Phil Rudd's Views on Click Tracks

Chris Whitten

Well-known member
Thank God for Phil Rudd. I wonder how many of those great ole 60's and 70's multi million selling hits were recorded to a click track?.....Everyone today has lost sight of what its all about....musicianship and feel!...yep a strange alien concept huh? haha...

Kind of annoying when these comments constantly come up.
1) So much modern music incorporates drum loops, machine percussion and synth sequencers. It's irrelevant comparing contemporary music with 60's and 70's multi-million selling hits because they weren't incorporating synth sequencers and machine percussion. In any case, many clearly speed up, which most people agree is not great musicianship.
Regarding musicianship and feel - are you saying PMG with Paul Wertico or Antonio Sanchez lack 'musicianship' and 'feel'? Crazy stuff.
2) It arguably takes MORE musicianship and feel to deliver a great performance while playing with a click. Anyone can play without one.
 

someguy01

Well-known member
Damn computers stealing jobs from actual musicians. Stole the metronome's job as well. Play music or play with your computer, stop trying to mix the two because you can't make friends and are stuck with garage band.
Clearly, I am not a fan of programmed music, it has no soul or depth. Perfection is boring.
 

Chris Whitten

Well-known member
It's the real world though.
They can be used creatively - like the Pat Metheny examples I gave.
So if Pat calls you to play a show you say "no thanks, I won't (or can't) play with anything programmed".

Also, in the pandemic (one year and counting) you are playing on your own, maybe tracking drums at home for someone else, or you aren't playing.
 

someguy01

Well-known member
It's the real world though.
They can be used creatively - like the Pat Metheny examples I gave.
So if Pat calls you to play a show you say "no thanks, I won't (or can't) play with anything programmed".

Also, in the pandemic (one year and counting) you are playing on your own, maybe tracking drums at home for someone else, or you aren't playing.
Or option 3: I play for my enjoyment and have zero desire to play on a stage because I abhor fame and it's ludicrous trappings.
 

jimb

Member
Kind of annoying when these comments constantly come up.
Sorry dont understand. Ur the drummer, dont matter what they throw at you its your job to make it happen...what has loops and anything got to do with it....Sorry but I feel real passionate about the way "music!" has gone ie if the computer says it don't fit or sound right then its crap...my 0.2$ and sorry for the offence.
 

Naigewron

Platinum Member
Sorry dont understand. Ur the drummer, dont matter what they throw at you its your job to make it happen...what has loops and anything got to do with it....Sorry but I feel real passionate about the way "music!" has gone ie if the computer says it don't fit or sound right then its crap...my 0.2$ and sorry for the offence.
The computer doesn't say anything, it's a tool like any other tool in the studio. It's flesh and blood people who are making those decisions, and we can always choose to work with other people instead.

Stop blaming computers, click tracks, samples and software for the music you don't like. If you want to assign blame, then blame the people who are using them in ways you don't approve of. Or: simply listen to the thousands of albums that are coming out every year that aren't just made to populate the charts, but are made by passionate people who are in it for the right reasons. The world never stopped making great music, with or without computers.

The industry has always been about money, and they will milk anything to get another hit. If sampling and computers had been available in the 60s, I can 100% guarantee you that every Beatles album would have been autotuned and quantised.

Or option 3: I play for my enjoyment and have zero desire to play on a stage because I abhor fame and it's ludicrous trappings.
Playing on stage will not make you famous; it doesn't happen by accident. It takes a mountain of hard work and luck to get famous, and most of us are perfectly happy to get up on stage just for the fun of it.
 
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Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
Kind of annoying when these comments constantly come up.
1) So much modern music incorporates drum loops, machine percussion and synth sequencers. It's irrelevant comparing contemporary music with 60's and 70's multi-million selling hits because they weren't incorporating synth sequencers and machine percussion. In any case, many clearly speed up, which most people agree is not great musicianship.
Regarding musicianship and feel - are you saying PMG with Paul Wertico or Antonio Sanchez lack 'musicianship' and 'feel'? Crazy stuff.
2) It arguably takes MORE musicianship and feel to deliver a great performance while playing with a click. Anyone can play without one.

I know who you are and I grew up listening to you, but I still don't fully agree with you.
 

Chris Whitten

Well-known member
Sorry dont understand. Ur the drummer, dont matter what they throw at you its your job to make it happen...what has loops and anything got to do with it....

Just it's easier to lock in with programmed synths and loops when you have a click. It's almost impossible to play live, with all the vagaries of monitoring, and sync with synth parts and loops, unless you use a bomb proof click that everyone locks in with.
I think every album I've done since 1980 was tracked to a click. It's just modern drumming - reality.
 

jimb

Member
In any case, many clearly speed up, which most people agree is not great musicianship.
Here we go. So you are seriously dissing. Motown, Stevie W, Philly Soul, EWF, AWB, Michael Jackson and any number of bubble gum pop tunes and there are thousands to choose from, just because they might feel well a bit off? organic and human?......how old are dude?
 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
You don't agree that Wertico and Sanchez sound just as awesome whether they are playing free or locked into some programmed additional parts?
Personally I can't hear any downgrade in their playing.

I'm probably more sensitive to the dosjointed and undynamic thing that so often happens than most, but it does no work for me.

Since you're asking, Paul's and Antonio's feel don't resonate much with me, but that's just personal taste.

There are cerain styles where this just doesn't work. Those tend to be the styles I like and subsequently I've experimented to see what happens when I base modern music on those same parameters.

Not playing with a click is not the same as throwing caution to the wind. That its's somehow less demanding and requires less focus than using a click I couldn't disagree more with. I think that's more a question of depth and quality.
 

Chris Whitten

Well-known member
Here we go. So you are seriously dissing. Motown, Stevie W, Philly Soul, EWF, AWB, Michael Jackson and any number of bubble gum pop tunes and there are thousands to choose from, just because they might feel well a bit off? organic and human?......how old are dude?

No, I am chiefly saying that times have changed, so you can't compare the music of the 60's and 70' to now.
The exhaustive ;list above is pretty much my favourite music of all time, however, it isn't immune to speeding up.
I have loaded E,W&F plus various soul and funk records into my DAW to play along to. Very often by half way through the song the tempo is significantly faster than the first verse.
Times change and you can't get away with that now.
I saw Keith Carlock with Steely Dan and he checked a metronome before EVERY song. Yeah, he wasn't playing to a click, but Becker and Fagen weren't prepared to play the songs at different tempos from show to show, like everyone was in the 70's.
Times have changed and standards are much tougher on timing.
 

Chris Whitten

Well-known member
Not playing with a click is not the same as throwing caution to the wind. That its's somehow less demanding and requires less focus than using a click I couldn't disagree more with.

I was replying to someone making the opposite claim though. That playing to a click took less musicianship and was as such 'easier'.
They are wrong.
 

Chris Whitten

Well-known member
Just for the record, I find this video some of the funkiest, most inspiring drumming. I loooove it.
The whole Stevie Wonder show is played to a click, because Stevie likes to have percussion and background vocals off tape, as well as his pretty huge band.
 

mikyok

Platinum Member
Clarification: I'm not launching this thread as an anti-click gesture. I treat clicks as situational recording tools. Sometimes I use them; other times I don't. The nature of the piece guides my decision.

Precisely!

Get good with both and serve the music as required, makes you far more hireable!

If you play just for you and/or have no intention of doing recording stuff or playing to loops, that's completely cool. We all have our reasons for playing.

However you record or play, don't lose the feel!
 

Chris Whitten

Well-known member
You seem to be projecting a lot of personal prejudice on to me.
I'm just stating two facts.
Music changes and so do standards of performance.
People are also running marathons faster than they were in the 70's, and long jumping further.
Times change and so do standards.
I've never heard Steely Dan slammed for being slouches on melody and feel, and yet they are renowned perfectionists.
They required (RIP Walter) an absolute world class drummer check his metronome before every song.
Tempo can radically impact on vocals you know!
 

Chris Whitten

Well-known member
If you play just for you and/or have no intention of doing recording stuff or playing to loops, that's completely cool. We all have our reasons for playing.

No one is saying anything is 'wrong', but why wouldn't you challenge yourself, master a new skill?
I learnt by playing along to records (Motown, Philly, Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, E,W & F), which meant I wasn't dictating the tempo, I was playing along to the drummer on the record, which is no different to playing along to a click.
 

jimb

Member
You seem to be projecting a lot of personal prejudice on to me.

Not at all. Iam now but a lowly weekend warrior who did some recording 40 years ago in the days of old school analogue etc and in those days the drummer was the click track, that was his skill. I will also argue that playing to a click creates added pressure when the musician should be thinking about the flow and feel....
Peace.
 
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