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  #1  
Old 09-16-2014, 11:56 PM
yakbutter yakbutter is offline
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Default Cover Band Drummists - How accurate are you?

If you play in a cover or tribute band, how much effort do you put into playing accurate parts?

Do you diligently transcribe everything and play it note for note down to ghost notes?

Do you shoot for the general vibe of the song, play the main groove and important fills, and forget about the throw away licks?

Or are you the Eric Cartman of drums and do what you want?

For me, I fall mostly into the second category. The exceptions depend on how important the drums are to the song and how much I respect the original drummer. Don't Stop Believing and My Sharona are category 1 songs for me. Anything like Sweet Home Alabama or Talk Dirty to Me gets the Cartman treatment.
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Old 09-17-2014, 06:48 AM
New Tricks New Tricks is offline
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Default Re: Cover Band Drummists - How accurate are you?

I'm a hack.

All I do is get the bass drum proper. Easy signature fills get played properly. Difficult ones come close enough (for me)

I realized a while back that I naturally tend to kick everything 1,2 & 5,6 and had to force myself to play 1 3 5 7 when necessary...which is a lot.
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Old 09-17-2014, 07:06 AM
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Default Re: Cover Band Drummists - How accurate are you?

I listen to the song, write out anything that would be deemed "signature" (like the big tom fill in "I can feel it in the air tonight" by Phil Collins), write out the tempo and try and get the tune internalized before the gig. For me and learning a new tune, writing out a chart is essential. I've come to rely on it, even though mine look like hieroglyphs to most people. I do use standard notation though.

If you listen to the "hitch" in the vocal line that's the secret spot to attach yourself to a song.
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Old 09-17-2014, 07:08 AM
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Default Re: Cover Band Drummists - How accurate are you?

Lots and lots of threads on this discussion...

http://www.drummerworld.com/forums/s...ighlight=cover
http://www.drummerworld.com/forums/s...ghlight=covers
http://www.drummerworld.com/forums/s...ghlight=covers

There's some more opinions, more faster...
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  #5  
Old 09-17-2014, 07:53 AM
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Default Re: Cover Band Drummists - How accurate are you?

Every song is played like a samba.
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  #6  
Old 09-17-2014, 08:27 AM
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Default Re: Cover Band Drummists - How accurate are you?

We do some covers that i straight up don't like, so for those i just make up my own part so i don't have to sit around and listen to crappy songs i don't like to learn the drum part.
Oddly enough when i have gone back and listened to the original versions of some of the covers i don't like my drum parts are usually pretty close to what's on the original. Keepin' time baby.....
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  #7  
Old 09-17-2014, 08:29 AM
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Default Re: Cover Band Drummists - How accurate are you?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bo Eder View Post
Every song is played like a samba.
Lets see.........

Yeah that would work great for Led Zeppelin's Immigrant Song.
Or maybe Barracuda by Heart.

And just play it faster for some heavy metal stuff...................

.
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  #8  
Old 09-17-2014, 08:37 AM
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Default Re: Cover Band Drummists - How accurate are you?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hollywood Jim View Post
Lets see.........

Yeah that would work great for Led Zeppelin's Immigrant Song.
Or maybe Barracuda by Heart.

And just play it faster for some heavy metal stuff...................

.
Heck yeah it works! Have you ever heard the Bernard Purdie half-time shuffle samba? That keeps folks on the dance floor for HOURS ;)
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  #9  
Old 09-17-2014, 06:59 PM
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Default Re: Cover Band Drummists - How accurate are you?

Unless I get paid a bunch of money to put in the time to learn, I just play what I want. I mean, I wouldn't (necessarily) play a disco beat on Moondance, but I'd just play around and make sure I hit enough 2&4s to not get thrown off the gig.

Last time I tried to play a part that sounded like the original, the guitar player turned around and said 'whatsa matter Mr. Professional Great Bermuda, ya can't think up a better drum part on your own??' How embarrassing for me. :(

Then again, if you check the existing threads on this topic, you might find I had a different perspective at the time.

Bermuda
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  #10  
Old 09-17-2014, 07:09 PM
yakbutter yakbutter is offline
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Default Re: Cover Band Drummists - How accurate are you?

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Originally Posted by bermuda View Post
Unless I get paid a bunch of money to put in the time to learn, I just play what I want. I mean, I wouldn't (necessarily) play a disco beat on Moondance, but I'd just play around and make sure I hit enough 2&4s to not get thrown off the gig.

Last time I tried to play a part that sounded like the original, the guitar player turned around and said 'whatsa matter Mr. Professional Great Bermuda, ya can't think up a better drum part on your own??' How embarrassing for me. :(

Then again, if you check the existing threads on this topic, you might find I had a different perspective at the time.

Bermuda
I did check out those threads. I'm glad someone does the cartman method. When I start playing in a band again, I'll likely do the same more often than I used to.
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  #11  
Old 09-17-2014, 07:13 PM
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Default Re: Cover Band Drummists - How accurate are you?

I only know one song... I just play it many different ways! :D
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  #12  
Old 09-17-2014, 07:18 PM
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Default Re: Cover Band Drummists - How accurate are you?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bermuda View Post
Unless I get paid a bunch of money to put in the time to learn, I just play what I want. I mean, I wouldn't (necessarily) play a disco beat on Moondance, but I'd just play around and make sure I hit enough 2&4s to not get thrown off the gig.

Last time I tried to play a part that sounded like the original, the guitar player turned around and said 'whatsa matter Mr. Professional Great Bermuda, ya can't think up a better drum part on your own??' How embarrassing for me. :(

Then again, if you check the existing threads on this topic, you might find I had a different perspective at the time.

Bermuda
What about for the Weird Al stuff? How do you approach not just the correct part but the correct sound as well? Or is that why you have an arsenal of snares and cymbals?

I have always been impressed at how accurate your parts are to the parody tunes. Many times, I've had one confused for the original until the vocals come in.
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  #13  
Old 09-17-2014, 07:27 PM
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Default Re: Cover Band Drummists - How accurate are you?

Clearly, the entirely facetious tone of my post was lost on some of you.

Yakbutter, I recommend a search for the many threads on this topic, and my responses regarding the importance of doing the original parts in most cases. I don't have anything new to add here.

Bermuda
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  #14  
Old 09-17-2014, 07:30 PM
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Default Re: Cover Band Drummists - How accurate are you?

Like Billy Ray mentioned I also keep the more recognizable fills and breaks but pull a Cartman most of the time. Sometimes I dislike the original part or sound so it gets changed.

/screw you guys...imma goin home
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  #15  
Old 09-17-2014, 07:37 PM
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Default Re: Cover Band Drummists - How accurate are you?

I'm in a 60s Stax covers band right now, and I try to get close, but don't worry if I can't do everything. But I do go by the "Bugs Bunny's ears" theory someone came out with on another thread. IE, if you're gonna draw a picture of Bugs Bunny you've gotta get the ears right but the rest can be there or thereabouts.
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  #16  
Old 09-17-2014, 07:49 PM
yakbutter yakbutter is offline
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Default Re: Cover Band Drummists - How accurate are you?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bermuda View Post
Clearly, the entirely facetious tone of my post was lost on some of you.

Yakbutter, I recommend a search for the many threads on this topic, and my responses regarding the importance of doing the original parts in most cases. I don't have anything new to add here.

Bermuda
Not lost, responded in kind :)
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  #17  
Old 09-17-2014, 07:52 PM
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Default Re: Cover Band Drummists - How accurate are you?

Depends on the level of familiarity I expect the audience to have for the drum part. Rock and Roll by Zep: I am striving to play it as near note for note as I can. If the song has a tom groove I certainly will play a tom groove and again close to the original. But take a song like Sweet Home Chicago and there is a lot of room to put some of my style into it.

I chart the song structure paying close attention to breaks.
Then I try to emulate or copy the groove.
Then signature grooves
and finally continue to play closer and closer to the original again depending on how iconic the drum part is.
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Old 09-17-2014, 08:05 PM
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Default Re: Cover Band Drummists - How accurate are you?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bermuda View Post
Unless I get paid a bunch of money to put in the time to learn, I just play what I want. I mean, I wouldn't (necessarily) play a disco beat on Moondance, but I'd just play around and make sure I hit enough 2&4s to not get thrown off the gig.

Last time I tried to play a part that sounded like the original, the guitar player turned around and said 'whatsa matter Mr. Professional Great Bermuda, ya can't think up a better drum part on your own??' How embarrassing for me. :(
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Obviously an impostor. Where is Bermuda & what have you done with him?
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  #19  
Old 09-17-2014, 08:12 PM
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Default Re: Cover Band Drummists - How accurate are you?

Hollywood Jimís three rules for playing the drums:

Rule #1
If you do not provide written charts that show the exact drum part, I will play the drum part anyway I darn well please.

Rule #2
I will provide a solid 2 and 4 beat for the band members to follow and maintain an unyielding rhythm.

Rule #3
While providing the 2 and 4, the rest of the beats ie. quarter, eighth, sixteenth and thirty second notes are mine to do with as I please. This includes any fills at any point in the song.


.
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Old 09-17-2014, 08:24 PM
KamaK KamaK is offline
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Default Re: Cover Band Drummists - How accurate are you?

Quote:
Originally Posted by yakbutter View Post
If you play in a cover or tribute band, how much effort do you put into playing accurate parts?
Apologies if this seems curt


Copy the vibe and feeling of the defining moments, but understand that you're a cover band. Your job is not to be a jukebox, it is to make people dance and buy drinks. This usually means overemphasizing the backbeat or accenting the kick on the one.

Accuracy is something that is typically left to tribute band drummers.
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  #21  
Old 09-17-2014, 08:31 PM
yakbutter yakbutter is offline
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Default Re: Cover Band Drummists - How accurate are you?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hollywood Jim View Post
Hollywood Jimís three rules for playing the drums:

Rule #1
If you do not provide written charts that show the exact drum part, I will play the drum part anyway I darn well please.

Rule #2
I will provide a solid 2 and 4 beat for the band members to follow and maintain an unyielding rhythm.

Rule #3
While providing the 2 and 4, the rest of the beats ie. quarter, eighth, sixteenth and thirty second notes are mine to do with as I please. This includes any fills at any point in the song.


.
I applaud your laziness, sir. Do you perchance have a fondness for white Russians?
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  #22  
Old 09-17-2014, 08:47 PM
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Default Re: Cover Band Drummists - How accurate are you?

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I applaud your laziness, sir. Do you perchance have a fondness for white Russians?
"Careful, there's a beverage here, man!"
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  #23  
Old 09-17-2014, 08:49 PM
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Default Re: Cover Band Drummists - How accurate are you?

Quote:
Originally Posted by KamaK View Post
Apologies if this seems curt


Copy the vibe and feeling of the defining moments, but understand that you're a cover band. Your job is not to be a jukebox, it is to make people dance and buy drinks. This usually means overemphasizing the backbeat or accenting the kick on the one.

Accuracy is something that is typically left to tribute band drummers.
I think different locales use different definitions of cover band. Around here, cover band means you are playing music others recorded and is very familiar with the audience. As such they expect it to sound like the recording. That seems to fit other peoples definitiion of a tribute band more than a cover band. I have also seen the term copy band.
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Old 09-17-2014, 09:13 PM
yakbutter yakbutter is offline
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Default Re: Cover Band Drummists - How accurate are you?

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Originally Posted by drummer-russ View Post
I think different locales use different definitions of cover band. Around here, cover band means you are playing music others recorded and is very familiar with the audience. As such they expect it to sound like the recording. That seems to fit other peoples definitiion of a tribute band more than a cover band. I have also seen the term copy band.
Around here a tribute band only covers one act, and they usually go all out in attempt to look just like the original band as well. 'Copy band' sounds horrible.
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  #25  
Old 09-17-2014, 09:20 PM
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Default Re: Cover Band Drummists - How accurate are you?

I would say I strive for about 70% accuracy. Get the tempo, beat(s), major fills, and it's good to go. There are very few songs we do that require exacting parts i.e. no Rush.

I learn about 4-5 songs a week by ear and we usually toss 1 or 2 new ones a weekend onto the set. I end up learning more than we ever play so I don't expend energy on getting it exactly right. Start, stops and nail the ending. Everything in between is for the musicians in the room and not your average patron.

That said, I will often change things up night to night to keep it exciting for me. The real key is to have the maturity to play something tasty and not ruin the song. I enjoy the looks the guys give me when I pull a neat trick.
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  #26  
Old 09-17-2014, 10:37 PM
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Default Re: Cover Band Drummists - How accurate are you?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bo Eder View Post
Heck yeah it works! Have you ever heard the Bernard Purdie half-time shuffle samba? That keeps folks on the dance floor for HOURS ;)
Actually a Bossa groove works in a lot of rock/pop tunes. I recently gigged with some hacks who did Peace Love and Understanding, I bossa'd thru it. Fist set dinner opener, cross sticked it... flowed and was way more appropriate for the setting than the rock groove in the original.

Depending on the ppl in the crowd, Im of the opinion its not only fine to change the groove, but actually needed in certain situations.

When you do stuff like this you're crossing that real grey line between playing music and copying some ones part... playing someone else's music.

Being a real good cover band drummer means coping the feel as well as the part, no small task, probably 'the' most difficult thing to do playing the drums. Relatively speaking copying the notation/part note for note is easy, its getting it to feel right, thats the work and it comes easier to some.

A drummer can nail a song note for note, but they might not sound good b/c the feel isn't there.

The best approach IMO is learn the parts as recorded best as possible. If you're good enough to cop the feel, that's a major plus, then doing/adding your stuff comes off that much better.

Every drummer has a fingerprint, and its where their kick, snare, HH/ride lay in the groove in relationship to the actual tempo of the song, that's the mechanical DNA of 'feel'. Dynamics are the paint on the structure.

A good drummer doesn't consciously think about their feel, a great drummer (cover band expert) does think about (creating a) feel, and its what they need to do to make a cover song sound like the original.
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  #27  
Old 09-17-2014, 10:42 PM
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Default Re: Cover Band Drummists - How accurate are you?

Quote:
Originally Posted by yakbutter View Post
I applaud your laziness, sir. Do you perchance have a fondness for white Russians?
Yes I do have a fondness for them.

But at first I did not know what you meant by white Russians.
Until I did a Google search for "White Russians".






.
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  #28  
Old Yesterday, 03:09 AM
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Default Re: Cover Band Drummists - How accurate are you?

As I've said before, if you don't have the same instrumentation as the original, what's the point? In the 40's there might be two or more groups with the same song out at the same time. It's about the song and making it sound good with what you have to work with.

Sometimes I don't even listen to the original, I just play what sounds and feels good. Other times the original recording influences me.
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  #29  
Old Yesterday, 04:20 AM
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Default Re: Cover Band Drummists - How accurate are you?

Quote:
Accuracy is something that is typically left to tribute band drummers.
This is true, and also if you're in a band with hits, there's a bit of a need IMO to cop a drum/cymbal sound close to the original, tho this isn't a hard and fast rule, it just seems to produce the best results.

As an example, a band like this is going to benefit from a more genetically correct cymbal sound than what's being heard here, most parts too would be best close(er) to the originals.
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Old Yesterday, 04:48 AM
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Default Re: Cover Band Drummists - How accurate are you?

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Originally Posted by ocdrums View Post
As I've said before, if you don't have the same instrumentation as the original, what's the point? ... It's about the song and making it sound good with what you have to work with.
That depends on the song, and the band's instrumentation. For example, if you don't have horns (or a horn patch on a synth) should you avoid or otherwise change Tower Of Power songs? Chicago? Play That Funky Music?? No, because those songs work on a rhythm section level almost as well as having the full production. It's a plus to have a guitar player covering/implying the horn leads a bit, but it's not absolutely necessary to achieve the original feel, and make people dance, or at least dig the song.

None of the (local) bands I'm in has the instrumentation to faithfully do covers, or even their own originals per the recorded version. But that doesn't stop any of them, and the audiences they play for don't demand perfection. But we don't rationalize the instrumentation in order to allow us to play significantly different parts. We start with the original parts, and see how close we can stick to the program.

If a song is worth playing for an audience that's there to hear it... then do the original as close as possible. If you're going to change arrangements and vibes, then that better be the shtick for everything the band plays - a la Dread Zeppelin for example - instead of being too lazy to learn the parts, citing the flawed rationalization "if they want to hear the original songs they can play the jukebox." If anyone really thinks that a live band playing a song like the original somehow compares to a jukebox... sorry, I just don't have the right words for you.

I say this every time this topic is revisited, and it remains true today: nobody ever chastised me for playing the original parts (as close as possible, obviously given certain sonic limitations.) Further, my desire/ability to play those parts - without having to be directed to do so - is largely what keeps me working in several bands, with a few more new projects on the horizon.

I know a lot of musicians that want to do things their way, and I admire that from an artistic perspective. They don't work a lot, and it's unlikely you'll ever know their names.

Bermuda
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  #31  
Old Yesterday, 05:00 AM
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Default Re: Cover Band Drummists - How accurate are you?

Also, the other players involved is a criteria.

IF they're all playing exactly like the record, then yeah.

If they're just using the song as a jumping off point for a 10 minute jam, then you're not sticking to the record anyway.

And if the other players aren't very confident in what they're doing, it can be beneficial to simply a bit, like removing ghost notes and put a bit more emphasis on the quarter note, just so they have a solid base to lock into.
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Old Yesterday, 06:27 AM
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Default Re: Cover Band Drummists - How accurate are you?

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Originally Posted by DrumEatDrum View Post
Also, the other players involved is a criteria.

IF they're all playing exactly like the record, then yeah.
And if they're not, then it may be the drummer's job to step up. let's take a signature drum beat/fill song like Don't You Forget About Me (by Simple Minds.) A fun song, a great groove, and a major '80s hit. But what if the band is bass, drums, and a guitar or two, but no keys to do the pads that go throughout the song. Should everyone just change things up? "If it can't be right, it doesn't need to be close"? Nay, then it's up to the drums to make doubly sure that part is correct, in order to bring the signature rhythm to the song.

Let's put it this way, if a song would be recognizable to the average listener just by hearing the drum part, then it is incumbent upon the drummer to play that part. Examples include the aforementioned Don't You Forget About Me, My Sharona, In My Life, Pride In The Name Of Love, Walk This Way, Honky Tonk Woman (with or without the cowbell...) etc etc.

If anyone doubts me, then take the time to learn the original part to a song that you normally don't play with high accuracy, and see how your band mates react the first time you play it 'right' with them.

Bermuda
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  #33  
Old Yesterday, 07:24 AM
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Default Re: Cover Band Drummists - How accurate are you?

Usually not accurate at all these days. My band plays quasi lounge music so we have lounge-ised many songs. If I played our songs like the original drummers you would not hear the rest of the band!
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  #34  
Old Yesterday, 10:06 AM
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Default Re: Cover Band Drummists - How accurate are you?

Depends how much I like the original drum part.. If its something like "Stop" by Sam Brown, drummed by Gavin Harrison, then I try my best to copy the parts because they are so subtle and tasty. A bit like Sam Brown herself ;-)

Some covers though are a bit electronic sounding (especially some of the 80's tracks), in which case I tend to reinvent it.

So in summary.. as always.. it depends.
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Old Yesterday, 12:01 PM
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Default Re: Cover Band Drummists - How accurate are you?

If it's straight ahead rock beats from mega hits, then yes, mostly I'll play it like the original, or as near as I can get. We occasionally play Sympathy for the Devil and I just wing it and do whatever I can do to get through the song. I don't have the tools to do it any justice and I wish they wouldn't play that song. In the case of some other songs, like Piece of My Heart by Janis Joplin, it would be tough for me to play it like the original. I would need time to nail it down. Time on the kit is unfortunately something I don't get enough of, so I play it the way I feel it. In the case of this particular song, that means staying true to the groove, but not so busy on the fills like the original. But, as me and the band continue to play the song, my drumming will evolve as I go back and listen to the song now and then. I'll pick something else up to add to my version and hopefully make it sound better.
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  #36  
Old Yesterday, 04:14 PM
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Default Re: Cover Band Drummists - How accurate are you?

I line up to the position Bermuda articulated so well in his last two posts. Which puts me in excellant company. I have always hated that jukebox analogy.

Even the extremely basic drum part of Takin Care of Business is one that people recognize. I try to not only emulate the beat which is easy but also the feel, the sloppy hats, strong bass beat, Especially during the breaks when that is the only thing happening in the song. I watch people get into that very basic beat when we play it. The reason they do that in my opinion is because it sounds like the original!

I get a lot of satisfaction from that silly little beat because it causes people to move. What more is there?
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Old Today, 03:25 AM
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Default Re: Cover Band Drummists - How accurate are you?

I play what I think is going on in the originals as best as I can, with some caveats. What I think is going on and what actually is going on can sometimes be different. TBH, I don't worry about any of that. I do the drum part the way I'd do it if I was recording the original, but being influenced by the original drum part of course. I don't like straying from the original vibe much. That song worked originally, that's why it was a hit, so basically speaking, I don't mess with the recipe. I just do it the best I can from what I hear, but don't geek out on it.

That said, sometimes I just hear stuff and think it would sound good, so I do it. Example: The Beatles" Drive My Car"....When we first started doing it, TBH, that's a Beatles song I wasn't at all familiar with. But right from the very beginning, I heard a cowbell part in my head. So I put a quarter note cowbell part over the whole song the first time I played it, and I've kept that part because it works.

My band doesn't rehearse, he just whips stuff out and you have to hang. I like that. Rehearsals are over rated.
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Old Today, 04:14 AM
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Default Re: Cover Band Drummists - How accurate are you?

We almost never, almost never... cover anything exactly. You can tell what we're doing but we will turn anything into something else. So my answer is no. I don't have the time but I like to play.

For example... and mind you I really don't like the Stone's but we had to do Honky Tonk Woman at a birthday bash. We did it Tex Mex and it was better than the original dirge.

I really was inspired back in the 80's listening to Dread Zeppelin and what they did to some of the Zep catalog.

And here's a nice example of what some originality can even do to a Winehouse tune which I might add is one of the few examples of something we copied as exactly as we could.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VZoImzA5iO4
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Old Today, 04:49 AM
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Default Re: Cover Band Drummists - How accurate are you?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bermuda View Post
That depends on the song, and the band's instrumentation. For example, if you don't have horns (or a horn patch on a synth) should you avoid or otherwise change Tower Of Power songs? Chicago? Play That Funky Music?? No, because those songs work on a rhythm section level almost as well as having the full production. It's a plus to have a guitar player covering/implying the horn leads a bit, but it's not absolutely necessary to achieve the original feel, and make people dance, or at least dig the song.

None of the (local) bands I'm in has the instrumentation to faithfully do covers, or even their own originals per the recorded version. But that doesn't stop any of them, and the audiences they play for don't demand perfection. But we don't rationalize the instrumentation in order to allow us to play significantly different parts. We start with the original parts, and see how close we can stick to the program.

If a song is worth playing for an audience that's there to hear it... then do the original as close as possible. If you're going to change arrangements and vibes, then that better be the shtick for everything the band plays - a la Dread Zeppelin for example - instead of being too lazy to learn the parts, citing the flawed rationalization "if they want to hear the original songs they can play the jukebox." If anyone really thinks that a live band playing a song like the original somehow compares to a jukebox... sorry, I just don't have the right words for you.

I say this every time this topic is revisited, and it remains true today: nobody ever chastised me for playing the original parts (as close as possible, obviously given certain sonic limitations.) Further, my desire/ability to play those parts - without having to be directed to do so - is largely what keeps me working in several bands, with a few more new projects on the horizon.

I know a lot of musicians that want to do things their way, and I admire that from an artistic perspective. They don't work a lot, and it's unlikely you'll ever know their names.

Bermuda

I absolutely concur here. I play in a primarily Funk cover band with no horns or keyboards, and we play a few of the songs mentioned by Bermuda in his posts.

While I take creative license on many songs, I keep relatively faithful to the original "signature" drum parts (fills/beats). The songs just don't have the same audience affect without them. You just can't play a straight 4/4 beat to Bill Wither's "Use Me" without killing the groove of song. Is my beat exactly as it was recorded? No, just a bit more bass drum heavy. But when the beat is played alone, everyone knows the song I'm playing. Conversely, you can play just about anything you want to Neil Diamond's "Cherry Cherry" and the crowd will eat it up. Now, try free styling "Melt with You" and see how it goes over?

Just my 2 cents.....
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Last edited by Rotarded; Today at 05:02 AM.
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