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  #1  
Old 03-07-2015, 11:25 AM
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Default Who has to play to a click or backing track live?

I'm just Mr. Curious.

How do you like it? Do you prefer it? Do you have to wear headphones? Do you feel restrained at all? I never did it. Not even once! A looper is the closest I've come. So do your mates hear what you do? Feel free to bitch about it or sing it's praises, I just don't know what it's like.
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  #2  
Old 03-07-2015, 11:30 AM
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Default Re: Who has to play to a click or backing track live?

I've only had to do it once Larry, & I'd prefer not to do it again if possible. The reason was integration of visuals, together with a lot of programmed keyboard arpeggio stuff. I can do it, but I feel stiff in that setting. Not enjoyable, & as it's not putting food on the table, I'll leave it to others.
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Old 03-07-2015, 01:47 PM
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Default Re: Who has to play to a click or backing track live?

I've been playing to a click for over 25 years. I actually feel freed up when the click goes on. It's like: "My buddy with the cowbell is has perfect time so I just play along with him".

It's much harder when the other musicians are less mature and just go off on their own. I remember an extreme case where I had to take the cans off because the bassist's time was so bad and he refused to listen to the rest of the band. (He played "by feel", gotta love that one).

Live I don't do it much anymore because I don't have to. The bands I'm in right now have solid musicians and there are no sequencers.
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  #4  
Old 03-07-2015, 02:52 PM
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Default Re: Who has to play to a click or backing track live?

I've done it a fair bit live and of course pretty much all the time recording. I really enjoy it I must say. The point that has already been made about the standard of the musicianship around the band is crucial.

I depped in a band last year where they had backing tracks that we had to play to. To be honest it made fundamentally dull material much more interesting to me.

Very often I will trigger loops of some kind via my Roland SPD-SX and that's cool. I may have a loop for the verse that I have to cancel for the chorus and trigger it back for the next verse. Sometimes I have done it without a click to see how accurate the time is when I come back... very interesting! Usually I use a shaker-click to just make it easier.
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Old 03-07-2015, 03:49 PM
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Default Re: Who has to play to a click or backing track live?

I'm doing it on a weekly basis now. We have backing tracks (keys, b/u vocals, some guitar) and click recorded on a dvd which I start and stop for each song. The dvd outs go into my mixer, then out to the stage mixer and foh mixer. I have click in one ear and tracks in the other, so I can balance how much of each I want. I use Shure in-ear monitors.

I've been doing this for a little over a year now. It took me about a week to get comfortable with it. It's really not that much different than how I learned/practiced growing up ... playing along to my stereo with headphones on.
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  #6  
Old 03-07-2015, 06:06 PM
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Default Re: Who has to play to a click or backing track live?

I don't think I've ever had a click or track running with my local bands, they just don't play music that demands it. but with Al, the ability to play to a 'click' (and keep the band synched to a video) is probably the most important aspect of what I do. I've been playing to various clicks over the last 30 years, including a drum machine blaring through a monitor. Headphones became a necessity early on, and I still love my UltraPhones, although I've promised our audio guy that I'd look into the new Extreme Isolation phones, primarily because they have a higher output than mine (although I didn't like the fidelity when I tried them a few years ago.)

What I hear is crucial to the success of working with a click. I don't need - or want - to hear a 'nice' mix of the song, because the click is more easily masked when everything's going on. I have a very 'need to know', minimal mix. I have the click panned to one side with the kick & snare in the center, so I can better hear each. (If they were both in the center, they both become harder to hear, and a volume war begins... a war that cannot be won without hearing damage.)

The particular click I hear varies, although it's rarely just an actual 'click' sound. It may be a programmed drum loop, or my actual drum part, or a percussion part... it's easiest to play with another 'drummer'. It all depends on what I need for the song in question.

As for playing with or without a click or track, I have no preference. It's just part of being a drummer, I'm perfectly comfortable either way.

Bermuda
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  #7  
Old 03-07-2015, 06:46 PM
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Default Re: Who has to play to a click or backing track live?

In the studio, everyone in my band gets the click. We lock in and never stray, which is awesome. I really like it, to be honest.

Live, I use a metronome on my phone to count songs off (by looking at the blinking lights), but then we're off. I will absolutely look down and check from time-to-time and sometimes we're still on perfectly and other times we're not. When we're not, I find myself pushing and pulling to get us back on. I don't like that. It's not fun and I'm guessing you can maybe hear it in my playing, not sure.
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  #8  
Old 03-07-2015, 06:59 PM
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Default Re: Who has to play to a click or backing track live?

My new band recently started incorporating backing tracks, and therefore we also use a click. I've used IEM's for a while now, so that's no longer something I'm getting used to.

I don't prefer it, however when we come up with a new song, I usually play along to a click (before any backing track parts are created) just to solidify the tempo, and internalize it. Once I'm confident I can count the song off within 3-4 bpm of the actual tempo, I'll stop playing to the click and make notes of where the we naturally push and pull, and try to incorporate that into the final tempo track when we demo.

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  #9  
Old 03-07-2015, 07:04 PM
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Default Re: Who has to play to a click or backing track live?

I play with click live all of the time. The guitar players are using lots of delays, lopping and other fancy stuff, so I need to. I'm the only one that hears the click from the band member and I can say that the band sounds tighter. I'm so used to it at this point and that I can play around it and even ignore it when I need to. If you hear us live, you won't guess that I'm using it. Like I'm still able to keep the natural flow in a way. Or at least I think so lol. I could be wrong.

Here is an small example:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I2brtFM5g1U
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  #10  
Old 03-07-2015, 10:58 PM
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Default Re: Who has to play to a click or backing track live?

We put a click through the PA when we practice all the time. At a show, we never play to a clicker, though. We all notice how much more energy a song has when everyone isn't slaved to a literally perfect sense of time, which I feel is not something the human brain needs to hear.

A lot of this depends on the type of music we're playing, too. Larry, you play blues, so a click, especially live would be pretty lame and damn near blues sacrilege. I play lots of up-tempo punk and "hard" 90's style rock, and having it too perfect ruins some of the effect.
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  #11  
Old 03-08-2015, 12:19 AM
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Default Re: Who has to play to a click or backing track live?

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Originally Posted by Dr_Watso View Post
...We all notice how much more energy a song has when everyone isn't slaved to a literally perfect sense of time, which I feel is not something the human brain needs to hear...
I agree with ya totally, but my singer is a lost cause when it comes to that.
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  #12  
Old 03-08-2015, 12:23 AM
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Default Re: Who has to play to a click or backing track live?

I don't want to be in a band that plays to a click live TBH.

That's not why I practice. Perfect time doesn't excite me.
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  #13  
Old 03-08-2015, 12:46 AM
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Default Re: Who has to play to a click or backing track live?

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Originally Posted by larryace View Post
I don't want to be in a band that plays to a click live TBH.

That's not why I practice. Perfect time doesn't excite me.
Perfect time can be very exciting, it's what we strived for back in the day!

But that's not the only reason a click is used. I would venture to say that the majority of click use is to sync to a track of some kind (percussion, horns, etc.) where having people to play those parts is problematic in terms of space, pay, mixing.

It's hard for me to imagine anyone being so against working with a click, that they would turn down work.

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  #14  
Old 03-08-2015, 12:51 AM
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Default Re: Who has to play to a click or backing track live?

In many bands, since the late 90's.

Clicks, playing to sequencers, backing tracks, I've done it all.

I've done it enough live in enough different bands, it's like second nature to me.

Among the guys I know who are hired gun touring drummers, playing to click live is requirement near 100% of the time.
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  #15  
Old 03-08-2015, 12:54 AM
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Default Re: Who has to play to a click or backing track live?

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Originally Posted by bermuda View Post
Perfect time can be very exciting, it's what we strived for back in the day!

But that's not the only reason a click is used. I would venture to say that the majority of click use is to sync to a track of some kind (percussion, horns, etc.) where having people to play those parts is problematic in terms of space, pay, mixing.

It's hard for me to imagine anyone being so against working with a click, that they would turn down work.

Bermuda
If I made my living from drums that would be a whole different case. But since I don't, I get to pick and choose what I want or don't want to do. I like practicing to a click, but playing live to one? Not even remotely interested. I'll pass. Recording with a click for some reason doesn't bother me, because it is making a product. A live show to me is where raw musical ability is featured. I would never survive being a professional in today's climate. I give you guys so much credit and respect, even if I don't care to do it myself. Personally Jon, I don't know how you travel all over the world and play in different countries. I would fall over after 2 weeks. So much respect.

At heart I am a pre-digital age musician to the core. Quantifying music...IMO, is the beginning of a whole new phase of music that I don't particularly care for. I prefer non quantified music by an enormous margin over anything quantified. No contest.

Being a drummer...to me is ALL about being in control and leading the time and allowing the human element...flaws if you will...to humanize the music. Not following absolute perfection. That's like painting Mona Lisa to a grid.

I'm not looking for agreement, or trying to change minds, or downing anyone, I'm just stating my own personal view. I know that time is everyone's responsibility, but in the end? The drummer has the most power over the time, by a big margin. He has the final decision.

So in my head, the time is friggin mine, and that's why I drum. Take my time control away and it becomes a job for me. I really don't want to think of drumming as work. If a band wants machine led time....they would be better off with someone who has no problems with it lol. But I have that luxury.
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  #16  
Old 03-08-2015, 04:53 AM
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Default Re: Who has to play to a click or backing track live?

Quote:
Originally Posted by larryace View Post
So in my head, the time is friggin mine, and that's why I drum. Take my time control away and it becomes a job for me. I really don't want to think of drumming as work. If a band wants machine led time....they would be better off with someone who has no problems with it lol. But I have that luxury.
It's a nice luxury to have. I enjoy the gigs I do without click, just as much as my primary affiliation (where I'm with a click about 75% of the time.) In terms of my playing, I don't discern between the two... it's all good.

I suspect the type of click also has something to do with your aversion to it. I'll admit that I really dislike the "tock tick tock tick" of a standard metronome, I guess because it's just no fun. A drum or percussion loop makes a world of difference, and locking-in is easy and enjoyable when there's a tight, solid 'drummer' inside your brain. It's very Zen, just like a great groove should be.

That said, not every drummer should be required to play to a click if they don't want to (and don't mind perhaps losing a gig,) and not every genre demands, or would benefit from a click. There's enough of each to go around... I happen to like doing both.

Bermuda

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  #17  
Old 03-08-2015, 04:57 AM
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Default Re: Who has to play to a click or backing track live?

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Originally Posted by larryace View Post

How do you like it? Do you prefer it? Do you have to wear headphones? Do you feel restrained at all? I never did it. Not even once! A looper is the closest I've come. So do your mates hear what you do? Feel free to bitch about it or sing it's praises, I just don't know what it's like.
I do backing tracks 99% of the time in two bands and I have a love/hate relationship with the machine (SPD-SX)

I don't wear headphones. The whole band needs to hear the tracks in order to stay on track.

I don't feel restrained but I certainly feel the pressure to focus.

Generally, I don't prefer it. Playing with a talented keyboard player and horn section would be WAY WAY easier. When I do play with a full band, it seems almost impossible to noticeably screw up.

The praises?

1) It allows 3 of us us to play 4 and 5 piece music.

2) It gives me more to do since I trigger the track segments.

3) It has taught me to write and understand music much more than I ever have.

4) I have to assume that it has helped my tempo ability as well as the bandmates because we have to keep up with perfect tempo while the tracks are playing and we have to be close between segments when it's not playing.



The problems?

1) When I forget or mistrigger a segment, I feel really really bad because it kind of leaves us hanging. If it's a quick loop, I can quickly recover. If it's a 30 second segment, it rather apparent that something is lacking.

2) The added pressure (when gigging) takes some of the fun out of it for me unless the performance is flawless.




As far as playing with a click live? I'm not sure I could do it if no one else could hear it. When someone strays off tempo, I have a tendency to follow them and, within a few seconds, I'm not sure if we ahead or behind. With the backing tracks, at least everyone can hear them, even though they are in the background.
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Old 03-08-2015, 05:16 AM
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Default Re: Who has to play to a click or backing track live?

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Originally Posted by bermuda View Post

I suspect the type of click also has something to do with your aversion to it.

Bermuda
The sound of the click is a non issue, the perfection of it all is my issue.

I'd love to hear someone adjust Stairway to Heaven so the whole thing is at the starting tempo. It wouldn't be nearly the same track. Perfectly even does not move me. It's the little...and sometimes large imperfections that make it interesting.

I do have an aversion to clicks live, even being an audience member. Live music is the last bastion of raw musicianship and it's being systematically diluted of it's humanity.

In any other situation, like recording or home practice, even rehearsals to help come together as a unit it's a great tool, but yea not live. I don't like backing tracks live either. It's watering down the experience, and no one seems to care because people will lap up anything you put in front of them.

Dammit I want to see all the music created right there in front of me by good musicians doing the best they can, with their own sense of time, not a digital clock's sense of time.
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  #19  
Old 03-08-2015, 05:24 AM
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Default Re: Who has to play to a click or backing track live?

Re: Do you feel restrained at all?

No, in way, it's actually freeing. I don't have to worry about keeping time, I can concentrate on playing.

There is no worry about if the bass player is rushing or if someone is dragging. They have to play to the backing tracks, and they know they have no choice but to play to me to do it.

No debates about if the song feels slower or faster, no debates about who's leading on stage.

I have the click, follow me or else.

Last edited by DrumEatDrum; 03-08-2015 at 05:59 AM.
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Old 03-08-2015, 06:26 AM
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Default Re: Who has to play to a click or backing track live?

For recording, I prefer playing with a click just because you can concentrate on the performance, and have the time taken care of by following the click.

Live, I play music for fun, and love having audiences react and feeling the music. I could play with a click live, but I'd really prefer not to just because I like that live feel and experience.
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  #21  
Old 03-08-2015, 06:33 AM
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Default Re: Who has to play to a click or backing track live?

Quote:
Originally Posted by larryace View Post
The sound of the click is a non issue, the perfection of it all is my issue.

I'd love to hear someone adjust Stairway to Heaven so the whole thing is at the starting tempo. It wouldn't be nearly the same track. Perfectly even does not move me. It's the little...and sometimes large imperfections that make it interesting.
As I said, not everything needs or benefits from a click. Funny you'd mention Led Zep though, Bonham's time was regarded as so profound, yet it wasn't that good (he rushed fills a lot.) It was fine, but perhaps only he and Keith Moon could get away with timing issues and have it work out in the end.

Quote:
I do have an aversion to clicks live, even being an audience member. Live music is the last bastion of raw musicianship and it's being systematically diluted of it's humanity.
Any dilution is not the result of a click, that's a separate topic that maybe deserves its own thread.

Quote:
Dammit I want to see all the music created right there in front of me by good musicians doing the best they can, with their own sense of time, not a digital clock's sense of time.
I like creative, enjoyable music that's played well, but I don't insist that it be done or not be done in a certain manner. If it sounds good to me, that's good enough. As a result, I get to enjoy a lot of music.

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Old 03-08-2015, 07:02 AM
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Default Re: Who has to play to a click or backing track live?

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Originally Posted by larryace View Post

So in my head, the time is friggin mine, and that's why I drum.

In my head, the song is ours. Music is a team sport and time is time.

And, I doubt than anyone can tell if a band was playing flawlessly in time. I don't hear tempo variations in older music until I put them to a click when learning them or writing parts to cover them.

When I came back to drumming a few years ago, someone asked if we we played with a click and my response was, " we don't want to be robots". In retrospect, I was being short sighted. I was a huge learning experience for me.

I don't see how aiming for perfection can ever be a bad thing.
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Old 03-08-2015, 08:46 AM
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Default Re: Who has to play to a click or backing track live?

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I don't see how aiming for perfection can ever be a bad thing.
It wasn't long ago that we had the ultimate respect for drummers who kept great time and sounded tight doing it. Funny how, since the advent of absolute perfection in production, musicians are demonstrating a backlash to it.

That's not limited to just Larry's perspective, I occasionally hear it elsewhere and from non-drummers as well. I don't worry about it though, I've got it covered either way. :)

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  #24  
Old 03-08-2015, 08:58 AM
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Default Re: Who has to play to a click or backing track live?

God, the modern perception of music is such garbage. Just practice hard and play.
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  #25  
Old 03-08-2015, 09:36 AM
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Default Re: Who has to play to a click or backing track live?

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Originally Posted by larryace View Post
The sound of the click is a non issue, the perfection of it all is my issue.

I'd love to hear someone adjust Stairway to Heaven so the whole thing is at the starting tempo. It wouldn't be nearly the same track. Perfectly even does not move me. It's the little...and sometimes large imperfections that make it interesting.

I do have an aversion to clicks live, even being an audience member. Live music is the last bastion of raw musicianship and it's being systematically diluted of it's humanity.
Perhaps.

Of course, some people prefer the diluted humanity.

Trying listening to power noise music for 5 seconds, and then realize some people actually find that entertaining, and well, you'll want some aspirin.

The thing is Larry, you basically play one genre, and play it better than most of us. A live click doesn't suit the bands you play in. You shouldn't play with a click live.

But if you open your mind to others forms of music, and find that there can be beauty in things that at first doesn't sound right, and that in certain situations a click live, backing tracks and the whole 9 yards actually works and is preferable for that situation.

The first time I played like with a click, I didn't want to, but I got through it. The first time I was prepping to play with backing tracks, it felt like I was going through a mid-life crisis (never mind I was still 20-something at the time). But like anything else new, you do it a few times and then it's just second nature.

Much like a certain cymbal might work in one kind of band but not in another, the genre of music, and the sound the band as a whole is going for is what dictates if backing tracks make any sense or not.

You generally don't play blast beats at a jazz kit, you generally don't play brushes at a power metal gig, you generally don't use a click on a blues trio gig, and you generally don't want tempo fluctuations wit-in a song on a synth gig.

So you go with what is appropriate for the music at hand without making too many general overall statements and trying to apply them to all forms of music.
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Old 03-08-2015, 10:43 AM
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Default Re: Who has to play to a click or backing track live?

Believe it or not I played along with a few regular songs on a CD and people seemed to like it. I'm trying it out on the street some more. It's like people don't even care that there is no band there, they just want to see a drummer. And it's just a regular CD, not drumless backing tracks.
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  #27  
Old 03-08-2015, 04:08 PM
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Default Re: Who has to play to a click or backing track live?

Quote:
Originally Posted by larryace View Post
The sound of the click is a non issue, the perfection of it all is my issue.

I'd love to hear someone adjust Stairway to Heaven so the whole thing is at the starting tempo. It wouldn't be nearly the same track. Perfectly even does not move me. It's the little...and sometimes large imperfections that make it interesting.

I do have an aversion to clicks live, even being an audience member. Live music is the last bastion of raw musicianship and it's being systematically diluted of it's humanity.
Remember that a human programs the sequencer. There is the potential for emotive creation (art) in that.

In a blues band, a click would be heinous. In a death metal band like Nile where they are all playing at 270 BPM, it becomes a must. Or in a band that uses sequences, or video.

Rush, the band that started many of us, including me, drumming has been using sequencers live for decades. I have never found a song like "Subdivisions" to be less emotive due to it's being played to a click. As a matter of fact, that song really hit me hard as a high school kid.

It all depends on what the appeal of the music is.

One thing that bugs me is the use of perfect tempo in slow, emotive, piano ballads. I want to feel the music breathe and pull back after the singer finishes a verse that is intended to set a mood.

Modern pop ballads just put the piano in perfect time and it loses something. I'm trying to remember which famous pop ballad has an obvious case of it but i can't.
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Old 03-08-2015, 04:30 PM
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Default Re: Who has to play to a click or backing track live?

For sure Jeff and it does have to do with the music one gravitates towards. IMO, Rush doesn't groove, it's a "brain" fueled thing they have going on as opposed to an "emotion" fueled thing going on. A lot of heavy music doesn't groove, which is fine, I just don't get a lot out of it, with exceptions of course, (Yes' "Close to the Edge" for example, curiously, which was made pre digital) so mostly it doesn't interest me. Digitized and quantified music subtracts the very thing I love about music, the musicians skill at manipulating time.

I've said enough bad things about playing live to clicks. Much respect to anyone who has to do this.
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Old 03-08-2015, 04:44 PM
MCM MCM is offline
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Default Re: Who has to play to a click or backing track live?

A click is very lame. Your band might as well be using a dj or drum machine.
Get some sack guys.
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Old 03-08-2015, 10:49 PM
New Tricks New Tricks is offline
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Default Re: Who has to play to a click or backing track live?

Don't hate the playa :)

And, it has nothing to do with scrotums.

The fact is, you have no idea what your timing is like until you check it with a click. Give it a go and report back.
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Old 03-08-2015, 11:15 PM
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Default Re: Who has to play to a click or backing track live?

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A click is very lame. Your band might as well be using a dj or drum machine.
Get some sack guys.
Mixing live drums with DJ's and/or drum machines on stage has been extremely common for some 20 years now.

Playing to a click on stage has been part of classic rock lore since at least the early 1970's
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ElHLPvB1ZW0&t=11
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Old 03-08-2015, 11:36 PM
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Default Re: Who has to play to a click or backing track live?

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A click is very lame.
Ask a working pro how lame a click is. I know more than a few pro drummers - names you know - and this is not a discussion I've ever had with any of them.

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Old 03-09-2015, 12:06 AM
brentcn brentcn is offline
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Default Re: Who has to play to a click or backing track live?

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more than a few pro drummers
Maybe that's the difference right there. There is the "working pro" who simply must embrace clicks to stay in the game, and then there is the "artist" drummer, who maybe is part of a band or group that sells its compositions. The "artist" drummer is better served by making the compositions unique, or true to the genre, than by perfecting their time. Also, the artist drummer is free to develop chemistry over a long period of time with the same band. There isn't pressure to create perfect time right from the start, since the band likely formed at a young age.

Not saying the artist drummer has bad time necessarily, just that the demands are different, because the expected results are different.
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Old 03-09-2015, 12:19 AM
The Sloth The Sloth is offline
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Default Re: Who has to play to a click or backing track live?

There's a backlash against clicks because there seems to be a belief now that perfect is the only way. It's as if the world just realized every piece of music has a pulse running through it. It's a production advantage, not a way of life. Phish's drummer used clicks to save time on their most recent album, and he admits the end result was stiffer than what he'd ideally like. He has excellent inner time, which he obviously developed in the woodshed with metronome, not in a full band situation where everyone is safety netted by a constant click.
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Old 03-09-2015, 01:21 AM
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bermuda bermuda is offline
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Default Re: Who has to play to a click or backing track live?

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Maybe that's the difference right there. There is the "working pro" who simply must embrace clicks to stay in the game, and then there is the "artist" drummer, who maybe is part of a band or group that sells its compositions. The "artist" drummer is better served by making the compositions unique, or true to the genre, than by perfecting their time.
Being an artist and a working pro are not mutually exclusive.

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Old 03-09-2015, 01:25 AM
New Tricks New Tricks is offline
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Default Re: Who has to play to a click or backing track live?

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He has excellent inner time, which he obviously developed in the woodshed with metronome, not in a full band situation where everyone is safety netted by a constant click.
The woodshed metronome and the full band click is the same thing. The woodshed just involves the drummer and the band setting involves everyone. It's a training tool, not a safety net. The more you play with it, the better you will play without it, guaranteed.

When playing live as a band, we are all listening to each other and making constant, minute, indiscernible adjustments. For example, a player/singer may naturally slows down a touch during a difficult part and the others recognize it and compensate, often without even realizing it.

Playing with backing tracks is the same thing. It's just like playing with someone who has really really good timing :)
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Old 03-09-2015, 03:25 AM
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  #37  
Old 03-09-2015, 03:48 AM
brentcn brentcn is offline
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Default Re: Who has to play to a click or backing track live?

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Being an artist and a working pro are not mutually exclusive.

Bermuda
No, of course not! Rather, opposite ends of a spectrum. And you might be anywhere on that spectrum depending on the gig. But it would explain the whole "clicks are lame, I hate playing with clicks" attitude among some while others are just fine with it.
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Old 03-09-2015, 05:29 AM
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Default Re: Who has to play to a click or backing track live?

Let's have a little fun. Here's a track I played drums on - https://soundcloud.com/bermudaschwartz/cattinaround No, it's not a live gig, but it's certainly played live by humans, and it's obviously Americana (one of the blanket genres which I said doesn't normally benefit from a click.) It's only 2min if you care to listen to the whole thing.

Based on what you hear, what can you tell about the track and the performance? (apart from my interesting intro...)

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Old 03-09-2015, 05:33 AM
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Default Re: Who has to play to a click or backing track live?

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Maybe that's the difference right there. There is the "working pro" who simply must embrace clicks to stay in the game, and then there is the "artist" drummer, who maybe is part of a band or group that sells its compositions. The "artist" drummer is better served by making the compositions unique, or true to the genre, than by perfecting their time. Also, the artist drummer is free to develop chemistry over a long period of time with the same band. There isn't pressure to create perfect time right from the start, since the band likely formed at a young age.

Not saying the artist drummer has bad time necessarily, just that the demands are different, because the expected results are different.
I don't think music history quite agrees though.

The Who were established stars when they added sequencers in the early 70's. Pete was driven by art to explore new musical territory.

When Rush started added sequencers in the 80's, again, they were already high profile. They didn't need to add sequencers and clicks on stage, they chose to.

(didn't Pink Floyd also use clicks to tie into pre-recorded bits starting on the Dark Side of the Moon tour? )

When I first got into using backing tracks, no one forced me, I wanted to do it. At the time, not many bands were doing it, outside of White Zombie and a few others. And certainly very few on the local scene were taking on backing tracks.
It was conscious decision to do something cutting edge and set ourselves apart from the rest of the LA scene. Although in retrospect, we were about 6-12 months too late. While we were getting it together, Static-X got signed by Warner Brothers and some band called Linkin Park was entering the studio. Soon, every band in LA was walking around with backing tracks.
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Old 03-09-2015, 05:35 AM
The Sloth The Sloth is offline
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Default Re: Who has to play to a click or backing track live?

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The woodshed metronome and the full band click is the same thing. The woodshed just involves the drummer and the band setting involves everyone. It's a training tool, not a safety net. The more you play with it, the better you will play without it, guaranteed.

When playing live as a band, we are all listening to each other and making constant, minute, indiscernible adjustments. For example, a player/singer may naturally slows down a touch during a difficult part and the others recognize it and compensate, often without even realizing it.

Playing with backing tracks is the same thing. It's just like playing with someone who has really really good timing :)
That's right, and those adjustments are meant to be made in rock music. Everyone in a band should have a strong sense of time they've developed on their own. Bands anchoring themselves to perfection is ironing the spirit out of live music. And I personally think that backing tracks are cheese of the highest order.
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