What do you do to spice up the 2 & 4?

evilg99

Platinum Member
This is the Central Scrutiniser ...

Attention all drummers. Once more it must be stressed that it is essential for all drummers to try to sound like each other all of the time. The rhythm must be expressed with backbeats on the two and four. Dissent shall result in ostracism and poverty.

You have been warned. Do not try to be creative. It is self indulgent and immature. Creativity should be left to composers and musicians who are more popular with audiences than are drummers. Rest assured, you will probably get your little feature spot if you behave.

I repeat. Do not try to be creative or you shall rot for the rest of your days, alone with just your drums in your basement. Single. Unloved. Unwanted. A clerk.

Don't let that be you. Be what others want you to be. That is your function as a drummer. Use your instrument to oil the wheels of commerce and they will spin for you. Fail to do so and you will fall by the wayside in this competitive world because if you don't do it, others will. If you don't get the chance to play rhythms that you love, accept that as your lot and keep the backbeats coming.

Failure to cooperate will no longer be tolerated.

// end transmission

;)
Amen. Thank you.
______________
 

mikel

Platinum Member
Where do some get the idea that playing 4 and 2 can be boring? I play the song, and if it cooks with the most basic of beats then I feel it and it feels wonderful. If it cooks better with a slight tweak to the 2 and 4 then thats what I do. I'm a musician, I can feel when the groove is good and when it is great cos I help to make it so.
 

mrfingers

Senior Member
Some songs just call out for more, some can't--there may be other percussion( & more drums confuses things) or the beat is too fast to add frills without sounding busy...or it's the blues! Otherwise being the band metronome is poor.
 

Alex Sanguinetti

Silver Member
"
Sorry Alex, but this smacks of arrogance.

When Leon Chancler played the money beat throughout Billie Jean, I'm pretty sure it wasn't for lack of appropriate theoretical knowledge and dexterity.

If you're playing your own version of a song, feel free to be as busy as you like, but if you're in a cover band, the job of the band is to do a very recognisable rendition of the song. Playing the 2 and 4, and sticking to it, is about being faithful to the feel that you are aiming to recreate, it's not about being limited.
Man, I never mentioned Leon Chancler OR ANY OTHER DRUMMER, or any song

The original poster IS JUST asking how he can add, or change to the 2 and 4 in ANY song, and I answered him he can use anything, he just needs to know how is done.

If Leon Chancler decides to play 2 and 4 is his own choice, whatever the reason is, he (Leon) was not the one posting the message...

I was just saying playing always the same TO ME is boring (it doesn¨t matter in which band), and I will not change my mind. If you don´t find it boring is your own thing. Oh, by the way, what is "your thing", because I never SEEN A VIDEO OF YOU... (mine are all over, and you can see more than 10 at my site).
 

New Tricks

Platinum Member
Isn't that the one where he plays 1 and 3 on the snare for a section?
He spiced it up!

Personally, I pretty much love the 2 and 4. I can play without thinking. Just sit back, look around and enjoy the vibe. Although, this weekend I decided to work in some subtle stick twirls on some 2/4 songs. When the blister heals, I'll work on it some more.


And, easy there Alex. You're going to have a stroke. Bada boom!

It's just the internet. People talk schit all the time. Consider the source is JJ and discard it.


After all, the subject wasn't "what it the proper thing to do", it was, "what do you do". There can be no right or wrong.
 
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Alex Sanguinetti

Silver Member
Bada boom!
After all, the subject wasn't "what it the proper thing to do", it was, "what do you do". There can be no right or wrong.

Actually the EXACT question was: "What do you do to spice up the 2 & 4? and not, for example, "What do you do to avoid doing anything else but 2 & 4"..." Badabing!
 

New Tricks

Platinum Member
You aren't arguing with me are you?

Hell, I was on your side :)



The bada boom was for the stroke pun. Get it? A stroke? A drummer having a stroke?

It was funnier in my head.



But, if we are going to argue, I said specifically the subject wasn't "what it the proper thing to do" and didn't refer to the exact question so your premise is invalid. :)
 

PQleyR

Platinum Member
I know this is a pretty basic question but...

Suppose you're playing a lot of groove-oriented dance music, and the drum parts on this music often consist of very simple drumming...8th notes on the hats, 1&3 on the kick and 2&4 on the snare. What do you find yourself doing to "spice it up?" when you have several songs in a row and they all have that same beat?

Also, do you find that some songs just don't lend themselves to anything BUT that feel? Take Kool and the Gang's "Celebration" and "Ladies Night" for example. Both of those go over (of course) extremely well at our gigs. The second one is a real chore sometimes for me to get through. A bunch of women dancing makes it less painful. I know...focus on the groove and not what cool licks I can throw in.

Although, I'm sure we ALL have our bag of tricks we like to use to spice it up and keep from going insane.
Returning to the original question...I notice that both the examples you've cited actually have the kick on all four beats most of the time. Once you've got that pattern going on it's so solid that there's not much you can do to mix it up...

...however, something I quite like is adding notes to the kick drum part occasionally. An extra 8th note, e.g. 1 2 3 4 + 1, can actually add a bit more drive to the beat if you throw it in from time to time. Or indeed an extra 16th just before the 1 - so 1 2 3 4 a1. You can take a similar approach with the hi-hat too, add in a 16th here and there. The important thing is maintaining the strong quarter notes, provided you don't mess that up you can do what you like.

These examples do have variations though...'Ladies Night' has the offbeat open hi-hat variation though, and Celebration has the switch to four-to-the-floor kick after the intro, to take two examples. I think if I were playing these songs...I'd just play them like the record.
 

Alex Sanguinetti

Silver Member
You aren't arguing with me are you?

Hell, I was on your side :)



The bada boom was for the stroke pun. Get it? A stroke? A drummer having a stroke?

It was funnier in my head.



But, if we are going to argue, I said specifically the subject wasn't "what it the proper thing to do" and didn't refer to the exact question so your premise is invalid. :)
I wasn´t arguing with you and I understood you were "sort" of on my side, I said sort ONLY because when you put the question you put it INCOMPLETE.

It¨s not the same to put "what do you do?" and ""What do you do to spice up the 2 & 4?". The second, the original question, implies clear intention TO CHANGE, or to play more notes, than the 2 and 4 ALONE.

So all the stuff about not changing the 2 and 4, XX drummer, Michael Jackson, etc. from James it´s completly irrelevant.

And again, no, I wasn´t arguing with you.

Oh, by the way, your stating of my premise is also wrong, the only premise (doublecheck with my original answer) was: "you can change everything all the time, not just HH, but snare, bass drums, add toms, etc."

Whatever, I´m not even interested in the subject at all. Please let´s stop here, is of no importance.
 
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Stroman

Platinum Member
Lol! I stopped a long time ago.

I've been checking out the dancers. All you need to know about the groove, right there...
 
A bit of spice could work but - taking a bit from each "side"(those in favour of additions, and those that aren't) - add your spice sparingly.
While I love Queen to bits, their more disco oriented "Hot Space" is an album I like to forget (with the exception of one or two songs). But with that said, Roger Taylor's signature little hi hat click with his snare works wonders for the songs. It's subtle, but gives spice.

Ride bell hits in conjunction with the snare are a personal favourite of mine (Copeland style), but I'd use it maybe once in a verse as something to keep your drumming listeners intrigued.

You'll have two kinds of people in the audience at the end of the day: Those who hear what the drums are doing, and those that don't. As long as 2 and 4 keep the beat, and you're subtle but effective with the spice, you'll impress both while serving the song.

Some of your band might even like it, and it'll change things up a bit for you.
 
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