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  #161  
Old 11-27-2009, 12:26 PM
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Default Re: Pop Music in General

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Originally Posted by Pollyanna View Post
I hope you boys all feel better now :)

Why not 3 chords if they sound good, Thaard? Why not two? We wouldn't want to dis Santana, do we? Plenty of two and three chord wonders - and this is a guy who's played with John McLaughlin. Maybe you don't like him but he's a serious talent.
You forgot the S-word: Soloing. He leaves his personality in the songs, and has that little latino flavor in it, so that many people can enjoy it. I was referring to those singer/songwriters who play the same damned chords each and every time.
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  #162  
Old 11-27-2009, 12:37 PM
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Default Re: Pop Music in General

Easy with the s-word! That's another four-letter word like j - j - ja ...z ... better not say it :)

You don't need a lot of chords or soloing to make great music, tho

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o27ugtK3i4w

Ok, there's a four-bar tin whistle solo but the lyrics are brilliant. Great harmonies too.

You may or may not like the style, but the quality is there.
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  #163  
Old 11-27-2009, 02:25 PM
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Default Re: Pop Music in General

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...but how does that have anything to do with pop music?
I guess it doesn't. It had more to do with the punk thing in hindsight.
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  #164  
Old 11-27-2009, 02:28 PM
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Default Re: Pop Music in General

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Originally Posted by Thaard View Post
You forgot the S-word: Soloing. He leaves his personality in the songs, and has that little latino flavor in it, so that many people can enjoy it. I was referring to those singer/songwriters who play the same damned chords each and every time.
So?

There are whole movements of Wagner operas that are just a single chord. There's one in particular (that I have forgetten the name of) that is literally just an E-Flat chord for the whole movement, harmonically speaking. There is a tendency in Western Classical Music to actually have fewer chord changes the more advanced the music becomes. In Baroque music, it is not unusual to have a chord change a bar and two when approaching a cadence. In Late Romantic Music, there are even fewer (Satie uses only a few chords in his most brilliant piano works, yet the tonal ambiguity is what sets the pieces apart). Schoenberg doesn't use any conventional chords in his early atonal works and Stravinsky uses little recognisable rhythm, at least in the traditional sense.

Trying to claim that music that sounds more 'complex' is better is just a slippery slope to nowhere. Music does not have to be 'complex' or involve 'solos' (which to me are basically cliche anyway and even more retro-active than anything else) to make a good song or piece. The complexity is utterly, utterly, utterly irrelevant. I couldn't give a flying baboon whether the piece is played fast, hard and uses a 3/4 polyrhythm - if it moves me, it moves me. And I don't think it gets any simpler than that.
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  #165  
Old 11-27-2009, 02:31 PM
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Default Re: Pop Music in General

But, don't get me wrong. I have the capacity to like pop. IF... it's actually music. I don't mind Riff-rock, early Beatles and The Who stuff. I guess I'm just irritated by all of the Lip-Syncs. But Punk still sucks.
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  #166  
Old 11-27-2009, 02:40 PM
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Default Re: Pop Music in General

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Originally Posted by Mediocrefunkybeat View Post
So?

There are whole movements of Wagner operas that are just a single chord. There's one in particular (that I have forgetten the name of) that is literally just an E-Flat chord for the whole movement, harmonically speaking. There is a tendency in Western Classical Music to actually have fewer chord changes the more advanced the music becomes. In Baroque music, it is not unusual to have a chord change a bar and two when approaching a cadence. In Late Romantic Music, there are even fewer (Satie uses only a few chords in his most brilliant piano works, yet the tonal ambiguity is what sets the pieces apart). Schoenberg doesn't use any conventional chords in his early atonal works and Stravinsky uses little recognisable rhythm, at least in the traditional sense.

Trying to claim that music that sounds more 'complex' is better is just a slippery slope to nowhere. Music does not have to be 'complex' or involve 'solos' (which to me are basically cliche anyway and even more retro-active than anything else) to make a good song or piece. The complexity is utterly, utterly, utterly irrelevant. I couldn't give a flying baboon whether the piece is played fast, hard and uses a 3/4 polyrhythm - if it moves me, it moves me. And I don't think it gets any simpler than that.
Well, thats your choice and Iīve got nothing against that. I gotta admit that even if technical music is what moves me the most, simple music can also move me. Problem is as I said, music thats made entirely for selling and making as many deadheads listen to it. Without thought and/or soul and most of the musicians just half-assedly plots down some stuff in Fruity Loops, raps over it and calls it music. Yes I know itīs music by definition, but for me itīs just soulless blabber. I like The Roots and Beastie Boys, but modern rīnīb and rap sounds like the same over and over. Maybe thats whats the problem with most of todays pop-music, it all sounds the same. Iīm not a big fan of lyrics either, but thats something else

Iīm not telling that everyone should feel this way, but at least try to be a bit original.
Hell, I even got 10 gigs of drone(sound of machines etc) music, and I still like that better than Katy Perry and Lady Gaga..

Another big problem is that the radio plays them over and over 1000 times, which makes me sick in the stomach. I still get spasms and urges to shave my eyebrows when I hear Las Ketchup with the ketchup song *shudders*
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  #167  
Old 11-27-2009, 02:47 PM
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Default Re: Pop Music in General

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Originally Posted by Mediocrefunkybeat View Post
Trying to claim that music that sounds more 'complex' is better is just a slippery slope to nowhere. Music does not have to be 'complex' or involve 'solos' (which to me are basically cliche anyway and even more retro-active than anything else) to make a good song or piece. The complexity is utterly, utterly, utterly irrelevant. I couldn't give a flying baboon whether the piece is played fast, hard and uses a 3/4 polyrhythm - if it moves me, it moves me. And I don't think it gets any simpler than that.
Very well said!! Couldn't agree more.

A good song, is a good song.....simple. If it does something for me, then it doesn't matter who wrote it, performed it, played on it, what genre, top 40 or obscure tribal rythms......I'll still consider it 'a good song'.
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  #168  
Old 11-27-2009, 06:59 PM
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Default Re: Pop Music in General

Something like this?:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s2LXiYjk8V0

Does the trick for me.
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  #169  
Old 11-27-2009, 09:05 PM
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Default Re: Pop Music in General

Thaard, first thing you need to do is either not listen to the radio or find a different station. Or channel hop. Still, there are pearls smongst the swine.

Thing is, what if you were offered a spot in a pro pop band - serious money, touring, the works. But you had to play simply. You could not use any of your fancy tricks.

Would you cynically figure, "Oh, this is crap so I'll just play standard beats with the odd simple fill". Or would you try to understand the music and its structure more deeply and figure the best subtle variations (or not) to help realise its individuality, mood and intent - even if on first inpection the songs sounded like cookie cutter tunes?
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  #170  
Old 11-27-2009, 09:19 PM
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Default Re: Pop Music in General

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Originally Posted by Pollyanna View Post
Thaard, first thing you need to do is either not listen to the radio or find a different station. Or channel hop. Still, there are pearls smongst the swine.

Thing is, what if you were offered a spot in a pro pop band - serious money, touring, the works. But you had to play simply. You could not use any of your fancy tricks.

Would you cynically figure, "Oh, this is crap so I'll just play standard beats with the odd simple fill". Or would you try to understand the music and its structure more deeply and figure the best subtle variations (or not) to help realise its individuality, mood and intent - even if on first inpection the songs sounded like cookie cutter tunes?
I would make the beats different, and try to make them interesting. Really trying to make them fit while making them so that they make a difference. Maybe other drummers would take after.. If I was denied this, I'd conceal everything and play more economically, but I would be playing in a band on the side, that was technical.
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  #171  
Old 11-27-2009, 09:35 PM
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Default Re: Pop Music in General

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Originally Posted by Thaard View Post
I would make the beats different, and try to make them interesting. Really trying to make them fit while making them so that they make a difference. Maybe other drummers would take after.. If I was denied this, I'd conceal everything and play more economically, but I would be playing in a band on the side, that was technical.
Ah, but maybe the beat doesn't need to be made more interesting? Maybe it requires pure ostinato with just one figure that lifts the tune in exactly the right spot?

I find there's much challenge in playing the same beat, keeping it alive and feeling good, ostensibly the same thing over and over but with almost invisible adjustments to timing, emphasis and accenting, always keep it gelling with the band sound and supporting the song. Doing a take like that and being satisfied that you got it right every moment without losing the vibe just a little is damn hard IMO. Much easier to zip around - a fill here, a crash there.

I used to only listen to music where the drummer's line could be entertaining in its own right. Now it's not unusual for me to enjoy a song and not have a clue what the drummer played. I'm not dissing cool drumming, of course, just that I want to pick all the good fruit from the music orchard rather than only going for the red ones :)
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  #172  
Old 11-27-2009, 11:03 PM
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Default Re: Pop Music in General

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Originally Posted by Pollyanna View Post
Ah, but maybe the beat doesn't need to be made more interesting? Maybe it requires pure ostinato with just one figure that lifts the tune in exactly the right spot?

I find there's much challenge in playing the same beat, keeping it alive and feeling good, ostensibly the same thing over and over but with almost invisible adjustments to timing, emphasis and accenting, always keep it gelling with the band sound and supporting the song. Doing a take like that and being satisfied that you got it right every moment without losing the vibe just a little is damn hard IMO. Much easier to zip around - a fill here, a crash there.

I used to only listen to music where the drummer's line could be entertaining in its own right. Now it's not unusual for me to enjoy a song and not have a clue what the drummer played. I'm not dissing cool drumming, of course, just that I want to pick all the good fruit from the music orchard rather than only going for the red ones :)
Ach, you're not making it easy for me are ya? :P. I get what you're saying about making a simple beat "live" and breathe like an organism. Maybe I'm just a drum snob, but I like it when each musician actually contributes to making the tune more interesting. I like music that challenges both the musicians and the listeners.
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  #173  
Old 11-27-2009, 11:15 PM
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Default Re: Pop Music in General

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Originally Posted by Pollyanna View Post
Ah, but maybe the beat doesn't need to be made more interesting? Maybe it requires pure ostinato with just one figure that lifts the tune in exactly the right spot?

I find there's much challenge in playing the same beat, keeping it alive and feeling good, ostensibly the same thing over and over but with almost invisible adjustments to timing, emphasis and accenting, always keep it gelling with the band sound and supporting the song. Doing a take like that and being satisfied that you got it right every moment without losing the vibe just a little is damn hard IMO. Much easier to zip around - a fill here, a crash there.

I used to only listen to music where the drummer's line could be entertaining in its own right. Now it's not unusual for me to enjoy a song and not have a clue what the drummer played. I'm not dissing cool drumming, of course, just that I want to pick all the good fruit from the music orchard rather than only going for the red ones :)
Shades of Steve Gadd, Jim Keltner and Jeff Pocarro to name a few, Pollyanna. And I also read a quote from Perer Erskine ( Weather Report notwithstanding) where he said " I've had a good career playing simple beats played well." (something like that)
I like the point you made Polly. You described a very important aspect of drumming.
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  #174  
Old 11-27-2009, 11:59 PM
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Default Re: Pop Music in General

Thaard, none of us make it easy for each other - that's the point :)

Sometimes staying out of the way is the right contribution. The more we do, the more it takes attention from other instruments. If someone else in the group is doing something very cool, sometimes more notes from the drummer can lessen its impact. In my band, the vocalist is the outstanding member. No one wants to hear me fiddling around while he's pouring his heart out. It's great to hear the drums do cool things, but it doesn't have to be every song.

I used to always play fills in transitions - often 16ths fills, which are a neat way of saying "Hey look! I really can play!" but often says little else. Larry turned me on to this, the idea of just grooving straight through to a transition without fills or crashes and letting the change in the music just happen. What that does is get you wondering about other spots that could do with variation. It opens up interesting musical possibilities that don't have that standard squared off 4, 8 or 16 bar sequence

Verse: beat-beat-beat-16ths fill-crash

Chorus: beat-beat-beat-16ths fill-crash


Derek, I agree. It's something I'm gradually turning on to and getting clear in my head through this forum and conversations with band members and my drum mentor. In structured music I really like to get organised.

Still, what those guys call a simple beat and what I think of as a simple beat are a bit different :) Has Jim Keltner ever lost the groove, even a tiny bit?
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  #175  
Old 11-28-2009, 12:11 AM
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Default Re: Pop Music in General

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Originally Posted by Pollyanna View Post
Thaard, none of us make it easy for each other - that's the point :)

Sometimes staying out of the way is the right contribution. The more we do, the more it takes attention from other instruments. If someone else in the group is doing something very cool, sometimes more notes from the drummer can lessen its impact. In my band, the vocalist is the outstanding member. No one wants to hear me fiddling around while he's pouring his heart out. It's great to hear the drums do cool things, but it doesn't have to be every song.

I used to always play fills in transitions - often 16ths fills, which are a neat way of saying "Hey look! I really can play!" but often says little else. Larry turned me on to this, the idea of just grooving straight through to a transition without fills or crashes and letting the change in the music just happen. What that does is get you wondering about other spots that could do with variation. It opens up interesting musical possibilities that don't have that standard squared off 4, 8 or 16 bar sequence

Verse: beat-beat-beat-16ths fill-crash

Chorus: beat-beat-beat-16ths fill-crash


Derek, I agree. It's something I'm gradually turning on to and getting clear in my head through this forum and conversations with band members and my drum mentor. In structured music I really like to get organised.

Still, what those guys call a simple beat and what I think of as a simple beat are a bit different :) Has Jim Keltner ever lost the groove, even a tiny bit?
I see what you're saying, but in for example a fusion band or prog-band, it wouldnt fit if you played just a straight-beat with no crashes. If theres a crescendo for example, there would be no exclamation point. Syncopation is also something I like, and unisons.

Play what the song requires. Maybe thats what you're trying to tell me, and I cant get through my thick jazz/fusion/dave weckl-head :P.

I watched this Gavin Harrison vid on youtube, and he said the best way to play an odd-meter part, is to have something that the non-musicians can tap their head to. Like holding 8ths on the hihat, while the other limbs play 7/8 etc. It's really down to who you make the music for, yourself, the listeners, other musicians? I dunno, when I play the drums, I play them the way I want them to be, but I always ask before I do it nowadays, especially when I'm playing someone elses stuff. Thankfully, the band I'm in now, let's everyone make their part as they want, as long as it doesnt ruin the song.
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  #176  
Old 11-28-2009, 12:28 AM
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Default Re: Pop Music in General

... "thick jazz/fusion/dave weckl-head" ROFLOL!

If it makes you feel any better I used to have a thick prog/fusion/bruford head ... now it's just thick :)

What I think Gav H is saying is that complex stuff sounds best when you make it sound easy. Sometimes you'll hear YouTube guys make relatively simple stuff sound like monster drumming, but guys like Steve Gadd and Bill Bruford often make complex patterns sound simpler than they are because they emphasise the fundamental pulses within the rhythm rather than just try to pull off a collection of notes.

As for climaxes and exclamation points ... a big crash is usually a climax. If you have a whole bunch of climaxes in a song it's not a climax any more, is it? It's just a loud song. A holiday isn't a holiday without work either. If we pick our spots carefully then that crash can give everyone a buzz rather than just mask the other instruments or just be be a convenient way of moving our hands at the end of a fill. Tension and release.

I think I'm turning into Larry. If I start offering to install an extra set of power points please throw some cold water on me!
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