There are many different ways to train your ears if you are a drummer. The most important skill to learn is how to work out other peoples beats when you are listening to your favorite bands.
This will give you inspiration and ideas of your own, and can drastically increase your whole drumming vocabulary. I’ll be telling you about a few different exercises that drummers can use to train their ears.
It can be very hard for beginners to actually pinpoint what is being played in a song. To easily work out what is being played you need to work from the beat onwards. The beat should then be split up into different parts. The beat is almost always the most important part of any song, as it is the driving force behind the music itself.
To work out a drum beat you should first work out the time signature and what is going on with the cymbals. Once you can tap along to the cymbal section then you should listen to the bass drum. If you are finding it difficult to hear the bass drum then listen to the bass guitar, or whatever instrument is providing bass in the background.
This will help you establish where the kick pedal is because it almost always follows the bass section. Then you should work out when the snare drum is played. This is usually very obviously due to the distinct sound. Once you have all of the separate parts then you should simply put them all together.
It doesn’t matter how big your music collection is. If you only ever listen to the same genres and styles of music over and over again then you will be drastically limiting what you’ll be able to play.
Even if you don’t particularly like a genre it’s always worth trying to listen to the drums at least. Working out what is going on with other genres will not only develop your listening skills, but could give you ideas on how to make your playing more fresh and original.
This is the reason drummers learn to play after all. Joining a band is always the goal, even if you are a solo drummer, you’ll always have some form of backing band. There are very few drummer out there that make a living purely playing solo drums.
Once you figure out the beats to a few songs then you should try to play along to them. This will not only improve your listening skills, and provide good ear training. But will increase your whole drum kit control.
These exercises basically teach you that drumming isn’t all about playing. It’s about listening as well. The better your ear, the better you’ll be at playing. It’s simple. You should always start trying to train your ears from the beginning. It’s a great skill to develop and will help your playing drastically.
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