From programmed original to live acoustic

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
Just thought I'd engage the collective wisdom here in case I'm missing a trick (i.e. likely).

I'm running through Tears for Fears "Everybody Wants to Rule the World" as a first tryout with the band on Wednesday. These are very relaxed sessions, as the aim is only to see if the overall song vibe works with the band, nevertheless, I've put a bit of work into replicating the original groove.

Although the groove is simple enough (but a bit of a bass drum leg workout), it's not easy to get it to flow, especially as the original has shaker & other percussion layers to help it move along. This is especially apparent in the fills. Accordingly, I've tried introducing some subtle shuffle style hihat stuff in places (i.e. the in & out of fills), and switching up the fills slightly to remove obvious spaces. This seems to have helped to a degree. Any other suggestions / hints?

Of course, I won't truly know how this all sits until I get with the bass lines (also originally programmed).

BTW, backing track for live is not an option for us, and nor is giving the singer a shaker!!!!
 

mikyok

Platinum Member
I do this track with one of my bands, it's a deceptive one for sure.

Took me a few practices to really get the groove really locked in, there's lots of vids on how to play it on youtube but none of them are the same!

You can go for the mechanical approach like the drum machine but it doesn't groove live I find.

Here's what I do, play the Black Friday shuffle with your right foot/left hand (tears for fears tempo obvs!) but play the Tears for Fears drum machine hi hat pattern with your left hand and blend the dynamics in, really grooves but has that drive you need.

Bass is playing the same as your right foot so it locks in straight away and a really nice pocket. Master that bit and keys and guitar don't really have that much to do.
 

moxman

Silver Member
Yeah singers don't always have the best time! I often cover the percussion parts with my left hand and play the kit with my right. For shaker parts sometimes I use an LP Oneshot shaker pressed flat against my right stick..for the hihat part... with the thumprint in the 'up' position and the LP shaker on the top of the stick. I hold it with the palm area between my thumb and forefinger. You get a very precise rythmic shake doing that.. and it would work well with that tune as the shake is pretty straight on the offbeat of the hat pattern... but I usually use that for softer songs.. for hard rocking tunes it might get a bit uncomfortble if you need to do a lot of rolls on the toms.. but I can still manage rolling around the drums with it the stick and shaker in one hand.. just don't expect a lot of bounce with your left hand :)
 
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brentcn

Platinum Member
This is especially apparent in the fills. Accordingly, I've tried introducing some subtle shuffle style hihat stuff in places (i.e. the in & out of fills), and switching up the fills slightly to remove obvious spaces. This seems to have helped to a degree. Any other suggestions / hints?
You're on the right track. When you have, for example, a snare fill, with some spaces between the notes, then you can "connect" the snare notes by playing hi-hat notes in between. There are two ways to do this:

1. Keep playing all the hi-hat notes with the right, and play all the snare notes with the left, while maintaining the shuffle kick pattern. Lots of unisons between both hands and the foot going on here.
2. Use a simple alternating sticking on the hi-hat, and then moving some of the notes to the snare, while maintaining the kick pattern. Lots of unisons between one hand and the foot.

In both cases, it may be challenging to keep the unisons clean and notes even, but nothing that can't be overcome with practice. The second approach is more challenging w.r.t coordination, but is better suited to a loud, rock-club playing volume.
 

timmdrum

Silver Member
I just learned from the video (1:00) that the hi-hat part may not be as difficult as I've always thought. I do realize someone in a music video may not be playing exactly what was recorded, but if the guy in the video is accurately miming, he's playing only the accented notes of the triplets (I count triplets "1-trip-let-2-trip-let", etc, which puts him only playing "trip, 2, let" [and repeat for beats 3 & 4]). That said, if you did play all the triplets on the hats accenting the same counts, it may compensate for the missing shaker.
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
Took me a few practices to really get the groove really locked in, there's lots of vids on how to play it on youtube but none of them are the same!
I have the original isolated drum program tracks, so I have an accurate reference.

Here's what I do, play the Black Friday shuffle with your right foot/left hand (tears for fears tempo obvs!) but play the Tears for Fears drum machine hi hat pattern with your left hand and blend the dynamics in, really grooves but has that drive you need.
Nice suggestion, will give that a try :)

Bass is playing the same as your right foot so it locks in straight away and a really nice pocket. Master that bit and keys and guitar don't really have that much to do.
Our eventual version is likely to be substantially rocked up, so I'm expecting curved balls!

A few years ago there was an entire thread on how to play this song.
I had no idea, but of course, nor did I search - thought it was maybe too specific.


Yeah singers don't always have the best time! I often cover the percussion parts with my left hand and play the kit with my right. For shaker parts sometimes I use an LP Oneshot shaker pressed flat against my right stick..for the hihat part...
Very good suggestion. I'll get the basics in place first, but I'd like to try your method :)


The second approach is more challenging w.r.t coordination, but is better suited to a loud, rock-club playing volume.
Thank you for these suggestions. Given our likely context, I'm thinking second option is the one to shoot for.


I just learned from the video (1:00) that the hi-hat part may not be as difficult as I've always thought. I do realize someone in a music video may not be playing exactly what was recorded, but if the guy in the video is accurately miming, he's playing only the accented notes of the triplets (I count triplets "1-trip-let-2-trip-let", etc, which puts him only playing "trip, 2, let" [and repeat for beats 3 & 4]). That said, if you did play all the triplets on the hats accenting the same counts, it may compensate for the missing shaker.
The high hat part is indeed that simple as the video, but of course, it's only part of the landscape. I find the high hat needs to be played with some authority to get the skip on the 3rd bass drum beat to be effective.
 

drumnut87

Well-known member
heres stephen taylor doing the beat from the song, breaking it down into manageable sections i you're struggling to get the feel of it :)

 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
Here go Andy, 4 pages of debates on how to play this song. And notice no one agrees! lol

 

jornthedrummer

Silver Member
On the recording there’s a shaker that adds to the feel.
This is what I’d do:
1. Play the hat single handed and accent every 2nd note, starting on 1. This gives a nice counter play to the 6/8 and quarter note main feel. Copies the shaker. This may take a while to get down.

or

2. Alternate the hands, but get a double stroke in on the 2 and 4 so the hat doesn’t have any interruptions.
if necessary without the double stroke.
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
heres stephen taylor doing the beat from the song, breaking it down into manageable sections i you're struggling to get the feel of it :)

Thanks :) I have no issue getting the basic groove feel, it's the percussive embellishments I'm trying to mimic at the same time.

Interestingly, the isolated drum program reference I have is different from any of the bass drum patters offered in this video, and I've followed the original pattern verbatim.


Here go Andy, 4 pages of debates on how to play this song. And notice no one agrees! lol

Thank you :) So many thoughts, & that mimics the huge variation in "advice" in youtube tutorials too. I may take the plunge & upload a video of me hacking this once I'm comfortable - just to add to the soup ;)


On the recording there’s a shaker that adds to the feel.
This is what I’d do:
1. Play the hat single handed and accent every 2nd note, starting on 1. This gives a nice counter play to the 6/8 and quarter note main feel. Copies the shaker. This may take a while to get down.

or

2. Alternate the hands, but get a double stroke in on the 2 and 4 so the hat doesn’t have any interruptions.
if necessary without the double stroke.
I'm already adding elements of your suggestion 1, simply to smooth the spaces directly before, after, & sometimes during the fills.



Throwing a little more wood on the fire. lol He has a cool snare too.

Yet more interpretation. I do like his flow :)

I'm waiting for Bo to chime in. On social media he informs me this is really simple and he's played it. He's right, it is simple in essence, but there's a lot of band contextual elements for me to consider in my specific case. I have the basics & some variations to try in our first band tryout tonight. I'm expecting substantial morphing as a result.
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
Well, my playing was horrible at last night's first tryout - really disappointed in myself. Band took a much more extreme interpretation vibe option than I'd considered, and a lot of the arrangement requests really screwed me up merging big straight accents into the shuffle feel. My ability to adapt on the fly was found wanting :(

The good stuff though, I really like the powered up arrangement, and at least I now have a structure to take away and put some personal practice into.
 

rhumbagirl

Senior Member
This is an awesome song, and groove. I personally like Ron Brown's approach, putting the dotted 16th fills on the HH between beats 4 and 1, and between beats 2 and 3 (quarter at 120 bpm). I've practiced to this song a lot with my HH hand doing the dotted 16th fills only (no quarter notes at all). It's an interesting exercise to see how things line up BD and SD wise. Also, it goes without saying, miked drums and the right BD sound is a prerequisite to making this cover work. Stephen Taylor's approach works as well, but seems more rigid approach than Ron's IMO. Good Luck!

EDIT: Also, due to the metronomic feel of the groove, a click track and programmed shaker might work on top of it all.
 
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Andy

Administrator
Staff member
This is an awesome song, and groove. I personally like Ron Brown's approach, putting the dotted 16th fills on the HH between beats 4 and 1, and between beats 2 and 3 (quarter at 120 bpm). I've practiced to this song a lot with my HH hand doing the dotted 16th fills only (no quarter notes at all). It's an interesting exercise to see how things line up BD and SD wise. Also, it goes without saying, miked drums and the right BD sound is a prerequisite to making this cover work. Stephen Taylor's approach works as well, but seems more rigid approach than Ron's IMO. Good Luck!

EDIT: Also, due to the metronomic feel of the groove, a click track and programmed shaker might work on top of it all.
Thank you for your well considered post :)

16s is definitely the way to go if you want to imitate that shaker feel in a low dynamic delivery for sure. After the first run through with the band however, it's clear something far less detailed is required.

That said, the band is planning an acoustic half set later this year, and such an approach could easily make an appearance.
 

rhumbagirl

Senior Member
Thank you for your well considered post :)

16s is definitely the way to go if you want to imitate that shaker feel in a low dynamic delivery for sure. After the first run through with the band however, it's clear something far less detailed is required.

That said, the band is planning an acoustic half set later this year, and such an approach could easily make an appearance.
You're welcome Andy! :)
 

timmdrum

Silver Member
This is an awesome song, and groove. I personally like Ron Brown's approach, putting the dotted 16th fills on the HH between beats 4 and 1, and between beats 2 and 3 (quarter at 120 bpm). I've practiced to this song a lot with my HH hand doing the dotted 16th fills only (no quarter notes at all).
"Dotted" 16ths...? Not to undermine your advice, which is great, but not only are they not dotted, but they're 8th notes (if you consider the time sig 12/8 - 8th note triplets if you consider it 4/4). It does kinda sound like 16th notes if you play them all, because there are more of them that a 4/4 song in the same tempo, so it's busier. :)

Andy- by "extreme", do you mean, they're playing it heavier, i.e. more hard rock?
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
Well, my playing was horrible at last night's first tryout - really disappointed in myself. Band took a much more extreme interpretation vibe option than I'd considered, and a lot of the arrangement requests really screwed me up merging big straight accents into the shuffle feel. My ability to adapt on the fly was found wanting :(

The good stuff though, I really like the powered up arrangement, and at least I now have a structure to take away and put some personal practice into.
I'm sure you are you own worse critic but I get your frustration. When I played at church, big band, and jazz gigs they knew I didn't read well so provided me a taped "version" . Yeah "a version " which I'd spend time learning only to find that 90% of the time that isn't what they are going to play. Heck I'm no mind reader. It's not so much being adaptive as being frustrated all the time and effort you took to emulate the original and now have to start all over again. I'd been better off just going in cold with no influence and just adapting to their version. I'm sure you'll nail it in time just have to do a reset and switch gears. I can't wait to hear the whole band at play.
 
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