is the right appoach. I'm pretty sure if you'd give yourself a push and jam with actual people (while having a click in the ear), it would bring you up to a whole new level.
          Me, I've been a bass player for ~25 years until I decided to start (e-)drumming 4 years ago, after having thought about that for veeery long (if not decades...). Being at my end-fourties, I could have ended up like so many I know (including co-workers) that just play at home to YT, but I've decided to join a band after 2 years of drumming. Of course, it puts pressure on you. As a bassist, I could make errors like crazy, be unconcentrated, tired etc. and hardly anybody would have noticed. But as a drummer, a slight mistake makes everything fall apart. Then it's good if you have musicians (who might even be friends) that are supportive and forgiving, so that 'pressure' is less of an issue the more you play. Fact is, you make a much faster progress this way, and become way more confident. When you jam or compose with others in a room, playing to a click is the best you can do, and your timing will improve way faster than by just syncing up to something existent. It's a 'body' thing, maybe similar to muscle memory, you're part of a feedback loop. And of course, it's way more fun. You just have to free yourslef from this 'pressure' thing. I know how that feels, because the older we get the harder it becomes to make significant progress, but once it's clear to everybody that you're learning and you all are just trying to have a good time (as opposed to trying to take on the world), it should work.
          Last edited by sascha; 04-02-19, 05:09 AM.
          gear: MarkDrum YES e-kit highly modified (low-volume trigger cymbals, 16" DIY kick, 12" DIY snare + tom 3, Goedrum HH controller), Triggera 10" splash
          band: http://theboardmusic.com

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          • #6
            I must explain guys, I gigged in rock bands for over 25 years, and only had to give it up because I got done for drink driving and lost my license. I did not stop playing my old practice kit though but when I got my licence back, things had moved on and DJs had got a hold in the clubs and pubs so after a few gigs I gave it up. This was back in the late 80s. I am now 70 but still kicking, but not got the stamina anymore. Back in the day you sometimes had to play 3 hours straight and by the end of the night they had to take me home in a bucket. Yea no timing issues then but music has moved on a bit and playing along to some of this modern stuff, especially if you don't know it, can be a bit challenging sometimes. Yea I am just an old time rock drummer, absolutely no finesse, just brute force and ignorance, but still love playing but no way I could cut it in a band anymore. So I just play drums, to anything that comes online. Drums have been my life and I ain't going to let go lightly. I always said they would have to bury me with my kit cause they would not get me off it.

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            • #7
              Well if you are playing along to music you havenít heard before then anything can happen
              Roland TD30 module on TD20 kit SD3 with various kits. Pearl Masters Kit, Yamaha 9000RC original natural wood finish. Cymbals from Zildgian Pasite and Sabian. Loads of percussion bits. Cubase and Wavelab always current versions.

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              • #8
                I reckon probably 90% of the stuff I play along to I do know and have a pretty good idea of where its going. Another 5% I have heard but not that into it. The last 5%, no idea, and the improvisation has no chance. I think its going right, then realise I am a beat or half a beat out. Bloody annoying, but yes, it has got to be me. I knew it when I asked the question in all honesty but just grasping at straws.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by mkok View Post
                  Well if you are playing along to music you havenít heard before then anything can happen
                  It depends. If the beat is repeating you should be able to know where it's going even if you don't know the song. I feel the rhythm. I've often dropped my stick and jumped back into a song in perfect time because I'm hearing the beat as I listen to the music and picking up my stick.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by syyhlxx View Post

                    It depends. If the beat is repeating you should be able to know where it's going even if you don't know the song. I feel the rhythm. I've often dropped my stick and jumped back into a song in perfect time because I'm hearing the beat as I listen to the music and picking up my stick.
                    That works with simple songs. Iím thinking more if there are stops and tempo/time changes. If itís one time and tempo throughout then it should be no problem. Then there are songs which get faster as they go along like street life by the crusaders. Easy to follow though as it happens slowly through the song.
                    Roland TD30 module on TD20 kit SD3 with various kits. Pearl Masters Kit, Yamaha 9000RC original natural wood finish. Cymbals from Zildgian Pasite and Sabian. Loads of percussion bits. Cubase and Wavelab always current versions.

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                    • #11
                      Yea like 90% of stuff is the same format that was being played back in the 60's. Like you say though MKOK, if something is gradually changing speed and it goes into a break at one speed and comes out at another speed it is very difficult to keep track of it, counting or not. Never had this situation back in the day but I would like to be able to handle it now, but don't know how it can be done, if you don't know its coming.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by John.b View Post
                        Yea like 90% of stuff is the same format that was being played back in the 60's. Like you say though MKOK, if something is gradually changing speed and it goes into a break at one speed and comes out at another speed it is very difficult to keep track of it, counting or not. Never had this situation back in the day but I would like to be able to handle it now, but don't know how it can be done, if you don't know its coming.
                        Memorization.... I just finished a track with a friend I was in a band with in high school. It's a metal/prog rock with some breaks and some counting, in this case six phrases then a break. When I first got the file I had to count count count or I would miss the transition. After awhile I stopped counting because my whole body just felt the changes. Repetition...it's good.

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                        • #13
                          Yea it happens like that. When I was gigging, something that was really taxing gradually became second nature. I suppose though that goes for most things.

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