Not sure what the money beat is?

Seafroggys

Silver Member
I mean....transcribing songs note for note and learning them is definitely a valid technique and can be very helpful for building you as a player, but that's just for practice....not something I would try to do at rehearsal or live.

I've had band leaders who have wanted me to play songs (originals, no less) with every ghost note and bass drum hit exactly as they wrote it. I mean, c'mon, really? I can easily duplicate the feel of what you wrote, but its not gonna be note for note. Nor should it.

Its also interesting, because drummers can change up their drum parts all the time, but other drummers learning those songs cannot do it? I think that's a silly double standard.
 

Auspicious

Well-known member
I agree, though I also feel that it is strange to repetitively overstate the importance of a small fraction of humanities' musical lexicon.

In order to preempt the same ole micro-vs-macro debate, here's a better use of everyone's time (includes the beat in question)

That is very good music, I love Hammond Organ, great vintage guitar sound too :) thanks for sharing the video.

***

For the main topic, I guess if the drummer is playing a cover he should play the exact thing as the record and simplify too complex parts. Some things can't be done in life by regular human beings.

One thing I note in Jazz, most of the time, the same player will improvise differently every time so.. Jazz might be different then other styles again, seems like they rarely play the same thing twice. It's so charged with notes.. how can a person play the same thing twice?

But I would not expect a Green Day cover band drummer to play a single note off for any tracks of Dookie, that would be a sin. :)
 

Anduin

Pioneer Member
I've had band leaders who have wanted me to play songs (originals, no less) with every ghost note and bass drum hit exactly as they wrote it. I mean, c'mon, really? I can easily duplicate the feel of what you wrote, but its not gonna be note for note. Nor should it.
I’ve had similar experiences with original bands. Everybody else in the band gets to write their own parts, but they expect me to just copy what the previous drummer wrote. Where’s the art? Where’s my opportunity to make a proper musical contribution to the song?
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
I agree with this. And even tunes that involve a great deal of improvisation, like jazz, contain sections that are "wrote" where you need to play "the tune". Then the solos come and you can improvise all you want. I've heard way too many drummers who think they can improvise throughout an entire tune. And it rarely comes off sounding good. Unless the drummer's name is Vinnie or Narada or Terry.:cool:
And even they are smart enough to know when to do it.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
I mean....transcribing songs note for note and learning them is definitely a valid technique and can be very helpful for building you as a player, but that's just for practice....not something I would try to do at rehearsal or live.

I've had band leaders who have wanted me to play songs (originals, no less) with every ghost note and bass drum hit exactly as they wrote it. I mean, c'mon, really? I can easily duplicate the feel of what you wrote, but its not gonna be note for note. Nor should it.

Its also interesting, because drummers can change up their drum parts all the time, but other drummers learning those songs cannot do it? I think that's a silly double standard.
@Seafroggys , you've transcribed a note-for-note recitation of my own thoughts on the topic.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
Well, to put it in perspective, Stewart Copeland never played a song the same twice.
Well, I like to think I pointed out that there are the “artists” and the rest of us that have to “cover” it. When you look at it, what are the odds against you being the artist with a hit record that everyone wants to imitate? Astronomical. But hey, when I was 13, I really felt like I had that chance too.
 

oldskoolsoul

Silver Member
The “issue” is not at all if the skill to play a decent money beat is necessary or not..

The “issue” (not like there really is one..) is that at this place, a drummers forum, there are like 10-20 diehards who have nothing more to preach than how important a money beat is and that everyone who dares to study odd times, fast quintuplet fills, etc has not understood what real drumming is about..

I can perfectly understand people who get bored with only playing a 4/4 money beat, whether thats a straight beat, shuffle, 16th disco beat or whatever, because they want to expand their playing and see how far they can get on the instrument..

Or are we, on a drummers forum, saying that people like Weckl, Mayer, Greb, Eric Moore, etc understood nothing about “real-life drumming” and that we should ONLY listen to Al Jackson Jr, Porcaro, Keltner, etc..?

No, we should listen and get inspired by both camps and both camps ( also that YT guy who practiced his ass off..) should have equal respect..

Besides that, truth is also that “getting hired” for the vast majority of (coverband) drummers, means playing for $50 (when lucky) somewhere in a bar for 10 people..

Is that better than only playing amazing chops in your basement for your YT-channel..?

Maybe yes, maybe not, but in my opinion for sure that normal daily situation in which most drummers are, is not justifying at all to only praise a money beat..

In other words, only quoting and believing Steve Jordan telling you how important laying down a money beat is and dedicating all your drumming to that, will not guarantee you AT ALL that your drumming life will also turn the same way (or even for 1%) like his....
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
I think one of the best lessons in this was that whole Dream Theater auditions drummers video series.

There was some drummers (and these are all top level players, Lang, Donati, Minnemann, etc.) and some of them came in and played the songs part for part...some came in and put their own flare on it.

Guess who got the gig...despite them liking those changes - Mangini came in and played everything note for NOTE and did it powerfully and he got the gig. I'm sure there was other factors too - personality, etc.: but I know when Thomas Lang came in and changed some stuff - about half the band was in and the other half was saying "Ehhh" on the interviews.


So there is a LOT to be said for playing the parts as they exist.

However - I always thought in terms of "The Money Beat" - that referred to the most basic 4/4 2 and 4 backbeat 1 and 3 & on the kick kind of beat: not slang for playing existing parts.

Am I wrong?
Yes. When I refer to the money beat, it’s playing the song as it should be because it makes the money. On a Buddy Rich money beat, guess how you play? For the Yes guy, guess what you play. I suppose it’s a wide definition which may be unfair because it’s not specific enough for some players, but that’s technically what it means. Playing the part. You obviously wouldn’t play Phil Ruud’s part from “Black in Black” over “Taxman”, right?
 

Griffin

Well-known member
Coming at this from a different perspective I find this whole conversation slightly odd but that’s mostly an issue of geography. Where I am the vast majority of bands are originals bands and most of the live gigs are for either originals bands or they’re acoustic cafe type stuff where any covers are by necessity different. (The main exception would be wedding bands but even those gigs are sparse thanks to DJs and Spotify playlists and they’re are a couple of decent working cover bands that cover most of the state but they skew much older and already have what little work there is for that locked up).

When local bands do do covers they always try and put their own spin on it (which normally means taking an upbeat song,
Slowing it down and making it sad). This is often awful/mediocre but when they do it right is great.

My point is needing to recreate parts note for note doesn’t come up much- occasionally for an iconic drum part (eg Come Together).

Where the money beat comes up for me is with singers (and sometimes other musicians 😔) who can’t count and don’t know when to come in without a backbeat or a clear lead in fill with a crash on 1. You should have seen a singer I worked with get totally thrown when I tried out a double time feel on a song we were
Working on (an original of mine). She kept complaining I’d changed the tempo. So I agree with Bo that being able to play a money beat is important, and I think in a covers band nailing the parts as written matters (although I would be a little more flexible on reproduction of some fills than Bo) but I think it’s highly dependent and who you’re playing with and for what audience.

Sorry for the essay.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
I wrote this in a thread about tribute bands on another forum but it fits with this discussion.

"I find drummers to be a pretty undisciplined lot. With most bands, be it commercial acts, cover bands or whatever, the guitar players and bass players are playing the correct notes and playing the correct melodies. The singers are singing the same words. Obviously there is some variation for improvisation, changing the words for the locale or a joke but they tend to play the song pretty close. Then you have the drummers. More times and not they are not even trying to play it the way it was recorded. Personally I don't get that. It always makes me think of some of the old drummer jokes. "Our band has three musicians and a drummer". "

I am very much a "learn it and play it the way it was recorded" kind of drummer. Unless we are doing our own interpretation of a song, in which case all bets are off because it is our interpretation, playing things the way I want to play them is irrelevant. I need to be professional and play the part correctly.
I once played in a wedding band with a bass player who either wouldn’t, or couldn’t, play the part to the B-52s “Love Shack” (maybe because he was singing it too), but imagine the audience dancing along and grooving, and then getting this next song. I kept wondering why people would stop dancing at that point. It was weird then. Not weird now.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
If the drummer who recorded a given song doesn't play it the exact same way in every live performance, why should I aspire to a standard he ignores? It's like joining a cult that not even the leader takes seriously.

This note-for-note-replication-of-fills business is an issue that means a lot more to drummers than it does to anyone else. What's important is maintaining the groove and timing of a song. Your doing a fill on your snare that the original drummer did on a tom is a trivial deviation that has little meaning in the practical world. I have never been told, "Dude, that fill should have been on your 12" tom, not on your snare." C'mon, people. Let's all get real.
Perhaps there’s something here. If I’m the artist, that’s one thing. But chances are I’ll be playing the same song to people who’s only way to hear the song is by what’s on the radio or by the CD they own. To think “well the original guy doesn’t play it the same, why should I?” Is just an excuse to be 14-years-old again. Even arguing that we shouldn’t have to cover the fills as recorded doesn’t really fly because, as I said, the other musicians are playing it note-for-note. There may be little variations here and there, but none that would make the audience feel like the band completely reinterpreted the song. Drummers have the power to make the song feel completely different and it’s a dangerous thing in the wrong hands. I demonstrated that in two videos when I applied Totos “Rosanna” best to the Ramones’ “Blitzkrieg Bop” or used the beat from Sades’ “Sweetest Taboo” over Rushs’ “Tom Sawyer”. So let’s just say there’s some room for “adjusting to taste”, but to throw down the “who cares?” argument is probably not in the conversation for people earning a good income from their music.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
The “issue” is not at all if the skill to play a decent money beat is necessary or not..

The “issue” (not like there really is one..) is that at this place, a drummers forum, there are like 10-20 diehards who have nothing more to preach than how important a money beat is and that everyone who dares to study odd times, fast quintuplet fills, etc has not understood what real drumming is about..

I can perfectly understand people who get bored with only playing a 4/4 money beat, whether thats a straight beat, shuffle, 16th disco beat or whatever, because they want to expand their playing and see how far they can get on the instrument..

Or are we, on a drummers forum, saying that people like Weckl, Mayer, Greb, Eric Moore, etc understood nothing about “real-life drumming” and that we should ONLY listen to Al Jackson Jr, Porcaro, Keltner, etc..?

No, we should listen and get inspired by both camps and both camps ( also that YT guy who practiced his ass off..) should have equal respect..

Besides that, truth is also that “getting hired” for the vast majority of (coverband) drummers, means playing for $50 (when lucky) somewhere in a bar for 10 people..

Is that better than only playing amazing chops in your basement for your YT-channel..?

Maybe yes, maybe not, but in my opinion for sure that normal daily situation in which most drummers are, is not justifying at all to only praise a money beat..

In other words, only quoting and believing Steve Jordan telling you how important laying down a money beat is and dedicating all your drumming to that, will not guarantee you AT ALL that your drumming life will also turn the same way (or even for 1%) like his....
Not what I meant at all. Go back and read it again.
 

oldskoolsoul

Silver Member
..Not what I meant at all. Go back and read it again..

I know, but since this thread is kinda relating to my reply (and those 2 people asking what a money beat is..) in your other thread, i just thought to write MY idea..

However, to stay completely on-topic..

After reading text message no 1 in this thread, i think is kinda ironic that the one time i heard you play Mustang Sally with a band, i heard some sort of hyper Tower Of Power meets Cold Sweat sort of groove at like 140 BPM..

With fills..!

Lol..

Like i said, just a little ironic, not meant like a personal attack or something like that..
 

Ransan

Senior Member
I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that some drummers don’t know what this is, and at the same time, hearing disparaging comments about the money beat, shouldn’t surprise me either.

But consider this; in music history, no other musicians get to stray from the parts they have to play. Drummers, seemed to have grown up with the idea that they get options in how they execute the music people want to hear. I wonder why that is?

If you’ve done any time in a concert band, orchestra, or actually, any group of musicians, have you ever noticed that people engage in playing parts? What if that guitar player didn’t play the correct part on the intro to “My Girl” because he didn’t want to play the “money” part? Or how weird would it be if the drummer took a different path for “50 ways to leave your lover”? (These are just two examples). Can you imagine an audience reaction to that? Yet, drummers feel like they have a say in whether or not they play the money beat or not.

I agree, there is music where things are improvised and that’s ok - listening to Ravi Shankar playing Indian music comes to mind, as well as listening to Charlie Parker. But for the most part, rock n roll cover bands (a blanket title for “everybody else”, so forgive me if I didn’t include you specifically), all the members are doing the “money beat”. If they have drummers who stray too far from that, you can bet they won’t for long.

So come on drummers, perhaps you need to re-assess your feelings on the money beat. Sometimes it blows my mind when I meet youngsters with a lot less experience declare “I could never just play the money beat, that’s so boring”. To which I’ve always said “then it must be nice you can get gigs where you get to play whatever you want”. Is the rude awakening when you get with a band that insists you play the right part (because, after all, they have to play the right parts), or does it become clearer when you get fired and then wonder why your phone isn't ringing (because you know, musicians talk to each other)?

I think band mates are sorta jealous of drummers because while the drummer can do all kinds of different things within a song, they have to play the parts that exist, or else no one would know what they were playing - hence the term, “cover band”. So drummers should be at least sensitive to that on the bandstand, and not complain too openly that they don’t get to do what they want all night. The other guys are playing their “money” parts. Be a team player and stop whining.
- sounds like your letting the money play your beat.
All the jazz you described up top sounds like a oppressive outlook to the industry which may be a cold hard truth.
In concert band and jazz theory we had small measures to improvise, marching band bleachers often were rogue part by part not just by section, but I get what your trying to say about ‘playing your part’.
I think you are putting too much business into this, and music is music, and business is business, did each individual pay you for service I.e ticket sales, shares or did the venue pay out as a contractor to a vendor (you all) who pockets the money and doesn’t report taxable income on 1099?
- I understand you gig but are you really making that much money to play what they want to hear over your enjoyment- unless they tip well?
I also understand you want to perform and gauge audience satisfaction and that’s okay too, just have fun.
 

johnwesley

Silver Member
If I hear a cover band playing songs note for note like the original, I give them +10 points for technical achievement, but -100 for lack of interest and artistic value.
The whole topic of "covering" a song irritates me. Anduin, you and several others are of the same mindset as me. I do not agree that the song should be played exactly as the original artist/artists performed it, unless you're a human Xerox machine. I've had forum members take me to task over this, I've been told that if you don't play it exactly as written it's not a cover but an interpretation. WTF? So? I guess in order to play it as a cover, the band should then change into clothes that the original artists were wearing. I mean you can't play Sgt Pepper songs without wearing the psychedelically colored marching band uniforms too, right?
Geez. Playing "the money" beat, or cover as exactly written is not only boring but stupifying. I like whoever it was that quoted Stewart Copeland as never playing the song the same way twice. Neither did Keith Moon. I would venture to say that most all "successful" bands don't play their music note for note the same every time they're on stage as when the song was first performed in it's "money beat" version. Ever go to a concert and hear your favorite band play your favorite song and you notice they do it a ;little, maybe way differently? And your reaction is WOW, that's F^^^ing cool.
Music is about playing how you feel, not how Bob felt. Or whatever his name is. Sorry to rant.....
BTW.....Moon never used cherry bombs in toilets or in his bass drum on the Smothers Brothers show. I have it from the guy himself and a bandmate....he used quarter sticks of dynamite.
 

Griffin

Well-known member
BTW.....Moon never used cherry bombs in toilets or in his bass drum on the Smothers Brothers show. I have it from the guy himself and a bandmate....he used quarter sticks of dynamite.
Okay. That is way cooler. And yeah the Copeland interview where he talks about people learning his fills note for note is pretty amazing I think @C.M. Jones and I were discussing it on an earlier thread. Unless that’s what you’re being specifically paid to do Xeroxing covers seems unnecessary. Obviously iconic parts etc. but ultimately unless you have the identical set up they’ll be different anyway. And for originals bands I think this conversation makes even less sense.

I do get @Bo Eder ‘s point to a degree, I think “interpreting” songs is often just an excuse for laziness but I think A lot of what he’s saying only really applies to a specific career path some drummers want to take.
 
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