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 Back to the Tempo Dispatch Archives  

 ISSUE #18___\__\__\__\__\__________/__/__/__/__/ JUNE 5, 1998


               TABLE OF CONTENTS
            What is in this issue?
      1. Feature Article:
                   THE 'UNIVERSAL' SONG COUNT
      2. JOKE OF THE MONTH: 'Dangerous Dog'



          This months feature is for the more advanced students.
  It won't hurt you to study it though you may not be ready to use
  this material for awhile.  (It is a little bit confusing.)

                   FOR BEGINNERS THIS MONTH

          So that you beginners won't feel neglected, please
  visit the following special URL.  It is loaded with articles that
  are written with ALL students in mind.    Just
  read and study the feature articles.

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Hang in there! I promise that next months lesson will get back to basics. NOW . . . on with this months feature article. ............................................................ THE 'UNIVERSAL' SONG COUNT For you to fully appreciate this lesson I need to make you understand the importance of using the UNIVERSAL SONG COUNT system before I explain how it works. It isn't JUST a song counting system . . . it can be a lifesaver in an otherwise terror stricken moment. When we play professionally, it often occurs that many times we may snag a gig with a top flight band on the fly. They need a drummer NOW and we just happen to be standing there, broke and hungry. Maybe we are getting to try out for the job based on reputation, the recommendation of a friend or we just happened to be standing in the right place at the right time. The point is, it happens this way all the time in the music business. All of a sudden, there we are on stage with a bunch of total strangers we just met backstage. There was no time to rehearse and not even a chance to scan a song list! We have no idea what songs they may play or how ANY of their arrangements may be structured. Really! This is a nightmare that occurs all the time. It's a true taste of 'winging it' carried to the most horrific extreme. IMAGINE THE FOLLOWING SCENARIO . . . The lights dim, (drum roll please) and from the far corner of the stage we hear the bass player screaming at the top of his lungs, "8th 4/4 . . . (He takes a short breath, then screams in-tempo) 2, 3, 4, 1". Then, on the second occurrence of '2' the music comes on like gang busters! This is a good band and these guys are accustomed to working with a drummer who knows his stuff! They were quietly praying that you would have knowledge of this UNIVERSAL SONG COUNT method that was just tossed at you without warning. If you caught it, the job may be yours for keeps. Thank God for that extra little bit of help from the Bass player! He is a God-send and he has just come through like a true friend indeed. That is, if you were aware of the importance of that 'Universal Song Count'. His, "8th 4/4" told you what beat to play and that first '2' in the count told you the intro type and WHEN to come in playing. This method of 'counting-off' songs contains the most information in the fewest amount of words. No rehearsal necessary! We know from the 'odd sounding' count, just exactly what kind of intro to expect and we are able to come in playing with the rest of the band at the end of that count though we may have no idea what song we are actually playing. The count began on '2'. This tells us wordlessly that we will begin playing on the next '2' and the song intro will contain a '3' count lead in. That is precisely the info needed to have the entire band come in on-time playing together, even if they have never heard the song in their life! This is the absolute BEST counting method I have ever encountered. I didn't invent it. I don't know who did, but I would like to thank a guitar player by the name of Neil Flange for showing it to me. It is unquestionably the BEST way to get a band playing 'tight' immediately, without rehearsals. If you and your band know the counting system, you know the most important part of most songs without rehearsing, the 'intro'. Everyone has heard the old saying . . . "Get the intros and endings correct and most people will never notice all the screw-ups in the middle". It is true! And the UNIVERSAL SONG COUNT is the surest way to get all those intros correct with the least amount of words and effort. Everyone in the band must understand it though. That's the hard part! HERE IS HOW THE UNIVERSAL SONG COUNT WORKS: Almost all songs can be deduced to a 4 count, (everything but Waltzes, in 3/4 time.) Remember 12/8 can be thought of as triplet 4/4 and Cut-Time 2/4 may be 'counted' in fours too. Only a few of those 4 count songs will begin on 'ONE' of the first measure. Those are the only songs that will be counted with a simple 1,2,3,4 count. They are the easy songs. You hear 'ONE' as the first number in the count and come in playing on the next occurrence of 'ONE'. ....................................................... NOTE: The second occurrence isn't spoken, it is the first note of the song. ....................................................... If the song can be deduced to being a 4 count song then there are only three other possible counting procedures besides 1,2,3,4. Those three remaining possible counts are: a. 2,3,4,1 b. 3,4,1,2 c. 4,1,2,3 The thing to remember is that you will come in playing on the second occurrence of the first number in the count. THINK ABOUT THAT! If you hear '3' as the first number, you know to begin playing at the instant you would say '3' again. Immediately, you will realize that this particular song will have a two count 'lead in' (on the second occurrences of 3 and 4.) This brings you to the beginning of the first actual measure and the count of 1. Still, other songs requiring a count of 4,1,2,3 will indicate that we hit ONE 'lead in' note as we say 4 the second time. This gets us to the beginning of the first measure. Of course the example I used in my little story above began on the count of 2. We say 2,3,4,1 . . . then play three lead in counts on the unspoken numbers of 2,3,4 . . . bringing us into count 1 of the first full measure of the song. This sounds more confusing than it is! It is really easy once you use it a few times. Like I said earlier . . . it can save a mouth-full of words at times when the pressures of the business will not allow ANY time for discussion. That is the VALUE of this method over all others! Take it for what it is worth . . . It may come in real handy someday when you least expect it. As a final note I should mention that a 'count' might consist of one 4th note, two 8th notes, four 16ths or whatever. But you knew that already, didn't you. KEEP THINKING! IT WILL BE WORTH IT! ________________________________________________________ |________________________________________________________| *** JOKE: DANGEROUS DOG *** Upon entering the little country store, the stranger noticed a sign saying DANGER! BEWARE OF DOG! posted on the glass door. Inside he noticed a harmless old hound dog asleep on the floor beside the cash register. He asked the store manager, "Is THAT the dog folks are supposed to beware of?" "Yep, that's him," he replied. The stranger couldn't help but be amused. "That certainly doesn't look like a dangerous dog to me. Why in the world would you post that sign?" "Because", the owner replied, "before I posted that sign, people kept tripping over him." ................................ This joke was lifted from: 'The Family Humor Archive' AT: http://www.slonet.org/~tellswor/ It was accompanied by the following note . . . Emailed from another humor list (The Funny-Bone) To SUBSCRIBE send a message to majordomo@lists.spunge.org with the following in the *body* subscribe funny-bone ___________________________________________________ Your drumming questions are always welcome at drums01@att.net


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