Drum Learning of Songs


Drum Learning of Songs – Spirit Music Meet-Ups

Drum Learning of Songs – Spirit Music Meet-Ups



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Drum Learning of Songs – YouTube Playlist


Video – Intro to Spirit Music Meetups


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Charting the Drums for Songs to learn them - Spirit Music Meet-Ups

Making detailed Drum Charts may not be worth your time:



Although I have 100s of detailed charts from my earlier days gigging, I found that spending the 1-2 hours to write out a detailed chart wasn’t a wise use of time when you have 40-45 songs to learn, especially when as a ‘hired gun’ you get the list of songs to be ready to play with 1-5 days notice!  I also found that only drummers are going to care if you hit every note in the exact same place as the original song.


Most bands care much more about the drummer starting & ending with the same tempo for solid timing, “Supporting” the Groove in a way that fits the genre & style and that isn’t louder than the band, adding “Embellishment” with Fill-ins that fit the phrasing Time-Feel in a ways that doesn’t distract from the Groove, hitting the Figures of the section or ensemble, stopping when they do for the Breaks, and selectively “Dialoguing” with the band using Fills in the Breaks that get back to the Groove in time.  I’ve also learned that if you really learn these fundamentals, you can pretty much “fake it until you make it” through every song.



The Revampers Band in Tucson, AZ - Learning Songs on the Drums

My Chart-Making Approaches:



The Revampers Band I formed with a bunch of great guys required creating detailed charts because much of the original songs were radically changed (“revamped”) and we added a lot of original material.  If you are interested in learning any of the songs from this playlist, please Contact Me.


I also have all the charts for the Bouncing Czechs, StarDusters, and Musikmeisters.


Nowadays, I listen about 1-2 minutes through each song on YouTube that the band sends me a gig list for and simply make a note next to each song of:  My starting bpm tempo (many gigs I click off to a metronome app that I keep on my music stand) or simply whether slow, medium, fast as long as I can remember the basic melody to sing in my head before I start; If I or another person does an intro, I will note who; Whether to have sticks, brushes, or mallets ready; the genre or style to get the right Time-Feel; Write out a basic beat if unique; Whether there are Stops & Figures to listen for (which I may practice if I have time); and any special ways to end.


Sometimes I get lucky and I will get a copy of somebody’s music (rarely will anybody have a drum part).  This helps me to see the form/structure & navigation, the Time-Feel or common rhythmic subdivision and phrasing so I know how to Fill-in, and the possible Stop-Breaks where their rests or long notes are for Fills and Solos.  We will go over all this in the other pages, but here are some helpful links:



Notation – BT4:  Song Form, Structure, and Navigation


Spirit-Drums-Practice-BT1:  Practical steps for pre-performance personal drum practice before Band rehearsal  Watch the Video


PDF doc:  Meeting a Piece of Music for the First Time by Peter Erskine    While you watch the Video


Tommy Igoe’s Groove Essentials 1.0 & 2.0 drum books/cds/videos/posters are great for reading simple charts for various music genres.







Proud Mary by Credence Clearwater Revival:



Video:  Notation explained


Video:  Beat Played as a Left-hander


Video:  Beat Played as a Right-hander with continuous Left-hand Snare Drum motion to maintain momentum


More to come!




Toxicity by System of a Down:



Video:  First 35 seconds


Video:  1st intro Fill counter 19-22 seconds


Video:  The main 6/8 Beat


Video:  The 2nd Fill counter 25-28 seconds


Video:  The 3rd Fill counter 31-34 seconds


More to come!




Thank YOU for visiting:  Drum Learning of Songs




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