A Rude Awakening

Erberderber

Senior Member
I took my computer to the practice room today and played along to one of my songs that I finished recently. I played with the headphones on, with the drum track taken out and no click. The time sig was 4/4 at 70 bpm with 8ths (not 16ths) on the hats/ride and 16th fills. I have to say that I had to concentrate really hard. There is so much space in between strokes and it was particularly difficult not to wander off as I had just the drumless song to play along to. It also made me think that sometimes we get so ahead of ourselves trying to be as fast and as complex as possible, we leave the basics behind. It was very satisfying in the end doing 8ths and 16ths fills at such a slow tempo and coming back bang on.
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
Bo had a similar post a couple days ago. I wholeheartedly agree that slow and steady is both challenging and gratifying. Grats!
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
I have my hands full with the basics. I've come to the conclusion that just playing with good feeling time is a noble goal all by itself.
 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
Sometimes I get a young student that comes in and though we work on the basic stuff they'll get behind the kit and start thinking of chops as fast and slow instead of rhythms.

We see the same in guitar players working on chops, shapes, fingerings instead of building phrases and vocabulary in relation to a real musical concept.

I'm all for conditioning outside of playing the instrument, but when building vocabulary it's of very little use to us if we aren't working on it in a context and within the other material it is going to be used. Don't just go through stuff. Work that thing until you get it on several levels and it's a natural part of your style and vocabulary.

We are time keepers. A new lick isn't an independent thing. It's something we work into our time keeping, A little spice, a phrase, a concept. Doesn't matter if it's a hi-hat roll or an over-riding pattern.
 

bonerpizza

Silver Member
Playing a straight forward beat with 8ths on the hi hat or ride at a STEADY 70 bpm is much more difficult than playing the same beat at 140 bpm, I try and always have a click going with a 16th note subdivision when I'm playing an 8th note beat at a bpm under 80.
I'm fairly new to playing with a click though so hopefully the constant desire to go faster will go away once I'm a little more accustomed to it.
 

bud7h4

Silver Member
A bit off topic but it's also far more challenging to play fewer deliberate notes than to fill the space with lots of "filler" notes. True on just about any instrument.
 

beyondbetrayal

Platinum Member
The only way to get better with a click is to play with a click.

Most of my practice is to a click because I record to a click often.


The first time you hit a studio if you aren't used to it is an awful experience haha
 

Erberderber

Senior Member
A bit off topic but it's also far more challenging to play fewer deliberate notes than to fill the space with lots of "filler" notes. True on just about any instrument.
I don't think your comment was off topic. I found playing 8ths at 70 bpm challenging, but the right choice. Some songs at 70 bpm work well with 16ths, while others need more room to breathe and sound more effective with just 8ths. Here is the song in question, made with my DAW, a guitar and a microphone (using an interface) in my room. The drums are programmed and I felt the song would become cluttered if I'd used 16ths.

https://soundcloud.com/videsse/henry-of-wall-the-hill

@ beyond betrayal, I don't think a click is always the best way to improve, at least you know where you are when there's a break in the music! But yes, it's important to be used to using one, especially if it's needed in the studio or on stage.
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
The drums are programmed and I felt the song would become cluttered if I'd used 16ths.

https://soundcloud.com/videsse/henry-of-wall-the-hill
I talked to my instructor about this same topic today. I wasn't satisfied with all of the micro/macro timing and accents on something I was working on. The takeaway from the lesson is that I'm going to start keeping the time with the heel of my HHat foot without actually lifting the hat.

Here's what I was working on when Bo posted his thread. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OijowEXKmPg

It starts out with the singer's "Garageband" drummer, and changes to live drums about 1 minute into it so that you can A/B what it's supposed to sound like versus what I could produce.
 

Erberderber

Senior Member
I talked to my instructor about this same topic today. I wasn't satisfied with all of the micro/macro timing and accents on something I was working on. The takeaway from the lesson is that I'm going to start keeping the time with the heel of my HHat foot without actually lifting the hat.

Here's what I was working on when Bo posted his thread. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OijowEXKmPg

It starts out with the singer's "Garageband" drummer, and changes to live drums about 1 minute into it so that you can A/B what it's supposed to sound like versus what I could produce.
Yeah good example of slow and steady, and yes, the song didn't need much else. Good job, playing with that much open space really isn't as easy as it seems.
 

moxman

Silver Member
I don't subdivide 'much' at slow tempos.. unless it's a slow 'one uh two uh' kinda thing... working with a metronome in general will improve your time over the long haul.. to the point where you always know where the beat is without a click. But generally (I think Larry referred to this) is to go for the time that feels good.

I find the biggest thing with slow tempos is keeping the other band members from pushing ahead...
 

eldernoob

Junior Member
I have my hands full with the basics. I've come to the conclusion that just playing with good feeling time is a noble goal all by itself.
Your ambition shames me. Just to be able to play the beats musically will make me feel ennobled.
 

toddbishop

Platinum Member
I took my computer to the practice room today and played along to one of my songs that I finished recently. I played with the headphones on, with the drum track taken out and no click. The time sig was 4/4 at 70 bpm with 8ths (not 16ths) on the hats/ride and 16th fills. I have to say that I had to concentrate really hard. There is so much space in between strokes and it was particularly difficult not to wander off as I had just the drumless song to play along to. It also made me think that sometimes we get so ahead of ourselves trying to be as fast and as complex as possible, we leave the basics behind. It was very satisfying in the end doing 8ths and 16ths fills at such a slow tempo and coming back bang on.
Post of the month. Groove is a beautiful thing-- once you start experience it, you want more of it. It's even better when you create it with other musicians. I've found setting your metronome to whole notes, or double whole notes, so it's clicking <40bpm, is helpful for developing this.
 

AzHeat

Platinum Member
Years ago, I was asked to sit in with a folk band when their drummer quit and had my rude awakening live! Playing slow and melodic was freakishly hard, and way harder than playing to their CDs. If the bass player wasn't a good friend, I would have been tossed out instantly. It was a turning point for my playing, but I did get nicknamed "blickum, blickum" as a result of how I sounded, which stuck with me for years.

Don't be a "blickum, blickum"!
 

Out Of Warranty

Senior Member
A bit off topic but it's also far more challenging to play fewer deliberate notes than to fill the space with lots of "filler" notes. True on just about any instrument.
I have always admired drummers that can rest at just the right moment to make there fills sound different/special. It's hard not using up all the air in a song.
 
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