Biggest problem with a sub, or new band member?

alparrott

Platinum Member
I'll agree with the arrangement being a bit more problematic for subs than the parts. Keeping the groove is the part, and in 90% of popular music that'll be 2 and 4, kick follows the bass. But stops, changes, and stings are the things that can really trip one up. I hate being that guy who does a "California stop" as the rest of the band stares and glares.
 

MikeM

Platinum Member
I hate being that guy who does a "California stop" as the rest of the band stares and glares.
What do you call the opposite of a California stop?

Only thing worse than not stopping when everyone else does is stopping before everyone else does. Gah! I hate that!
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
What do you call the opposite of a California stop?

Only thing worse than not stopping when everyone else does is stopping before everyone else does. Gah! I hate that!
I'm not sure there is an opposite. A real stop?

I agree with you, stopping early is almost as bad as not stopping. My personal least favorite is when the band stops on beat four and you get to have a solo all by yourself on beat one of the next bar. Cue the bandleader glare.

I will say though, that in most bands I've subbed in or had to step in at short notice, there's usually one guy who throws the shapes (bass or rhythm guitarist) and I basically don't take my eyes off him all night long.
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
I'd say the biggest issue facing someone joining (or subbing) in an established group is just knowing how things are run.

Sure, you can learn the parts and the arrangements, but there is often unwritten way things go that might be different. The way a band pushes or pulls on certain sections. Maybe a weird syncopation break that everyone just feels, or just the mental approach to a song.

Mike Bordin said in an interview when he joined Ozzy's band, he knew the recorded material inside and out, but then he discovered with so many people in and out of Ozzy's band over, the songs had evolved over the years, and Ozzy's idea of how he wanted to hear things was different approach than the recorded version.

Someone (I forget who) mentioned in their podcast interview they got to sub for Robert Plant. A Zeppelin song was called. Said drummer knew the recorded version, and played it note for note like the record. Robert stopped him and said "that's not how it goes". Then it's like, what can you do? You know how it goes, but you can't disagree with Robert Plant.

I recall one audition I was on. There was a ballad. I felt the quarter note pulse of the song, and played the laid back 1/2 time feel as per the demo they gave me. But THEY were feeling the 1/8th note pulse. Mathematically, it shouldn't make a difference, but mentally, they were in a different mind set.

And other times, I've been in the established band, and someone else was the new guy. And yeah, they have the parts down, but we just had a certain way of working from being together so long. And trying to explain "oh wait, we changed that since the demo was recorded", or "we only do a 2 count here"
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
A Philly stop is where you go slow through intersections with 4 stop signs, looking for the fuzz.

What's a California stop again?
 

Aeolian

Platinum Member
Since I also play guitar, I think of "parts" as the little melodic bits or hooks in a tune. To be a good sub, you should know the horn parts, the keyboard parts and the guitar parts. You never know on a casual what the make up of the band will be and the folks who can get the song across are the ones who get all the calls. I look at drums the same way. A signature fill or beat that is really the essence of the song. A lot of songs don't need the basic beat pattern played exactly like the original, but something like Maroon 5's Sunday Morning or Mayer's Waiting on the World to Change sound funny if you don't at least start it off with the right thing.

But I think knowing the arrangement is the bigger issue with subs when the band has "made it their own" and deviated from the original arrangement. Especially by adding things that were never there. Good subs can follow a few cues to go back to the bridge again or something. But when folks have invented an entirely new bridge (or at lower levels adulterated some part so badly because they couldn't play it) then there's more opportunity for a trainwreck.
 
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