Learning Songs - Should You Learn the Exact Drum Part?
I've gotten this question quite a bit since I started posting the gigging drummer series. When learning a drum part, should we learn it and play it EXACTLY like the recording every time? Should we ignore the recording altogether? Is there a happy medium??!
I've been doing paid cover song gigs (stage shows, clubs, weddings, artists, etc.) since the age of 16. So I have A LOT of experience in this area. Here's the first thing...learning a new song and the parts that are played is a way to learn a new player. To really dig into their style. Secondly, it's a way to learn a new style. To learn what the main players in that style do and how they approach the songs.
Many times there are smaller genres within a large genre and the differences have to do with the small nuances in a player's parts. It's a fantastic learning tool. And thirdly...we have to leave room for our own selves to shine through!! Some take this too far and completely ignore the original parts. I don't agree with this for the most part, but there is a happy medium (for me anyway).
This is a really important topic. I have friends that play stadiums on a weekly basis...and they are literally playing a "cover" gig. They were hired by an artist to play that artist's songs and represent the album live. But they still manage to put a lot of themselves into the show!!