How To Remember Tempos

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How To Remember Tempos

How to remember song tempos when playing drums live with other musicians and vocalists.

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My music journey includes years of playing drums in various situations and with so many great musicians and artists. Thinking back, I find it amazing how much I have memorized over the years. With the more recent loss of my eyesight (not completely), I tend to rely more on memorization for everything. Today, I was reminded of something that I do all the time, but never realy think about.

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Photo: Taurus on drums at the First Annual Colorado Springs Jazz Fest, US Air Force Academy, Colorado 

I'm still playing drums in church and being exposed to songs in styles that I was not accustomed to playing. So, learning the new songs each week is a challenge, but the reward is great.

Cue Your Memory

Right befor taking the stage for the Sunday worship experience, I ask one of the vocalists for the name of the fisrt son in out set. Sometimes, I also ask the vocalist to sing the first part of th first verse for me. The reason I do this is to "cue" my memory and set my mind on the first song's tempo. I have been doing this for years and didn't think about it musch untilI saw Rob Brown's video on how to remember tempos.

Learn The Lyrics

In his video, Ron gives the pro tip "Learn The Lyrics" as the way to remember tempos. I agree. In fact, I sing along with the vocalists while I'm playing the drums. I also move my body (sway from side to side) as a way to "keep time" while I'm playing, especially for slower songs. But knowing the lyrics to the songs has been the way I have remembered the tempos for almost all of the songs I have played live.


Ron Brown on Drums - How To Remember Tempos

Moody InstruMental Music

All music is Mental in that it engages the mind in some way. Music is instruMental because it can be used for a particular purpose. As a drummer, I'm still making moody instrumental music. I'm just doing it with drums instead of my computer.

By learning the lyrics to the songs you play and taking a moment to cue your memory, you will become better at remembering the tempos for your songs. Hopefully, you will also gain a better appreciation for what you are capable of mentally and emotionally.

Keywords: drums, remember tempo, cue your memory, learn the lyrics, Ron Brown

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