Do you know of any specific instances of bands using backing tracks where there isn't also a click? I know that in some of the situations I've played in, both as a trumpet player and a drummer, I had a choice of how much click I could dial in or dial out, but it was there. Particuarly with some of the praise teams I played with. With some, we were using Ableton sessions where we could select which backing tracks we wanted mixed in based on the personnel we had on stage, and we ran everything off of a Roland midi trigger pad - we had sections that would loop and vamp, (used for things like baptisms where we wanted the music to continue, but the amount of time needed to be variable) and then I could trigger the next transition from the tigger pad based on the map for that particular tune.I think you might be under the mistaken impression that modern bands with backing tracks play to a "literal" click.
I think it would depend on the backing tracks, how well you play to a click, and how familiar you got with the material.Fortunately, I really enjoy the music I play so I’m okay with it but if I was ever to do a cover band for fun, I don’t think I would be okay with backing tracks. It makes it more of a job. I am all about playing my best but there’s times you want to enjoy a couple beers on stage and have that casual feeling with the crowd and no stress. In my old band with no tracks or click, it felt so effortless and was nice at times to feel so relaxed going on stage. Now I have to be super clear headed and focused which is okay for original shows where the audience really pays attention and appreciates what you do.
In all of the bands that I have produced, and of the hundreds of bands I've done stage sound for, it's always a midi track. There are times where the "click" is as simple as a tambourine, there are times where it was full midi keys that conveyed both the tempo and song/scene position. Usually, it is somewhere in between.Do you know of any specific instances of bands using backing tracks where there isn't also a click? I know that in some of the situations I've played in, both as a trumpet player and a drummer, I had a choice of how much click I could dial in or dial out, but it was there.
In any case, we always had a click.
I always play with IEM's and the click is part of the my mix that I have control over, and I mix it as such. It needs to be in my mix but not an overbearing part of the mix. That would be maddening. For me it becomes just another one of the persons on stage I'm performing with, so I'm playing with the click not to the click.The question I have is, "How the heck do you hear an actual/literal click on stage?". It must be absolutely maddening. How do you sync to the lighting scenes and video?
Would you be interested in entertaining the notion of changing out the click sound for a midi instrument (usually tambourine) or possibly a full keyboard track?I always play with IEM's and the click is part of the my mix that I have control over, and I mix it as such. It needs to be in my mix but not an overbearing part of the mix. That would be maddening. For me it becomes just another one of the persons on stage I'm performing with, so I'm playing with the click not to the click.
I only play in one situation where lights are synced to the music, and in that case it's all controlled using the same program. When I start the track the lights start as well.
Actually, The Who were the first band to use click tracks on stage in 1971. Keith Moon happily played to a click track on Baba O'riley and Won't Get Fooled Again to lock into the keyboard parts that were NOT being played by a person. Pete made extensive use of programming keyboards on numerous albums by The Who.Clicks are for those who don't know or feel the music. Oh....and to make it easy for the recording tech's editing. I AGREE wholeheartedly with P'diddle Pete. Why have a drummer when you can click your way through a song and add drum samples later. You're either a musician or you're not. Wonder how Mozart, Beethoven, Glen Miller, John Phillip Sousa, The Beatles and the Who made it without computers and "clicks"?
I usually try to have a straight drum loop as my click. It's very comfortable/natural to play with "another drummer." And if I have any kind of syncopation in what I'm playing, the drum loop will have a beat in the 'hole' so I always know exactly where I'm at with it.Honestly I’ve been playing to a click long enough that I hardly notice it. I know some people prefer a tambourine sound, but I actually prefer a more staccato sound for a click. I find it’s easier to hear and I don’t need to crank it in the mix.
I think it doesn't require a whole different level of concentration than drumming without a click and a backing track, as long as you can hear the click very very clearly.The OP has a challenging gig. Stressful yes, but what a great opportunity to enhance his ability to play with a click, increase his internal timing, listening, and precisely tracking song changes.
One aspect to this I think is relevant is the stress management aspect. He s not just playing a click, all the songs are synced around predetermined lengths (I’m assuming).
Mindfullness is a much hyped concept these days, but many people have found it very effective.
Mindful drumming would just be an extension of that. Focusing and refocusing on the click and his drumming with a calm open mind/calming breaths may reduce the OPs stress about the gig, click and hopefully make it more fun overall
Precisely. Attempts at having a 'normal' mix while playing with a click only complicates things. It's crucial to understand that playing with a click means playing with a click, not the band. I'm not saying a mix should be just drums and click, although a drummer that knows the arrangements could certainly perform that way... it's just not quite as fun as having some music & vox in there as well.I think it doesn't require a whole different level of concentration than drumming without a click and a backing track, as long as you can hear the click very very clearly.