Originally Posted by Spreggy
When I joined this band, one of the other drummers told me that sure, you think you have good time, but wait until you've learned to play a few sets of music to a sequence, you'll find out just how dirty your time sense was. He was right, my playing literally leaped forward in huge steps. So you want to learn to sound tight? Learn to play your creativity and feel and blah blah around excellent time. There's a reason they use a click in the studio: it sounds better.
I know that feeling. I was in a band where the guitarist was heavily influenced by The Edge. There was a particular song that was all 16ths with digital delay. If the tempo pushed or pulled the thing would go out of synch.
I used to dread that song. In hindsight, I'm amazed that most times we got through it ok. Still, I can hear myself not quite letting loose and there are moments where I'd be sneaking on top of the beat and then had to pull back: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lYIR9RwAF_Q
Earlier this year my band recorded a few songs. On a whim, I asked for a click. So we started the song and within two bars - no exaggeration - everyone in the band had pulled away from the click and me.
In hindsight I should have asked for a few extra bpms to get to the tempo as they were hearing it but I figured we should be able to do it. Tried again and straight away another train wreck. So we recorded the tune without click.
I prefer music done in a more organic way but I have respect bordering on awe for people who can play naturally and effectively with a click.