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David's Tip of the Day: Openings, Part 3 - Hearing the Tempo Before You Count

David Barrett Admin's picture

Last tip I spoke briefly about counting the band in. The most common error on the bandstand is to count the band in at the wrong tempo (commonly too fast due to being excited). The key point I stated was to hear the song in your head before tapping your foot and counting.

Relax for a moment. Take a couple deep breaths to calm yourself and slow your heart rate. Hear the song in your head. What you're imagining may not be the opening of the song, somewhere else in the song may be more representative of the tempo. If you have a passage that's particularly challenging, this may be the section that you judge your speed on (the tempo at which you can play a difficult passage well determines the tempo for the entire song).

Once you have your tempo, start tapping your foot and when counting trust your foot... don't allow your counting to speed up (another common error).

More on the pre-count next time.