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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hey all been awhile since i posted but have a lot going on.

i got another newbie question that i hope you all can help me understand. how do each member of a band follow a long with each other? does it come down to melody of the song? i just cant imagine band members counting the whole time especially if they are playing fast. what if the guitarist drops his pick and needs to find his place again?

also how does everyone know when to change chords or start to the next part of the song? is this the drummers role to lead the band and kinda signal with certain drum patterns to move to next part of the song?

i just cant understand how to follow a long with a drum track or backing track.

lots of newbie questions i know but this is really holding me back on my playing.

thanks guys
 

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HOLY DIVE-AH!
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it's the drummers' job in most cases to keep the time, but you still need to count and keep track of where you are, especially if there's no lyrics that give it away easily.

Being able to hear everyone evenly is key.
 

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I've seen this question come up before, so you're not the only one. I always was naturally able to follow along with music, but in general, it just takes practicing the song until everyone knows it inside and out, and when there's odd timing parts or pauses, have an agreed upon cue (usually the drummer). Best way to practice alone is playing along to recorded music, since it won't stop and wait for you.
 

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It's usually a drum fill that will signal there's a change coming along. After a while you'll get a feel for when changes are coming, you'll know that you've played a part 4 times for instance and it'll feel like too long if you do it more times. If there's a singer you can get used to some vocal sections that signal key parts of the song, there'll be certain phrases that you always change after or the melody might change.
When you start jamming with people it'll come together kind of naturally. Even if you do get a little lost during a song, you can pick it back up and know where you are when there's a change.
 

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I've also always believed that a band isn't ready to play live until they know the songs so well that they could lose an instrument, or only be able to hear one instrument, and still make it through the song without trouble.
 

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DOO)))M
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Also snare is usually the "click" that keeps up the timing is this correct?
Depends on the drum pattern really. I've found that if it's a regular old 4/4 time song, drums will be something like Crash on the first beat, and hi-hats on 2nd/3rd/4th; coupled with that is bass drum on 1st and 3rd beats and snare on the 2nd and 4th beats.

That's just a very generic bass-snare-bass-snare pattern, but I've found hi-hats/cymbals are more the click than the snare
 

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I think the problem you are finding is in the way you are looking at it, you're just looking at it as its component parts. A song isn't just a drum track, or a backing track you've only just heard, its a song.

You know how when you listen to a song and you've heard it that many times that you know whats coming next? Think of it like that. Once you've started the song, you know what parts are in it, and what parts follow after each other, so all you need is to keep tempo with the drummer and you'll get it. Over time you'll get it so everyone is perfectly in time with each other (or at least as near as possible) and you can lose any instrument and not worry about the whole song falling down.
 

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ɹǝqɯǝɯ ɹɐln&#38
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I have to be able to hear everybody else at any given time while being able to hear myself. So I guess, make sure you can hear everyone and recognize when it's time to catch up when someone else accidentally loses the flow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
thanks guys the comments are helping a lot. Another question, lets say there a lot of open notes played on the low E string on some tab and the song is high in tempo, how in the hell do they know how many of those open strings they played to be accurate count?
 

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Leon said:
Practice.
:agreed: Music's about feel, not numbers. You'll eventually know the parts well enough that you don't have to count, because you know how the part sounds and feels.
 

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Ancient Mariner
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You don't count every single note. Ususally you would count on your starting click or drum. Just to keep it as a simple example, an open E is played for four bars, in 4/4 time, in 16th note. That will be 64 total notes. Just keep in mind a typical 4/4 will go basskick-snare-basskick-snare. To play your 16th note, you would play four notes per beat. Now you just have to count one-and-two-and-three-and-four-and. Start over at one. Each number will fall on the actual beat and say the 'and' between the numbers as well. That gives you 8th note counts and in order to do 16th notes, you just play two notes per word. Then from there, all you have to do is repeat the particular count four times. It will sound like this:

one-and-two-and-three-and-four-and-one-and... etc. Practice it at a slower speed to figure out where all the notes fall.

And then, like Leon said, practice. Keep practicing and speed it up when you get comfortable with it. Once you practice it enough that way, you probably won't even need do a count in your head.
 

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HOLY DIVE-AH!
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You don't count every single note. Ususally you would count on your starting click or drum. Just to keep it as a simple example, an open E is played for four bars, in 4/4 time, in 16th note. That will be 64 total notes. Just keep in mind a typical 4/4 will go basskick-snare-basskick-snare. To play your 16th note, you would play four notes per beat. Now you just have to count one-and-two-and-three-and-four-and. Start over at one. Each number will fall on the actual beat and say the 'and' between the numbers as well. That gives you 8th note counts and in order to do 16th notes, you just play two notes per word. Then from there, all you have to do is repeat the particular count four times. It will sound like this:

one-and-two-and-three-and-four-and-one-and... etc. Practice it at a slower speed to figure out where all the notes fall.

And then, like Leon said, practice. Keep practicing and speed it up when you get comfortable with it. Once you practice it enough that way, you probably won't even need do a count in your head.
This is actually EIGHTH notes.

16ths are counted out

|: one-e-and-a-two-e-and-a-three-e-and-a-four-e-and-a :|
 
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