Drum Basics

Drums Basics

Keeping time is essential in all music. Some music will have multiple time and tempo changes. Rockabilly largely keeps to 4/4 (Four Four) time. 4/4 time means that there are four quarter note beats to the bar, and is counted 1, 2, 3, 4. Other time signatures include 3/4 (Three Four) time. 3/4 time means that there are three quarter notes beats to the bar, and is counted 1, 2, 3. 3/4 time signatures are common in waltzes. 2/4 (Two Four) time. 2/4 time means that there are two quarter note beats to the bar, and is counted 1, 2. 2/4 time signatures are common to polkas (and punk rock).

A bar is a sement of musical notation. Music can have basic high level song structures such as a 4 bar intro, followed by 8 bar verse, a 2 bar bridge, a 4 bar chorus, 8 bar 2nd Verse, 8 bar solo (guitar, bass, drums, acapella vocal part, kazzoo, etc), 4 bar chorus, 8 bar vamp out. (Some Guitar players can be notorious for thinking that a Verse is 2 bars, watch out!!! lol)

Tempo is the metered time of a song. Some songs can have mulitple tempo changes, although this is usually the domain of prog rock bands. Rockabilly and Psychobilly can have tempo changes for dramatic effect. The Tempo is the heartbeat of the song. Some songs can be sped up somewhat and retaint their feeling, others however you will find work best with a constrained tempo. The tempo is the drummers flame to guard and is the true job of any drummer keeping the Tempo in check for the band.

Largo – 40 – 58 BPM
Larghetto – 60 – 66 BPM
Adagio – 69 – 72 BPM
Adante – 76 – 104 BPM
Moderato – 108 – 116 BPM
Allegro – 120 – 168 BPM
Presto – 176 – 192 BPM
Prestissimo – 200 – 208 BPM

BPM – Beats per minute

Also called the beats in music represent the notes per measure ( a measure is another way of saying a bar) the notes are represented and counted as follows:

Whole Note – counted as all four beats of the bar.
Half Note – counted as two of the four beats per bar.
Quarter Note – counted each individual note of the bar.
Eighth Note – counts the space in between notes.
Sixteenth Note – breaks the time between notes into finer detail. Home of the Train Beat.
Thirtysecond Note – doubles the speed of the Sixteenth note.
Triplets – Psudo waltz feel

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