Do you play songs live the way you do on your EPs?

m00py

Member
So I started recording my band's first EP and it's my first time recording ever. I noticed right off the bat that I needed to trim down a lot of what I was doing and to really groove repetitive lines more over the verses, etc, so I did and it sounded solid so I decided to start playing it live in the new trimmed down "recording" way. Is this something y'all have noticed and decided to do as well?
 
G

Ghostnote

Guest
For the last 10 years or so I've played a decidedly more stripped down style than I did before that, so I don't play a lot of licks or fills most of the time. I recorded a show I played 2 years ago and it wasn't until I watched the recording that I realised that I could actually strip 'er back a bit more. Half the time, the fills I did play seemed unnecessary and sounded more like distractions to me than embellishments. Since watching that recording I focused even more on just grooving and instead of a fill per se, I'm listening for opportunities to comp instead, sort of like a jazz player.
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
I tend to vary my fills a bit more playing live, but I don't usually add a whole bunch more than I would record for the song. I just use the same spaces creatively. Keeps me engaged after playing the same song the 600th time.
 

Hollywood Jim

Platinum Member
I think when you are recording in the studio you need to bring your Keith Moon exploding drums. It might sound a little crazy on the recording, but people will say, "Yeah it sounds confusing, but man you should have been there".

And it makes a good story for the CD liner notes.


.
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
I try to play the parts from the recordings, since the producer, artist, and I deemed them to be right at the time. That's not to say that over time, the parts don't evolve a little. After a year or five or ten, I may stumble upon a slightly (or radically) different part that I like and maybe wish I'd recorded in the first place. But that takes investing more time with the song being played live, than when it was originally written and rehearsed for the recording. Some evolution is inevitable, but for me, it's a very gradual process. I never record something, and a month later I'm playing it differently. That would suggest that I didn't get the parts right when it was most important: committing my drumming to a recording subject to listening and scrutiny for all time.

Bermuda
 

Juniper

Gold Member
Mostly play the parts from the recordings as they are thought out parts, occasionally I'll switch things up a little though with fills...etc
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
In all the bands I've been in where I recorded, or where the songs have been on recordings, they tend to evolve up to the point of recording, and then they evolve past that as well. As with most non-millionaire musicians, the songs are written, rehearsed, and even played out numerous times before committing them to recording. But when the red light comes on, I tend to focus on a clean, straightforward take. If there's any bits that have been challenging or sticky, I tend to do something a bit simpler or more direct that works for the song - or, if we agree it NEEDS to be in the take, I rehearse the heck out of it at home first. Then, as we continue to play the songs after the recording, I will tweak stuff as seems appropriate.

Sometimes I stumble on something that I wish had made it onto the recording. We've recently dug out an older cut from three albums ago that was originally a mid-tempo, straightforward ballad with country overtones, and we added some stops and a smooth press roll into the bridge. The bridge starts with the lyric "It's time to slow down" - so I switched the beat to a half-time feel and we drop the dynamic about 50% to emphasize the vocal. After the first time we did it, the bandleader/songwriter turned to me and said, "That stays."

I'm not advocating always playing it excessively safe in the studio, but you do want to have your act together and put the best version of the song down. But everyone tweaks stuff live. They just do.
 

Living Dead Drummer

Platinum Member
Prior to recording I'll experiment a little, try different fills and such. If I am permitted that is. Many people who hire me already have recordings in place and want me to learn each song as is.

Once I've recorded a part I typically play exactly the same live.
I've never been a fan of seeing a band and them not play the song the way I remembered it from the record.
 

BruceW

Senior Member
We just got the final version of our CD recently. We recorded it just over a year ago, and it took many months of overdubs and mixing and all that goes into it, especially on a budget. (And our time-schedules.)

We play perhaps 5 or 6 of those songs on a regular basis now, a year later. I hadn't listened to the recordings in quite a while, so listening to what I played then versus what I play now was eye opening. In both good and not-so-good ways. That, and this was my first experience recording, so the whole process was a steep learning curve. Plus the way we had to do it, being on the budget and time schedule that we had, was also restrictive, as well.

I'm certainly going to incorporate some of the recorded things back into the songs next time around. Or at least try to. Its not an earth-shattering difference, and even the guys that I play with might not notice it, but I do.

Very interesting. Looking forward to starting the process over again, hopefully later this year, assuming we get enough material worked up the way we like.
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
I've never been a fan of seeing a band and them not play the song the way I remembered it from the record.
Weird. I'm the opposite. I love the live stuff mostly because of the little differences and imperfections and improvs. I get bored sometimes if it all sounds exactly like the album.
 

Patz

Senior Member
I've been playing the same eight originals for almost three years. They've evolved here and there. When we finally did a professional recording a couple months ago I tried to play it as straight as possible so I didn't make mistakes or end up with light strikes or rim hits, etc.

I had noticed this some in watching a few decent quality live videos of us, but from the studio work (which isnt even mixed yet) what I ended up finding out was how much the smaller or non-showy stuff I do actually comes out in the song. The recording engineer and our rhythm guitar player have gone on and on about how good my drums sound and how (specifically my band mate) they never noticed some of the stuff I do underneath that has such a big impact.

It's difficult for me (and probably a lot of you) to keep my mind on the overall picture instead of trying to toss in a lot of cool licks and fills, but as it turns out, my basic and mid-tier stuff are really bringing the boom. And honestly, I've always said that as a drummer I want to be "the machine behind the machine", and it seems like I've managed to become that.

So YES..I do play them live the same as the recording now that I understand how important my basic stuff is and how semi-unimportant my more advanced stuff is. I want us to bring the heat, and it's much hotter in the room when I'm not trying to stand out.
 

Patz

Senior Member
Weird. I'm the opposite. I love the live stuff mostly because of the little differences and imperfections and improvs. I get bored sometimes if it all sounds exactly like the album.
The Mars Volta live. Multiple 10 and 20 minute, aimless improv jams in the middle of what are already very intricate songs. In some ways, that show wasn't worth the 9 hour drive. I gotta go with the "play it mostly straight off the album" side of the discussion..lol.
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
The Mars Volta live. Multiple 10 and 20 minute, aimless improv jams in the middle of what are already very intricate songs. In some ways, that show wasn't worth the 9 hour drive. I gotta go with the "play it mostly straight off the album" side of the discussion..lol.
Huh. I wonder if there's any happy medium between playing the record note for note and 20 minute improvs in songs?
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
Huh. I wonder if there's any happy medium between playing the record note for note and 20 minute improvs in songs?
Sure there is. Evolve bits of the song from the recording in your rehearsals. Songs grow when someone says, "what if we tried..."

Example: On the original recording of "Anesthesize" on "Fear of a Blank Planet", when Gavin Harrison comes in at the beginning of the "Pills In Me" sequence, it's a very simple snare fill similar to ones you and I have used hundreds of times. On the live album, he leads in with a backwards fill up the toms. That was born in post-recording for certain.
 

Patz

Senior Member
Sure there is. Evolve bits of the song from the recording in your rehearsals. Songs grow when someone says, "what if we tried..."

Example: On the original recording of "Anesthesize" on "Fear of a Blank Planet", when Gavin Harrison comes in at the beginning of the "Pills In Me" sequence, it's a very simple snare fill similar to ones you and I have used hundreds of times. On the live album, he leads in with a backwards fill up the toms. That was born in post-recording for certain.
I believe he was being facetious. :)
 
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