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  #1  
Old 01-23-2013, 08:20 PM
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inneedofgrace inneedofgrace is offline
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Default Does the term "unplugged" make you nervous?

Does "unplugged" mean "no drummer needed"? It seems there was a big push for unplugged concerts back in the 1990s, but I'm not sure it is as popular today.

I've done a couple unplugged type accoustic sets with one of my bands. I stand up front, play shakers and tamborine, and sing. It's actually pretty refreshing.

I've seen bands play unplugged where the drummer comes out front and has only a snare and one cymbal, sometimes playing with brushes. The sound fits certain songs well. Others, like traditional rockers, do not sound good played unplugged.

What's your take on "unplugged"?
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Old 01-23-2013, 08:28 PM
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Default Re: Does the term "unplugged" make you nervous?

Doesn't make me nervous, but it doesn't tell me much about how the gig will go down.

I've done a couple of acoustic sets and played at a friends church once and all I used was a djembe, tambourine and a shaker. Worked out pretty well.

I saw an VH1 Unplugged with Train. The drummer had a bass, snare and floor tom with hats, a ride and 1 crash (I think). The whole concert was mellow and had that all acoustic vibe but the drums made the whole show sound great. He just played quietly and it worked really well.

I just prefer the music we play to be amplified. There's nothing like that feeling when the guitars come up, the PA is cranked, the music is about to start and I stick my foot in that bass drum a couple of times. Boom. I love it.
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Old 01-23-2013, 08:41 PM
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Default Re: Does the term "unplugged" make you nervous?

I love those gigs. Quiet-er playing can be very expressive. I usually do as you mention, very small kit, brushes or maybe rods if I can get away with it. Otherwise, the cajon fits the bill better than anything else. Might use a tone block or shaker if I see a need for a song.
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Old 01-23-2013, 08:57 PM
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Default Re: Does the term "unplugged" make you nervous?

To me, it means I can get creative.

depends on the instrument though.
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Old 01-23-2013, 09:52 PM
Otto Otto is offline
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Default Re: Does the term "unplugged" make you nervous?

To me it says "Marketing Tool"

...especially since that term has been so over used.

I think it is really saying that listeners want a wider dynamic range in their music as well as between songs...something lost in most popular music....which is more like a mono-chromatic wall of sound that gets fatiguing after a few listens.
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Old 01-23-2013, 10:20 PM
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Default Re: Does the term "unplugged" make you nervous?

Drums and percussion are by nature 'unplugged' so the term (to me) is basically a threat to the elec guitars and basses.
Good drumming can be done at all dynamic ranges, so playing quiet with the right touch can be just as demanding as playing hard or fast.
A blanketed bass drum and snare with brushes can go right along with those acoustic guitar diddlies.
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Old 01-23-2013, 10:21 PM
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Default Re: Does the term "unplugged" make you nervous?

I play acoustic drumkits in venues with acoustic pianos, acoustic basses, saxophones, trumpets etc all the time. Sometimes there is a guitarist with a small amp. Unplugged makes
me smile!
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Old 01-23-2013, 10:56 PM
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Default Re: Does the term "unplugged" make you nervous?

Remember the big band sound from the 30s and 40s they were all unplugged except for the singer.and maybe a guitar
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Old 01-23-2013, 11:04 PM
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Default Re: Does the term "unplugged" make you nervous?

Quote:
Originally Posted by inneedofgrace View Post
What's your take on "unplugged"?
On behalf of Pollyanna... :)

...
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Old 01-23-2013, 11:06 PM
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Default Re: Does the term "unplugged" make you nervous?

Hell, I've played a gazillion unplugged gigs... Well, I guess the upright bass player did have a tiny mic and amp set up.

Though I play more plugged than unplugged gigs these days, my drums are almost 100% of the time unplugged / unmic'd. Thankfully we play small clubs and not too loud.
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Old 01-24-2013, 12:53 AM
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Default Re: Does the term "unplugged" make you nervous?

Can't really call them "acoustic" or "unplugged", can we? Usually even the acoustic guitars plug in or are miked these days.

I have played a lot of smaller clubs and coffeehouses where low volume, acoustic-style music was the norm, and others where I ended up taking percussion rather than drums. In my mind, those are sometimes more fun than drumming (heresy!) -- instead of being the underpinning and bedrock of the song, you get to be a more spontaneous and organic part of the music. If you are playing drums and you miss a snare hit, it sounds like a gaffe and everyone notices; if you're playing congas and you miss one note in the pattern, it's not as noticeable.

I'll bring some 3/4 size congas, a cajon, a bunch of shakers, some bells and blocks and claves and whatever else fits in the bag of toys to one of these gigs. They are some of the best times. Recently I've done a lot of Latin gigs with a pair of lady friends of mine who sing and play guitars, and they always end up as awesome crazy wine and salsa dancing parties =)
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Old 01-24-2013, 01:00 AM
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Default Re: Does the term "unplugged" make you nervous?

Thanks Henri - you're a good agent :)

I enjoy playing unplugged - snare & hat & brushes and bongos. Last year at a party due to a chest injury I was reduced to playing maraca with my left hand and really enjoyed it.

Al, we're opposite - you're backing up women and I'm backing up men :) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OUTkrfP0nXY
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