Topic: notation methods for new material  (Read 633 times)

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notation methods for new material
« on: July 31, 2008, 07:58 AM »
It's been several years since I posted anything on here. Site looks better than ever Bart. Awesome.

Anyway, I need to draw from the vast knowledge that is "The Drummer Cafe" dun dun dun! And the Tympani sounds. I'm a professional drummer in Atlanta. I find myself having to learn, what seems like an incredible amount of material every week. I'm involved in two original projects, one touring and one recording now. I like to stay plugged into the local scene so I try and put myself out for hire every opportunity because well, I'm a drum nerd and fanatic about playing any and everywhere I can.

Material ranges from Up-tempo pop/rock to Jazz with Country and Funky R&B and anything else someone wants to call and ask me to jump in on. Bottom line is, many of these songs have signature licks and hooks in them that I must nail. Most are just 4/4 so not a lot of issue with odd sigs and such. Just need help charting or using simple notation in a clear way that's easy to glance at when I'm running 150-160 bpm. May seem slow to some but for me that's about the upper side of my playing comfort when half the songs in a 8-10 song set are at that tempo. I'm getting old ya kow. 95% of the time I'm running a click from start to finish and/or loop, which I am a fan of because of the constant flow of different musicians I'm playing with. So anyway, being able to see what's coming in the song is crucial. Also, simple notation is the only thing that makes sense, transcribing into drum notation is not a strength of mine. Played with Nashville # system but just havn't mastered it. I'm not claiming to be Vinnie or Steve you know.

My main issue is many times I have never heard the song before. I get the download in many cases just a few hours before playing. Maybe I'm just crazy for jumping into these situations but that's why I get the gigs because nobody else will go.

Bart Elliott

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Re: notation methods for new material
« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2008, 09:06 AM »

I'm actually going to have a class this weekend in the Virtual Classroom and I was planning to cover this very topic. Aside from getting some great advice here on the forum, you might want to consider checking out my broadcast this Sunday evening; it's free for VIP Members.

Also, we have touched on this subject here at the Drummer Cafe quite a bit. You might be able to glean some good information from past threads; do a little search here in the forum.


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Re: notation methods for new material
« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2008, 10:51 AM »
Thanks Mr. Bart. I tried in my forum illiterate method to do a search and didn't have any luck. I'll poke around and see what may come up. Looking forward to the class on Sunday. Thanks again.

Louis Russell

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Re: notation methods for new material
« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2008, 06:46 PM »
I will be there!  All you dudes and dudettes who are not VIPs should sign up and join us.  I am sure you will learn a lot. 

Chris Whitten

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Re: notation methods for new material
« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2008, 11:19 PM »
As I've said in previous threads.
I use strict notation methods. If you can't read proper drum notation, learn fast.
But my shorthand version is to write only the essential elements.
So I might write out the first bar in proper notation so I get a reminder of the bass drum pattern, hi-hat part etc. Then for an 8 bar verse I write; Vs1 7 more.
Bridge - 8
Ch1 - 8(ride)+ 2
Vs2 (hh)
In that instance the drums went to ride from hi-hat and there was a little 2 bar turnaround before the next verse - back to hi-hat.
Any other crucial figures can be written in and around the basic numbers; 8 for an 8 bar section, or 8+8, or 16 for 16 bar sections etc, etc....


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