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Old 01-21-2010, 06:07 AM
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Default Re: Is it fair to play live with a metronome?

Originally Posted by con struct View Post
i'm trying to imagine a stituation where I'd need to have a click track to play to live. No, I've never done it and the only time I've ever seen it done is when Keith Moon had to wear headphones to play along to the sequenced tracks the Who were using at that time.

It all seems pretty high-tech. Is this something that is being done more and more these days, drummers playing to click tracks? Do only the drummers have the click tracks or do all the players have it?

In other words, is pre-recorded music being used more on stages these days, thereby requiring that the players sync with the recordings, and if not then why use a click at all?
Yes, there are more bands using pre-recorded bits, loops, sequences, or just additional layers, and thus you do need a click to lock in. In the bands I've done it, only I have the actually click, and everyone follows me. Which is cool, because then I'm in charge!! hehe..

As for clicks live in general, even without pre-recorded music, there are a few things at play (which I'm not saying are right, just my observations).

So many albums are done with clicks, or with drum machines or sequencers instead of drummers, there is a certain level of perfectness associated with the music. So in order to replicate it live, a click is used.

As I pointed out in another thread, in 1985 maybe 3 songs in the top 10 of any given week didn't have real drums on it, but today, zero songs in on average Billboard top ten have a real drummer.

Any one under 30 has lived their entire life with music featuring machines. So a perfect machine drum part is almost engrained in many people's minds as the way music sounds. So more and more bands use the click to embrace the way either they and/or the audience expects that music to be played.

In the 60's and 70's, few albums were made with click tracks. Times could be all over the place, but as long it felt good, producers, record companies and audiences were happy with it. But now, anyone with a computer can put a drum track up on a grip and analyze the perfection of time to death. And because it can be done, more people expect it to be done. Which might not be right, but it's certainly been my observation that's how more and more music is made these days.

Which in many ways is sad that the great feels of Led Zeplin or the craziness of The Who have gone out the window in favor of constant perfection, but what can ya do?

There is one benefit of using a click live: No one ever fights over the tempo of the song! It doesn't matter is the singer tired and exhausted or the bass player drank 10 cups of coffee, no one can claim the song is at the wrong tempo because the click over rules anyone subjective feelings on the subject.
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