Crashing on the 1

Swiss Matthias

Platinum Member
Granted the drummer's role here is somewhat primary but drummer=rhythm is BS.
And drummer=form is more or less BS, too. The drummer kind of has the role of a conductor, which is fine and makes sense musically, but not in the sense that the other musicians in the band get lost as soon as the drummer plays any little displacement with crash, snare or whatever.

Pulse, bars and even phrases (8 measures i.e.) have to be the context for all instruments, and if your guitarist plays "cool" stuff but gets lost while doing so, IMO it's not worth much, because rhythm (and melody too) needs reference, and if he can't refer to what's going on musically at that time, does he even say something?
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Basically, he's asking you to be his crutch. I would turn the white hot spotlight on his weakness rather than enable his behavior which is beneficial neither to him or the song, and unnecessary babysitting on your part. Call him out, in a respectful way, that it's not your job to be his training wheels.
 

TTNW

Pioneer Member
I can relate to becoming the structure that everyone plays off of and how sometimes not resolving with an accent or crash on the 1 will throw off the singer and sometimes the guitar player.

In longer jams with repeats of the chorus, I tend to jump in and start subdividing and end of with an accent or "statement" on the 4 or just edging in under the 1st beat of the next measure and everyone gets a little nervous.

It's funny how most bandmates I've played with don't look at the drummer as having the same option to meander around the structure of the rhythm.

I mostly go with the flow because we're all just having fun. Sometimes this irks me though.

When I get bored with the predictable parts of cover songs we play, I embellish. Sometimes they like it and sometimes they don't.
 

TheOne

Junior Member
Crashing on 1 is cliche. But i think if you avoid everything in drumming that is cliche you will be a quirky (in a bad way) drummer that is almost impossible to work with. Cliches often times work. this is how they became cliches. Don't avoid something just because it's typical. You're not that special and while it isn't what everyone expects, catching everyone off guard with an 'out of time' crash can screw up a song. Most of the best drummers in the world crash on 1. food for thought...

that being said you should by absolutely by no means crash every time on 1. that would sound stupid too. It's an ebb and flow.
 

cathartic_j

Senior Member
Unfortunately sometimes musicians don't really feel or care about the 8 measure phrases, which is a shame...
I agree with the first part, but not the second. Yes, every member in a competent band should be able to feel a 4/8/12 bar phrase. But if someone wants to write or play a song that has, say, 7-bar phrases, that's fine by me! If all music were dedicated to "even" phrases, it would get a little stale. (Though I don't know if that's what you were getting at...) And, to bring it back to the thread topic, that's a situation where I think it's pretty reasonable to use crashes to mark the beginning of each phrase, since it would be pretty understandable if a band member had trouble feeling it.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
But being told to crash on the one every 8 is rediculous. Sometimes I like to leave out the crash on the one, even after rolling around the kit during a transition, because it sounds interesting to me to omit the crash sometimes when it's appropriate and just start playing the beat. Sometimes the songs scream for a crash on the 1 after transitions, sometimes not. Having to play it irregardless is preposterous. I would respectfully let him know that you refuse to play like an ameteur on purpose, because that is an ameteur pitfall, IMO. It's HIS job to know where he is, not yours. Don't let him lay his shortcomings on you, this is the time to absolutely dismiss that request as laughable. I'd let him know that, with all due respect, it's his cross to bear if he gets lost. He can count too, right?
 

aydee

Platinum Member
Somewhere right now Keith Moon is rolling in his grave thinking about this thread.
Yes, but is he crashing after the roll?

@Larry, yes we've have had words... mostly respectful.He says it throws him so whats the point. So I agree. If I'm messing up a lead voice in the band its counter-productive and its the last thing I want to do... but then I go home and stew about it, and get pissed..
 

TTNW

Pioneer Member
I agree with Larry on this one. You can't always throw it on the drummer. When everyone plays together, the tempo is everyone's responsibility.

It's when the music requires it. Crash on the 1, crash wherever, it always is relative to the overall groove or rhythm.

The easiest thing for me to is always play for the song.
 

khanedeliac

Senior Member
Abe, sometimes the 4, sometimes the 1, just to mess with em :)

As many people have already said, you can either colour with gentle swabs of your crash or leave it out altogether a fair bit, its all in what you hear, right? If you hear a crash in your inter-cranial drum programmer then you usually whap it out.

Im a bit of a curio ive been told by other drummers, prolly cause I look up to a lot of drummers who are inimitable or rule-breakers themselves.

Having a band mate who cant feel the 1 is a problem, like, I can sympathize to a degree if my guitarist cant hear the 3, but the 1?!? Thats elementary my dear Watson.

Then again, unlike most of you, my band is two equal powers, no figureheads. we discuss what we wanna do and we both play pretty freely within our curriculum and song shapes.
Frankly, I would HATE to be told what to play and not play; BUT Im pretty reasonable, If i have to curb my oddities to make he song sound better its done, Ive learned to (almost) never sacrifice the music/song/piece. I still embellish and pitter patter like nobody's business tho. As long as it sounds good and im not ruining any flow....uh...yeah.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Yes, but is he crashing after the roll?

@Larry, yes we've have had words... mostly respectful.He says it throws him so whats the point. So I agree. If I'm messing up a lead voice in the band its counter-productive and its the last thing I want to do... but then I go home and stew about it, and get pissed..
Abe, you're not messing him up. He's the one who's messing himself up. It's not your issue. Why is he bothering you with his inability to know where he is? I totally get your stance, if you can remedy the situation, you're willng to do that, and that is pretty big of you, but at what price? Don't enable him, you're doing more long term bad than short term good.
He's clearly the one with the problem. Actually if it were me, I'd flat out refuse to hold his hand, so he knows in no uncertain terms that it's something he can't lean on you for. Tough love. Let him slay his own dragons. Show him this thread. Or give me his email. I'll handle this ha ha.
 

Swiss Matthias

Platinum Member
I agree with the first part, but not the second. Yes, every member in a competent band should be able to feel a 4/8/12 bar phrase. But if someone wants to write or play a song that has, say, 7-bar phrases, that's fine by me! If all music were dedicated to "even" phrases, it would get a little stale. (Though I don't know if that's what you were getting at...) And, to bring it back to the thread topic, that's a situation where I think it's pretty reasonable to use crashes to mark the beginning of each phrase, since it would be pretty understandable if a band member had trouble feeling it.
Of course.
No I was thinking about musicians who are playing within a song consisting of 8 bar phrases, but kind of ignore them or don't care, and need the drummer to get them on the right track again. Certainly there's no rule or must about 8-bar phrases whatsoever. Indeed it would be dead boring. Fortunately there's also plenty of clichés in pop music like adding a 9th bar before the next verse, or turning the last bar of a section into the first one of the new section, and so on... Or movie soundtracks, which always have tons of unexpected twists and turns completely ignoring any common phrase lengths.
Or - as you mention - pieces that even don't have anything to do with 8 in the first place. Although I believe chances are many musician's internal feel will always try to relate it to 4 or 8 bars automatically.
 

Pollyanna

Platinum Member
Is there a compromise solution? Like playing more understated crashes or a big flam on the snare or a big snare/tom chord in lieu of the crash?
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
Keith crashes wherever the heck he wants to. Doesn't matter, because Pete can't hear it anyways.

@ OP: My .02, this guitarist is cruising towards playing the unemployment queue for the rest of his career. Welcome to Formulaville, Mr. Guitarist. Population: you.

If a guitarist playing over 4/4 can't find every eighth measure, he needs to go practice and try counting. Period. I would say the same of any musician who expects to get paid to play someday.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
If a guitarist playing over 4/4 can't find every eighth measure, he needs to go practice and try counting. Period. I would say the same of any musician who expects to get paid to play someday.
I second this. How lame. Sorry, but he deserves it. Totally unacceptable. I'd be too embarrassed to even suggest that if it were me who was lost.
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
I kind of like the Alex Van Halen and Lars Ulrich thing of crashing on the "2".

But I like crashing on the 1.

I'm kind of a crash addict.

I blame Steven Adler from Guns and Roses for crashing twice on every bar of the chorus and guitar solo of Sweet Child of Mine when I was a teenager. [<- tonge in cheek comment]
 
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