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Old 10-16-2017, 07:58 AM
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Default Favorite drummer surprise you?

Thought I'd ask the group this. Looked up some live vids of Jimmy Chamberlin/Smashing Pumpkins the other day since he's one of my favorite drummers. I've seen it before, but he plays the songs SO FAST. I swear he plays some of the songs at 3x the speed of the album. I still think he's awesome, maybe even a little more so for playing so flawlessly at those speeds. He's like a Mitch Mitchell on meth. But I can't help but wonder, how can a guy that great go out there and play way outta' tempo like...a guy like me lol. Especially with a guy like Billy Corgan in the band. You'd think he'd reign him in. Anyway, was wondering if anyone had gone to see their favorite drummer and was surprised/shocked, pleasantly or not at something they did. And I did see Pumpkins live in a small club in early 90's, and of course they were smoking....
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Old 10-16-2017, 11:55 AM
Woolwich Woolwich is offline
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Default Re: Favorite drummer surprise you?

Lots of bands speed up when playing live, in my covers band I've had to put my foot down when the guitarist asked me to speed up a particular song because in my opinion it lost its feel and it's way when speeded up. Possibly a better drummer could play that song in an accelerated form and pull it off, it's a moot point because that song sounds good at the correct speed (obvioulsy give or take a little bit, I'm no metronome), I can play it at that speed so why speed it up was my question.
Re Jimmy Chamberlain, perhaps it's the band decision to play faster as opposed to himgoing it alone and them having to follow him. Perhaps after months on the road nailing the songs every night the tempo for the whole band has crept up without them realising or doing something about it, I heard Bruce Dickinson from Iron Maiden discussing this phenomenon several years ago in a documentary, the band sped up over the course of touring for a year to the extent that they had to deliberately reign themselves in after realising how much they'd increased their tempos.
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Old 10-16-2017, 12:05 PM
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Default Re: Favorite drummer surprise you?

There is usually a very good reason why the original song was recorded at the original tempo. It sounded better that way, and it was the tempo and mood the composer envisaged.

The excitement of a live gig can speed songs up slightly, but an obvious and dramatic change can only be either a tempo error, or a planned decision by the band before the show.
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Old 10-16-2017, 01:15 PM
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Default Re: Favorite drummer surprise you?

For crazy live tempos listen to some early Police. They'd reigned it in by Synchronicity and the reunion tour was amazing from the vids I've seen. Gutted I missed it!

Portnoy is the most disappointed I've been seeing one of my favourites live. I could see down the side of the kit and it was a bit meh.

Most pleasantly surprised was Carl Palmer, don't know why, I knew he could play, had lessons off his bother at uni. Maybe it was because it was his home gig on the tour I don't know he was spot on.

Another amazing player was Gary O'Toole, saw him with Steve Hackett doing the Genesis revisited stuff in May. Sings well, drums very well and did it all wearing a suit!

I always love seeing the guys who have the chops but would rather sit in the pocket. Watching Steve Gadd with JT was the best example of that I've seen.

The one I'm gutted I missed but the wife saw (even though she wouldn't know who he was)was Jim Keltner he did the Old Friends tour with Simon and Garfunkel in 2003/4ish.
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Old 10-16-2017, 02:00 PM
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Default Re: Favorite drummer surprise you?

James Brown used to get his musicians to play everything about 10 times faster live than the studio versions, which is why all the live versions of Cold Sweat and Superbad I've got, Clyde and Jabo can't do the original drum grooves to those tracks at the tempo they're required to play at.
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Old 10-16-2017, 02:18 PM
Mozart1220 Mozart1220 is offline
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Default Re: Favorite drummer surprise you?

I saw KISS 3 times in the 70's and Criss was always right on. The band was also enthusiastic and involved. But the 79 "Dynasty" tour was a fiasco. Half the songs (Cedar rapids show) were either dragging or he was making obvious errors. He stumbled out to slur though "Beth" like a drunk under an overpass. Only the sheer CRAP coming from the rest of the band covered for him. Absolutely horrible.
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Old 10-16-2017, 02:58 PM
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Default Re: Favorite drummer surprise you?

Going out to see cover bands, I would say the opposite is often true : they often slow down the tempo.

Instant buzzkill.

I tend to speed up just a bit, to be certain not to go the other way.
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Old 10-16-2017, 03:04 PM
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Default Re: Favorite drummer surprise you?

James Brown?




.
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Old 10-16-2017, 03:43 PM
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Default Re: Favorite drummer surprise you?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Demford View Post
Thought I'd ask the group this. Looked up some live vids of Jimmy Chamberlin/Smashing Pumpkins the other day since he's one of my favorite drummers. I've seen it before, but he plays the songs SO FAST. I swear he plays some of the songs at 3x the speed of the album. I still think he's awesome, maybe even a little more so for playing so flawlessly at those speeds. He's like a Mitch Mitchell on meth. But I can't help but wonder, how can a guy that great go out there and play way outta' tempo like...a guy like me lol. Especially with a guy like Billy Corgan in the band. You'd think he'd reign him in. Anyway, was wondering if anyone had gone to see their favorite drummer and was surprised/shocked, pleasantly or not at something they did. And I did see Pumpkins live in a small club in early 90's, and of course they were smoking....

I think there can be a few explanations, some of which were already covered.

1. Songs evolve over time. Even though they picked a certain tempo in the studio, the band eventually speeds up the song to their liking.

2. Maybe the band is sick of the song, and they want to get it over with as quickly as possible. I've sped up songs I didn't like just to get them done.

3. Maybe a producer made the band slow down the song just for recording. However, maybe it was always the intent of the band to play it faster.

4. I have a hard time believing that it's general excitement unless it's a relatively new band.
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Old 10-16-2017, 05:35 PM
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Default Re: Favorite drummer surprise you?

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Originally Posted by PorkPieGuy View Post
I think there can be a few explanations, some of which were already covered.

1. Songs evolve over time. Even though they picked a certain tempo in the studio, the band eventually speeds up the song to their liking.

2. Maybe the band is sick of the song, and they want to get it over with as quickly as possible. I've sped up songs I didn't like just to get them done.

3. Maybe a producer made the band slow down the song just for recording. However, maybe it was always the intent of the band to play it faster.

4. I have a hard time believing that it's general excitement unless it's a relatively new band.
You forgot drug use.
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Old 10-16-2017, 06:00 PM
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Default Re: Favorite drummer surprise you?

I was surprised by Kenny Aronoff at one of his clinics years ago. I knew he was a great drummer, but up close...he blew me away. I always thought he would really lay into his kit, but when you looked closely, you could see he was loose and relaxed.
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Old 10-16-2017, 08:35 PM
Mozart1220 Mozart1220 is offline
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Default Re: Favorite drummer surprise you?

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Originally Posted by Groov-E View Post
Going out to see cover bands, I would say the opposite is often true : they often slow down the tempo.

Instant buzzkill.

I tend to speed up just a bit, to be certain not to go the other way.

I played guitar and sang in a band that played "Rapid Roy" by Jim Croce. The lead guitarist had us playing it so slow, I was calling it "Vapid Roy". I complained so much one night in set up that he decided to "teach me a lesson" and started the song at what he THOUGHT was a high speed. It turned out to be only SLIGHTLY faster than the original, and guess what?

The people got up and danced for the first time during that song. Go figure.
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Old 10-16-2017, 08:49 PM
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Default Re: Favorite drummer surprise you?

"....always got a extra pack a cigarettes rolled up in his t-shirt sleeve."

"BABY"

"HEY!"

Love that tune....
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Old 10-16-2017, 08:50 PM
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Default Re: Favorite drummer surprise you?

In theory, any song should be able to be played at pretty much any tempo that's reasonable.

I used to play a lot with a guitar player who liked to mess about with the tempos we'd play things at. For a while there was a bit of friction because he'd count off a tune up to twice as fast and we'd be off... Then I'd be trying to pull them all back a bit, and it would sound like dragging. We eventually agreed that it shouldn't matter what we're used to, and it's a valuable skill to play faster or slower without wavering around mid-song... Basically, once you commit, stick with it.

Guess he was in the James Brown camp.

Also, Jimmy did some amazing work with the Pumpkins and I think it's pointless to make comparisons between studio and live work. It's like comparing a model with pro makeup and hours of airbrush/photoshop work to the real person in front of you. Both are great for their own reasons.
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Old 10-17-2017, 01:28 AM
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Default Re: Favorite drummer surprise you?

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Originally Posted by Dr_Watso View Post
In theory, any song should be able to be played at pretty much any tempo that's reasonable.

I used to play a lot with a guitar player who liked to mess about with the tempos we'd play things at. For a while there was a bit of friction because he'd count off a tune up to twice as fast and we'd be off... Then I'd be trying to pull them all back a bit, and it would sound like dragging. We eventually agreed that it shouldn't matter what we're used to, and it's a valuable skill to play faster or slower without wavering around mid-song... Basically, once you commit, stick with it.

Guess he was in the James Brown camp.

Also, Jimmy did some amazing work with the Pumpkins and I think it's pointless to make comparisons between studio and live work. It's like comparing a model with pro makeup and hours of airbrush/photoshop work to the real person in front of you. Both are great for their own reasons.
I think JC is amazing too. I'm not necessarily comparing, just noticing. Don't you, as a drummer, when you see a band you know/like think to yourself, "Hm...song's a little faster/slower than the record" or "Here comes that awesome fill...hope he doesn't wuss out!"?
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Old 10-17-2017, 01:42 AM
Mozart1220 Mozart1220 is offline
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Default Re: Favorite drummer surprise you?

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Originally Posted by Mongrel View Post
"....always got a extra pack a cigarettes rolled up in his t-shirt sleeve."

"BABY"

"HEY!"

Love that tune....
Singing the line " He do a hundred thirty mile an hour smiling at the camera with a toothpick in his mouth..." is great fun to sing at the proper speed, but at the speed WE were playing it...not so much. I'd sing it "Vapid Roy that wheelchair boy" just to piss off the guitarist that wanted to play it slower.
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Old 10-17-2017, 03:45 AM
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Default Re: Favorite drummer surprise you?

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Originally Posted by Groov-E View Post
Going out to see cover bands, I would say the opposite is often true : they often slow down the tempo.

Instant buzzkill.

I tend to speed up just a bit, to be certain not to go the other way.
Tempo is a funny thing.

My band plays Candy, by Iggy Pop. We rehearsed it on the weekend, and it sounded nicely together (to my ears). The lead guitarist reckoned we were playing it a bit fast. I disagreed, feeling that we were perhaps a smidge slow, but that it grooved nicely. We played the orig from my Ipod, and sure enough, we were playing slightly slower than the recorded version. And even knowing that, I am happy with the tempo we had going on.

Sometimes it works the other way. We're working on Stars, by Simply Red, and it's a challenge to pull it back, to slow it down to the correct tempo.

Apologies for thread drift...
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Old 10-17-2017, 11:41 AM
Woolwich Woolwich is offline
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Default Re: Favorite drummer surprise you?

Sweet Child O Mine. Measuring using the Live BPM app our guitarist regularly starts it at around 139bpm which is too fast, when I come in I pull it back to 136bpm which to me noticeably drags it backwards but is a speed that works. I feel uncomfortable that I'm having to do it but to play at his speed would imo kill the song stone dead. I've just watched a video of us performing it a few years ago and the tempo then was 132bpm and it didn't sound slow. The tempo measured from a YouTube video of Guns n Roses official video is around 124bpm.
So to my ears, playing it 5bpm to 10bpm faster than the original isn't a problem, adding another 3bpm on top of that though makes it "too fast".
I don't know if anyone in the audience would notice or feel that but I suppose I want to play it with the feel I think works best. Could I play it at 149bpm and get "the dots on the grid" in the right place? Yes I could. Would the audience be swinging their hips, throwing their heads back and singing "ooooh Sweet Child O Mine"? I doubt it.
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Old 10-17-2017, 04:23 PM
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Default Re: Favorite drummer surprise you?

I don't like much when songs are played noticably faster than the original except to make it really different from the original. Most of the time, it kills the feel. this is what I felt on early Police concert, Copeland played faster and it sounded too nervous. The same for Iron Maiden, when they speed up to much, Dickinson has trouble to sing the lyrics correctly and it doesn't help the song.

I saw Last week, Marillion in concert. Ian Mosley is generally bang on, precise (he plays with a click I think) The only song that differed really was for its own good : man of a thousand faces was sped up and sounded much better that way. Being a quiet band, a bit of speed wasn't bad. The band sounded better live than in studio : better sound, more dynamics, better voice...

About live tempo : I bought a CD recently, a 1997 live of Supertramp : it sounded good BUT : almost every song were slowed down : very disappointing to listen. That is something that shouldn't be done.
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Old 10-17-2017, 05:38 PM
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Default Re: Favorite drummer surprise you?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Demford View Post
I think JC is amazing too. I'm not necessarily comparing, just noticing. Don't you, as a drummer, when you see a band you know/like think to yourself, "Hm...song's a little faster/slower than the record" or "Here comes that awesome fill...hope he doesn't wuss out!"?
Honestly I'm mostly looking for that raw energy when I go see someone live. I expect songs to be played a bit faster, and rather than looking to see the fills on the record, I'd rather see the drummer improvise and do something really cool or new... Not that I don't enjoy note for note "perfect" performances, they just aren't my preference.
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Old 10-17-2017, 05:49 PM
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Default Re: Favorite drummer surprise you?

My guess is Chamberlain speeds up intentionally. A song like Tonight, Tonight is going to be tough to pull off every night for months. A lot of held notes and dynamics. Speed the song up 10bpm and the notes aren't held as long, the dynamics become less emphasized and the song overall gets easier to sing. Speeding up also has the added affect of increasing the overall energy in the room. The Pumpkins are a mid-tempo rock band, so pushing all the songs up a bit makes the whole show a more of a rocking affair. Chamberlain is a pro's-pro, to think he cant control the tempo of the songs live is crazy.

If you need any more proof of how much a little tempo increase can bring a song to life just listen to Cheap Tricks live Budokan album compared to the studio versions of those songs.
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Old 01-23-2018, 09:10 PM
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Default Re: Favorite drummer surprise you?

Carter Beauford is unreal live. I got his Under the Table and Drumming vid as a gift many years ago and loved how he explained everything. Then to watch the songs played with such technicality was gripping.

Then I saw him live and he went up a few notches.

If he made mistakes, I'd never know it. Made playing the kit look like he lived in it and just looked so relaxed.

I was inspired that day to relax more and just serve the songs.
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Old 01-24-2018, 01:21 AM
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Default Re: Favorite drummer surprise you?

Quite common, probably.

Been watching/listening to some Rush performances from the late 70s/into the 80s, and I was surprised how swift some of NP's tempos were.

They did settle down in the 90s/noughties though.
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Old 01-24-2018, 01:33 AM
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Default Re: Favorite drummer surprise you?

Literally, as long as the tempo doesn't waver through the song too bad, I could not care less if it's faster or slower than whatever is on a record. As mentioned, I like a little faster usually for the energy and excitement it can provide.
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Old 01-24-2018, 03:27 AM
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Default Re: Favorite drummer surprise you?

It wasn't so much his playing that surprised me but seeing Kenny Aronoff perform in Joe Jackson's band a couple of summers ago was a treat, and a pleasant surprise. I didn't know who the drummer was at first but within a couple of minutes I could tell he was a gifted player.

Regarding tempo, I load up LiveBPM on my phone and leave it on the floor where I can see it during gigs. I check it from time to time to make sure that I'm playing steady and not too fast or slow. It really, really helps.

While instrumentalists rarely complain, I find that vocalists are sensitive to tempo changes.
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