Bands and tempo arguments

drummingman

Gold Member
As a drummer our main job is time keeping. The goal is to have perfect time all the time. That said I find it funny how in a lot of situations that the other members of the band forget that the time is also their responsibility.
I also think its funny how other band members perceptions can make them think that the drummer is speeding up or slowing down when we are not.
I would say my time is very solid 90 percent of the time. I am human so at times I do push or drag the tempo. But its usually not drastic.
In my band we have a lot of odd times in our songs. So we are not able to play with a click for every song when we practice because we dont have a drum machine to program the time sigs into for a click. So on those songs we play without a click. Its funny how often we get into tempo arguments on these songs. Admittedly there are nights at practice where my time is not perfect. But there are also times when Im sure my time is on and my guitar and bass player will disagree.
My guitar player admits he has awful time and its very rare that my bass player will admit that he is wrong on anything! I can also be very head strong. So the head butting can be tough at times. But we are really getting better at working out issues which is good.
Its funny cause I was just talking to another drummer the other day that told me he goes throung the same thing with his band.
So tonight at practice I said we should buy a drum machine and map out all the songs to a click and we should all wear headphones, not just me, with the click in them. That way when my time is on they will hear that in the click as well and cant say that Im off when Im not. And them having the click in their ears will make them realize that playing with good time is also their responsibility, not just mine.
 

jornthedrummer

Silver Member
I have been trough that and was probably not great at playing at the correct tempo every time, speeding up fills and all the usual suspects. So I started playing every song with a click. I only gigged and didn't practice much. But every gig became a practice so to speak and my drumming very fast became more solid and of course no discussion with the band.
This was back in the late 80s and to this day I would never play a fill I would be be comfortable playing with a click.
 

Jeff Almeyda

Senior Consultant
You don't need to buy a drum machine.

What you need is a programmable click app for your smartphone.

I use Metron. I programmed my band's entire last album on it and practiced to that. Fully programmable as far as time sig, length of sections, changes, memory etc.
 

No Way Jose

Silver Member
The guys in the band were playing too fast last night. I don't know what to do. I talked to them about it before.
 

mikel

Platinum Member
The tempo of the song is the responsibility of the band member that starts the song. If its the drummer, with a count in or a drum part then you set the tempo. End of.
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
Yea, click app on your phone. If android, an amazing one is simply called "Drummer's metronome". It has damn near every feature I can think of.

When there is a discussion on tempo or a transition or something in my band's world, we put a click through the PA and all play the part a few times to get what it's supposed to be like with perfect time, then we turn it off.
 

WallyY

Platinum Member
Bumping against the rev limiter makes the drummer sound like a slog.

If all players held the same convictions of high functioning musicians, certain musical genres wouldn't seem like comfort zones for the inept.
 

BillRayDrums

Gold Member
The tempo is everyone's duty. End of story. The vocalist or soloist sets the tempo. End of story. If there's a vocalist who can't find where they are comfortable then that's their problem and no one else. END OF STORY.
 

New Tricks

Platinum Member
I can turn the proper tempo click on/of at any time during any song using a drumstick..

Awesome tool. It ends ALL tempo arguements.
 
M

Matt Bo Eder

Guest
I suppose this falls under the "Getting more experience" category, but when the band feels like I'm rushing, I usually do the Max Roach thing and tell them that if what they were playing more interesting, I'd slow down to enjoy it more. But since that ain't happening, I want to end the pain as soon as I can ;)

95% of the time this shuts them up for me.
 
D

DamoSyzygy

Guest
The goal is to have perfect time all the time.
I somehwat DISagree with this actually. We 'practise' to do that perhaps, but in reality, the interplay with other band members is 99% of the reason we sound good onstage or not.

As pointed out, we cannot control their sense of tempo, and their own professionalism and experience requires them to tackle that in their own time in the rehearsal room,

Even if a drummer isnt keeping the best time, when he's locked in with the other band members and the song is driving as a single entity, drummers rarely sound more solid! :)
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
When I played guitar, our drummer would do a quick click to his metronome while the singer ad-libbed so I got my bearings on the tempo of the intros I tended to speed up on. It's like having the guitarist strike a note to give a singer his pitch-bearings on a vocal-intro.

I just assumed that this was a common courtesy, and it put an end to all of the pre/post gig bickering.

We had a fairly animated stage act, and once the adrenaline kicked in, getting the timing perfect by memory was simply not within my control. We also toured primarily in the northeast. Winter temperatures here can really mess with your internal timing. Ski resort gigs payed well.
 

Patz

Senior Member
I get comments a lot. I dont take offense but I still disagree at times.My timing has always been pretty consistent and I generally feel that my covers are at the right speed. So after hearing it for the umpteenth time I compared our covers to the real songs and I was within 5bpm or so on all but one. So I felt better about it. As for our originals, I just let them tell me what speed to play. The speed they want seems to change pretty often though..lol
 

Publius

Junior Member
what you need, in my humble opinion, is not a metronome, but a beat bug or other similar monitor device. live music breaths, and you can do that with the beatbug without getting totally off. and you can tell everyone at any time where you are tempo wise in relation to where you started, etc. i've used them before, and when someone says "we're speeding up" i can cite the number and it's end of argument.
 

drummingman

Gold Member
I get comments a lot. I dont take offense but I still disagree at times.My timing has always been pretty consistent and I generally feel that my covers are at the right speed. So after hearing it for the umpteenth time I compared our covers to the real songs and I was within 5bpm or so on all but one. So I felt better about it. As for our originals, I just let them tell me what speed to play. The speed they want seems to change pretty often though..lol
I feel that. My guitar player wants to change the tempos of the songs all the time. One day he thinks a song is to slow, the next day to fast. And thats when the tempo has not changed from day to day in anyones playing!
 

opentune

Platinum Member
My guitar player wants to change the tempos of the songs all the time. One day he thinks a song is to slow, the next day to fast.
That's why he is the guitar player. This is typical.
You don't need to buy or use nay gadgets other than play back recordings to show them about tempo and that everybody keeps tempo. As suggested above.
 

bobdadruma

Platinum Member
I have had this discussion with every musician that I have ever played with.
It is always the same. Even musicians who have graduated from Berkley blame the drummer even when I play back the recording and it plainly shows that the soloist slowed down the piece. It is a drummers curse.
Anytime there is ever a problem that is related to tempo it is always my fault somehow. That is how it works.
 

drummingman

Gold Member
I have had this discussion with every musician that I have ever played with.
It is always the same. Even musicians who have graduated from Berkley blame the drummer even when I play back the recording and it plainly shows that the soloist slowed down the piece. It is a drummers curse.
Anytime there is ever a problem that is related to tempo it is always my fault somehow. That is how it works.
Thats the case in my band as well. Especialy with my guitar player and bass player. Even when the time is good when they feel its not most of the time they will insist they are right. And when I insist they are wrong they say I always insist Im always right lol! Feel like I can't win at times!
They just don't understand that good time keeping is on everyone in the band, not just me.
 

drummingman

Gold Member
I have had this discussion with every musician that I have ever played with.
It is always the same. Even musicians who have graduated from Berkley blame the drummer even when I play back the recording and it plainly shows that the soloist slowed down the piece. It is a drummers curse.
Anytime there is ever a problem that is related to tempo it is always my fault somehow. That is how it works.
Thats the case in my band as well. Especialy with my guitar player and bass player. Even when the time is good, when they feel its not, most of the time they will insist they are right. And when I insist they are wrong they say I always insist Im always right lol! Feel like I can't win at times!
They just don't understand that good time keeping is on everyone in the band, not just me.
 
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