Originally Posted by Mad About Drums
Polly, I'm wondering how your band mates manage to follow you when you're not playing to a click, your grooves are setting the tempo, right? So when you play the click in your ear plug they should be able to follow your grooves the same way. Or I'm mistaken and you follow them? If this is the case, well who's the timekeeper, you or them?
In my experience, that's really not how a good groove works out. It's a matter of push/pull from all players until that perfect pocket gets lined up for everyone. I've often found that aligning a song to a metronome grid is one of the quickest ways to lose the feel of real human inter-rhythm. It takes real time, practice and dedication to work your best magic with a group of players, but I think in the end, it's way worth it when the end product doesn't have the tempo set by a machine.