THE BIG "MONEY BEAT" DEBATE! Love it or hate it?

keep it simple

Platinum Member
First off, I hate the term "money beat". A derogatory term used by those wishing to belittle the status of the most used beat in popular music. Some players regard it as a first lesson that's quickly moved on from, others as a blank canvas that allows the painting of unlimited colours. I believe this simple beat is difficult to play with passion & performance. Many drummers who can display uber chops fail to master this stalwart of the popular music drummers craft. I know this will divide the forum, that's why I've posted this. Let's get it on!
 

Steady Freddy

Pioneer Member
Before this thread turns into a train wreck, the term money beat should be clearly defined.

Are you talking about the kick on 1 and 3 and the snare on 2 and 4. How about four on the floor?

Over...
 

Terry Branam

Official DW Chief Transcriber
If it's good enough for Jeff, it's good enough for me!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-PFrp7XvisA

The guys at GC always bug me to do the "Drum Off" and I was contemplating showing up and playing this groove at this tempo trying to make it feel really great for 4 minutes. No crashes, no fills. nothing extra. It's tough to do!

Terry
 
C

Casper "DrPowerStroke" Paludan

Guest
First off, I hate the term "money beat". A derogatory term used by those wishing to belittle the status of the most used beat in popular music. Some players regard it as a first lesson that's quickly moved on from, others as a blank canvas that allows the painting of unlimited colours. I believe this simple beat is difficult to play with passion & performance. Many drummers who can display uber chops fail to master this stalwart of the popular music drummers craft. I know this will divide the forum, that's why I've posted this. Let's get it on!
Why do you want to divide the forum? That's really interesting to me. Please explain. As you say, the beat is doing fine, and doesn't need your protection.

The masters all have one thing in common: when they play the very simple things, our jaws drop. But not everyone wants to be a master. Hence the different views of the "very simple things".

Casper
 

jer

Silver Member
Never thought of it as a derogatory term, just a true reflection of the power this beat can have.
 

Boomka

Platinum Member
First off, I hate the term "money beat". A derogatory term used by those wishing to belittle the status of the most used beat in popular music. Some players regard it as a first lesson that's quickly moved on from, others as a blank canvas that allows the painting of unlimited colours. I believe this simple beat is difficult to play with passion & performance. Many drummers who can display uber chops fail to master this stalwart of the popular music drummers craft. I know this will divide the forum, that's why I've posted this. Let's get it on!
How is it derogatory? To suggest something is "on the money" is a compliment. And where I come from, to suggest something can make you successful - and earn a lot of money - is also a good thing.
 

Hedon

Senior Member
playing the money beat and sounding good is impossible for me and ive been practicing technique coordination and dynamics like 3 hours a day for the entire last year

here i admit it

playing 3/4 with the feet 7/8 on the floor tom and 4/4 on the snare is easier because no one cares if you sound good as long as you pull it off
same reason for why blasting on 230 or playing a skank with 16s double bass is also easier than playing the money beat
 
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GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
I don't see a debate. It is one of many drum beats and has it's place along with those others.
 

Mikecore

Silver Member
If we are indeed talking about 2 and 4 here, let me submit No Doubt's "Hella Good". Not only does the simplicity of it clear the way for the guitars to sound all the funkier for it, but when Adrian finally does do a fill, it's made much more effective for its dramatic value.

There's a story somewhere about Mel Torme doing something similar during a performance where he was largely motionless during the thing, and when he raised his hand at one point the audience went bananas! The contrast makes it work, apparently.

I think 2 and 4 in the hands of a drummer who's really feeling it is way more effective than any over the top chops-fest, and I see no need for any good drummer to disparage it.
 

Pocket-full-of-gold

Platinum Member
This beat is the subject of a debate????


How silly.
I've seen it continually flammed across a couple of threads now. Admitedly it's by one or two members who's appreciation seems to lie more with the complexity of some metal (especially progressive metal) drumming. But nonetheless, they've let their feelings be well known on 'the money beat'. My guess is that KIS's intention for this thread is to address that.

For the record KIS, the 'money beat' is what kept me employed for years. Common time is so ingrained in popular music that I'm sure it's detractors will be an exceptionally small minority.
 
W

wy yung

Guest
My mate and awesome drummer Jeff, who is here now, plays a great money beat. I use him whenever. His attitude is that he likes to play with a band for at least 6 months before they know he has chops. "I can keep it to about 6 months".

Jeff Doukakis. Watch out for him.
 

aydee

Platinum Member
...

Well, I do see the debate and the point KIS is trying to bring alive.

The evolution of a typical drummer mindset is to quickly move on from this rudimentary simple groove to more acrobatic & complex maneuvers because it is easily understood and executed, and the urge is to then move on to greater challenges.

And yet when this simple beat is played by some great people like ( Purdie, Keltner, Steve Jordan, Chad Smith and millions of other groovemiesters, etc ), it sounds magical and completely different.

I have come to believe that these guys just understand the spaces between the notes better.

Whether this understanding comes instinctively and is inborn or from from a greater knowledge/experience bank that is then applied to a simpler form is a really interesting question.

Why does Steve Jordan's 1-3 BD, 2-4SD sound so funky and mine so clunky?

Both might be metronomically correct.

'Tis is puzzlement.

...
 
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larryace

"Uncle Larry"
I think the money beats secret is to have the correct volume balance between the individual pieces (medium loud volume bass drum, medium soft volume on the hats w/ a noticeably louder quarter note pulse, and a POPPIN snare, that's my take on it) coupled with a great tempo for the song, (not rushed or dragged) perfect meter, and the hard part, keeping the volume relations, tempo and meter perfectly consistant from bar to bar to ba to bar to bar to bar to bar to bar to bar to bar to bar to bar to bar to bar to ba to bar to bar to bar to bar to bar to bar to bar to bar to bar to bar to bar to ba to bar to bar to bar to bar to bar to bar to bar to bar to bar to bar .


Put me down for loving the money beat.
 

BassDriver

Silver Member
If it is what the music asks for, that is what the music asks for, I personally don't like it but if I was in a recording situation with that, I have to do what I have to do to stay employed and still record grooves and-what-not that I would prefer to play later on.

For me, solid is the number one thing for being a successful drummer, all the good drummers on the drummerworld.com homepage are solid drummers often making their careers with session drumming. Even those chop heavy drummers you see on that page (basically your Portnoy-esque drummers) are solid, no use being fast if your not in time, control-before-speed is what they stick to, they just choose to drum differrent styles...but that is personally taste (just like I don't like the dissonant colour of pop music but I like the epic-ness of heavy metal and prog rock).

I feel terms like these aren't descriptive enough:

"...reflection of the power this beat..."

"...in the hands of a drummer who's really feeling it..."

"...making it sound better..."

"...got a good feel..."


Remember that the money beat is very generic and plain with a drum machine, when you put a human drummer in the equation and the play it differently to another human drummer that is what makes it sound good. It can sound good for a number of factors:

Pocket - Basically the drummers relation to the beat (is he/she ahead or behind the beat and how much). The most preferred idea for a good pocket is when you can't hear the metronome even if your not bashing the hell out of the kit.

Solid - Basically the more solid a drummer is the better. Less tempo and less pocket change (unless the music requires slow down or speed up for tension and release etc.) is preferred. not solid = not good = no gig

Quality of Sound - I believe it is a factor, making the sounds sound good, pretty simple. If the hi-hat or ride sounds good and the bass drum sounds good and the snare drum sounds good (considering all other factors are at least session drummer standard), people will naturally say: "Hey, that's good!". However superficial it is, it is like marketing a drum kit, normally more marketed drum kits (ie. Tama Superstar, Pearl Export etc.) sell better than less marketed ones that hardly anyone knows about from brands that don't have a good reputation (...generally).

Sometimes a drummers skill and ear comes into this as well as studio mixing and tuning.

Dynamics - Ah, this is often what you refer to in your vague terms.

Quoting my self from an earlier post:

...playing loudly really limits your dynamic range, playing moderately gives a drummer room to use a range of different dynamics (louder and softer with more sensitivity etc.) and helps the studio engy with less unwanted overtones resulting from dented pinstripes.
...and links to Quality of Sound (yes, capital S)...mixing and what-not might turn so good when you play ridiculously loudly as the norm.

Okay, these are the reasons why session drummers still get employed.

I want to be able to do all that with grooves (not just the moneybeat). Groove is an aspect to playing the drumkit and being able to do all that plus being at least moderately technically proficient and creative is good for someone who wants to be a session drummer.

If someone can do all those money beat aspects well, using those factors for other simple Chad Smith-esque grooves, groove will come much easier than if you didn't start somewhere simple and solid at first.
 
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aydee

Platinum Member
(medium loud volume bass drum, medium soft volume on the hats w/ a noticeably louder quarter note pulse, and a POPPIN snare, that's my take on it) coupled with a great tempo for the song, (not rushed or dragged) perfect meter, and the hard part, keeping the volume relations, tempo and meter perfectly consistant from bar to bar
Right on the money, Larry!

..............................................
 

dcrigger

Senior Member
...

Well, I do see the debate and the point KIS is trying to bring alive.

The evolution of a typical drummer mindset is to quickly move on from this rudimentary simple groove to more acrobatic & complex maneuvers because it is easily understood and executed, and the urge is to then move on to greater challenges.

And yet when this simple beat is played by some great people like ( Purdie, Keltner, Steve Jordan, Chad Smith and millions of other groovemiesters, etc ), it sounds magical and completely different.

I have come to believe that these guys just understand the spaces between the notes better.

Whether this understanding comes instinctively and is inborn or from from a greater knowledge/experience bank that is then applied to a simpler form is a really interesting question.

Why does Steve Jordan's 1-3 BD, 2-4SD sound so funky and mine so clunky?

Both might be metronomically correct.

'Tis is puzzlement.

...
There is no denying the power, effectiveness, musical prevalence of the well placed and well played money beat. Though I would caution those that would conclude that just because being competent (or better) in executing the "money beat" is very important thing (maybe even most important), it is the only thing that is important.

Because it is not.

All the drummers listed above besides all being able to lay down a wicked, simple groove - are all masters at creating catchy memorable fills, grooves across many styles, creating interesting tracks that shape and clarify the arrangement, playing with a wide range of apparent emotional intensity.

And yes, they all also can play a mean "money beat".

They are all the complete package - musically and drumming-wise - their "money beat" skills would be of little value without the rest of it.

David
 

Pollyanna

Platinum Member
Hehehe, KIS, you're a troublemaker :)

In his autobiography, Bill Bruford says this of the money beat:

... most drummers do broadly and increasingly the same thing ... they stick to a simple and effective four-note rhythmic pattern, with the bass drum on beats one and three and the snare drum, or backbeat, on two and four, and played within a very narrow tempo range of about between 90 and 130 beats per minute. Almost all pop and rock drummers do something like this, as if this rhythm descended from a government department and deviation requires a special licence. Considering what is pssible, it is the drumming equivalent of a steady diet of dry toast, and with no knowledge of beef Wellington, let alone foie gras.​

I'm not sure what he expects of drummers playing blues, soul, RnB, rock n roll, disco etc. When Crimson did the unthinkable and recorded a danceable tune, what did Bill play? A lively paradiddle-based 16ths pattern based on ... a money beat. A lot of songs scream for a money beat (or derivative) it and it requires a brave, crazy or clueless drummer to ignore those screams.

Damn you, Aydee, that was exactly the comment that came into my head when reading Larry's post!

A couple of nice money beats:

Rich Redmond: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WYcjkXsbP10

Ringo: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KT5EJPu-8r0
 

aydee

Platinum Member
David, your point is the A side of my 'puzzlement'. -That you have to circumnavigate the globe to discover what 'home means'.

Since you got so much into odd-time and wierd meters with Don, and then did pop with Sheryl Crow et al, I'd really be interested in hearing more from you on this. ( For those who of you who dont know, David was the legendary drummer for the legendary Don Ellis band besides being on a ton of other landmark stuff that you all have heard at some point in your life )

...

Polly, I warned you- I have no unexpressed thoughts.. actually, come to think of it, I've stopped thinking, I just babble, and I feel... : )
 
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