From the Driver’s Seat
Hello, and Welcome to the first of many Monthly articles on Drums and Drumming that will include Tips and Techniques that hopefully will make Your Drumming Experience a little bit easier and less stressful.
I am going to title this article “From The Driver’s Seat” and that description or location comes from the fact that the drummer in a band is the controller of what ultimately happens in a song as far as meter or timing.
Think about it, the drummer usually starts the song with a count 1,2,3,4, as simple as this sounds, if executed as it should be, that simple action, and the way it’s delivered, is how the song should be from first note to last. Unless, of course, the song has sections that have different time signatures and tempos. I think now is the time I should mention that most of the rules in Drumming can have an exception.
With that said lets talk about meter, and how your meter, or your ability to evenly space the notes that you play, affect you. When you get your first real drum set, maybe not the first few days or so, but as you start to get down to the task of learning the beats and fills that it takes to actually play a song, you should purchase a Metronome. This little wonder will divide time into beats per minute(BPM), and will do it for hours and hours, at whatever tempo you desire. There are Analog Metronomes (predetermined BPM on a dial) or Digital Metronomes that will enable you to select any number from say 70-240 BPM. Analog Metronomes are the least expensive (about $20). Digital Metronomes offer a greater tempo selection (about $40).
Now let’s get back to why it’s so important to have good meter. If you practice with a metronome, it will become more apparent to you when you speed up or slow down a drum beat. A metronome helps you build an Internal Clock that in the end, when playing with other musicians, will make you a better drummer and a more desirable member of a band. This will in turn get you more work as a Drummer. And it just doesn’t get any better than that!
Thank you for your time and I look forward to hearing from you.