These two links below include a couple of (30 second) .mp3 song files/clips that may be about
the right speed. Give them a try . . .
School of Drums
Teaching 'YOU', (the teacher) to 'FEEL' the Backbeat flow of a song.
* LEARNING TO HEAR AND FEEL THE BACKBEATS *
The BACKBEAT is the key to everything rhythmic in
music! My experience with thousands of young beginning
drummers has taught me one thing. Some students seem to
possess a natural feel for the backbeat, while others must
be trained to feel it.
The ability to feel the backbeat of a song is crucial
to becoming a drummer. If we feel the backbeat strongly
enough, it is possible to become a drummer without formal
instructions and lessons. Without a special sensitivity for
the backbeat flow in a song, we may never become a drummer,
no matter how many lessons we may take.
If you already know what I am talking about, and and if you possess
this natural feel for the backbeat already, then you may be ready to
move quickly to the next lesson, and begin teaching your pre-schooler
or toddler, how to 'feel' the 'BACKBEAT FLOW', natuarally:
NEXT LESSON: (Only if you think you are ready!)
Click below and learn to . . .
PLAY THE 'BACKBEAT', PATTY-CAKE
with your preschooler or toddler, and do it often!
IF YOU DO NOT YET UNDERSTAND
AND 'FEEL' THE BACKBEAT FLOW,
PLEASE CONTINUE READING . . .
I've found, in my 45 years as a teacher, that about 7 in 10
adults over age 12 will 'feel' this backbeat flow, naturally.
This means that 70% of the population 'could' become working
drummers, if they were to pursue drumming.
gosh! We're about to be up to our necks in working drummers!
Because, the other 30% can easily learn to feel the backbeat
flow . . . if only we can teach them to LISTEN DEEPER INTO
THE MUSIC, FOR THE REPEATING 'SNARE DRUM' SOUNDS. It's actually
a LISTENING HABIT, that is almost as contagious as the flu.
RHYTHMIC CREATIVITY . . . just happens naturally, as we
learn to habitually FEEL this thing called, the 'BACKBEAT FLOW'.
FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO ARE
STILL WITH ME, ON THIS LESSON:
This very special lesson is for those of you who do not
know what I am talking about. It's for that 3 in 10
who do not instinctively 'feel' the backbeat flow
of a song as it plays on the radio.
WHAT IS THE 'BACKBEAT'?
The backbeat in a song is usually the dominant repeating
snare sound that flows through the music. In all forms
of 4/4 the backbeats are on the counts of 2 & 4 in each bar.
The secret to 'feeling' the backbeat is in developing PATIENT
LISTENING HABITS . . .
ABOUT 99% OF ALL THE MUSIC PLAYING RIGHT
NOW ON YOUR RADIO, IS IN SOME FORM OF 4/4 . . .
DO THIS, NOW . . .
Learn to 'feel' the backbeat . . .
* Listen DEEPLY to these two song clips *
- 1. Let a 4/4 tune play on your stereo system or radio.
(Almost every song you may hear will be in some form of 4/4.)
Find something with a moderate tempo . . . Get a song with a
solid but simple drum part . . . at a medium tempo (not too
fast and not too slow.)
- 2. Get one ear into the speaker system or headphones.
- 3. Pick out the dominant, repeating, accented snare sound
in the music. In some complex songs, you may hear additional
snare notes that are falling around the backbeat. Ignore those!
- The Ocean, by Brad Yates, (a good friend of mine in Daytona Beach.)
Get in touch with him, and he'll sell you a copy.
Just do a web-search for 'Brad Yates, Ocean'. :)
- Love and Happiness, by Al Green. This song and CD is available in numerous
places around the web. Just do a web search for 'Love and Happiness, by Al Green', if you would like
to own of copy of this song.
Just listen for the strongest, loudest accented snare notes.
Now clap your hands in-time with these 'BACKBEATS' as the
drummer plays the song. YOU HAVE FOUND IT! Virtually every
song you'll hear will be held together by this 'flowing'
backbeat. The other musicians in the group tend to rely on
the drummers backbeat to get their tempo and timing correct.
The drummer's job (when we do it correctly) is to maintain this 'backbeat flow'
with 'swiss-watch' precision. If we can't hold it steady . . .
the band usually disintegrates, and we get a thumbs down,
'raspberry', haha. (BAD DRUMMER!) But IF we can hold a SOLID
backbeat through out ALL songs . . . we are considered a
WINNER, and a candidate for MUCH praise & worship, haha.
THE TRUTH IS . . . If we can 'feel' and keep track of this
backbeat flow, by smacking the snare drum, in perfect time
with the music . . . it means we are playing drums! The band
will care about little else! They do not care if we miss
the cymbal notes. They don't really care if we hit the bass
drum at all. The important thing is that BACKBEAT FLOW.
If we can lay the snare backbeats into the music, steadily
and consistently, we automatically become the BACKBONE
of the music. The other musicians in the band are clinging
to that repetitious flow . . . as they play.
REMEMBER THIS, ALWAYS!
It really doesn't matter to the other band members how
FANCY we play! They usually don't give a hoot about that.
They want us to HELP THEM 'FEEL' THE BACKBEATS, while THEY
impress and 'wow' the world with their own ingenious
and masterful musical techniques. ;)
So . . . the DRUMMER IN DEMAND is the one who can lay
that backbeat in there with no mistake . . . consistently . . .
keeping it rock-solid-steady, throughout EVERY piece of music.
HOW TO 'FEEL' THE BACKBEAT . . .
How do we acquire this indisputable perfection with our
time measurement, and 'FEEL' for the backbeat? It probably
won't become a 'listening habit' by doing it with just
one song. You'll need to develop the HABIT of listening
to ALL music this way . . . for the remainder of your
life. The more you do this, the more addictive it becomes!
Soon you'll be compelled to bang on anything at hand,
every time any song meets your ears!
Practice, Practice, Practice! Practice, staying with the backbeat
flow of all recorded music! Just tap a finger along with
each and every (snare) backbeat, in each and every song you'll hear,
as you go through your day . . . every day of your life. Sometimes
the flow eill be repeating very slowly, and on other songs it'll
be repeating rapidly. All we have to do is listen deeply into
the music, find the flow, lock on, and stay with it! That's
what drumming is all about.
NOTE: Some of the UNDERLINED LINKS in this document (like the
one below), lead to additional,
'relative' web pages (on the web) that help explain the various
topics in greater detail. I encourage you to click those links and
study that material too. JUST REMEMBER, you'll need to have an
'online connection' for those links to work, and you'll need
to hit the 'Back Button' on your BROWSER, in order to RETURN TO
THIS DOCUMENT. There won't be any 'links' leading back to this
special course, if you click, and go outside of it.
NEXT . . .
While online; Memorize
ALL the BASIC 4/4 Dancebeats first, then Jam with every conceivable type of recorded
song. Listen for the recorded drummer, ALWAYS.
Strive to acquire an indisputable 'feel' for tempo and a solid 'backbeat',
no matter how softly we may be required to play. This can
prove to be a contradiction at times, with 'some' forms of very soft,
laid-back, music. Sometimes we may not be able to hear the snare
in the music, but the backbeats will always be consistent, or the song
will fall apart, like a house of cards.
It's about listening to a lot of music! It's about habitually
finding the flow, then taping along in-time as the music plays.
After awhile, we'll begin to feel it so strongly that the
drums could be removed from a recording . . . and we'll still
know and 'FEEL', where those bacbeats belong.
Anyway, the secret to ALL drumming (and all rhythm
in music) is buried in this backbeat
concept. The 'backbeat' IS the quintessential 'BACKBONE' of
the music . . . ALL MUSIC. If we feel the backbeat strongly,
and learn to lay it in there dominantly . . . we can BE THE
This includes fancy fills, complex syncopations, and all of the intricate
jazz techniques that any drummer might play. Those other
incidental intricacies just CAN'T HAPPEN, until the backbeat
has been established in a commanding way . . . (usually by
. . . BUT, * NOT ONLY * THE DRUMMER!
The other (rhythm) instruments in the band are normally
working as a team WITH the drummer, to help establish a
solid backbeat flow.
The rhythm guitarist will usually play a 'chucking' rhythm
sound on the backbeats . . . Pianists and keyboard players
will usually compliment the backbeats throughout a song with
repetitious notes (normally played in the higher register)
on the counts of 2 & 4 in 4/4 time . . . ACCENTING
* 3/4 (WALTZ) time , usually consists of 2 backbeats
per bar on the counts 2 & 3 of every measure.
* 5/4 and other odd time signatures usually
contain 3 or more backbeats per bar. These 'lop-sided' signatures
are only used rarely in jazz, and other complex music styles . . . (Yes! 3/4 Waltzes can become VERY complex, if and
when, we choose to make them that way.)
It is best to stick with common 4/4 music styles in the beginning
until that unique 'feel' for the backbeat has been developed, then
move into 3/4 grooves before progressing on to the really complex
· We can miss cymbal notes . . . No problem!
· We can blow it with our fancy bass drum licks . . . NO PROBLEM!
· We can omit most of the intricate rhythmic variations! That's OK too.
· The BACKBEAT is the important thing! If we lay it down
PERFECTLY, we are OK! If we don't? Well, we had better enjoy slinging
burgers or pumping gas!
You will find the above to be true in ALL professional
situations. Remember it always!
If you can now find the backbeat and clap along in-time
with most songs, you are ready to begin working
with your pre-school child. We want to teach the child
to find and feel it too. This next lesson will show
you an easy way to do it.
PLAY THE 'BACKBEAT' PATTY-CAKE GAME WITH YOUR PRE-SCHOOLER . . . AND DO IT OFTEN.
Copyright Bill Powelson 1994 all rights reserved.