I heard that if you want to learn a song and figure out how to count to the rhythm, you have to listen to the snares of the drums. Can anyone tell me what is on the drums? Sorry, I dont play drums so I wouldnt know, anyways how would you count while listening to it since thats what I heard your supposed to listen to?

Thanks, if anymore explaining would be needed to clarify, I would do so.

Examples would be helpful as well and please make the answers very detailed please.
wha? your not making any sense

Also i think you posted this in the wrong section
I leik music
Last edited by col50 at Dec 27, 2008,
My bad, what I meant was when listening to a song and you want to learn it you probably want to learn how to count the rhythm to help you stay on time. But, I don't know how to count at all so when I put my metronome on I have no idea on how to count with the beat of the metronome and song. But, I heard that if you listen to the snares of the drums it helps you count the rhythm of the song; but thats what I need help with ( especially with songs that change the tempo a lot)
In a typical rock beat the snare is usually playing quarter notes, It's kinda what you bang your head to.
Listening to the snares wont really help because some songs don't have a snare hit on every beat. If your having trouble finding the rhythm of a song you should tap along with it to figure out the rythm
I leik music
okay the snare drum is the loud, cracky sounding drum that you hear usually on beats 2 and 4 of a standard 4-beat measure. for example, the first drum sound you hear in the intro of metallica's "2 x 4" is a snare drum. essentially, in the simplest standard 4-beat per measure drum beat, the drummer plays eighth notes on a cymbal (usually the hi-hat or ride) meaning that it plays on all 4 of the beats plus the "ands" of the beat (the notes exactly in between). the bass drum (the really low sounding drum that is at the bottom of a drum set on its side and hit with a pedal) will play on beats 1 and 3 and the snare drum will play on beats 2 and 4 (also called the "backbeats"). a good example is the intro to michael jackson's "billy jean". generally, the snare is the most constant thing to listen to between different drum beats, since the bass drum is generally used to highlight strong notes in the guitar riff. however, snare drums can often be played on other beats than the backbeats, although these may be played with less force and serve more to move the beat forward than anchor the beat (which is what the backbeat does). hope this helps!
Ok, Im learning Cro Mags-Hard Times, and col50 said maybe I shouldn't listen to the snares, but how would you count really? I keep on hearing people say 1 2 3 4, but there is also counting 1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &, and 1 2 3 1 2 3, Im really confused guys sorry, I don't know any music theory so you guys can still help me with this
ok i just listened to it and you can just count 1 2 3 4. basically using the numbers to count depends on what kind of time signature (beat pattern, if you will) the song is played in. sometimes this can change within the song even. to be able to notice this you really just have to feel it out, or if that's hard try to listen to find where you think the music "repeats" in a sort of way, just in terms of where the parts you would maybe bang your head or your fist to are. it's really pretty tough to explain over the internet, maybe ask someone in school band or something about it if you really can't get it.
I play a little bit of drums, so I think I can answer your question.

Basically, it's not very good practice to count your rhythm based on the snare drum, for several reasons:

1) The snare hits might not follow the beat nicely (i.e. fall on the 2s and 4s, or 1s and 3s). The beat might be such that the snare in the first measure is on the 1 and 3, and then on the 2 and 4 in the second, and so on.

2) The snare hits might be syncopated, which means they are played slightly off the beat (i.e. fall on the &s between the 2 and 4, or even on the e and a (drum beats are counted 1e+a2e+a3e+a4e+a, and so on.)) This will throw off any kind of attempt to find out the rhythm through the snare.

3) Some songs don't have the snare in it. This isn't very common...but I'm just saying.

What you can do, is to listen to the hi-hat (or ride/crash/whatever), depending on which cymbal is being used to provide the rhythmic "pulse" at the time. They usually come in divisions of 4/8/16, and you can get a feel of what the general rhythm is. You can't go too far wrong doing this, unless the song is in some weird time signature like 13/4...which you probably shouldn't attempt if you're asking this question.

Alternatively, you can also try looking for a pattern in the beat. This basically means that you figure out the drum beats/fills that repeat over and over, and then break these down into the basic 1&2&3&4. This works most of the time as well.

Finally, you can just take the rhythm from the pattern/speed of your headbanging. Sounds stupid, but it works a lot of the time.

I hope this helped a little.
Last edited by doom3rulz at Dec 27, 2008,
yeah, this is something that is really tough to teach over the internet, especially when i was taught most basic music stuff from a written perspective first and then learned to "feel" it, which makes you good at written theory and picking up on stuff but bad at relating to people with a different musical background. but really, ask any drummer in your school band and if they know what they're doing they should be able to help. i guess what you could do for now though is just find a tab of the song and try to play along to it. if it doesn't sound quite right then you're playing something a little wrong and you've just got to do trial and error to figure things out. good luck!
you have to feel it, cause go play a zeppelin song and you'll be lost cause the bass and snare are all over the place...my drummer plays like that too and it can be tough once in awhile, but u get the hang of it
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