Band Not Wanting To Stay In Time?

shemp

Silver Member
I must disagree with folks that feel sped up tempos are ok...or even "better".....bull puckey! Especially in a cover band scenario where you are playing for a club owner and to entertain people....it's very sophomoreish for a singer or, frankly, any melodic instrument to apply their narcissistic view and change the prior art....I understand and agree about pushing and/or laying back as a unit around the recorded tempo, sure....

Deliberate tempo policing preserves the groove and peaks/valleys of the source material....and when that original feel us there, it is impressive and fun....

If you are licensing and re recording prior art, well, that's a different approach and that seems like an appropriate scenario to apply creative license....and give a song a different treatment if so desired...

In a cover band playing to entertain and to promote dancing, it always sounds best to maintain key and tempo.
 

EarthRocker

Senior Member
I'm notorious for wanting to kick songs into high gear, especially if the band playing before us plays really quick and gets me going. I don't bump up slow songs that much, but if it's a quick tune already I'll add a little pep to it. The guys I was playing with at this time rather enjoyed it, and I had a bit of fun also, so no reason to complain, but it seems like the bassist we had just had a poor sense of time. I mean there were times when I'd hear him play something, and I'd think "where the hell are you?"

Then this jam session I played with for a couple of years. When I played with those guys, it was like I was dragging a sack of rocks around the stage. Me and the dude who came in and played bass, he was an older fellow, were a good pair. He sat his amp right next to me so I could feel it while I played. It was a good experience.
 

Anon La Ply

Renegade
I must disagree with folks that feel sped up tempos are ok...or even "better".....bull puckey! Especially in a cover band scenario where you are playing for a club owner and to entertain people....it's very sophomoreish for a singer or, frankly, any melodic instrument to apply their narcissistic view and change the prior art....I understand and agree about pushing and/or laying back as a unit around the recorded tempo, sure....
Bottom line is, does it sound good? Being authentic is ideal in many gig situations but I'm glad not everyone strives for the same thing.

Narcissistic? That reminded me of a scientist at a former workplace who liked to write fiction on the side. Some of his scientist colleagues thought that was egotistical of him ... to choose to describe the contents of his imagination at times rather than external reality.

I like the dynamic of a band putting music out because they like it and then seeing who relates to it or not, as opposed to a more pro approach. It's hit or miss, though - to succeed you have to be either brilliant, moving with the zeitgeist, or lucky. Only recommended for those not worried about the pay.
 

picodon

Silver Member
Naaah. Loads of tunes are done faster live than in the studio. Exhibit A, m'lud

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=-dVU3JYcQS0#t=31
That is definitely true, I think only Rush plays live at the exact same BPM as their studio albums. This is simply because of the stress. You probably remember being called to the front of the class at primary school to read the poem you learnt by heart. This is usually how we define the speed of sound: it goes so fast that the poem is finished by the time the first phrase reaches the other side of the classroom. It takes a lot of "breathe in, breathe out, concentrate…" to speak or play at the right speed.

It may be interesting to play much faster live than the tempo of the original song. But it is rarely intentional.
 

Otto

Platinum Member
This is EXTREMELY common...

...due in part, imho, to the myth that drummers are to 'keep the time'....leading to laziness of those who spout this nonsense.

All participants in a song are equally responsible for 'keeping the time' of the song.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Naaah. Loads of tunes are done faster live than in the studio. Exhibit A, m'lud

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=-dVU3JYcQS0#t=31
Declined. Doesn't do it for me. The horns kill it for me too. It's too formal. It's got a certain soul to it granted, but the whole "I'm a woman and I feel neglected" vibe is missing. Instead they turn it into variety show fodder.

Some songs can't be bettered. Not a fact, just an opinion. It's like trying to improve on the Mona Lisa.

It can't be done! Tom! How am I gonna generate that kind of power?!! 23 JIGA WATTS?
 

Aeolian

Platinum Member
A really good drummer I know told me that mediocre singers want to speed up songs in a mistaken effort to create "energy". While the really good ones want some space to milk the emotion of the song, thus creating real connection with the audience and real energy.

Speed is a poor substitute for feel.

I think there is another difference between the way folks learn now and the "back in the day" garage band thing. With all the brain food about theory and technique folks get caught up in trying to learn more sophisticated stuff before they've learned to play easier stuff well. It takes time and patience to learn to play with feel and groove. And many people want to jump ahead to playing fancy. Back in the day if you wanted to be invited to join a garage band, you had to be able to play the songs. Now people go to open jams and try to play faster or more complex stuff that they can barely get though cause they downloaded some tab off the internet or watched some "how to play it" video.

A guitar player I know is a fairly spectacular soloist and always has a waiting list for students. They want him to teach them his licks and all. Usually he has to work with them for a few months just playing rhythm and getting some groove or swing. Then he'll start to teach him theory and riffs. A few who stick it out catch on that what makes his solos so engaging is the time and swing with which he plays those licks. Why when they learn the lick, it doesn't sound like him.

A really common thing I hear are fast RLK triplets at the end of songs. The faster the apparently better. But rarely are they even and more rarely do they swing. The drummers that these folks are trying to imitate sound the way they do because of how they phrase the triplet. But if all you think of is getting though the strokes as fast as possible, it will never sound like the gospel chops cats.
 

shemp

Silver Member
@aeolian.....your treatise on tempo, etc is right on the money! You are exactly correct about the feel, rhythm and technique issues you touched on.

From a guitarists perspective, you can always hear the deficiency in the vibrato and rhythmic motifs ....cause good playing has a motif....I mean if you want to be at the highest levels. It is certainly much harder to play tastefully, with rhythm and dynamics than it is to shred. I've been spanking the plank (stole that from rev willie g) for some time and it is a long journey.

The same goes with drumming...and driving a band. I made the mistake of jumping in and trying to be Neil Peart before I realized,,,,hey this stuff is very linear and may not be of much use in the real world.....then I went back to some zz top and realized its actually more challenging to learn the proper feel and shuffle of things like Tush than it is to learn Fly By Night or Something For Nothing.....so, I jettisoned the Rush habit and have been focusing on getting that Chris Layton, Simon Kirke, Phil Rudd and Frank Beard thing happening.....groove and tempo and moving the song.

What a fool I was ;-)
 

Liebe zeit

Silver Member
That is definitely true, I think only Rush plays live at the exact same BPM as their studio albums. This is simply because of the stress. You probably remember being called to the front of the class at primary school to read the poem you learnt by heart. This is usually how we define the speed of sound: it goes so fast that the poem is finished by the time the first phrase reaches the other side of the classroom. It takes a lot of "breathe in, breathe out, concentrate…" to speak or play at the right speed.

It may be interesting to play much faster live than the tempo of the original song. But it is rarely intentional.
Y'know, I really don't believe that. At least not with the tunes I've linked to, the Stax soul stuff, on this thread. It's dance music, pure and simple. And the evidence is clear when you see Al Jackson and the band intentionally speed things up. Watch the Stax/Volt Norway gig to see that happen a few times. Here's one example http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ND4P-gy1PM
 

WhoIsTony?

Member
Declined. Doesn't do it for me. The horns kill it for me too. It's too formal. It's got a certain soul to it granted, but the whole "I'm a woman and I feel neglected" vibe is missing. Instead they turn it into variety show fodder.

Some songs can't be bettered. Not a fact, just an opinion. It's like trying to improve on the Mona Lisa.

It can't be done! Tom! How am I gonna generate that kind of power?!! 23 JIGA WATTS?
but Arethas version IS a cover

Otis wrote the song ....and his is the original
 

arthurk1

Senior Member
Lots of bands record an album and once the label and everyone involved on mastering it is done it sounds nothing like the band had intended. I hear that all the time. Here is a perfect example of that exact thing happening where the band clearly realizes theat the song sounds much better at a faster tempo and leaves the original in the boring dust lol.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ixRH7QeImf0

and now the good version

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UgVlLJPP2wg
 

Anon La Ply

Renegade
Oh whoops. I can't seem to say much that's right lately.
No Uncle Larry, that's not right - only a couple of recent statements have been wrong, the rest has been good ... oh, apart from this last comment, of course - haga!

Never mind me, please continue discussion :)
 

Aeolian

Platinum Member
Y'know, I really don't believe that. At least not with the tunes I've linked to, the Stax soul stuff, on this thread. It's dance music, pure and simple. And the evidence is clear when you see Al Jackson and the band intentionally speed things up. Watch the Stax/Volt Norway gig to see that happen a few times. Here's one example http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ND4P-gy1PM
Love it. But that sounded more like a deliberate shift in tempo in the middle than Al rushing. The accelerando at the end is pure gospel church praise.
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
Lots of bands record an album and once the label and everyone involved on mastering it is done it sounds nothing like the band had intended. I hear that all the time. Here is a perfect example of that exact thing happening where the band clearly realizes theat the song sounds much better at a faster tempo and leaves the original in the boring dust lol.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ixRH7QeImf0

and now the good version

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UgVlLJPP2wg
Personally, I disagree. I think that second vid they are playing the song at an un-comfortable pace and it's squishing the parts and transitions really awkwardly. Also, sheesh. That dude really stopped a song in front of what looks like thousands, maybe tens of!
 

Duffy

Member
I think when everyone locks in it's great. There's some give an take; but when the band is all over the place, drunks out of tune, out of time, etc., it sounds terrible - but probably good enough for a bar room dance floor full of other drunks.

The best bands I've seen are locked in, musically together, and most of the bands I've seen don't have this totally mastered. I guess that's one of the things that separates the masters from the semi-professionals.
 

Liebe zeit

Silver Member
Love it. But that sounded more like a deliberate shift in tempo in the middle than Al rushing. The accelerando at the end is pure gospel church praise.
Yeah. That's what I'm saying, based on my belief that Al was such a god he knew exactly what he was doing. :)

"Accelerando" - I like it
 
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