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EDS Songbook Level One  The First Time – Rock

Songbook Level One

Understanding the chart

Download and print out the score, so that you can refer to it as you follow the keyboard chart.

'The First Time'

You have learned many skills through your study of Level 1 Essential Drum Skills. It is time to start putting it all into practice by playing a song.

This songbook is designed to help you learn to play a song, whilst following the music from a drum chart. A drum chart, or drum guide, is the music session drummers are given to follow when they are asked to perform a tune – be it live, or in a recording session. To do this you need to prepare yourself.

The first thing to do is to go through the chart, step by step, looking at each section and understanding what the chart is asking you to do.

Step One

The first thing you will see is the name of the tune, ‘The First Time’, and the name of the composer. The title is the important one as, if you had a number of songs to play, it is essential that you play the correct one!

Step Two

At the top left hand side, before the tune starts, you will see the note '4 Clicks'. This means that you will hear four clicks before the tune starts. This will help count you into the song.

Step Three

Next is the time signature ‘C’, which is the sign for ‘common time’ and means there are four beats in each bar. This is familiar territory for you.

You may have noticed that, just before the time signature, there is the beginning of a repeat. This is indicated by a beginning of a repeat mark which you studied in Lesson 6. This is a good time to look for the end of the repeat and make a note of its location.

The end repeat is actually at the end of bar 6 (12). Therefore, you play Verse 1 twice.

Step Four

The first thing you play is a standard eighth note rock groove, with a crash cymbal on the first beat of the Verse. That should be straight forward, but just play a couple of bars to get yourself into the feel of it.

Step Five

The first Verse is played twice and you then move into the Chorus, with a cymbal crash to denote this new section. The groove in the Chorus is the same as it is in the Verse. At bar 16, there is a simple fill to play. This is straight out of Lesson 4 and should be familiar territory. However, it is a little tricky now that it is in the middle of a song. Listen to the music though and you will hear that it follows the rhythm played by the band.

The same thing happens again at bar 20, to lead you into Verse 2.

Step Six

There are three things at the beginning of bar 21 to note.

  1. Firstly, it is the same groove again.
  2. Secondly, there is the beginning of another repeat.
  3. Thirdly, the cymbal is crashed again to denote a new section. You may wish to practise this bit. Revise Lesson 9 if you are having trouble.

Take note of the end of the repeat, so that you know when you have to return to bar 21. Like Verse 1, the repeat means that you play the verse twice, and the sign confirming this is at the end of bar 26. You will also begin to hear the Verse as a musical section, after a couple of run-throughs.

Step Seven

Chorus 2 is virtually the same as Chorus 1 — except that the simple fills have been replaced by tougher phrases. These fills will need to be rehearsed. So, find the bars on the DrumXtractor, and practise them round and round until you can play them fluently. Phrasing is covered in Lessons 7 and 8.

Step Eight

Once you have got this far, it is pretty much plain sailing through to the end. Verse 3 is just six bars long. The seventh bar (bar 47) has a crash cymbal on beat 1 and, as usual, you hit the bass drum underneath. However, this is a new note for you. All you need to know for now is that it is a ‘whole note ’ and it is worth four (4) beats. Simply crash the cymbal on beat 1 and let it ring for a bar.

At the bottom of the chart you will see the word ‘Fine’. This means ‘finished’...the end.

Step Nine

Now, watch and listen to the multimedia files, and follow the drum chart through a couple of times.

Once you have done that, have a go yourself. You can play with the drums, or mute the drummer on the track so that you can play on your own. Remember to:

  1. Concentrate.
  2. Count.
  3. Look at the chart as you play.
  4. Cycle the difficult bits and practise them.
  5. Slow it down to a tempo at which you can read and play.
  6. Have fun.

Next: The First Time drum score