If You Can Count It, You Can Play It

If You Can Count It, You Can Play It

One of the basic lessons I learned when I was taking drum lessons was how to count time.

I learned the basic 1,2,3,4  for quarter notes, 1N,2N,3N,4N for eighth notes , 1ENA, 2ENA, 3ENA, 4ENA for sixteenth notes and 1NA,2NA, 3NA, 4NA for eighth note triplets.

My teacher would say, “If you can count it, you can play it.

This is true.

I play predominantly by feel.  I can read music but it’s been so long since I had to that it takes my brain too long to process what I’m reading into my hands.  I should practice it more but there are just so many things you can work on in such limited time.  Once I finally translate the notes on the page into a feel I forget about the written notes and only use it to reference where I am in the song.

For years just about every song I ever learned I learned by simply listening to it to get the feel and then the arrangement which generally changed when the band covered it.

Recently one of the songs I had to learn for a band had a very syncopated rhythm. Continue reading