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  #1  
Old 01-24-2010, 09:33 PM
hanman hanman is offline
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Default Playing w/ a Click Live... Concerns:

Hey everyone,
So my band has recently switched to using a click for both practices & live performances because we had a bit of a tendency to rush.
I am wondering... what do you guys do when you are not the one who starts the song ie: The beginning of a song is just guitar, or just bass or something... Sure you could go 1-2-3-4 off your hats or your sticks... but that's only going to be good for the first measure, and then whoever is playing can fall away from what the click is beating (I am the ONLY ONE with the click on stage..) and it can be extremely difficult to pull it back when the drums come in because of just how far off the click has gotten from where the song is.
During practice we play super tight, because I'll fill in those 'no-drum' spaces with a chick on the hats or a click of the sticks... obviously that will not work @ live performances, so I am wondering if you guys have any solutions?
The singer doesn't even want me to count in a song with my sticks live, and yet our intros are different tempos, and there are several drum-less gaps in our songs & I am responsible for time!

Thank you very much!
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  #2  
Old 01-24-2010, 09:38 PM
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Default Re: Playing w/ a Click Live... Concerns:

Maybe just keep your foot going on the hat until the drums come in, depending on the song? It'd be enough to help keep the guitarist on rhythm without being distracting. Don't even need to do 1-2-3-4, just 1-3.
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Old 01-24-2010, 10:34 PM
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Default Re: Playing w/ a Click Live... Concerns:

Agreed. Something subtle but audible onstage is all they should need. Light hi-hat foot close, slap a stick on your thigh, tap your foot on the stage, maybe even conduct them with your stick low behind the toms so the audience can't see, but the guitar player can... the rest will follow him.

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Old 01-24-2010, 10:34 PM
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Default Re: Playing w/ a Click Live... Concerns:

That sounds like a nightmare scenario to me. Let me make sure I understand this: you are the only one who can hear a click, and someone else is starting the song guessing at the tempo that you have to be perfect on without establishing a correction before coming in?

Dude, I'd quit that band! Everyone is responsible for the time - don't be the fall guy for something like that not working out or becoming really awkward.

We don't use a click in my band and sometimes the bass player will start a song waaaay too slow and expect me to make the correction when I come in. We've had words about that one - whoever starts the song establishes the tempo.

If a click live is that important and you can't give cues, then everyone needs to be in on the click. The other problem I see is that when you're the only one hearing the click, you can really feel when someone else is (inadvertently) trying to pull you off of it and a struggle ensues. This damages the time and feel. If you're not sequencing parts to the click, then I'd lobby hard to ditch it for shows. But it is a great tool for practice.

Last edited by MikeM; 01-24-2010 at 10:48 PM.
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  #5  
Old 01-24-2010, 10:45 PM
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Default Re: Playing w/ a Click Live... Concerns:

I've used clicks live before in several bands.

You HAVE to keep time on the hi-hat or clicking sticks.

There is just no way around it.

The only other (expensive) solution is everyone has in ear monitors and everyone gets the click.
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Old 01-24-2010, 10:57 PM
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Default Re: Playing w/ a Click Live... Concerns:

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Originally Posted by DrumEatDrum View Post
The only other (expensive) solution is everyone has in ear monitors and everyone gets the click.
That's sort of how I do it with Al in concert. If the guitar or keyboard has to start a song that's to a click/sequence, they get an output from my sampler that's just for them, and the click goes only there (and always to me) - but not the house, and not necessarily Al. The sequence probably also includes a vocal countoff, so I don't even count those songs in (unless we all start together and it's appropriate to be counting off a song where I also start at the top.) Sometimes the click has to fly in during a vocal break, and separate outs/mixes are ideal for sending it only where needed.

Granted, it takes a little extra programming, but it's an almost perfect system short of relying on a monitor guy to mute/un-mute the click as required, and believe me, that's definitely an imperfect system!

Bermuda
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Old 01-24-2010, 11:02 PM
hanman hanman is offline
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Default Re: Playing w/ a Click Live... Concerns:

Hmm, and see the singer is the only one with in-ears.. and I asked him to put the click in his so he & i could always be in time and the bass can just follow me and the guitar following the singer (who also plays guitar)

BUT >.<

He won't... because he said it would screw him up too much trying to sing/play guitar & follow the click at the same time.

So basically there is no solution hey? A count on the hats or sticks is the only alternative?!
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Old 01-24-2010, 11:07 PM
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Default Re: Playing w/ a Click Live... Concerns:

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Originally Posted by bermuda View Post
That's sort of how I do it with Al in concert. If the guitar or keyboard has to start a song that's to a click/sequence, they get an output from my sampler that's just for them, and the click goes only there (and always to me) - but not the house, and not necessarily Al. The sequence probably also includes a vocal countoff, so I don't even count those songs in (unless we all start together and it's appropriate to be counting off a song where I also start at the top.) Sometimes the click has to fly in during a vocal break, and separate outs/mixes are ideal for sending it only where needed.

Granted, it takes a little extra programming, but it's an almost perfect system short of relying on a monitor guy to mute/un-mute the click as required, and believe me, that's definitely an imperfect system!

Bermuda
Nice. I didn't realize you were using clicks live too. (granted, it makes sense).
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Old 01-24-2010, 11:09 PM
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Default Re: Playing w/ a Click Live... Concerns:

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Originally Posted by hanman View Post
I
He doesn't want to hear a stick count to begin a song either.. because he thinks it's amateur-ish..
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Originally Posted by hanman View Post
Hmm, and see the singer is the only one with in-ears.. and I asked him to put the click in his so he & i could always be in time and the bass can just follow me and the guitar following the singer (who also plays guitar)

BUT >.<

He won't... because he said it would screw him up too much trying to sing/play guitar & follow the click at the same time.

So basically there is no solution hey? A count on the hats or sticks is the only alternative?!
Seems to me the only thing amateurish is your guitar player's attitude about it.
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  #10  
Old 01-24-2010, 11:15 PM
hanman hanman is offline
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Default Re: Playing w/ a Click Live... Concerns:

RE: Drum Eat Drum

Yea, it is.. he's a perfectionist but also very close-minded.. but we're in quite a well established aspiring rock band.
http://myspace.com/se7ensided

So.. I enjoy the band, I love the band, hell I even love the click.. BUT it's quite ridiculous to do any guess work while using a click. That is the point of the click is it not? Take out the guess work of tempos, breaks, etc., and have SOLID time!!

It's a predicament alright!
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  #11  
Old 01-24-2010, 11:39 PM
joeneau joeneau is offline
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Default Re: Playing w/ a Click Live... Concerns:

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Originally Posted by hanman View Post
He doesn't want to hear a stick count to begin a song either.. because he thinks it's amateur-ish.. lol but I think that by pulling and pushing the tempo to get it in place with a click is just as amateur-ish as just not using the click and pushing & pulling the tempo naturally lol
you hit the nail on the head here...

yeah its not ideal, having a count in, or you hitting the hi hat to keep everyone in time when your not really supposed to be playing but tough shit!

you guitarist has three options:
1. put up with the small inconvience of a hi hat chick
2. everyone ditch the click live and go with the flow
3. everyone were in-ears.

there is no other magic solution....is he blaming this situation/his inflexibility on you?

oh, and yeah the click may throw him off initially, it did with most of us i guess.....but you get used to it right?!
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Old 01-25-2010, 02:16 AM
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Default Re: Playing w/ a Click Live... Concerns:

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Originally Posted by DrumEatDrum View Post
Nice. I didn't realize you were using clicks live too. (granted, it makes sense).
About 2/3 of our show is on a click, sequence, or synched with video, and I'm responsible for making sure we're locked in.

Bermuda
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  #13  
Old 01-25-2010, 02:29 AM
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Default Re: Playing w/ a Click Live... Concerns:

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Originally Posted by bermuda View Post
About 2/3 of our show is on a click, sequence, or synched with video, and I'm responsible for making sure we're locked in.

Bermuda
Does anyone else have to follow the click/sequencer, or do they just follow you? Reason I ask is the issue of being pulled around by others who aren't hearing what you're hearing.
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Old 01-25-2010, 02:52 AM
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Default Re: Playing w/ a Click Live... Concerns:

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Originally Posted by hanman View Post
So my band has recently switched to using a click for both practices & live performances because we had a bit of a tendency to rush.
My concern here is that the band is turning to an artificial way of correcting a very real musical deficiency.

Before going click on everything, why not find a way to solve the problem of rushing? Is it you? Is it the bass player? Is it everyone?

Staying at tempo is such a basic skill; all it requires is that the entire rhythm section be locked in and playing together (yes, it's easier than it sounds) so I think that employing a click track is something of an act of desperation in this case, a cheap fix.

You are not going to be playing with this band for the rest of your career. If there's something wrong then now is the time to address it, and relying on a click track to keep from rushing tempos is not the way to go about it. In my opinion.
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Old 01-25-2010, 03:07 AM
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Default Re: Playing w/ a Click Live... Concerns:

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Staying at tempo is such a basic skill; all it requires is that the entire rhythm section be locked in and playing together (yes, it's easier than it sounds) so I think that employing a click track is something of an act of desperation in this case, a cheap fix.
You're right, it is a basic skill, but I don't think it's always that easy. My time isn't perfect and I don't know many whos is. I have known several bass players with a tendency to drag and guitar players with a tendency to rush. Keeping opposing forces like that in line can be very taxing for any drummer even with great time.

I like the idea of using a click track at rehearsal. Practicing with anything metronomic is just good practice no matter how you look at it. It can really help to calibrate and reinforce everyone's internal clock.

But if there isn't a need to use it live, then I wouldn't. With all that practice with it, live is a good time to take the training wheels off.
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Old 01-25-2010, 03:24 AM
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Default Re: Playing w/ a Click Live... Concerns:

My band has songs that start with other players and I usually just let them go and then use the tap tempo function on my metronome and hit 1, 2, 3, 4, and on one hit start and off we go. If they started too slow or two fast, I will gradually bring the tempo back to the ideal turning the wheel one bpm each measure until we are there. I have my metronome mounted on my hi hat stand right next to my snare and it's pretty accessible.

I also fly the volume up and down as we go, sometimes if it gets off I just shut it off and try to bring the click back during a break in the song.

The most important thing is song, and the song must go on. sometimes the band will be too far gone to reel in and you just have to deal with it. in practice you can stop them and bring them back in, but not live.

The other thing too that i found helpful is to learn how to play the click with the click being in different places besides on the beat. Learn to play with the click as the upbeat, or the last note of a triplet, etc. benny greb talks about this in his dvd he has a whole section about keeping time. Once you get that down if the band does get off the click you can just adjust so the click isn't on the beat but an off beat. That is kind of advanced stuff though.
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Old 01-25-2010, 03:56 AM
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Default Re: Playing w/ a Click Live... Concerns:

playing with a click live is a great idea but with the exception of what you said. for that reason you're best off just practicing with clicks at practice to improve your time keeping and just try not to let the energy get to you when you're playing live. tempo fluctuations can be good sometimes! just remember, if you practice with a click whenever you do band practices, everyone's time keeping will be a lot solid for gigs.
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Old 01-25-2010, 04:41 AM
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Default Re: Playing w/ a Click Live... Concerns:

I use a click for everything. Anytime I am doing a song that has a guitar intro or part of a song with a break I count the time on my Hats. It's the only way to keep the rest of the band on time with the click. If we have a fast 1 beat break in a song then I might pound it with my foot on the Hats to keep the volume down VS. the stick.

Most of the time a guitarist can count a 1 or 2 beat break and stay on time though, so I don't always have to do that... lol
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Old 01-25-2010, 06:13 PM
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Default Re: Playing w/ a Click Live... Concerns:

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Originally Posted by MikeM View Post
Does anyone else have to follow the click/sequencer, or do they just follow you? Reason I ask is the issue of being pulled around by others who aren't hearing what you're hearing.
I'm the only one who needs the it - except where someone needs a click for a solo intro, then it goes away for them after I come in - and everyone stays with me. They can't possibly pull me because I have the click/sequence the loudest, with my drums next, some vocals, then some guitar & piano, no bass. It's a 'need-to-know-basis' mix and my iso phones allow me to not hear what I don't want (every song has its own mix.) It may seem strange, but it's the only way to keep the show in sync without being adversely affected by others. It's the reason our show works night after night, year after year.

Bermuda
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Old 01-25-2010, 06:33 PM
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Default Re: Playing w/ a Click Live... Concerns:

Wow, that's interesting. There's more going on there than I would've guessed.
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Old 01-25-2010, 06:34 PM
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Default Re: Playing w/ a Click Live... Concerns:

Wow, Bermuda, that's interesting. There's more going on with your set up than I would've guessed.
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Old 01-25-2010, 09:56 PM
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Default Re: Playing w/ a Click Live... Concerns:

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Wow, Bermuda, that's interesting. There's more going on with your set up than I would've guessed.
Playing the drums is the easy, almost anyone can do that. Playing the show is what's hard about the Al gig.

Bermuda
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  #23  
Old 01-27-2010, 02:04 AM
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Default Re: Playing w/ a Click Live... Concerns:

I suggest what some of the other suggestions. Playing the hi-hat with the foot on 1 & 3 or 1-2-3-4, although your bandmates should work on become time-independent so they don't rely on you all the time or get way off tempo.
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Old 01-27-2010, 03:49 AM
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Default Re: Playing w/ a Click Live... Concerns:

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Playing the drums is the easy, almost anyone can do that. Playing the show is what's hard about the Al gig.

Bermuda
I'm a big proponent of that. The "show", the entertainment factor, is much more than just the music. People pay to see something more than what they can just hear.

It might be more work and planning involved to devise a system for the show that 1, everyone agrees on, and 2, works live for the song arrangement you've selected....but it's definitely worth the pain of making the show as good as it can be. Visually and audibly.

I see a lot more bands rolling through that are using in-ear clicks panned to one side that is cued to their back tracks. Only those wearing in-ears can hear it obviously, but so long as the drummer is on and hitting the cues and wicket-points as planned, even those not on the in-ear click can follow. Especially if the show has been rehearsed to where it's second nature. Then the job is really just mitigating the unexpected...
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Old 01-27-2010, 06:30 PM
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Default Re: Playing w/ a Click Live... Concerns:

My band is just starting to use clicks and programming live. If you are serious about it and about the band - get in ear monitors and have your own dedicated mixer.

Our live setup will incorporate a laptop running Pro Tools with all our sequencing, plus the click for us.


Now, as for the thread starters situation - they want you to play to a click to stay in time... but they don't want to hear the click themselves? Right... I don't think they fully understand what playing in time means then. If it is only you hearing the click then you are going to have to count the song in and keep time while you're not playing. Ideally everyone should be getting the click track, so no one has an excuse to not be on the money consistently.
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Old 01-27-2010, 07:42 PM
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Default Re: Playing w/ a Click Live... Concerns:

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Ideally everyone should be getting the click track, so no one has an excuse to not be on the money consistently.
Unfortunately, if the drummer gets off the click slightly and everyone is now hearing a click and a drummer, who do they follow? They'll follow one or the other, and will also stray a little from each, which equals a trainwreck. How is the drummer then expected to get back on the click when everyone else is playing on either side of his beat?

It's best for only the drummer to have the click, and for everyone else to play to him, just as they must do in virtually every band.

Bermuda
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Old 01-27-2010, 07:59 PM
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Default Re: Playing w/ a Click Live... Concerns:

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Hmm, and see the singer is the only one with in-ears.. and I asked him to put the click in his so he & i could always be in time and the bass can just follow me and the guitar following the singer (who also plays guitar)

BUT >.<

He won't... because he said it would screw him up too much trying to sing/play guitar & follow the click at the same time.

So basically there is no solution hey? A count on the hats or sticks is the only alternative?!
playing with a click is a mark of professionalism, you need to very politely tell your singer he's in no position to call anything amateurish without at least making an effort to be pro himself. Get him an in ear click, and if he doesnt wanna work with it, then he doesnt want to work with a click at all, its that simple. If he wont put in the practice himself, hes in no position to make you think about this problem as much when its really an issue with him (youre doing everything you should do) Just reading about this guys attitude annoys me, it seems like he expects you to overcome the whole bands timing issues just because you play drums. I would check craigslist for a replacement if he wont follow his own advice about playing to a click.

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Unfortunately, if the drummer gets off the click slightly and everyone is now hearing a click and a drummer, who do they follow? They'll follow one or the other, and will also stray a little from each, which equals a trainwreck. How is the drummer then expected to get back on the click when everyone else is playing on either side of his beat?

It's best for only the drummer to have the click, and for everyone else to play to him, just as they must do in virtually every band.

Bermuda
I think its best for everyone to have the click. If the drummer gets off, and the whole band follows him, the drummers gonna have a rough time for the rest of the song hearing this polyrhythm of click and the whole band playing in time but not on time, and I hate that sound. Or when I stay on the click, and the other guys rush it and it pulls me off too. When everyone hears the click, its much more stable and that rushing doesnt happen, and everyone is all fine and dandy together. We all do our individual practices to drum machines and clicks too which really helps when we're all in the same room with just a click.

The hardest gigs I have ever played have been hip hop/rap shows, where I am playing on top of a backingtrack (hip hop beats are fancy metronomes) that the rapper and I are both following, and instead of thinking "We must be perfectly on time with the click" which causes nervousness and carelessness, we think "I am jamming with the beat, and being a part of this music" I think more drummers need to think of the click as part of the music, and less of some kind of timing skills test.

To the OP:
I think this honestly calls for more metronome work on all musicians' part to prevent this. When I practice to a click and stray, I immediately get back on with it, and my band sticks with the click because we can all hear it as its happening. Its me not the click that misses beats. With enough metronome work, it just falls into place, like the click is just another part of the music and you work around it like you would a right hand or left foot hihat timekeeper. Tell your singer that if he doesnt want THE WHOLE BAND playing to a click track, then he cant complain that the WHOLE BAND isn't using one.
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Last edited by Ferret; 01-27-2010 at 08:15 PM.
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Old 01-27-2010, 08:26 PM
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Default Re: Playing w/ a Click Live... Concerns:

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When everyone hears the click, its much more stable and that rushing doesnt happen
Why would the other players be able to follow a click, but not the drummer?

Yes, ideally it would be great if everyone had the same sense of following a tempo regulator. But that's often/usually not the case, and when a player hears two drummers - a click and a drummer - and has to decide which to follow, their inability to all make the same choice as the next guy is magnified. At least if everyone hears just one drummer - whether click or drummer - there are no options. If they get off the beat, they only have one choice to get back on.

I've been recording or performing to clicks for 30 years, and have never had another player want to hear the click if I'm also playing.

Bermuda
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Old 01-27-2010, 08:36 PM
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Default Re: Playing w/ a Click Live... Concerns:

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I think this honestly calls for more metronome work on all musicians' part to prevent this. When I practice to a click and stray, I immediately get back on with it, and my band sticks with the click because we can all hear it as its happening. Its me not the click that misses beats.
How do you know the band is able to stick with the click, if you occasionally don't? In that case, I'd say let everyone else have the click, and you play to them!

Not to jump on your reasoning, I kind of know what you're saying, but everyone has their occasional weaknesses. To minimize the problems resulting from the fact that everyone strays a bit, it's important to eliminate the variables that can cause more problems than simply straying in the first place. A little bit of push & pull is common, but if the drummer gets off the click, and everyone else now hears two sources of time - however brief the lapse - which way are they expected to go?

If they're going to follow the drummer no matter what else they hear, then why would they need the click at all? And if they're so in tune with the click, wouldn't they want to find a drummer who is, too? :O

Bermuda

Last edited by bermuda; 01-27-2010 at 09:11 PM.
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Old 01-27-2010, 09:11 PM
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Default Re: Playing w/ a Click Live... Concerns:

This is why I love this forum!

So Bermuda, just to be clear, you're advocating that only the drummer gets the click in the studio, too, right?
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Old 01-27-2010, 09:13 PM
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Default Re: Playing w/ a Click Live... Concerns:

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Originally Posted by bermuda View Post
Why would the other players be able to follow a click, but not the drummer?

Yes, ideally it would be great if everyone had the same sense of following a tempo regulator. But that's often/usually not the case, and when a player hears two drummers - a click and a drummer - and has to decide which to follow, their inability to all make the same choice as the next guy is magnified. At least if everyone hears just one drummer - whether click or drummer - there are no options. If they get off the beat, they only have one choice to get back on.

I've been recording or performing to clicks for 30 years, and have never had another player want to hear the click if I'm also playing.

Bermuda
Im nowhere near as good as you, which is why your bandmates can trust you as though you were a click. I have just joined my band, and nearly all of it is out of 4 and usually its an alternating meter kind of deal....I;m still learning all of it, and I need the metronome crutch way more than the guys who wrote this stuff.

Sometimes with all the irregular metering stuff I'll start a bar a beat early or a beat late and it really throws my timing off trying to catch up to where I should be, it really helps to have that click for the whole band so we can count the bar through all the syncopations without trainwrecking over a couple slip ups on my end (talking about rehearsal, not ready for shows just yet)

From my perspective, I know there are some parts of our setlist where the tempo picks up just because of the momentum of the piece. One part of one of our songs theres an instrumental section where I stop thinking about things like I should and lose track of the basics. I really like the guitar parts that the guys are playing and I just immerse myself in it and try to make the audience feel the same thing I hear as I play it by channeling that involvement into it. Everytime we hit it, I jump the tempo up 10bpm or so when the double bass comes in. I notice about 4 counts into it the click and the rest of the music just breaks away from where I thought it was and I need to readjust, the other guys are right on top of the clicktrack which makes it way easier to get back on.

IF we do it without the click, it sounds seamless and perfect and all that magical stuff, because its a natural pull. BUT we want it to be 100% solid like the recording, every time we do it, and if they stay right on the click for that part while I rush a little bit, then I can notice the mistake and readjust. It would be a horrible headache trying to get back on the click in just my headphones and get the other guys to follow..it would feel really awkward. I've been getting pretty good with it, if I lose my focus and flam with the click I am back on beat by the next count its just really good to have everyone on the same page with the tempo.

Thats all just for rehearsal though, for performance everyone needs to have the click because I am not always playing, but i need to be back on my china cymbal in 12 counts, or 3 repetitions of a riff or whatever. I just think its best (for us learning drummers and local musicians who are trying to get where you are) to have as much metronome exposure as possible, solo practice, band practice, and performance. So then 30 years later, people don't need the click as long as one of us is playing to it. It can only help right?
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Old 01-27-2010, 09:35 PM
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Default Re: Playing w/ a Click Live... Concerns:

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Originally Posted by MikeM View Post
This is why I love this forum!

So Bermuda, just to be clear, you're advocating that only the drummer gets the click in the studio, too, right?
Actually, it's not my call. It's everyone else who wants to play to only one source of time. I've just noticed that's the case with 100% of the players I've ever worked with.

Bermuda
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Old 01-27-2010, 09:50 PM
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Default Re: Playing w/ a Click Live... Concerns:

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Originally Posted by bermuda View Post
Actually, it's not my call. It's everyone else who wants to play to only one source of time. I've just noticed that's the case with 100% of the players I've ever worked with.

Bermuda
Okay, that makes sense. So when you're recording, how much of what do you typically like to hear in your headphones - assuming just guitar, bass, vocals (and click of course)?

I've noticed that when I go record, I'll often want to use a click but there's always someone who doesn't want it there at all stiffening up the feel. I've been able to use them before, but if I can't get buy-in from other band members or recording engineers, I usually don't push it.

Apparently, a lot a people have bad experiences with it.

Edit: Again, I have light bulbs coming on in my head on this and I want to get a click set up at practice again - it makes so much sense that everyone else only wants only one source of time to play to. Not sure why that never occurred to me before, but thanks for making that point, Bermuda.
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Old 01-27-2010, 10:04 PM
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Default Re: Playing w/ a Click Live... Concerns:

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Originally Posted by Ferret View Post
playing with a click is a mark of professionalism, you need to very politely tell your singer he's in no position to call anything amateurish without at least making an effort to be pro himself. Get him an in ear click, and if he doesnt wanna work with it, then he doesnt want to work with a click at all, its that simple. If he wont put in the practice himself, hes in no position to make you think about this problem as much when its really an issue with him (youre doing everything you should do) Just reading about this guys attitude annoys me, it seems like he expects you to overcome the whole bands timing issues just because you play drums. .
I so agree with this. And I've had this run in before where non-drummers just assume it's only the drummers job to keep time and they don't have to. It's simply not true.

As for the whole who get's the click debate:

I see Ferret's point of view than in REHEARSAL it can be a great idea for the whole band to play to a click, especially if different members have different levels of experience (or lack of) or different ideas about time (i.e. the bass player who thinks his time is perfect when it's clear it's not). I've done this before, and wow, it can really make the whole band sound better after a few rehearsals.

But live, I agree with Bermuda, the drummer should have the click, establish the time, and everyone follow the drums. Otherwise it could be a train wreck if someone gets off the click. Although I've heard of bands where everyone does indeed get a click.

Another solution is keeping time in breaks without clicking sticks or counting on the hi-hat is how Dream Theater counts in songs these days. Again, it's an expensive solution, but it would work. Everyone has in ear monitors, and Mike has a small roland pad. He counts off time on the pad, but the sound triggered by the pad only goes to the bands in ear monitors, not to the audience. Granted, he's not lining up the band to a click (other than in certain pre-recorded intros) but the concept would work either way.
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Old 01-28-2010, 06:50 AM
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Default Re: Playing w/ a Click Live... Concerns:

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Originally Posted by MikeM View Post
Okay, that makes sense. So when you're recording, how much of what do you typically like to hear in your headphones - assuming just guitar, bass, vocals (and click of course)?
I typically have the click (sequence or sometimes our demo [also cut to a click]) loudest, my drums next, and maybe a little bass and guitar if they happen to be playing it with me. If a scratch vocal is being done, I'll have a little of that too. But mainly, I need to hear the time and me, so I know I'm locked in.

This is a good opportunity to mention how crucial a mix is to a performance, and being able to stay on the click. You've heard about drummers who like to 'bury' the click, so they know they're right in time. The problem is, as soon as you hear a click, you're off, and are mentally scrambling to figure out which way to go to get back on. This means a few more clicks go by in order to assess and correct it. Do 4 or 5 slightly flamming clicks make for a bad feel? Probably not, but it's still unnerving.

I like to have the click/track loud, like it's part of the music. I always want to hear it, so I always know where I am in relation to it. If I'm right on top of it, I still hear it. It's always there and can't be buried, so it can't go away.

This works for me, maybe not for everyone. But remember, the click is there for a reason, so you've got to be able to make it work, or the resulting multiple takes will probably not result in future work with those players.

Bermuda
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