The drunk beat

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
My son claims he can sell recorded sample packs of my Guru drums, both individual drums and beats on full sets. So we are starting a project concerning that.

Apparently there is a thing called drunk beats, which he says would sell really well.

An example of a drunk beat would be 8ths on the hi hat, snare on 2 and 4, kick on 1 and 3.

Except you keep the hats on the click, flam the bass drum ahead of the click, and flam the snare drum behind the click.

And all the other combinations keeping the hi hat straight.

My son was trying to get me to rush the hi hat with the bass drum flam. That was tough, I wasn't ready for that yet.

My point is after trying my whole life to NOT play like that...playing "badly" is hard! I have to be ultra precise especially when flamming the bass drum. I had a hard time, my flam gap was too big. Closing that gap...I still don't have it or anything. It's hard for me to flam ahead with the bass drum and get it just right so it makes the desired effect. It's like anti groove, but in time. Drunk groove. I personally don't have any use for it, but it's a great mental control exercise. And hey if I can sell some drunk beats? Heck yeah I'd like to get back some of the dough I spent on the Gurus.

Anyone heard of drunk beats ? (They could go under another name)
 
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Hollywood Jim

Platinum Member
When I first heard John Bonham I thought that's what he was doing.
I later learned to appreciate his playing. But early on he sounded like a drunk drummer to me.

.
 

Terry Branam

Official DW Chief Transcriber
Hi Larry,

I think I know what you mean. Some folks call it a "J Dilla" type of beat. Checking artists out like D'Angelo and Flying Lotus as well as the aforementioned J Dilla would be a good place to start. Also look at the recent Zildjian Underground series on YouTube.

Best of luck!

 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Hi Larry,

I think I know what you mean. Some folks call it a "J Dilla" type of beat. Checking artists out like D'Angelo and Flying Lotus as well as the aforementioned J Dilla would be a good place to start. Also look at the recent Zildjian Underground series on YouTube.

Best of luck!

Yea, like that lol. Playing like that by myself is a challenge. I'm not sure if I should practice it, it might filter into my regular playing lol.
 

beatdat

Senior Member
Umm, rather than "practice" this type of beat, why not just hit record while you're drinking and see what happens?

Trust me, after half a dozen pints, you'll be nailing it.
 

AzHeat

Platinum Member
I've been working on these crazy independence exercises, where at some point in sheer craziness I sound like that. Didn't realize I was nailing them. 🤪
 

oldskoolsoul

Silver Member
Those beats are quite common within (alternative) Hip Hop and, as mentioned, J. Dilla (whose influence on creating beats can never be praised enough) was indeed the master of them..
 

dboomer

Senior Member
I practiced for years to NOT sound like that. It’s not comfortable for me to listen to.

However, beauty is in the eye of the beholder... it’s just not gonna be me.
 

cbphoto

Gold Member
At the sweetwater GearFest I attended Daru Jones’ event. He played through about 8 tracks. At first I thought he goofed. Then I thought he couldn’t hear his monitors. Then, about 15 minutes into his demo, I realized it was intentional (I’m a little slow).

The first question from the gallery was how he learned to play like that. His response was, he was recording a hip hop album and figured the producer would quantize his beats so he just laid down very sparse notes “here and there”. The producer, J Dilla, thought it was pure genius. Nothing was quantized and now that’s what he’s known for.

No fancy fills, a crazy feel to the time that seemed to stretch the tempo, and a solid note on the “1”.

http://instagr.am/p/By-pcpRpVAV/
 
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oldskoolsoul

Silver Member
Daru Jones is an amazing player..

Also Nate Smith knows a little about the subject..

That Crazy Beat video is fairly known i guess and here is another one..

 

hawksmoor

Senior Member
Here's a transcription of a podcast interview by J-Zone with Questlove talking about the J-Dilla beat, for those interested. Interesting guy J-Zone. He was an indie hip-hop artist for years, became completely disillusioned with it and eventually decided to devote his life to drumming. I mean, he's obsessed with drumming. He's got some mean breakbeat chops, too. He also interviewed Bernard Purdie, Greg Errico and Mike Clark in the same podcast series.


When you first heard Dilla, how did his production change your drumming style?

So we’re opening for the Pharcyde, in late ’95, and we go on first, and then usually after the show, someone’s picking me up to take me to a college radio station to do some interviews. And so, as I’m in the back of the club, getting in the car, I heard the Pharcyde start the show. And I said, “Wait a minute, pull over real quick.” Ran to the front of the club and I peeped in, and their first song was “Bullshit,” from Labcabincalifornia, and I was so frozen, man. It sounded like a drunk three year old programmed this kick drum.
And that moment changed everything, ’cause that’s all I could talk about. And the next day on the tour bus Skillz happened to be with us, and I told him about this song, like with the drunken three year old playing a kick drum. He’s like, “Yo man, I’ve been trying to tell you man, J Dilla.” Or Jay Dee back then, and he played me all these beats. The one beat that really just made that a religion to me was, A Tribe Called Quest, “Wordplay,” which is infamously like a ...

Almost sounds like a broken Black Sabbath...

Oh my God, yes. I didn’t incorporate it fully into my work until we were on tour with the Fugees. By this time, I had famously turned down a chance to be on the “Brown Sugar” record with D’Angelo, because Bob Power, that whole time we were mixing Do You Want More?!!!??!, was trying to tell me that this guy is the future of soul, and you should really be down with this guy. He sings beautiful, like Al Green and everything. And I was just like, corny R&B dude, you know, I’m cool. So, it’s April 1st, 1996, and it’s the Goodie Mob, the Roots and the Fugees on tour with each other, and it’s the Soul Train awards, and Goodie Mob’s on first, we’re on second.
We didn’t have a rivalry with the Fugees, but it was sort of like a battle of the bands thing, and this was our chance to stick it to them, and we’re a well-oiled machine by the time we got to LA, so the show was perfect. And I saw this figure with cornrows, smoking a cigarette in the audience, and I knew this is my second chance to be down with this guy [D’Angelo]. I ruined it by rejecting playing on “Brown Sugar” and meeting him, but I now feel like this guy is going to be the future of music, so I’m going to impress him. And what I did was, I called an audible. Everything I was supposed to do in the Roots show, I didn’t do, and it’s totally throwing my guys off. We had a routine that we did on “Proceed,” and instead I said, I think he’s into Prince. Like I was going to communicate with him, we speak the same language, so my first thing was, I said “OK, I’m gonna play this break by Madhouse, and see if it catches [him].”

How hard was it to unlearn the precision, because we grow up playing to metronomes, so you have to kind of unlearn it, and it’s more difficult than you think to play that way.

So using that sloppy drumming method to get to D’Angelo’s intention, that’s one thing, but now playing with D’Angelo is another thing, because the thing is, is that if you’re playing behind the beat, he’s really playing behind the beat. And I would fight it, because then my ego would be like, yo, like the community is gonna think that I don’t know how to drum. I just got their respect playing like a drum machine, like we’ve arrived, and now he wants me to just knock down that entire Jenga game, and come even sloppier than I was before. Before, I was just playing without a click, but now I gotta program myself.
 
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V-Four

Senior Member
That sounds terrible. It sounds like something my dogs would leave in the yard. 💩💩💩
I agree. Sounds "broken" to me.
How do you know if they even mess up? Is the 1 even in the "right" place?

It was kinda funny in that Zildjian video, the guy(s) in the crown "trying" to dance (or..sway) in time.

No Sir, I don't like it.

T.
 

TMe

Senior Member
An example of a drunk beat would be 8ths on the hi hat, snare on 2 and 4, kick on 1 and 3.

Except you keep the hats on the click, flam the bass drum ahead of the click, and flam the snare drum behind the click.
"Drunk Beat"? And here I've been calling it "Swing". I think of it as playing a Rock beat with a slight swing, or sway, rather than trying to sound like a drum machine. But Charlie Watts is my hero, so what do I know.

My version is to play the bass drum on the beat, play the backbeat on the snare WAY late, and play the hats with a very slight shuffle or skank (Ska) feel.
 

beyondbetrayal

Platinum Member
That Nate Smith video is good.

I fully agree that this is SUPER hard to do and make it sound tasteful. As well as sounding on purpose and not like you are just a sloppy player.

I am a lock it to a grid type guy but in the right context I really dig this stuff..
 

mrfingers

Senior Member
"Drunk Beat"? And here I've been calling it "Swing". I think of it as playing a Rock beat with a slight swing, or sway, rather than trying to sound like a drum machine. But Charlie Watts is my hero, so what do I know.

My version is to play the bass drum on the beat, play the backbeat on the snare WAY late, and play the hats with a very slight shuffle or skank (Ska) feel.
I agree, it does drive some bass players crazy but others love it for the bit of swing it implies!
 

TMe

Senior Member
I fully agree that this is SUPER hard to do...
That depends. If you're trying to shape the beat a number of different ways, then it's difficult to do. If you're only using one variation and it's just your particular style, it's difficult to play any other way. I have a hard time locking into a grid pattern.

I agree, it does drive some bass players crazy but others love it for the bit of swing it implies!
The irony is that when the band really starts swinging, I tend to straighten out my time. I figure that when they're doing more challenging stuff, that's a good time for me to give them a steady metronomic beat to lean on. As long as somebody is bringing a bit of swing, we're good.
 
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hawksmoor

Senior Member
I agree, it does drive some bass players crazy but others love it for the bit of swing it implies!
In the podcast that those Questlove quotes I posted come from, he said that when he started playing the Dilla beat during a Roots show with no prior-planning, just to impress D'Angelo, his bass player ran over to him and said, 'What the hell are you doing?'
 
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