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Thread: How to play drum without scores?

  1. #1

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    How to play drum without scores?

    I have played for 2 years +. Previously i always rely on scores i tab out while jamming. But recently to prepare for gig i have to do without scores. But tabbing scores i can say it is tedious.

    Everytime the beats i play are different if theres no scores. Sometimes messy. Off beat. lol

    How do you guys play without scores?

    I started playing drum with theory.

  2. #2

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    Listen to the songs in parts. Break down the intros, verses, pre-choruses, choruses, bridges. Take note of the transitions. Repeat the process over and over again. Once you get the hang of it, you can remember different parts of songs faster.

    Hope this helps a little

  3. #3

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    erm ya lyk wad mel said, just rmb the transitions, becoz most of the time wads in between doesnt change much, so the only changing parts are the transitions and some occasional fills in the middle.

    and btw i play w/o scores too and every time i play its different, but i dont mind becoz it helps me realise that there are many ways to play the song, and to some extent, it trains my creativity for improvisation too if u know wad i mean.
    Everyone started somewhere and learned from something/someone~

    I started by breaking rules and learned from embarassment~

  4. #4

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    @ Dark Heart:

    Why do you use pieces of paper/scores to play your drums? I use drum sticks. Maybe, you should too

    While the above may be a joke (and I hope you get it ), there is a hidden meaning. You only need your drims and your sticks to play. Let the music in your head take you on how you play. Scores are training wheels and in my opinion, the bane of classical musicians on the free improvisation, innovation and destroys creativity. If you can memorize one single bar and play that one single bar without looking at the score, arent you playing it without looking at the score ? You can also play an entire song just keeping 8 note time without any decorations - nobody will say its wrong. That is your primary job as a drummer. But you if cannot keep time without score - that would be funny and points to something inherently deeper.

    I also dont understand how without scores, you can play off your beats. That is a metronome's job, not the score. I suspect your muscle memory is not there and the musical vocabulary is not there. I hesitate to say mental music timing because if you dont have that, you cannot keep time WITH scores anyways. Music vocab is knowing the signs and directions of the road to get to where you want to go. Muscle memory is your foot pedalling the bike without your entire body being aware of it so your mind can focus on the act of making music and reaching the destination without your brains going Left Pedal, Right Pedal, etc

    Once you understand the above and I apologize for being harsh and honest (but that is the best way to learn), you will realize that scores are not the obstacle for you to going to where you want to go. Keep practicising and practice the right things. It seems to me that what you have been doing is to only cycle blindfolded from Point A to Point B WITH training wheels. Once you get the above right (and I have already told you what you need to do), you will fly when the training wheels come off.
    Last edited by SoapActor; 07-06-10 at 11:30 AM.

  5. #5

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    Oki, I dont play the drums but the keyboards. There was once I was roped in to play for an event and I was the only new member in the band. The songs were the normal Christmas songs but the arrangements were super difficult!!! Lots of time change and syncopation. The scores were provided but each song is like 8 pages long. Ha..haa..

    Anyway, back to TS question, I would keep listening to the song until I close my eyes and can still 'see' the score in my head.

  6. #6

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    Lol I have the same problem too. Especially since I can be a bit perfectionist when I play songs...I tend to want to play each and every beat as the drummer plays it ><

    But then, cannot remember means cannot remember haha. So what I do is to remember the major "highlights" and improvise on the "smaller", more repetitive parts
    NANDATO?!

  7. #7

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    Just asking, is scores really necessary? I never relied on tabs or scores, just either improvised or memorized what I hear on the record and try to duplicate that. Of course, not saying I'm a good drummer, in fact I quit drumming quite a while ago when I was 'advised' to.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by EugeneSmasher View Post
    Just asking, is scores really necessary? I never relied on tabs or scores, just either improvised or memorized what I hear on the record and try to duplicate that. Of course, not saying I'm a good drummer, in fact I quit drumming quite a while ago when I was 'advised' to.
    I guess it depends on each individual. I've never really been good at memorizing stuff so I rely on tabs/scores. It's the same when I play piano...I could have been practising a piece for months but I still cannot play if I don't have the score in front of me.

    Just wondering, how come you were "advised" to quit drumming?
    NANDATO?!

  9. #9

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    Because my drumming was not up to standards.

  10. #10

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    i print out the lyrics.. then i take a high lighter... highlight "trigger" words.. and the write notes over it..
    eg. verse starts here... then i write out the score of the groove.. be it 1 bar groove or 2 bar groove..
    chorus starts here.. again i write out the score for the groove..
    interlude 7 bars here... play same groove as chorus...
    1 bar syncopation here... play 1e a 2e a 3e a 4eN
    solo 8 bars total... 2bars drums only.. 2 bars guitar.. 2 bars bass... 1 and 1/2 bar unison... 1/2 bar fill-in "bucket of fish"
    big rock finish

    stuff like that... and while playing i try to listen to the vox so i can keep track which part of the song im at while im reading the lyrics.

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