DRUMMERWORLD OFFICIAL DISCUSSION FORUM   

Go Back   DRUMMERWORLD OFFICIAL DISCUSSION FORUM > Off Topic Lounge

Off Topic Lounge All Discussions Not Related To Drumming

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #41  
Old 06-11-2011, 06:31 AM
DrumEatDrum's Avatar
DrumEatDrum DrumEatDrum is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 7,665
Default Re: How much do lyrics matter to you?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pollyanna View Post
Larry and DED, your thoughts on this comment I mad earlier?

90% of lyrics concern matters of the groin ... oh, they masquerade as something meaningful but it's ultimately about the joys of being compelled by base instinct to find or keep a mate whom one deems best suited to propagating one's genes.

Then there are the hard luck tales about "the one that got away". I find it impossible to care unless there's a special lilt in the vocalist's delivery lol
But see, those generally aren't the type of lyrics I listen to (with a few exceptions).

And that is where my comment lyrics can make or break a band IMHO comes from.
Dumb lyrics often mean I won't bother buying it.

For example, Rush has maybe 2 "love"songs in their entire catalog. Metallica? None.
Reply With Quote
  #42  
Old 06-11-2011, 07:12 AM
Skulmoski's Avatar
Skulmoski Skulmoski is offline
Gold Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Abu Dhabi
Posts: 1,295
Default Re: How much do lyrics matter to you?

My wife loves to listen to singer song writers - a solo artist with a guitar; that's it. She loves the poetry involved in a good turned phrase.

Me, I don't listen to the lyrics. I listen to the drums and bass mostly, then other melody contributing instrumentation. I hear the lyrics, but don't fully absorb the words.

The exception to this seems to be Frank Zappa's lyrics. How can you not sit back and listen to the lyrics of "Truck Driver Divorce" or "Ms Pinky" or "Bobby Brown".

GJS
Reply With Quote
  #43  
Old 06-11-2011, 03:36 PM
shadowlorde shadowlorde is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 375
Default Re: How much do lyrics matter to you?

i care more about the melody and range of the singer than the words they spew. if I really like the melody and listen to it enough i'll figure out the lyrics
Reply With Quote
  #44  
Old 06-11-2011, 05:14 PM
Pollyanna's Avatar
Pollyanna Pollyanna is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Cyberspace, Sydney connection
Posts: 10,000
Default Re: How much do lyrics matter to you?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DrumEatDrum View Post
But see, those generally aren't the type of lyrics I listen to (with a few exceptions).

And that is where my comment lyrics can make or break a band IMHO comes from.
Dumb lyrics often mean I won't bother buying it.

For example, Rush has maybe 2 "love"songs in their entire catalog. Metallica? None.
Whether I forgive dumb lyrics depends. It's okay with me if I really like the music. Prog bands were notorious for gauche, silly lyrics. Never worked out any Rush lyrics - can't make out the words :)
__________________
.
Polly's rhythms
.
Reply With Quote
  #45  
Old 06-11-2011, 06:39 PM
tml_fan_5@hotmail.com's Avatar
tml_fan_5@hotmail.com tml_fan_5@hotmail.com is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 125
Default Re: How much do lyrics matter to you?

The main reason i could not take Frank Zappa seriously was because of his lyrics. I do have some friends who are really into Zappa so I have been trying to get into him, but like i said, its hard for me. I would say lyrics are very important, from clever phrases thrown into Beatles songs, to the non-sensical poetic lyrics of Yes. Lyrics can be used to tell a story, make a piont, promote a cause, or they can be used to change your mood or pattern of thinking.
__________________
80's Ludwig Classic Maples
Zildjian A
Coated Emperors
EMAD
VF Kinetic Force 5B
Speed King
Reply With Quote
  #46  
Old 06-11-2011, 08:11 PM
larryace's Avatar
larryace larryace is online now
"Uncle Larry"
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: In beautiful Bucks County, PA
Posts: 12,817
Default Re: How much do lyrics matter to you?

To answer your question Pol, about 90% of lyrics having to do with matters of the groin, and that basically they don't hold any interest for you, I'm not sure how to respond. A little disappointed, like many of the responses here dissing lyrics. Yes you don't have to know the lyrics to craft a good drum part, you can go by the mood. I happen to think we can do better than that by matching the mood with the lyric. They aren't always in line w/ each other. You can definitely make a mood, but does it match the lyric? Like your "On Broadway" song, I felt it was too happy for the lyric. (JMO) You explained why you did it that way and I get that, but that doesn't change what I prefer to hear there.

I will concede that in a large percentage of songs, you really can't play to the lyrics much, for one reason or another. But there are enough songs out there where the lyrics are conveying a real message, or telling a great story, or verbalizing some kind of shared human emotion that you can really decorate as a drummer if you are understanding what's being said.

And if you don't listen to lyrics because a large percentage of songs you can't really play to them for one reason or another, when you do get a chance to really get inside a great lyric, you may blow it off out of habit. You can never convince me being less sensitive to a vital part of the song is a good thing.

The screamo death metal lyrics...I'm sorry but I can't decipher that stuff, the drumming can't be particularly sensitive to the lyrics in most songs in that genre IMO. That wouldn't work well anyway, metal drumming, to me, is supposed to be very aggressive and not sensitive (except perhaps in the slower power ballad type stuff).
So when Shadowlorde commented on how the singer "spews" words, initially I was a little let down that another drummer writes the lyrics off as not important...but then I remembered that his genre is metal. Metal has it's own rules it seems and my defense of lyrics doesn't really mean much to a metal drummer, because the drumming is so physically intense, and is largely disconnected from the singer. This is just my limited view of metal, I don't play or listen to it, so forgive me if I painted w/ too broad a stroke.

But for Blues, Motown, Rock, R&B, Country, Pop, Ballads and many other genres where the lyrics can be extremely important, that's where knowing the lyrics can make you a more "in tune" and thoughtful drummer/musician. This is the type of music I play so naturally I'm very lyric oriented.

The singer/drummer connection....Indian is right, it's not discussed nearly enough. It's part of our job description. Nothing pleases a singer like a drummer who is hanging on every syllable, and playing appropriately to them.

My advise to everyone is know your lyrics. Understand what emotions are being conveyed by the singer. Help the singer achieve their goals by being as one with the them. It can only help you play the song better, and it's not hard work, to read through a lyric sheet, or simply listen closely. You might even say...Huh...I never realized that the lyrics were so poignant! (or cool, or whatever)

OK I'll stop harping now.
Reply With Quote
  #47  
Old 06-12-2011, 04:24 AM
worlds_first_drummist's Avatar
worlds_first_drummist worlds_first_drummist is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Killeen, TX
Posts: 6
Default Re: How much do lyrics matter to you?

I like lyrics that present the story well. It's true that poorly-written lyrics can depreciate a song's value. If part of a song is so badly written that I don't like the song as a whole, then I can't play my part in it.

As a drummer, the vocals are just as important to the song as any other instrument. I try to play in a manner that complements everyone else in the band. At times in the song, I may need to change my playing to emphasize/accent what's being sung and it's easier to do that when a singer conveys his/her ideas succinctly with good lyrics.

It's even better with wit, plays on words, hyperbole, et al.
__________________
Pearl, Evans, (Moving to) Sabian
Reply With Quote
  #48  
Old 06-12-2011, 04:55 AM
Pollyanna's Avatar
Pollyanna Pollyanna is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Cyberspace, Sydney connection
Posts: 10,000
Default Re: How much do lyrics matter to you?

Larry, don't be disappointed ... awwww :)

Just think about how many lyrics basically say "get up and dance", "I wanna get nasty with you", "boo hoo you left me" etc. They hit the spot if you are in that dancing / bonking / maudlin frame of mind at the time but to me it seems so formulaic at times, like a production line rather than a real slice of the human condition. Still, if the music is cool and - as you say - complementary to the vocal delivery and lyrics then it really can work, triteness and all.

This doesn't take away the well-made points you made about our relationship with the lyrics. Words are an element of a song like any other and when you're playing it's only logical to be aware of what's going on. It's like not being aware of the keyboardist or sax player - if you're not tuned in then you might miss the opportunity to really make things work great or you might play something that clashes.

Funny thing, working with lyrics. We play Wild Is the Wind and it's an example of a lurve song that's more poetic and evocative than trite.

Nina Simone version (jazzy and ambient - very late night jazz club scene) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CiVDzTT4CbE

David Bowie version (more upbeat and dramatic) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CiVDzTT4CbE

There's a part that goes "I hear the sound of mandolins" and, as a Zappa fan, I have a desperate urge to hear the pinking of a mandolin at that spot lol. Of course that's idiotic ... the idea is that the protagonist's lover's touch puts him/her into a wild reverie. So the theme here is intensity and abandon ... so I did a little dramatic roll :)

I dunno. It's tricky at times. At times it feels like it's best to play nothing at all and wait to see what compels you. If I do anything that's not quite right Glenn is pretty quick to let me know! That helps a lot.

Having said that, I'll be buggered if I can make out enough lyrics of many songs to understand the meaning and, as I say, when I eventually find out the words it's often an anti-climax. But it's been a looong time since I hung out at a bar, hoping to be picked up so that discounts me from relating to a lot of lyrics.
__________________
.
Polly's rhythms
.
Reply With Quote
  #49  
Old 06-12-2011, 06:59 AM
chuppo chuppo is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 2
Default Re: How much do lyrics matter to you?

Depends on the song, The Kids Aren't Alright is a good example of song where I can really relate to the lyrics and that gets me more interested in the song. A good example of music where I don't think about the lyrics too much would be the Scream Bloody Gore album, I'm not really interested in thinking about rotting corpses.
Reply With Quote
  #50  
Old 06-12-2011, 09:28 PM
larryace's Avatar
larryace larryace is online now
"Uncle Larry"
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: In beautiful Bucks County, PA
Posts: 12,817
Default Re: How much do lyrics matter to you?

I dunno the general consensus here seems to be that, at best, the lyrics are equal to the other elements of a song. Again, I feel that the lyric is the reason for the song and that the music is there to support the lyric. Even if the lyrics were thought of after the music was recorded. So I put the lyrics easily as the most important element of the song. If you were the singer, you would likely agree. The lyric defines what emotion the song is trying to tap in too. Again, dance song lyrics like "give it to me baby baby" isn't what I'm referring to.

I said I'd stop harping and I didn't, I apologize.
Reply With Quote
  #51  
Old 06-12-2011, 11:15 PM
DrumEatDrum's Avatar
DrumEatDrum DrumEatDrum is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 7,665
Default Re: How much do lyrics matter to you?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pollyanna View Post
Larry, don't be disappointed ... awwww :)

Just think about how many lyrics basically say "get up and dance", "I wanna get nasty with you", "boo hoo you left me" etc. They hit the spot if you are in that dancing / bonking / maudlin frame of mind at the time but to me it seems so formulaic at times, like a production line rather than a real slice of the human condition.
That's a broad stereo type there though.

Just because there are a lot of bad lyrics out there in dumb pop songs doesn't mean all lyrics are that way. Much like the "Rant on today's pop music" thread, you can't paint all music with such a broad stroke just because you have a lot of examples of crap.

There certainly are some bands that I just do not understand why they are so popular because every song does seem to be about the groin, but whatever, there are a lot of other bands out there that don't bog themselves down with such limited subject matter.
Reply With Quote
  #52  
Old 06-13-2011, 02:04 AM
Pollyanna's Avatar
Pollyanna Pollyanna is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Cyberspace, Sydney connection
Posts: 10,000
Default Re: How much do lyrics matter to you?

Quote:
Originally Posted by larryace View Post
I dunno the general consensus here seems to be that, at best, the lyrics are equal to the other elements of a song. Again, I feel that the lyric is the reason for the song and that the music is there to support the lyric. Even if the lyrics were thought of after the music was recorded. So I put the lyrics easily as the most important element of the song. If you were the singer, you would likely agree. The lyric defines what emotion the song is trying to tap in too. Again, dance song lyrics like "give it to me baby baby" isn't what I'm referring to.

I said I'd stop harping and I didn't, I apologize.
Keep harping, Larry. It's a good debate :)

Thing is, a pretty high percentage of songs are written music first with the lyrics as an afterthought. It totally depends on both genre and modus operandi of the performers. I saw a Leonard Cohen concert play last year - now there the lyrics are paramount. This year I saw Grace Jones - in that gig the music, er ... no ... Grace was paramount :)

Let's take Led Zep, one of the most popular bands ever. I'd say the lyrics took a back seat to other elements. How about The Beatles? There I'd say it depended on the song - sometimes the lyrics were the biggest thing, like Eleanor Rigby but in other tracks like Helter Skelter, Come Together and A Day in the Life the lyrics were just one element.


Quote:
Originally Posted by DrumEatDrum View Post
That's a broad stereo type there though.

Just because there are a lot of bad lyrics out there in dumb pop songs doesn't mean all lyrics are that way. Much like the "Rant on today's pop music" thread, you can't paint all music with such a broad stroke just because you have a lot of examples of crap.

There certainly are some bands that I just do not understand why they are so popular because every song does seem to be about the groin, but whatever, there are a lot of other bands out there that don't bog themselves down with such limited subject matter.
DED, I said "many songs", not "all songs". Bear in mind, boy-meets-girl isn't the only way a lyric can be pretty ordinary. What about the Tolkien fad amongst prog groups in the 70s? Those words were like wallpaper. There's also a lot of very unsophisticated lay philosophy in lyrics. A lot of heavy rock lyrics are hilarious is their naivete and goofiness.

In the end, if the singer is garbling and mumbling the words then the issue is moot. There are tons of songs I enjoy where I'll be damned if I can make out what the singer is carrying on about!
__________________
.
Polly's rhythms
.
Reply With Quote
  #53  
Old 06-13-2011, 09:55 AM
Homeularis's Avatar
Homeularis Homeularis is offline
Gold Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: San Francisco/Oakland East Bay, CA, USA
Posts: 1,062
Default Re: How much do lyrics matter to you?

Not huge on lyrics, although some of the really well written ones stand out.

I'm more of a groove and hook kinda dude.
Reply With Quote
  #54  
Old 06-13-2011, 12:15 PM
PQleyR's Avatar
PQleyR PQleyR is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Godalming, UK
Posts: 2,265
Default Re: How much do lyrics matter to you?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pollyanna View Post
There's also a lot of very unsophisticated lay philosophy in lyrics.
So that's what one of those philosophy degrees is for! I hate these amateur philosophers, I will listen to Philosophy Union members only! No logical thought allowed without a PU photocard ID, you may only say and think things you heard from other people!

When I first read this thread, I seem to recall I was listening to a song I had written called 'Dustbin'.
The lyrics are of paramount importance, for example:

"Don't need no bicycle
Don't need no sleigh
I just want a dustbin to ride in all day
I roll round and round
Down the motorway
I do not care what the police say"
__________________
Drummer for Gloryhammer
My facebook page
Reply With Quote
  #55  
Old 06-13-2011, 12:40 PM
Pollyanna's Avatar
Pollyanna Pollyanna is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Cyberspace, Sydney connection
Posts: 10,000
Default Re: How much do lyrics matter to you?

Quote:
Originally Posted by PQleyR View Post
So that's what one of those philosophy degrees is for! I hate these amateur philosophers, I will listen to Philosophy Union members only! No logical thought allowed without a PU photocard ID, you may only say and think things you heard from other people!

When I first read this thread, I seem to recall I was listening to a song I had written called 'Dustbin'.
The lyrics are of paramount importance, for example:

"Don't need no bicycle
Don't need no sleigh
I just want a dustbin to ride in all day
I roll round and round
Down the motorway
I do not care what the police say"
Sweet child in time you'll see the line
The line that's drawn between the good and the bad
See the blind man shooting at the world
Bullets flying taking toll
If you've been bad, Ooh Lord I bet you have
And you've not been hit by flying lead
You'd better close your eyes and Oooh bow your head
And wait for the ricochet

:)
__________________
.
Polly's rhythms
.
Reply With Quote
  #56  
Old 06-13-2011, 01:33 PM
PQleyR's Avatar
PQleyR PQleyR is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Godalming, UK
Posts: 2,265
Default Re: How much do lyrics matter to you?

That's just a series of confusing metaphors. I think that's the main problem with a lot of lyrics, they're either annoyingly direct and lacking in depth ("she's so loverly") or obfuscatory and confusing.
__________________
Drummer for Gloryhammer
My facebook page
Reply With Quote
  #57  
Old 06-13-2011, 01:41 PM
Pollyanna's Avatar
Pollyanna Pollyanna is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Cyberspace, Sydney connection
Posts: 10,000
Default Re: How much do lyrics matter to you?

Agree.

It seems to me that if you've been bad then the blind man will start spray shooting and you have to duck ... and that was Ian Gillan's finest moment lol ... actually, I always enjoyed the song even if the lyrics are attempting to be vaguely philosophical, emphasis on "vaguely".

How about The Stones's Jumpin Jack Flash?

A wa bow
Onna crossfire herigain
Anna how
Onna mow anna drivin rain.

But it rocks!

Took me a while to know what he was on about, let alone working out why Jimi was excusing himself to "kiss this guy". With all the mondegreens around, there's a minority of songs that speak to me lyrically.
__________________
.
Polly's rhythms
.
Reply With Quote
  #58  
Old 06-13-2011, 02:20 PM
PQleyR's Avatar
PQleyR PQleyR is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Godalming, UK
Posts: 2,265
Default Re: How much do lyrics matter to you?

I guess the human voice, like other instruments, can express emotions even if you can't hear the words. This is true even if you're just having a conversation with someone. Words are only half of it, if that.
__________________
Drummer for Gloryhammer
My facebook page
Reply With Quote
  #59  
Old 06-13-2011, 02:58 PM
Pollyanna's Avatar
Pollyanna Pollyanna is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Cyberspace, Sydney connection
Posts: 10,000
Default Re: How much do lyrics matter to you?

I think you just hit the nail on the head there. I don't see any formula. There are definitely times when the words used are vitally important and other times when the general impression matters most. Again, that goes for both music and talking.

I think speed of thought and perception make a big difference. For example, my nephew will play me a hip hop thing and I barely understand a single line and he picks it all up.

I struggle with a lot of modern movies too (all that mumbling for the sake of realism - I needed subtitles for Marlon Brando's Colonel Kurtz role in Apocalypse Now) ... maybe part of it is I'm just not good at picking up mumbly Americanese, yet much of the art played here is from the US. Also, all those in-house references lose me too.
__________________
.
Polly's rhythms
.
Reply With Quote
  #60  
Old 06-13-2011, 06:14 PM
DrumEatDrum's Avatar
DrumEatDrum DrumEatDrum is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 7,665
Default Re: How much do lyrics matter to you?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pollyanna View Post


DED, I said "many songs", not "all songs". Bear in mind, boy-meets-girl isn't the only way a lyric can be pretty ordinary. What about the Tolkien fad amongst prog groups in the 70s? Those words were like wallpaper. There's also a lot of very unsophisticated lay philosophy in lyrics. A lot of heavy rock lyrics are hilarious is their naivete and goofiness.
Oohh....I do really really dislike Dungeon & Drangons and Lord of the Rings inspired lyrics.

I dig the concept of symphonic-metal, but so many of those bands turn me off because the lyrics are just stupid.
Reply With Quote
  #61  
Old 06-13-2011, 06:38 PM
wsabol's Avatar
wsabol wsabol is offline
Gold Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 1,388
Default Re: How much do lyrics matter to you?

Ok, I'll cave in on my my original opinion slightly. I did realize that there are a select few songs where I really do love the lyrics. I mainly like those songs for the feel, but its comforting to know that the lyrics are just as good. This song that made me realize this is "Running against the wind" (bob seger)

There is something I'm alittle confused about though: this drummer/singer business. Normally when there is a singer, the relationship is singer/band, not singer/drummer. The band is there to support the singer. I understand arranging the song around the lyrics, but I really don't think its the drummer's job or anyone else's to play to their own interpretation of the lyrics. Their should be one interpretation of the lyrics and the band should play it as one. For instance, not to pick on larry, but his decision to get quieter in the a dramatic part of that song he talked about. I don't think that's a bad idea, but if the rest of the band isn't doing it, I wouldn't if were in Larry's shoes. I think it would sound like a mistake more than anything.

what do you guys think?
__________________
"Lay the backbeat home."
-Donny Hathaway
Reply With Quote
  #62  
Old 06-13-2011, 06:49 PM
DrumEatDrum's Avatar
DrumEatDrum DrumEatDrum is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 7,665
Default Re: How much do lyrics matter to you?

Quote:
Originally Posted by wsabol View Post
There is something I'm alittle confused about though: this drummer/singer business. Normally when there is a singer, the relationship is singer/band, not singer/drummer. The band is there to support the singer. I understand arranging the song around the lyrics, but I really don't think its the drummer's job or anyone else's to play to their own interpretation of the lyrics. Their should be one interpretation of the lyrics and the band should play it as one. For instance, not to pick on larry, but his decision to get quieter in the a dramatic part of that song he talked about. I don't think that's a bad idea, but if the rest of the band isn't doing it, I wouldn't if were in Larry's shoes. I think it would sound like a mistake more than anything.

what do you guys think?
You make a valid point, it is a whole band thing. But in Larry's defense, it's the drummer, often more than any other instrument, that controls the bands dynamics. If the guitars plays a quiet section while the drummer is still full bore, no one would notice. If the drummer brings it down, everyone notices.
Reply With Quote
  #63  
Old 06-13-2011, 07:27 PM
larryace's Avatar
larryace larryace is online now
"Uncle Larry"
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: In beautiful Bucks County, PA
Posts: 12,817
Default Re: How much do lyrics matter to you?

Right. In that particular instance, (The song, "The Weight") the sonic impact by lessening my own volume slightly on that one lyric is enough to achieve the goal. It's not a loud part of the song there, so it works even if I do it alone. It's only a few seconds, but it's an important few seconds. But agreed, most dynamics have to have the whole band doing it. And I concede again that most lyrics you can't play to. I am on the lookout for the ones I can play to though. Lyrics do however dictate what is being sung about, and IMO influence what kind of drum part will be most appropriate.

As far as the singer/drummer connection, don't write it off. Singers....you have to have their back. The quicker you understand that, the better you will be thought of. You have the power to really make or break that person. For instance, when the singer makes a bad joke during chit chat time, you have to be listening so you can punctuate the punch line with a stupid splash or something. Lousy example but it explains my point. The singer is counting on the drummer to be there for them: Other things singers count on the drummer to:

A. Ease up on the volume a bit when the singer initially gets on mic, generally speaking, that's a good rule of thumb (song dependent of course)
B. Not step on the singers lyrics. Allow them to soak up all the attention, don't distract from them.
C. Be as one with the brain of the singer. Read their mind to the best of your ability. You will be treasured by them if you do this
D. Not take your eyes off the singer. You never know when they will give direction, in the form of hand signals or otherwise. Plus you can usually read their body language and ramp up the intensity as needed to match the singers intensity, or lack thereof. When the singer is on mic, THEY ARE THE BOSS, YOU CATER TO THEM.
E. Punctuate stuff if the lyric calls for it

I'm sure there's more but you get the gist. Nobody is connected to the singer more than the drummer. IMO we both share the 2 most emotional aspects of a song, the lyric and the drum part, so we need to operate together, in sync as a unit, on the same page with the same goal so it comes off to the audience the way it should.

Since I have to analogize everything, think of it like the band is the car, the singer is the driver, and when the singer steps on the gas, you, as the engine, need to be responsive. You don't want a disconnect there.
Reply With Quote
  #64  
Old 06-13-2011, 09:48 PM
wsabol's Avatar
wsabol wsabol is offline
Gold Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 1,388
Default Re: How much do lyrics matter to you?

Quote:
Originally Posted by larryace View Post
Since I have to analogize everything, think of it like the band is the car, the singer is the driver, and when the singer steps on the gas, you, as the engine, need to be responsive. You don't want a disconnect there.
Gotcha larry.. Nice. :)
__________________
"Lay the backbeat home."
-Donny Hathaway
Reply With Quote
  #65  
Old 06-13-2011, 10:14 PM
Pollyanna's Avatar
Pollyanna Pollyanna is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Cyberspace, Sydney connection
Posts: 10,000
Default Re: How much do lyrics matter to you?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DrumEatDrum View Post
Oohh....I do really really dislike Dungeon & Drangons and Lord of the Rings inspired lyrics.
I quite like them - because I don't pay attention. You hear "The winds of Thor are blowing cold" and you immediately have permission to focus on a spacey keyboards and vocal effects because you won't miss a damn thing :)

I first read LOTR not long before the movies (lucky timing) so I didn't have a clue what the song was about for years, yet I still felt a sense of drama when RP sang "They hold no quarter" with that big riff going on. Still one of my fave Zep songs.

And that - most times - sums up the relationship between singers and drummers. We're like the family dog, totally in there and acutely responsive to the emotional tenor of what's going on with the family, but our relationship with what's going on is far more amorphous and primal than that of the vocalist.

Larry said the vocalist and drummer being the emotional heart of a band and I agree. The drums paint emotions with a broad brush so, if a singer expresses whimsical melancholy we'll express "quiet and reserved". Where the vocalist expresses exuberant hopefulness we'll express the exuberant part, just like a family dog would.

It's a primal instrument, and that's a large part of its appeal.
__________________
.
Polly's rhythms
.
Reply With Quote
  #66  
Old 06-14-2011, 12:49 AM
Pocket-full-of-gold's Avatar
Pocket-full-of-gold Pocket-full-of-gold is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Melbourne, Australia.
Posts: 9,814
Default Re: How much do lyrics matter to you?

Quote:
Originally Posted by larryace View Post
..................so we need to operate together, in sync as a unit, on the same page with the same goal so it comes off to the audience the way it should.
Funny, I've always said that exact same thing about the drummer and bass player.
__________________
What's the best cape for running away from a gig?
Reply With Quote
  #67  
Old 06-14-2011, 01:43 AM
DrumEatDrum's Avatar
DrumEatDrum DrumEatDrum is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 7,665
Default Re: How much do lyrics matter to you?

Quote:
Originally Posted by larryace View Post
Since I have to analogize everything, think of it like the band is the car, the singer is the driver, and when the singer steps on the gas, you, as the engine, need to be responsive. You don't want a disconnect there.
I like that. Good one Larry.
Reply With Quote
  #68  
Old 06-14-2011, 02:10 AM
8Mile's Avatar
8Mile 8Mile is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Detroit, MI
Posts: 2,627
Default Re: How much do lyrics matter to you?

Quote:
Originally Posted by larryace View Post
Right. In that particular instance, (The song, "The Weight") the sonic impact by lessening my own volume slightly on that one lyric is enough to achieve the goal. It's not a loud part of the song there, so it works even if I do it alone. It's only a few seconds, but it's an important few seconds. But agreed, most dynamics have to have the whole band doing it. And I concede again that most lyrics you can't play to. I am on the lookout for the ones I can play to though. Lyrics do however dictate what is being sung about, and IMO influence what kind of drum part will be most appropriate.

As far as the singer/drummer connection, don't write it off. Singers....you have to have their back. The quicker you understand that, the better you will be thought of. You have the power to really make or break that person. For instance, when the singer makes a bad joke during chit chat time, you have to be listening so you can punctuate the punch line with a stupid splash or something. Lousy example but it explains my point. The singer is counting on the drummer to be there for them: Other things singers count on the drummer to:

A. Ease up on the volume a bit when the singer initially gets on mic, generally speaking, that's a good rule of thumb (song dependent of course)
B. Not step on the singers lyrics. Allow them to soak up all the attention, don't distract from them.
C. Be as one with the brain of the singer. Read their mind to the best of your ability. You will be treasured by them if you do this
D. Not take your eyes off the singer. You never know when they will give direction, in the form of hand signals or otherwise. Plus you can usually read their body language and ramp up the intensity as needed to match the singers intensity, or lack thereof. When the singer is on mic, THEY ARE THE BOSS, YOU CATER TO THEM.
E. Punctuate stuff if the lyric calls for it

I'm sure there's more but you get the gist. Nobody is connected to the singer more than the drummer. IMO we both share the 2 most emotional aspects of a song, the lyric and the drum part, so we need to operate together, in sync as a unit, on the same page with the same goal so it comes off to the audience the way it should.

Since I have to analogize everything, think of it like the band is the car, the singer is the driver, and when the singer steps on the gas, you, as the engine, need to be responsive. You don't want a disconnect there.
I really like this post because this describes my relationship with the singer almost perfectly.
Reply With Quote
  #69  
Old 06-14-2011, 04:52 AM
larryace's Avatar
larryace larryace is online now
"Uncle Larry"
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: In beautiful Bucks County, PA
Posts: 12,817
Default Re: How much do lyrics matter to you?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pocket-full-of-gold View Post
Funny, I've always said that exact same thing about the drummer and bass player.
It applies there too for sure.
Reply With Quote
  #70  
Old 06-14-2011, 07:35 AM
BillBachman's Avatar
BillBachman BillBachman is offline
Gold Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 1,053
Default Re: How much do lyrics matter to you?

They don't matter to me much, but it's always a great idea to learn them or at least what a song is about before you record it. It may affect the way you play a little bit to be in the mood that the lyrics are trying to portray, but it also gets you brownie points with the artist who (ideally) is paying you.
__________________
Modern Drummer Ed. team
DrumWorkout.com
Skype hand tech lessons:
billbachman.net
Reply With Quote
  #71  
Old 06-16-2011, 05:49 AM
N.I.B. N.I.B. is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: South Carolina, USA
Posts: 117
Default Re: How much do lyrics matter to you?

As a listener, I've never really been one to concentrate on the lyrics - Simply put, if the singer's serenading me with a story about how his girlfriend / wife / significant other kicked him to the curb, leave me out of it. If the lyrics are fresh out of a medical dictionary (like many death metal / grindcore lyrics are), please spare me the experience of losing my lunch.

And so on and so forth...

In my electric violin ensemble this past school year, we didn't have a singer. What our main violin would do was listen to the lyrics in whatever songs we performed and recreate the melody / rhythm of the singer on her violin, so I never had to listen to the lyrics to find a beat.

Then again...what exactly I did last year is something I'm trying to repress! ;)

Last edited by N.I.B.; 06-17-2011 at 08:15 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #72  
Old 06-16-2011, 08:34 AM
BassDriver's Avatar
BassDriver BassDriver is offline
Silver Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Australia
Posts: 726
Default Re: How much do lyrics matter to you?

Quote:
Do lyrics make a big difference to you guys as well?
Yes, I like the lyrical component to music very much, but I like instrumental music aswell.

While people like lyrics because lyrics convey meaning to them, I think instrumental music still conveys meaning.

Lyrics that are especially surrealist, humorous, cryptic, and well delivered (all at once) I like very much. That is part of my appreciation of artists like System of a Down and Frank Zappa.
__________________
Check out some of my drumming on my youtube channel:http://www.youtube.com/user/Drumosity
Reply With Quote
  #73  
Old 06-19-2011, 03:39 AM
OnThisDaysDrummer's Avatar
OnThisDaysDrummer OnThisDaysDrummer is offline
Member
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Athens, TN
Posts: 82
Default Re: How much do lyrics matter to you?

As far as songs I listen to on my own time, I like music with any lyrics I can relate to. If I hear a song, and reminds me of myself, if it's politically charged. But most of fall, if I hear a song, and it triggers my mind to think of a certain time in my life, then it's probably a hit in my book.

As far as music I play, I can't read music or tabs. So for me the song writing process consists of matching a drum beat with the bass rhythm. And then as I go and memorize the song I'll do fills and such. For the simpler songs, this often means I have to listen to the lyrics to know where certain parts are.
__________________
Sonor drums
Soultone cymbals
Soultone drum sticks
Tama pedals
PDP stands
Remo drum heads
Reply With Quote
  #74  
Old 06-19-2011, 11:51 PM
shadowlorde shadowlorde is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 375
Default Re: How much do lyrics matter to you?

Quote:
Originally Posted by larryace View Post

The screamo death metal lyrics...I'm sorry but I can't decipher that stuff, the drumming can't be particularly sensitive to the lyrics in most songs in that genre IMO. That wouldn't work well anyway, metal drumming, to me, is supposed to be very aggressive and not sensitive (except perhaps in the slower power ballad type stuff).
So when Shadowlorde commented on how the singer "spews" words, initially I was a little let down that another drummer writes the lyrics off as not important...but then I remembered that his genre is metal. Metal has it's own rules it seems and my defense of lyrics doesn't really mean much to a metal drummer, because the drumming is so physically intense, and is largely disconnected from the singer. This is just my limited view of metal, I don't play or listen to it, so forgive me if I painted w/ too broad a stroke.

.
maybe my thoughts on lyrics are based on how the several bands i've been in and out of in the past years wrote songs ... instrument parts were always written first and lyrics were always an after thought. .. the melody line of the vocals always was made with the instruments and the words came later. my usual thing is that if I like the way the song is sung i'll check out the lyrics .. don't talk to strangers by dio is a great example ... porcupine tree, anything blind guardian. as far as death metal goes i couldn't give a flying F what the singer is gurgling about .. i'm listening for the instruments


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u_tORtmKIjE .. i love blind guardian .. and hansi kursch's voice .. they are very lord of the rings in their lyrics though ( *edit* listen to the vocal line in that song and tell me it wouldn't work just as well with an instrument playing the vocal melody line instead of having words.. that is what i'm getting at with interesting melody being what I first listen to .. )
Reply With Quote
  #75  
Old 06-28-2011, 07:58 PM
unfunkyfooted's Avatar
unfunkyfooted unfunkyfooted is offline
Silver Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: The Place To Be
Posts: 831
Default Re: How much do lyrics matter to you?

Hal Blaine: To come up with the right hit-making drum beat for each recording, Mr. Blaine insisted on hearing a group sing through a song first, often backed by just a piano. "A song is a story, and I wanted to hear how the lyrics were phrased and where the drama was," he said. "Then I'd add a beat and sound that snapped."

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000...291829718.html
__________________
3BallMTY Is A Group !!!
Reply With Quote
  #76  
Old 06-28-2011, 08:01 PM
unfunkyfooted's Avatar
unfunkyfooted unfunkyfooted is offline
Silver Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: The Place To Be
Posts: 831
Default Re: How much do lyrics matter to you?

also, you donīt want to step on the vocal, so you have to know where it sits.
__________________
3BallMTY Is A Group !!!
Reply With Quote
  #77  
Old 06-28-2011, 09:42 PM
Fuo's Avatar
Fuo Fuo is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Baltimore, MD
Posts: 1,684
Default Re: How much do lyrics matter to you?

95% of the time I don't care WHAT the lyrics are, but I do care about HOW they're sung. The only time I care about what the words are are when they're really good, or really bad.
Reply With Quote
  #78  
Old 06-28-2011, 10:24 PM
Pollyanna's Avatar
Pollyanna Pollyanna is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Cyberspace, Sydney connection
Posts: 10,000
Default Re: How much do lyrics matter to you?

Quote:
Originally Posted by unfunkyfooted View Post
Hal Blaine: To come up with the right hit-making drum beat for each recording, Mr. Blaine insisted on hearing a group sing through a song first, often backed by just a piano. "A song is a story, and I wanted to hear how the lyrics were phrased and where the drama was," he said. "Then I'd add a beat and sound that snapped."

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000...291829718.html
I enjoyed that link, Unfunk. I especially like that quote from HB.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuo View Post
95% of the time I don't care WHAT the lyrics are, but I do care about HOW they're sung. The only time I care about what the words are are when they're really good, or really bad.
I relate to that. One thing about instrumental music - it's never spoiled by trite lyrics. I'd like to strangle Ian Gillan (slowly) for putting such teenage jerkoff lyrics to the brilliant music of Highway Star.
__________________
.
Polly's rhythms
.
Reply With Quote
  #79  
Old 06-29-2011, 01:03 AM
Numberless's Avatar
Numberless Numberless is offline
Gold Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Puerto Rico
Posts: 1,326
Default Re: How much do lyrics matter to you?

It really depends, some bands can get away with bad/silly lyrics. Into Eternity is a great example:

"Separate the anguish, separate this fear
separate from sadness, now I see things much to clear"

Looks like something a 13 year old would write over his first breakup but the melody is so much fun to sing along to that I just don't really care.

Other bands I really need the lyrics to get a full appreciation of the music, Agalloch and Pain of Salvation are fine examples of this. Punk/hardcore music in general puts emphasis on the message of the lyrics than the musicality so I pay attention accordingly.

In death metal and heavier types of music with distorted vocals, sometimes the lyrics take a backseat and just serve as another instrument to complement the rest of the band, but as always, there are some solid exceptions, Lykathea Aflame's Elvenefris is a brutal death metal album (with amazing drumming) with great lyrics about finding our inner selves, helping others and generally being happy (I'm being completely serious) and August Burns Red (a Christian metalcore band) pens great hymns about their positive beliefs in a not preachy, condescending way. In both cases you can't understand a word they're saying but looking up the lyrics really enhances the overall feel of the music.

In any case, I love singing along so I almost always look up the lyrics to all the music I enjoy.
__________________
you inspire the ugliest things
drum vids-->http://www.youtube.com/user/Lastdragonrider88
Reply With Quote
  #80  
Old 06-29-2011, 08:32 AM
BassDriver's Avatar
BassDriver BassDriver is offline
Silver Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Australia
Posts: 726
Default Re: How much do lyrics matter to you?

It is interesting to find out what you think about listening to music with lyrics in a different language.

Quote:
they are very lord of the rings in their lyrics though ( *edit* listen to the vocal line in that song and tell me it wouldn't work just as well with an instrument playing the vocal melody line instead of having words.. that is what i'm getting at with interesting melody being what I first listen to .. )
Many folk metal bands are similar to that...

...but I really enjoy the whole atmosphere of epicness in folk metal even if the lyrics are cheezy...

...like this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fyvPe...eature=related

So really one of the best ways to listen to music is to be immersed in the whole thing...maximum enjoyment.

...lyrics are still important but they are just one small thing in a songwriters toolbox.

There are still songs that will send a chill down my spine if I listen to them again, they can be instrumental or they can have lyrics.
__________________
Check out some of my drumming on my youtube channel:http://www.youtube.com/user/Drumosity
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are Off
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off




All times are GMT +2. The time now is 07:57 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.0
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Bernhard Castiglioni's DRUMMERWORLD.com