BIGGEST MYTH: The most important thing you'll do as a drummer is listen to the bass player and lock with what they're playing, because this is the most important relationship in the band.
Why is this false? We’ll break this down, and I’ll share with you what you should ACTUALLY be focusing on when playing.
What’s the most important part of any song you might play on a gig? Think pop, rock, country… most typical styles of music you’d play. What’s the most important element of the song in any of these styles?
It’s the MELODY! That melody will be sung by the vocalist, or it might be played by a guitarist during an intro riff. Either way, all other parts in the song are based off of that melody.
Now what’s the SECOND most important part of a song? If melody is most important, we could probably say that harmony (or chords) is second most important. But we could also go another direction...
Perfectionism is the thief of joy. So is comparison, as the saying typically goes. These two attitudes together can form a deadly combo that will stop your growth and possibly even destroy your potential on the drums.
I don't mean to be overly dramatic here, but it’s true! And if you’ve spent any time obsessing over perfecting your playing or comparing your playing to others, you know what I’m talking about. This is a dead-end street.
If you’ve struggled with...
...Then you need to take a step back and release the perfection you’re holding onto....
You don’t have to practice a song over and over and over to learn it, nor do you have to download drum tabs or sheet music in order to learn it the right way. We’re digging into a predictable, repeatable method you can start to implement in your song learning, practicing, and performing TODAY.
Yes, we’ll be talking a little about my favorite “cheatsheet” charting method. But that’s not the only piece of the puzzle when we’re talking about learning songs fast. After all, you want to be able to learn then perform songs without physically practicing if you’re in a hurry. We’re covering some powerful tips you absolutely must implement in order to pull off the no-practicing gig prep. You can do it, though, so let’s get going!
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Song learning usually consists of 3 simple steps for me. If there’s a recording or demo of the song, I’ll listen to it and write a chart. From there I’ll jump over to the kit and play through it, and I’ll be good to go. This sounds pretty simple and straightforward (and it really is!), but there are a few key things you want to look out for and make sure you do. The question of “what’s the best way to learn songs” is one I get frequently, so I hope this lesson-style email helps you out!
Step 1: Listen to the Recording
Really listen to the recording. Whether it’s the original record that you’re covering, a vocals-and-guitar demo your bandleader sent you, or a fully put together demo of a new arrangement, listen to the recording thoroughly. In other words, a quick listen in the car doesn’t count. Listening via your phone speaker doesn’t count. Listening to it with any distractions going on around you...