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  #1  
Old 01-23-2011, 10:34 PM
jer jer is offline
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Default XxxXxxXxxXxxXxXx...

... and other drum clichés.

Variant on the above, (U2, Beautiful Day) would be XxxXxxXx (Coldplay, Clocks), or "resolving quarter note triplets".

Working on new material yesterday, songwriter mentioned he was thinking along the lines of Coldplay for a drum part and I knew what he meant and started playing the thread title, he got excited - "Yeah!, that's perfect". I sorta hung my head in shame.

I'm happy playing 2 + 4 all day, which has been beat (ha!) to death, but why do I get my back up when asked to play this, imo, cliché?

I suppose similarily, the intro to "Be My Baby", by the Ronettes stirs the same kind of reaction...

Any beats to add?
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Old 01-23-2011, 11:10 PM
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Default Re: XxxXxxXxxXxxXxXx...

I think we are talking about what Frank Zappa termed "hateful practices", such as the II-V-I chord progression (the essence of bad white person music). Drumming has some of its own, to be sure.

The example you cited is like a disease in marching lines (or at least it was in the mid-90s). A modern hateful practice behind the kit is the militaristic, 4/4 disco stomp employed frequently by Ronnie Vanucci and some others, without regard for it's effect on the song. That's right up there with "guyliner" and "Police State Chic". It's like a drum machine with a very boorish attitude. I hate playing that kind of stuff.
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Old 01-23-2011, 11:31 PM
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Default Re: XxxXxxXxxXxxXxXx...

There can be no good reason why you'd hate to play that particular cliche over a 2 & 4 groove, other than you dislike the music it appears in.
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Old 01-23-2011, 11:42 PM
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Default Re: XxxXxxXxxXxxXxXx...

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Originally Posted by jonescrusher View Post
There can be no good reason why you'd hate to play that particular cliche over a 2 & 4 groove, other than you dislike the music it appears in.
I wish it were that simple of an answer. Sure, "Clocks" gets a little repetitive, but I wouldn't skip it if it came on the shuffle.
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Old 01-23-2011, 11:47 PM
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Default Re: XxxXxxXxxXxxXxXx...

You are gonna have to put a spin on it and maybe even turn it around and confuse guitar man. Guitar players here a "beat" and say THAT'S IT! WE know it is a rip off 100%. Mess with it and change some things. Best to you.
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Old 01-23-2011, 11:50 PM
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Default Re: XxxXxxXxxXxxXxXx...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikecore View Post
I think we are talking about what Frank Zappa termed "hateful practices", such as the II-V-I chord progression (the essence of bad white person music). Drumming has some of its own, to be sure.

The example you cited is like a disease in marching lines (or at least it was in the mid-90s). A modern hateful practice behind the kit is the militaristic, 4/4 disco stomp employed frequently by Ronnie Vanucci and some others, without regard for it's effect on the song. That's right up there with "guyliner" and "Police State Chic". It's like a drum machine with a very boorish attitude. I hate playing that kind of stuff.
"Axis of Awesome's" 4-chord progression as another example.
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Old 01-23-2011, 11:57 PM
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Default Re: XxxXxxXxxXxxXxXx...

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Originally Posted by KBadd View Post
Mess with it and change some things. Best to you.
I was holding quarters on the hats which at least kept my brain occupied.
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Old 01-24-2011, 12:07 AM
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Default Re: XxxXxxXxxXxxXxXx...

AS I LISTEN NOW............................to me..........................try "less" (fewer......will sort of sound like the tune is slower) beats with the left hand and switch up the snare to the toms (hi and low).....this is a classic AC/DC riff. You can get it!!!
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Old 01-24-2011, 12:11 AM
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Default Re: XxxXxxXxxXxxXxXx...

Yea, I agree on this... My guitarrist friend keeps playing this song, (and such) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aOY_UV9GhIM&ob=av3el when were jamming, while my style of playing is more prog/jazz based... All that I can think of when I hear this type of rythm is:

LA LA la-la-la-la LA LA la-la-la-la LA LA la-la-la-la LA LA la-la-la-la...

AND ITS SO BORING! I usually tackle this by playing a polka until the guitarrist gets bored :)
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Old 01-25-2011, 08:38 AM
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Default Re: XxxXxxXxxXxxXxXx...

Quote:
Originally Posted by jer View Post
I wish it were that simple of an answer. Sure, "Clocks" gets a little repetitive, but I wouldn't skip it if it came on the shuffle.
I think Jones makes a great point. I would not argue that you dislike the genre, but rather the execution.

The reason "Clocks" works (ha!) as a song is because of the bridge. The bridge does the trick because:

1. It presents new chords we haven't yet heard in the song.

2. The phrasing (pattern) of the bridge chords is different than the phrasing of the verse and chorus chords.

- The verse/chorus is | D | Am | Am | Em |

- The bridge is | Fmaj7 | Fmaj7 | C | G |

Songwriting is tricky business, as difficult as learning an instrument I would wager. Most songwriters get hung up on melody, lyrics, and chords, and think very little about contrasting the different parts of a song with phrasing and chord choices. I suspect that you hung your head because you know your friend is not that sophisticated a songwriter, and without those chord and phrasing changes, you know you're in for a boring ride.

It bears repeating that phrasing can be a very powerful songwriting tool. Many respected pop songs have the same chords in all song parts, but because the phrasing is changed, the next part seems different from the one before, and it keeps our interest.
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Old 01-25-2011, 07:38 PM
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Default Re: XxxXxxXxxXxxXxXx...

Quote:
Originally Posted by brentcn View Post
I think Jones makes a great point. I would not argue that you dislike the genre, but rather the execution.

The reason "Clocks" works (ha!) as a song is because of the bridge. The bridge does the trick because:

1. It presents new chords we haven't yet heard in the song.

2. The phrasing (pattern) of the bridge chords is different than the phrasing of the verse and chorus chords.

- The verse/chorus is | D | Am | Am | Em |

- The bridge is | Fmaj7 | Fmaj7 | C | G |

Songwriting is tricky business, as difficult as learning an instrument I would wager. Most songwriters get hung up on melody, lyrics, and chords, and think very little about contrasting the different parts of a song with phrasing and chord choices. I suspect that you hung your head because you know your friend is not that sophisticated a songwriter, and without those chord and phrasing changes, you know you're in for a boring ride.

It bears repeating that phrasing can be a very powerful songwriting tool. Many respected pop songs have the same chords in all song parts, but because the phrasing is changed, the next part seems different from the one before, and it keeps our interest.
The funny thing is, although you may be onto something with a lack of sophistication, he's probably one of the best songwriters I've ever worked with. While I'm talking about theory, he's talking about emotion.

After writing this thread, I was wondering if groove (or lack of) was what my "problem" with this rhythm. While I agreed with myself that this rhythm lacks a pocket as I'm used to, I also considered it's a time tested pattern we hear and accept regularily as being something we are familiar with and can easily identify with.

This, in combination with a constantly maturing approach to music really has me questioning "what the heck do I really know?" I've really been working on playing "for the song" over the past few years and now wonder if even trying to come up with something interesting while playing for the song is hindering my ability to simply play emotionally.

Listeners connect emotionally with a song through it's lyrics and the moods that different chord progressions can paint, (like going to the major in the bridge of Clocks). My job isn't to play "for the song" while keeping it interesting, it's to be the canvas on which the songwriter paints their subject.

Thanks for the thoughts.
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Old 01-26-2011, 12:40 AM
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Default Re: XxxXxxXxxXxxXxXx...

whats this thread about?? im a bit unsure.

are you bored with playing a beat??? suk it up
dont like coldplay??? the most sucessfull english band of the 00's peroid. Sold 50 million records, thats a fact.

If you dont like playing something dont play it, but dont forget musicians expect to hear certain things, and drummers are ten a penny so if you want to keep your job, play the song and keep your mouth shut.
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Old 01-26-2011, 01:19 AM
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Default Re: XxxXxxXxxXxxXxXx...

Hat/Snare, Hat, Hat/Kick, Hat...

Single stroke rolls between high-hat/snare with syncopated double-kicks - a.k.a the stock standard blast-beat

Plenty of over-used beats, I guess part of what it comes down to is that there is only so much to the kit, especially if you're playing a four/five piece with a hat/crash/ride and if you want to play in time without doing much with the dynamics (eg. all fast, all loud, all the time without accents) eventually you're going to do something that someone else has done before.
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Old 01-26-2011, 05:15 AM
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Default Re: XxxXxxXxxXxxXxXx...

Quote:
Originally Posted by jer View Post
The funny thing is, although you may be onto something with a lack of sophistication, he's probably one of the best songwriters I've ever worked with. While I'm talking about theory, he's talking about emotion.

After writing this thread, I was wondering if groove (or lack of) was what my "problem" with this rhythm. While I agreed with myself that this rhythm lacks a pocket as I'm used to, I also considered it's a time tested pattern we hear and accept regularily as being something we are familiar with and can easily identify with.

This, in combination with a constantly maturing approach to music really has me questioning "what the heck do I really know?" I've really been working on playing "for the song" over the past few years and now wonder if even trying to come up with something interesting while playing for the song is hindering my ability to simply play emotionally.

Listeners connect emotionally with a song through it's lyrics and the moods that different chord progressions can paint, (like going to the major in the bridge of Clocks). My job isn't to play "for the song" while keeping it interesting, it's to be the canvas on which the songwriter paints their subject.

Thanks for the thoughts.
Happy to get you thinking!

Just a thought, but the rhythm you mention is also in the intro of "Welcome To The Jungle" by Guns N Roses. It's just as likely that faster tempos and a meaner attitude might be what you're missing! I once heard Coldplay described as "p*&$^% rock".

In both Clocks and Welcome To The Jungle, that beat goes right along with the arpeggios that the piano or guitar is playing. If your friend's song does not have such a rhythmic pattern in the piano or guitar, then there is no musical reason to play the pattern on drums. If your friend is simply bored of plain ol' 2 and 4, then he should write music that states a different rhythmic approach. Perhaps he thinks he can "inject different-ness" by applying a "new" drum beat.

Sam - I think your attitude on this might stop you from learning about why you like the music you do (and therefore hinder your ability to make good music), and prevent you from learning to communicate with your bandmates (which is just as likely to get you fired).
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Old 01-26-2011, 01:03 PM
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Default Re: XxxXxxXxxXxxXxXx...

no need to make it personal, im just stating what any drummer would say regarding playing for the song and playing with taste. Less is definetley more.

I do ok on the job front, played 150 gigs last year, one tour of france, and and countless events, and done a few sessions. Sorry for being narky, but this thread is drumb.
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Old 01-26-2011, 02:01 PM
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Default Re: XxxXxxXxxXxxXxXx...

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Originally Posted by samthebeat View Post
no need to make it personal, im just stating what any drummer would say regarding playing for the song and playing with taste. Less is definetley more.

I do ok on the job front, played 150 gigs last year, one tour of france, and and countless events, and done a few sessions. Sorry for being narky, but this thread is drumb.
For someone who's asked not to make the thread personal, it sure feels like you did exactly that by saying my thoughts were dumb.

Congrats on all your successes.
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Old 01-26-2011, 02:28 PM
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Originally Posted by brentcn View Post
Happy to get you thinking!

Just a thought, but the rhythm you mention is also in the intro of "Welcome To The Jungle" by Guns N Roses. It's just as likely that faster tempos and a meaner attitude might be what you're missing! I once heard Coldplay described as "p*&$^% rock".

In both Clocks and Welcome To The Jungle, that beat goes right along with the arpeggios that the piano or guitar is playing. If your friend's song does not have such a rhythmic pattern in the piano or guitar, then there is no musical reason to play the pattern on drums. If your friend is simply bored of plain ol' 2 and 4, then he should write music that states a different rhythmic approach. Perhaps he thinks he can "inject different-ness" by applying a "new" drum beat.
I really didn't want to specifically target "Clocks" or Coldplay, the beat appears in many places. I did also mention another cliché beat on the intro to "Be My Baby" which got no ground, (there probably aren't too many Ronettes' fanboys), but anyways...

While the particular tune my band is working on could go either way, as there is an 8th note pattern chugging away on bass, he could easily accent to match that rhythm or simply play straight, which is how I felt it. Either way, I like the song, it will work whatever way we end up doing it.

I was simply over come with a feeling of, "not this beat again", rolled my eyes and wondered if anyone else had beats they feel the same way about.
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Old 01-26-2011, 03:22 PM
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Default Re: XxxXxxXxxXxxXxXx...

Sometimes, when playing long stretches of a beat that I feel is boring, (a 2/4 country beat/polka beat for instance) when I listen to the recording, it doesn't sound boring at all. I found, from listening back, that it's me who is creating the problem by thinking it's boring. The bottom line is...Just plain keeping time works. If you think it's boring, you're probably the only one thinking that. Repetive drums are hypnotic. I mean that in the best possible way. I absolutely love the song "Clocks". In fact, it's the song my alarm clock plays instead of a buzzer. That song makes me feel like I am flying, not in a plane, literally flying, and I love the drum part.
Keeping a steady beat may be "boring" to play, but not to listen to. Have faith that you aren't boring.
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Old 01-26-2011, 04:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jer View Post
While the particular tune my band is working on could go either way, as there is an 8th note pattern chugging away on bass, he could easily accent to match that rhythm or simply play straight, which is how I felt it.
I'm pretty sure that's how I would have felt it, too. Although there is an opportunity to accent in groups of 3's and 2's, if the pitches aren't moving in these groups, or the notes aren't spaced as dotted 2 dotted quarters, what's the point of accenting with such regularity?

I think that if your friend is going to demand you play a certain part, he needs to understand why that part works in songs. I disagree with Sam here, you should not just "suk it up", you should constructively offer that a melodic element reinforce the beat, with spacing, or with pitch (as in the arpeggios I mentioned), or both.
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Old 01-26-2011, 04:48 PM
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Default Re: XxxXxxXxxXxxXxXx...

Oh wow I was seriously thinking about this beat in depth earlier this week for some reason. Crazy coincidence. Anyways though, I'd have to agree that anytime I've heard this used it is matched with an arpeggio being played by one of the other instruments in the song. Thus is probably the reason the beat was chosen by the drummer in the first place I'd say. If you aren't feeling it then I think you should stress the importance of not pushing a sound or feel that not only doesn't come naturally but must sound out of place to some extent (although I'm thinking it stems from a personal vendetta of sorts against the beat more than anything in this case). Ultimate advice though: record and listen back. Does it sound like something that works or not? Taking a step back is everything sometimes.
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Old 01-26-2011, 09:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jer View Post
For someone who's asked not to make the thread personal, it sure feels like you did exactly that by saying my thoughts were dumb.

Congrats on all your successes.
yeah sorry, comments not directed towards your thoughts. Nothing wrong with finding a beat boring, or not liking coldplay, or U2 for that matter. We all have our pet hates. I have a habbit of sounding off on the internet cause its the internet and its the only place i can sound off about my thoughts. no disrepect.
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Old 01-27-2011, 12:01 AM
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Default Re: XxxXxxXxxXxxXxXx...

I know what you mean. It's not that I don't like the beat from Clocks, but I'd be reluctant to want to use that beat, too.

Same thing with "Those Shoes" by the Eagles. When Tool did "Sober" all I could think was Those Shoes. As much as I like that beat, I avoid it when I can because it's just too recognizable for my comfort level.
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Old 01-27-2011, 01:38 AM
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To me, this sort of thing is a challenge! The objective is to make it feel good...and if it sounds tired and overused, that's not good...so you have to find an alternative that still has the same overall pattern.

I must admit this one can sound a bit boring in the wrong context, but I'd be tempted to play four over the top and emphasize the semi-polyrhythmic aspect to this part.
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Old 01-27-2011, 07:20 AM
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One that I do my best to boycott is the RLRLFF fill. It is "played out" as they say, but occasionally I fire it out much to my chagrin. It's just a personal thing, if you love it than have at it!
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Old 01-27-2011, 08:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jer View Post
My job isn't to play "for the song" while keeping it interesting, it's to be the canvas on which the songwriter paints their subject.
That's something I've wondered about lots too. On one hand, you want to provide as "appropriate" accompaniment as possible, but if all the songs in a set have a similar feel then it's boring to me as both a listener and a player. How much do you mix it up so the songs aren't same-y?

I see people totally loving bands whose repertoire is full of similar-sounding songs and I know I'm missing something. It's the same reason why I often struggle to understand where Rolling Stone magazine is coming from.

As you said, it's the emotional side. Being ADHD, I struggle to keep focused on lyrics long enough to understand them. So I hook more in to the form of the music than the content. I seem attracted more to the design of music, especially the "colours", more than the meaning. Superficial as hell - I just like cool sounds :)

Result is, I have generally varied the colours of my various bands' songs more than most other rock-based drummers. Some would consider my approach to some songs as sub-optimal, and they would be right if you refer to "optimal" as something that most listeners - both educated and uneducated - think is better.

But the way I see it, good jazz drummers often provide a broad palate of colours within each song. If I don't had the chops I'd do that too, bust since I don't I provide a broad range of colours over the course of a set.

So our playing is heavily slanted by our personalities, which of course determines our tastes. It also depends on how much influence other peoples' tastes have on your playing - broader audiences, local audiences, the band and your friends. I have almost always played to please myself and band mates in about equal measure, without much thought about audiences.

That's my 2c, which of course is about how much money I've made from music :)
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Old 01-27-2011, 04:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikecore View Post
I think we are talking about what Frank Zappa termed "hateful practices", such as the II-V-I chord progression (the essence of bad white person music).
II-V-I is the harmonic essence of jazz, which is pretty much black person music in its heart.
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Old 01-27-2011, 04:54 PM
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Originally Posted by larryace View Post
Keeping a steady beat may be "boring" to play, but not to listen to. Have faith that you aren't boring.
Can't agree with you more.


Quote:
Originally Posted by newdayscenario View Post
Oh wow I was seriously thinking about this beat in depth earlier this week for some reason. Crazy coincidence.... ...Ultimate advice though: record and listen back. Does it sound like something that works or not? Taking a step back is everything sometimes.
Crazy coincidence, yeah...

I've got the song recorded playing both the beat and just straight. It doesn't not work in either example, you are quite right in stepping back... thinking I'm going to have to put it to a vote within the band.

Quote:
Originally Posted by samthebeat View Post
yeah sorry,
Tks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeM View Post

Same thing with "Those Shoes" by the Eagles. When Tool did "Sober" all I could think was Those Shoes. As much as I like that beat, I avoid it when I can because it's just too recognizable for my comfort level.
"Cause I'm a high plains drifter!"

Quote:
Originally Posted by PQleyR View Post
To me, this sort of thing is a challenge! The objective is to make it feel good...and if it sounds tired and overused, that's not good...so you have to find an alternative that still has the same overall pattern.
Knowing I've recorded songs that use this pattern, I found 2 examples, and yes, I've tried to introduce an alternative... but this is where I feel I'd be entering an area where it could be super easy to get caught up in trying to do something cool or interesting and slip away from playing to the emotion of the song. A fine line to be walked on.
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Old 01-27-2011, 09:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Wavelength View Post
II-V-I is the harmonic essence of jazz, which is pretty much black person music in its heart.
Yeah, did he mean to say I-IV-V? It's hard for me to imagine Zappa railing against a ubiquitous jazz progression (but maybe he did, being more interested in classical structures later in life).
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Old 01-27-2011, 11:11 PM
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"Cause I'm a high plains drifter!"
Ha ha! I forgot all about Paul's Boutique! Been a long time since I've heard that.
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Old 01-28-2011, 01:55 AM
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Default Re: XxxXxxXxxXxxXxXx...

Quote:
Originally Posted by jer View Post
... and other drum clichés.

Variant on the above, (U2, Beautiful Day) would be XxxXxxXx (Coldplay, Clocks), or "resolving quarter note triplets".

Working on new material yesterday, songwriter mentioned he was thinking along the lines of Coldplay for a drum part and I knew what he meant and started playing the thread title, he got excited - "Yeah!, that's perfect". I sorta hung my head in shame.

I'm happy playing 2 + 4 all day, which has been beat (ha!) to death, but why do I get my back up when asked to play this, imo, cliché?

I suppose similarily, the intro to "Be My Baby", by the Ronettes stirs the same kind of reaction...

Any beats to add?
I too know what you mean about that beat particularly!
It's not just 'that beat' but it's when you hear it on every UK commercial rock song in a 'trying to make their own version of Clocks' way.
I played with a great ex-metal guitarist, great thinker really special, who decided some years ago that he just wasn't into that any more. Kind of as though he came out of the closet, in so far as he came out saying 'what i really like is simple dated rock and pop'.
Which is just jingles.
Because he was amazing at what he did before.
I am all in favour of progress - I was on board with him with the idea. How our attitudes changed were that I noticed when I really got into interesting classic rock and pop from the past 20-30 years, that the songs him and I really liked were ones that, although they sounded simple, they were very, very refined. A whole lot of talent and experimentation and technical ability had been distilled to make these classic rock/pop songs. For him, it was more an attitude that 'simpler music = simpler to express ideas', which I felt bypassed the actual learning curve that could have been taken. Distilled, refined pop rock is timeless.

This sounds like I went on a random trail - my point is that you may feel, as I would have, that even if Clocks is a great song/sound, it does so by having been carefully crafted note-for-note, guitar inspiring drums, drums inspiring guitar and god knows how many other details about its origins. Even if these songs are sometimes written quickly (Chris Martin, whatever you think of him, has penned many wildly successful tunes and I respect that, without hesitation), they get rehearsed and practised and recorded and toyed with to perfection before we ever hear them on the radio.

My guitarist, at his worst, would write a riff that literally was like a stripped-down version of [insert popular rock/indie/whatever song of the era] and he'd be like "I need it to have,,,y'know,,,that beat, a kind of *gestures waving his arms with the ignorance of someone imitating a drummer without knowing how to play, combined with messy beat boxing*. I'd take a wild stab at it by playing a stripped-down version of what the song his riff sounded like would do drum-wise. Sure enough he'd go ''yeah that's great do that!''

This is what I too would (at least inside) slap my head in a kind of disbelief.

That feeling of 'not this beat/idea again' (as illustrated to mixed success by Lars Ulrich to James Hetfield in Some Kind Of Monster), is when you the drummer feel the overall sound is 'stock'. Filler, etc. Now you point out your guitarist (like mine) is very talented. If his passion is music (literally) then just illustrate to him what you like or what you could contribute to the song, rather than making him think the Clocks idea is poor. I don't mean lie to/manipulate the guy, I mean if you let your passion for an original but accessible sound show, you'll both be able to come up with something that naturally straddles the two paramount things - something interesting and original, while being accessible & enjoyable
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Old 01-28-2011, 02:02 AM
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One that I do my best to boycott is the RLRLFF fill. It is "played out" as they say, but occasionally I fire it out much to my chagrin. It's just a personal thing, if you love it than have at it!
do you mean RLRLFF - FF = Foot Foot ie Kick Kick? or Floor tom Floor tom?
so a generic 6/8 feeling fill? I wondered as well if you meant stuff like snare-snare-kick-kick-tom-tom-kick-kick etc ... because I totally understand that too.

I asked a musicologist what that Clocks-style beat is - not when it's specifically orchestrated as on the record, but anything where you're playing effectively in 4/4 but technically it's 8/8 - and you accent ONE two three Four five six SEVEN eight - it's just a rhumba, right?

lastly - GREAT use of the word chagrin. Don't know why but I love it's comedy pomp!
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Old 01-28-2011, 02:14 AM
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That's something I've wondered about lots too. On one hand, you want to provide as "appropriate" accompaniment as possible, but if all the songs in a set have a similar feel then it's boring to me as both a listener and a player. How much do you mix it up so the songs aren't same-y?

I see people totally loving bands whose repertoire is full of similar-sounding songs and I know I'm missing something. It's the same reason why I often struggle to understand where Rolling Stone magazine is coming from.

As you said, it's the emotional side. Being ADHD, I struggle to keep focused on lyrics long enough to understand them. So I hook more in to the form of the music than the content. I seem attracted more to the design of music, especially the "colours", more than the meaning. Superficial as hell - I just like cool sounds :)

Result is, I have generally varied the colours of my various bands' songs more than most other rock-based drummers. Some would consider my approach to some songs as sub-optimal, and they would be right if you refer to "optimal" as something that most listeners - both educated and uneducated - think is better.

But the way I see it, good jazz drummers often provide a broad palate of colours within each song. If I don't had the chops I'd do that too, bust since I don't I provide a broad range of colours over the course of a set.

So our playing is heavily slanted by our personalities, which of course determines our tastes. It also depends on how much influence other peoples' tastes have on your playing - broader audiences, local audiences, the band and your friends. I have almost always played to please myself and band mates in about equal measure, without much thought about audiences.

That's my 2c, which of course is about how much money I've made from music :)
I am literally a hundred percent behind you here.
Pretty much everything you have said here applies to me 100% including learning difficulties. I also note how you like me don't mean that as some kind of sympathy or sob-story thing - you just mean, in self-awareness, that you see how it might affect your playing.
I have had the exact same things said to me by other players, and also get you when too have heard ... let's say, very ostinato-based contemporary music that people love in droves, and feel you might be missing something.
I figure it's like this - if we could sum drumming, the personality and all into two major categories between people (you see these parallels in relationships too), then it would go something like this:

you either:

1
- have lots of things firing off at once in your head and you're swept one way and another two and from. you're often deemed very creative, in bad and good ways. flawed but great.

2
- are co-operation incarnate: you add well to a situation, you're useful and reliable, and you also require a sort of ignition from things around you or other people kick-starting yourself


If'n it were at all worth thinking along this line, I'd propose you and I are Category 1.
If you were a Category 2, your inclination in life generally would need to be one where you seek to do something a bit different, that you take your solidity and build on top of that.
If you're a Category 1, you tend to be a bit divergent naturally (for good and bad). The answer is to take that creativity and learn to co-operate and make it a unique contribution

I'm not lecturing by the way - it's just this subject has struck a real thing with my thoughts.

I know if I love you so much why don't I marry you etc Hah
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Old 01-28-2011, 03:44 AM
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Originally Posted by icebello View Post
I figure it's like this - if we could sum drumming, the personality and all into two major categories between people (you see these parallels in relationships too), then it would go something like this:

you either:

1
- have lots of things firing off at once in your head and you're swept one way and another two and from. you're often deemed very creative, in bad and good ways. flawed but great.

2
- are co-operation incarnate: you add well to a situation, you're useful and reliable, and you also require a sort of ignition from things around you or other people kick-starting yourself


If'n it were at all worth thinking along this line, I'd propose you and I are Category 1.
If you were a Category 2, your inclination in life generally would need to be one where you seek to do something a bit different, that you take your solidity and build on top of that.
If you're a Category 1, you tend to be a bit divergent naturally (for good and bad). The answer is to take that creativity and learn to co-operate and make it a unique contribution
Well, yes and no. If I had the chops I would be more of a category 1, chasing down every accent like a mad butterfly collector with a net. However, I only have the chops to be solid. I don't have the subtlety or patience to play straight backbeat with varied nuance every song, so I look for alternatives. There'll be songs in our set where I play something a bit quirky yet, if it was the only song I was playing, I might just play a standard backbeat.

So the way I approach a song will be influenced by the parts I've played in other songs in my band's set. Ideally, it's not the right way to approach things because each song should be interpreted entirely on its own terms without reference to anything else, ie. X bassline is screaming for Y beat. So I ended up playing with quirky little bands that went nowhere but who enjoy my approach. I guess their ears crave variety too.

Having said that, a lot of times I find musicians impose their standard beats and fills on every song - the cookie cutter approach. To me, that denies the individuality of each song although some would say that helps the band maintain a cohesive direction. That's what I think the OP is talking about - being formulaic.

I think for commercial success over the past 30 years players have needed to be at least somewhat formulaic rather than taking my shallow and hobby-ish higgeldy-piggeldy approach. It depends on what you want out of music.
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Old 01-28-2011, 04:15 AM
matthew matthew is offline
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I asked a musicologist what that Clocks-style beat is - not when it's specifically orchestrated as on the record, but anything where you're playing effectively in 4/4 but technically it's 8/8 - and you accent ONE two three Four five six SEVEN eight - it's just a rhumba, right?
Icebello I'd simply think of it as the first bar of a 3:2 clave repeated. There are two typoes of clave. This 3 clave is the Son clave meaning exactly what you specified (the other clave is the rhumba clave; when the eighth count is accented instead of the seven; either way there are still three accents in the bar).

im no musicologists, but i love every bit of info i can get about this, and as far as ive found, mainly from trying to learn new orleans 2nd line stuff, the clave has roots in Africa.... i some times wonder if the clave 3:2 is ingrained somewhere deep in human history, between 3:2, its reverse 2:3, or repeating 3, or repeating 2, theres so much musical fodder just there. and something about it gets the human moving!
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Old 01-28-2011, 04:36 PM
brentcn brentcn is offline
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That's what I think the OP is talking about - being formulaic.
I'm not sure about this. Still waiting for the OP to weigh in, but if the part isn't called for musically (i.e. by the formula), then it's just a songwriter who wants to hear a beat when it doesn't work, like a child who wants candy instead of dinner, and the commonality of the beat is irrelevant. In this case, we can all get out of our own heads, and play the beat in order to remain friends with the songwriter (who has proven he doesn't want anyone else's ideas on this one).

Quote:
On one hand, you want to provide as "appropriate" accompaniment as possible, but if all the songs in a set have a similar feel then it's boring to me as both a listener and a player. How much do you mix it up so the songs aren't same-y?
IMHO, you don't, your songwriters are supposed to write songs, and then be flexible about their arrangement and interpretation, so that you don't get that scenario. Too often though, songwriters get into the habit of writing around what they are most comfortable playing, and at a speed they are comfortable singing, and not enough time is spent learning to write in different styles/tempos/time signatures. Too much ego, not enough training and experience.

If we do want to "mix it up", then we should think about the song itself to decide how to best accomplish the task. The sullen, melancholy lyrics of a break-up song are probably not going to benefit from funk beat and horn arrangement, but could the song work as a slow 6/8? Or take the lovesick piano ballad: does it work with a reggae feel, or should we give it the Coldplay treatment? The best songwriters are very open-minded and audience-conscious.
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Old 01-29-2011, 05:52 PM
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Default Re: XxxXxxXxxXxxXxXx...

Originally Posted by icebello
I asked a musicologist what that Clocks-style beat is - not when it's specifically orchestrated as on the record, but anything where you're playing effectively in 4/4 but technically it's 8/8 - and you accent ONE two three Four five six SEVEN eight - it's just a rhumba, right?

Most Afro Cuban times are in 2/2(cut time) or 6/8. If you are playing in 2/2 no matter what direction the clave is moving ie 3:2 or 2:3. you should look at the note values as 16th notes,
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  #37  
Old 01-29-2011, 05:59 PM
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Swiss Matthias Swiss Matthias is offline
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Nice title for a thread. :)


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Originally Posted by jer View Post
"resolving quarter note triplets".
Be careful, those are NOT triplets!!
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Old 01-29-2011, 11:40 PM
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There's nothing worse than being told by a bandmate that your beat is too simple or boring and "couldn't you play something more interesting" when the simple beat is what works! (and will probably be told later by a producer to simplify it.). I'm glad I just play in cover bands now and don't have to deal with that any more. I play someone else's beats. Blame him!

I've never really found any particular beats boring. Actually some of the songs I've enjoyed playing the most have been the simplest. I can just enjoy the song instead of concentrating on something complex. I actually enjoy playing the beats you mentioned as I play Beautiful Day in a U2 tribute band and have played it before with my other band. And Nicko McBrain (Iron Maiden) plays a fast variation of that beat on a few songs that sounds killer!
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Old 01-30-2011, 12:05 AM
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I'm not sure about this. Still waiting for the OP to weigh in, but if the part isn't called for musically (i.e. by the formula), then it's just a songwriter who wants to hear a beat when it doesn't work, like a child who wants candy instead of dinner, and the commonality of the beat is irrelevant. In this case, we can all get out of our own heads, and play the beat in order to remain friends with the songwriter (who has proven he doesn't want anyone else's ideas on this one).
True, sorry, you're right. No doubt accelerated senility on my part. I enjoyed the digression, anyway :)

Maybe Jer can find a compromise solution? The first obvious thing would be to suggest to the songwriter that copping a signature part from another song isn't ideal and maybe varying it a tad would give the song a fresher feel?



Quote:
Originally Posted by brentcn View Post
... your songwriters are supposed to write songs, and then be flexible about their arrangement and interpretation, so that you don't get that scenario. Too often though, songwriters get into the habit of writing around what they are most comfortable playing, and at a speed they are comfortable singing, and not enough time is spent learning to write in different styles/tempos/time signatures. Too much ego, not enough training and experience.

.......... If we do want to "mix it up", then we should think about the song itself to decide how to best accomplish the task. The sullen, melancholy lyrics of a break-up song are probably not going to benefit from funk beat and horn arrangement, but could the song work as a slow 6/8? Or take the lovesick piano ballad: does it work with a reggae feel, or should we give it the Coldplay treatment? The best songwriters are very open-minded and audience-conscious.
I've only ever been in one band with a singer/songwriter and fortunately he wrote songs with varying feels, colours and feelings. I'd struggle in the kind of band where the writer/s seem to be continually trying to perfect the same song and have a set that's effectively: Baby You Done Me Wrong #1, Baby You Done Me Wrong #2, Baby You Done Me Wrong #3 etc.

Hang on ... I forgot ... I did once play with a songwriter who was a bit like that (and yes, it was largely forgettable). Also, like Jer, I am phobic about a song/drum feel - and this singer/songwriter tapped right into it. It's a style like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gWRK0Prfpv8, which I find somewhat dull, standard and featureless. I think of it as rocked up stock standard acoustic guitar balladeering and it puts me to sleep.

Sorry Jer, a bit slow to the party here (I knew I should have turned left at Albequerque)... are any people left? Is there any wine left? :)
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Old 01-30-2011, 07:42 AM
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It's a style like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gWRK0Prfpv8, which I find somewhat dull, standard and featureless. I think of it as rocked up stock standard acoustic guitar balladeering and it puts me to sleep.
My god that is awful. My bowels actually started to move 5 seconds into that atrocity.
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