Tip: Read drum music

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by IamGroot, Apr 17, 2019.

  1. IamGroot


    Jan 18, 2018
    I have noticed a lot of great musicians that could also play some drums. It gives another perspective on the music that compliments whats going on.

    Unfortunately, drums cost money, take up space and annoy the neighbors. And there is that limb independence thing......

    You can acquire some of the benefits of playing drums quickly for free by learning to read drum music . Pay special attention to the kick drum.

    Check out the drum parts on your favorite songs. It may give you ideas that help you lock the bass in.
  2. Last edited: Apr 18, 2019
  3. My parents wouldn't let me have drums. I had to learn to play on coffee cans. But still I learned. Later on I had the benefit of taking percussion methods classes.
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  4. IamGroot


    Jan 18, 2018
    A lot of the benefit can be achieved by just two hands and two feet with paticular attention to the right foot. The limb independence thing, yada yada.
  5. Bassndrums73


    Mar 13, 2018
    I already have two cajoles.
  6. IamGroot


    Jan 18, 2018
    Matched pair or bass/ treble.
    Some TBers will want 8.
  7. DirtDog


    Jun 7, 2002
    The Deep North
    I'll agree with that and it helps for sure. Drums were the first instrument where I actually received tuition and developed the ability to read drum notation. I can still kind of play 30+ years later. Well, keep a beat anyways.

    As a guitarist/bassist, I don't think being a capable drummer is a requirement to be able to read/interpret drum notation. Being able to interpret the rhythmic elements on the treble and bass clefs can only help!!!
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  8. juggahnaught


    Feb 11, 2018
    Seattle, WA
    Playing drums gives you an appreciation for the bassist-drummer relationship, as well as the method of communication between the rhythm section. It also helps with rhythmic expression and tempo control if you stick with it long enough.

    Depending on the style of music you play, paying special attention to the kick may not be the key - you may want to pay special attention to the clave beat underneath everything, or the hi-hats, or specific snare rhythms that serve to communicate changes. There's a lot more to the rhythm section than a western 4/4.

    Reading drum notation is a great thing because it helps you to practice reading rhythm without the notes, which is the key skill in sight-reading. Reading rhythm at tempo is a great skill to have, and can open your eyes to certain cadences of which you may have been unaware.
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  9. I agree. But it's easy to practice rhythms on one note before you delve into note changes. I find that rhythmic notation on drum music often looks different than similar rhythms on pitched instruments but often quite similar to what a bass player sees. It also makes you *really* learn to subdivide because the notation will almost alway be "attack points" often lacking the notation of sustain of pitched instruments , which helps keep solid time.

    I don't know if I'm thinking about the same thing, but Dream Theater comes to mind. Odd rhythms and meters all over the place. Then add in accents and articulations??? OMG.
  10. juggahnaught


    Feb 11, 2018
    Seattle, WA
    Kind of. There's this whole notion of "locking in with the kick drum", which is not a universal thing, but many people who only play rock and country (many here on TB) seem to proclaim it as universal truth. There's a lot of syncopated music in the African, Latin, and Caribbean styles where where that's not a thing, so the kick shouldn't be your primary focus when listening or when reading the notation. Jazz falls into this category as well.

    Different time signatures and cadences can fall into this, but I think it's orthogonal - you could be playing something in 7/8 where you lock with the kick, and you could be playing Calypso or reggae in 4/4 where the kick and the bass play syncopated voice lines around each other.
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2019
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