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Honor beats

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  • Honor beats

    i have just been designated the go-to-guy for honor beats on my drum. my lead wants me to stress every push-up except the ones that we are thumping on and he uses a hand signal to let me know to keep the beat steady. i never really have learned to use honors during the first push, so i usually do it lightly.

    anyone use a specific protocol for honor beats? a specific pattern?

    when we are going low and straight i usually do a straight 2/4 stress, but when we step it up i usually get a little funky with a space or a fill.

  • #2
    When singing exhibition or contests songs the pattern I've always seen and used is honor beats in the first, second and fourth push ups...just straight through for the third. Numbers of honor beats is up to the person, but don't get carried away (I would personally say more than 7 is too many). The best way to put them in at the right place is to "rock them in." This isn't a reference to rock n'roll music, just means rock your stick almost like a round dance beat and then hit your honor beats. They'll be in the right spot every time, and your song won't go on beat. Just my thoughts, Scott


    • #3
      Everything that BPlenty just siad plus one more thing.
      !!Dont POUND the drum with your stick!! Ive seen people that hit the drum so hard its a wonder that everyone doesnt get knocked off.
      When you do the honor beats everyone else should pull back their sticks to the edge of the drum, where the beat is still heard but the emphasis is on the honor beats(without having to annihilate the drum)You shouldnt have to BEAT the drum to get your honor beats to sound good.
      1,2,& 4th push and yes, dont get carried away
      A Warrior without character is nothing more than a brute.

      I have lots of freinds, you just cant see them:)


      • #4
        Nothing to add there in my opinion...

        well said BPlenty and jriverwind


        Work like you don't need the money, Love like you've never been hurt, and Dance like no one is watching.


        • #5
          Just to add some to what jriverwind was saying about not pounding the drum too hard:
          We were singing with a real big guy [drum hopper!]and he took it upon himself to do the honor beats.As i said he IS a REAL BIG guy and he just went throught the hide!!
          We are still waiting for the horse that he promised
          We are more careful now.
          Hate is for FOOLS!And fools like m&ms come in all colors

          I am ready to tell you my secret now,I see dumb people,.I see them everywhere.They dont know they're dumb,they only see what they want to see.That weird feeling which make the hair on your neck stand up....thats them!


          • #6
            This is the third try at posting this. if this doesn't work, forget it.
            Here in North Dakota we don't use hand signals. Well hardly. you have to 'feel' the music, you know when things are happening.

            What you guys are calling 'honor beats' are the signals.
            A singer hits the drum once, this lets everyone know he will lead a song.
            Usually we sing a song from 4 to seven times. years ago there was also a tail. But that has been dropped except on special occasions.
            The leader hits the 'honor beats' in the second chorus of the first verse. this is the signal that on his lead the song will speed up.
            Just as he leads he hits the drum twice hard and starts off at a faster speed.
            When the leader wants the song to end, he hits the honor beats again in the second chorus, this not only signals the singers but also the dancers that the song will end at the end of the second chorus.
            This is my two cents worth.


            • #7
              1st,2nd,and 4th push-ups is where I've always seen the drum spiked on a traditional drum.As for the signal to get faster, we usually do that at the start of the third pushup and we still put tails on them when we feel inspired enuff!


              • #8
                I would have to say the most important aspect of "honor beats" has to be making sure they are placed on the "on" beat. Little can chap my hide more when I dance then when honor beats are on the "off" beat. Can't you just visualize the dancers "studder-steppin" to step on the right beat . . . ? (This is kinda hard to explain through a computer.) Scott previously mentioned "rocking" them in like a round dance- good comparison. If you're singing the song properly with "experienced ears" you know right where they go.

                My drum also "kicks it up" at the beginning of the 3rd push of the song pretty much automatically- no signal attached, as rabbitbelly mentioned. We don't necessarily speed up the song, but the intensity/volume of the drumming rises until the "honor beats" come in again.

                In my area, signals are predominantly used, but I have witnessed what Louis Garcia was talking about before. Different drums do different things- even in the same area. A drum needs to be consistant with its "signals" and if you are a guest at a drum make sure you know the signals of that drum! Everyone I noticed in my neck of the woods "waves" to signal the end of a song and "points" if they want to take the lead. I sat in with a drum from further south and "assumed." Those guys "pointed" to end the song- gross result on my part! BUM BUM BUM bu-!
                Don't sweat the petty things and don't pet the sweaty things.


                • #9
                  whenever i do honor beats, i let the song decide. do whatever feels right. but i usually go for between six and eleven. if doing honor beats in a row, ie- BUM BUM BUM, instead of BUM bum BUM, never do more than six. but i must say, five in a row followed by four to six alternated really sounds great, especially in a hard hitting song like the aim song. also, i usually go every push up and on odd # beats- 1,3,5, etc

                  "only when all are brothers can the music be moving" -Kurt Powless

                  "only when all are brothers can the music be moving" -Kurt Powless


                  • #10
                    This isn’t really about honor beats, as I think Louis, et al covered that well. But I do want to share a word about “waking up” the drum. I see young guys just WACK a drum to start up a song. Harry Buffalowhead said you have to realize that a drum has a spirit (or several) inside there. How would you like it if you were sleeping and someone made a loud noise like that on your head? Harry said to tap the drum lightly on the side. It’s a signal to the spirits who dwell there; “Hey we’d like to sing now and need you to come help us. Will you join us?” It just shows proper respect (and impresses some of us) when we see singers show this kind of respect to their drum.



                    • #11
                      Thanks powwowbum for that nice gem of truth from the south.
                      Don't sweat the petty things and don't pet the sweaty things.


                      • #12
                        Thank you!! I see so many young people banging on the drum from start to finish.
                        They also try to run a race on how fast you can get the songs. I hear a lot of drums where when the head singer stops all the men and women stop. I was taught that the men finish the song even if the head singer drops out and that the ladies hold the last breath a little beyond the men to help the head singer get his breath to start the lead line again.
                        Thank you for a nice memory.


                        • #13
                          hello all,
                          i'm relatively new to a northern drum and am therefore still learning all the ins and outs of the song. do any of you know if there is any difference between the honor beats of the northern and southern drums? either placement, number of beats, or significance...? i'd like to learn as much as i can.


                          • #14

                            Southern drums normally have 3 "honor beats" between the first and second chorus. Some contemporary southern songs place them like northern drums do.

                            Northern drums normally place them at the beginning of the second chorus. Typically there are between 4 and 10 "honor beats."
                            Don't sweat the petty things and don't pet the sweaty things.


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