Note: On your phone, PDF documents may only open if you choose the “Save, Replace, or Keep Both” option and then it will be downloaded and notify you of this on the top of your screen. Open it there or in your Downloads folder and it will give you the option to Open with Adobe Acrobat, Drive, or some other PDF app you have installed on your phone. If you watch the associated video, it will open in another tab/window so that you can easily bounce back & forth between the PDF doc and the video. If your screen is big enough you can even arrange the windows next to each other!
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. Most bands care much more about 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 fits 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 with Fills in the Breaks that get back 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 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 sections!
Proud Mary by Credence Clearwater Revival:
Toxicity by System of a Down: