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  #41  
Old 02-18-2015, 10:20 PM
KamaK KamaK is offline
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Default Re: Does playing covers change you?

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Originally Posted by larryace View Post
I never understood why covers and originals are automatically divided into separate categories.
When you write a song, do you hold it in the same regard as the other songs you have heard? My hope is that the answer is "no", though I'd be willing to entertain the Andy Warhol notion of "yes".
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Old 02-18-2015, 10:39 PM
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Default Re: Does playing covers change you?

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When you write a song, do you hold it in the same regard as the other songs you have heard?
No, mine are much worse. I'd be thrilled if they were just on par. But yea, no.

Sure, the handful of songs I wrote are more personal to me. But they really do suck in relation to the big picture. As far as holding them in the same regard as other songs, if I felt my songs were on par, (which they're not) that's about the best I could hope for. In music there is no better or worse, just different.

I am thankful for all the people who suffer to get their original music out there.

I feel lucky just being able to play at a passable level. I just don't have what it takes to be a full time musician in today's scene. I would hate to go to gigs wearing headphones and reading music while following a click. I really don't think I could get into that special zone I chase doing that. I'd rather do electrical work. As it is now, I am hired for my particular brand of drumming, not how good I can follow a click or read a chart. That's my ideal scenario. I satisfy pretty easily though and am not driven like most other people.

I just want the fun part lol. I work hard enough during the day. At night I want to release and get to that zone I love, not be a slave to a robotic ticking. That's the day I'm out of there. Not talking about anything in the studio. I'm talking live performance, the entire reason I devote the time I do to drums.

I really detest sequences and backing tracks when I see a live band. It's a huge turn off for me. It's like doing a live YT cover, no thanks. I want real music the old fashioned way, played by players who can really extract emotion from their instrument.
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  #43  
Old 02-18-2015, 11:39 PM
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Default Re: Does playing covers change you?

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When you write a song, do you hold it in the same regard as the other songs you have heard? My hope is that the answer is "no", though I'd be willing to entertain the Andy Warhol notion of "yes".
Funny you ask...

Years ago I played regularly at a local music club. I wrote my own songs, which were basically slightly off-colour stand up humour set to acoustic blues backing. (12 bar key of E, I love you!).

This weekend I'll be playing some of them in public for the first time in several years, which means I've needed to re-learn them. And I find myself thinking "Hey, these are OK!".

On a related note, last night while I was rehearsing them, my 11 yo son wandered into the music room and sat at the drum kit and started playing along. I was proud, impressed and delighted in equal measure (50% of each). He played appropriate grooves and fills to all my songs!

Do I hold my songs in the same regard as those of Paul Simon, Sting or Mark Knopfler? No. But I will play them in public with no sense of embarrassment. (Which, given the lyrical content would doubtless surprise many!)

Why do people distinguish between originals and covers? It's a different mindset. While I acknowledge that creating new music is more difficult than re-creating an existing song, listening to original music requires more effort on the part of the listener.
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  #44  
Old 02-18-2015, 11:44 PM
KamaK KamaK is offline
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Default Re: Does playing covers change you?

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Why do people distinguish between originals and covers? It's a different mindset. While I acknowledge that creating new music is more difficult than re-creating an existing song, listening to original music requires more effort on the part of the listener.
Indeed.

I have a friend who is a painter. In between gallery shows, he paints houses to make ends meet. For me, there is a parallel to be drawn.

When I was a teenager in Vermont, I could either hike the Appalachian trail, or just pick a mountain an go climb it. The latter was infinitely more interesting to me, and far more gratifying.

Writing, composing, orchestrating, arranging, and performing original music has always been special to me. I can't quite explain it. It's courageous. It's a contribution to something greater. Hard to explain.

Remember to record the performance, I'd love to hear it.
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  #45  
Old 02-21-2015, 02:22 AM
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Default Re: Does playing covers change you?

Had a piano player room mate that after 6 mos on the Holiday Inn top 40 circuit, stood on the roof of one in Reno and thought about jumping.

Yeah,it changes you.
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  #46  
Old 02-21-2015, 04:29 AM
AudioWonderland AudioWonderland is offline
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Default Re: Does playing covers change you?

Playing covers saps your will to live. ....
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  #47  
Old 02-21-2015, 05:14 AM
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Default Re: Does playing covers change you?

Lemme just add my two cents on a serious note. I don't prefer playing cover songs, but I will to keep my chops up. And I do. I don't think playing covers has changed me in any negative way. I know a few more beats that I wouldn't know otherwise if it wasn't for me playing in cover bands.
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  #48  
Old 02-22-2015, 02:00 AM
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Aeolian Aeolian is offline
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Default Re: Does playing covers change you?

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Originally Posted by larryace View Post
No, mine are much worse. I'd be thrilled if they were just on par. But yea, no.

Sure, the handful of songs I wrote are more personal to me. But they really do suck in relation to the big picture. As far as holding them in the same regard as other songs, if I felt my songs were on par, (which they're not) that's about the best I could hope for. In music there is no better or worse, just different.

I am thankful for all the people who suffer to get their original music out there.

I feel lucky just being able to play at a passable level. I just don't have what it takes to be a full time musician in today's scene. I would hate to go to gigs wearing headphones and reading music while following a click. I really don't think I could get into that special zone I chase doing that. I'd rather do electrical work. As it is now, I am hired for my particular brand of drumming, not how good I can follow a click or read a chart. That's my ideal scenario. I satisfy pretty easily though and am not driven like most other people.

I just want the fun part lol. I work hard enough during the day. At night I want to release and get to that zone I love, not be a slave to a robotic ticking. That's the day I'm out of there. Not talking about anything in the studio. I'm talking live performance, the entire reason I devote the time I do to drums.

I really detest sequences and backing tracks when I see a live band. It's a huge turn off for me. It's like doing a live YT cover, no thanks. I want real music the old fashioned way, played by players who can really extract emotion from their instrument.
But Larry, there are folks who can have a click and backing tracks going and still play with fire and emotion. It's hard. The folks I know who can do it are the cream of local players. But like you, I recognize that they are at a higher level than I'm likely to ever achieve in my lifetime.

I do play with cover bands though. The stretch and expansion of vocabulary is interesting to me. I could play the same comfortable thing all day long but I think that the challenge of channeling something new is the only way I'm going to get better. I'm not the kind of person who's going to transcribe every lick and hit, but even just trying to get the vibe and essence of all these different kinds of music is forcing me to do things that are both hard and that bring more to the kind of stuff I'm more comfortable with. Next Saturday's gig is a sort of backline for a singer's showcase. Country, Americana, blues, R&B, classic rock. I will endeavor to sound authentic in each genre. After years of playing Texas shuffles, I now find myself having to learn to groove a rock shuffle. Try going from Hideaway to The Boy's Are Back In Town. Completely different things if you try to get them right. Particularly the hi-hat barks in the Thin Lizzy tune.
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  #49  
Old 02-22-2015, 12:10 PM
mikel mikel is offline
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Default Re: Does playing covers change you?

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Originally Posted by AudioWonderland View Post
Playing covers saps your will to live. ....
Depends. If it were in a tribute band and the covers had to be as the original, then possibly.

We do covers but make them our own. I take the essence of the song and put my own stamp on it. I can still take something from the original drumming and learn something from, it but it ends up as my take on the music.

As a band we all do that, so the audience recognise the song but hopefully enjoy a new slant on it. That keeps the creative juices flowing.
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  #50  
Old 02-22-2015, 03:09 PM
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Default Re: Does playing covers change you?

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Originally Posted by AudioWonderland View Post
Playing covers saps your will to live. ....
If you didn't like the songs - yeah probably.

I hate that "all about that bass song".. I realized when we had to play it 2 or 3 times in one night. If I felt that way about every song I'd throw in the towel.

I feel like I'm going great guns at the moment. I got a few technique lessons from Kroy (he's on here) and it came at the perfect time, playing simple money beats all night was a great setting for me to home those skills. I'm not totally there yet but I'm able to angle the sticks, squeeze the fulcrum properly and that's given me so much control and ability to play things deliberately - not just throw the stick and hope my muscle memory will save me.

Also I am a bit of a double bass player but I opted not to take my double pedals to these shows - 1- because it's a bit unprofessional somehow, and 2- because I don't like carrying extra gear. My single foot doubles are powerful for the first time in my life. The guys get me to play a couple of solos each night.

And for me, the professional setting really improves me as a drummer - knowing it's your job and you have to nail it really sorts the chops you own from the stuff you play in your bedroom. When you play a lick you want to make sure the accents project and your dynamic carry across the venue - so if you're going to attempt something tricky you need to have mastered it.

I know this stuff didn't all stem from your comment, I've just been noticing some great changes and I wanted to ramble about them. This is an excellent opportunity for me to grow.
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  #51  
Old 02-22-2015, 04:00 PM
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larryace larryace is offline
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Default Re: Does playing covers change you?

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Originally Posted by Aeolian View Post
But Larry, there are folks who can have a click and backing tracks going and still play with fire and emotion.
No doubt. I'm not implying for one second that musicians can't have fire and emotion to a click. But, however great they do it...and no matter how you slice it....the musicians hands are tied when it comes to playing with the time. The time doesn't have a human element, it's beat perfect. No elasticity. And that is a huge loss in my eyes. Imagine Miles Davis to a click. To me the idea of that is laughable.

There's something missing. A great musician's imperfections are interesting to me. I'm sorry but I don't want perfect. I want human.

But it's all OK because no one is asking me to play to a click live. Let everybody else do it is my stance, they can have it.

I don't feel that way about a click in a studio situation.
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  #52  
Old 02-22-2015, 04:39 PM
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Default Re: Does playing covers change you?

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Originally Posted by larryace View Post
No doubt. I'm not implying for one second that musicians can't have fire and emotion to a click. But, however great they do it...and no matter how you slice it....the musicians hands are tied when it comes to playing with the time. The time doesn't have a human element, it's beat perfect. No elasticity. And that is a huge loss in my eyes. Imagine Miles Davis to a click. To me the idea of that is laughable.

There's something missing. A great musician's imperfections are interesting to me. I'm sorry but I don't want perfect. I want human.

But it's all OK because no one is asking me to play to a click live. Let everybody else do it is my stance, they can have it.

I don't feel that way about a click in a studio situation.
With you on that. Max Roach said that time, in music, needs to be elastic, its more natural and human that way.

There are a few studio recording that I love, but when the excitement in the music starts to rise they feel like they are dragging, they arent, the click controled time is perfect, but they sound like they are dragging cos, to me at least, they need to push slightly. Probably just me.

listen to a concert orchestra and they push the time when the music demands it.
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  #53  
Old 02-22-2015, 04:52 PM
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Default Re: Does playing covers change you?

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With you on that. Max Roach said that time, in music, needs to be elastic, its more natural and human that way.

There are a few studio recording that I love, but when the excitement in the music starts to rise they feel like they are dragging, they arent, the click controled time is perfect, but they sound like they are dragging cos, to me at least, they need to push slightly. Probably just me.

listen to a concert orchestra and they push the time when the music demands it.
I'm with you. I definitely push solos ever so slightly. So do the soloists themselves usually. It's natural. And it feels good to settle back into the non-pushed groove when it comes time to go back into a verse or chorus. Like, "that lead was exhilarating".

The ritard....what are you supposed to do with that with a click? Click-less is where the human musical mastery of time comes in, the stretching of that time to produce desired musical effects, often resulting in human emotion. The second a click is introduced, all those possibilities are neutralized. To me it's the difference between marching and free form dancing.
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  #54  
Old 02-22-2015, 06:16 PM
DPTrainor DPTrainor is offline
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Default Re: Does playing covers change you?

Wouldn't playing to a click in Live setting affect the human time elasticity and purposeful breathing of the music?
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  #55  
Old 02-22-2015, 11:07 PM
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Wouldn't playing to a click in Live setting affect the human time elasticity and purposeful breathing of the music?
Affect it? I'm pretty sure a click eliminates any elasticity completely....provided the members stayed with the click.

It's not a terrible thing at all, hearing music perfectly steady from front to back....but I prefer human time, played by humans who have a good sense of tempo and meter.
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  #56  
Old 02-22-2015, 11:34 PM
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Default Re: Does playing covers change you?

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In my youth (and ignorance) I played original metal and hard rock with friends. We thought we were pure and undiluted, unlike the tripe that was popular at the time. I had a watershed moment and realized if I truly wanted to express my passion in life of being on stage and making people dance, then I was going to have to change my style, my perception and my attitude.

That was over 20 years ago. I've been playing the weekend warrior in cover bands ever since. I get paid pretty well to have fun and live my "dream" LOL

Those guys are still in their mom's basement trying to write the next brootal riff that no one will ever hear. More power to 'em, but I want to have fun. I've played Brown Eyed Girl 300 times. I detest it off stage. When there is 20-30 girls dancing or I see that a slightly older couple gets up and comes out for this classic, it's all worth it and I play my guts out on it and every other tune I am sick of. This is why I accept the life of a club musician.

My motto is: I play for free. I get paid to show up. Music and entertainment above all else. And 2&4 can be highly rewarding to play.
I'm the opposite.

I played tons of cover bands. At once point I was playing with one cover band 3 times a week and picking up other gigs here and there on the days I wasn't playing. I got to the point where I realized this is why I spent so much time I learning to play drums.

So I moved to LA, joined an original band, and started showcasing in front of every record company in existence.

And even today, while any thoughts of being a rock star are over a decade behind me, and I have nothing against playing covers, I still prefer trying to write original tunes, even if they don't appeal to anyone but me.
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  #57  
Old 02-22-2015, 11:40 PM
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Default Re: Does playing covers change you?

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Originally Posted by MikeM View Post
Sometimes I feel like the poster boy for originals-only bands.
And it's what I like about you.

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Originally Posted by KamaK View Post
I have a friend who is a painter. In between gallery shows, he paints houses to make ends meet. For me, there is a parallel to be drawn.
It can be if you have to play songs you don't like.

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Originally Posted by DPTrainor View Post
Wouldn't playing to a click in Live setting affect the human time elasticity and purposeful breathing of the music?
Depends on the music. In music like Nine Inch Nails, the drumming isn't supposed to breath. In much modern dance music, elasticity is counter productive to the point. While in a blues band or a 60's era cover band, I'd agree with you.
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