Phil Rudd is one of the masters of timekeeping. Growing up in late teen years AC/DC had a very heavy influence on my drumming.Unfailing backbeat master Phil Rudd never uses click tracks. Here's an excerpt from an interview:
Interviewer: As for recording, do you enjoy clicking to every song?
Rudd: I have never used a click track on any of the albums I’ve recorded, never in my life have I used it. You know, it’s not about my timing per say, it’s the feel of the guys and what we’ve got. Man, you can’t rock to a click, it just doesn’t happen. We rock as a band and we all listen to our tracks and, if it sounds good, it sounds good and the songs are great to play. I’ve never used a click track, ever. The song will dictate your playing. Every riff has its own speed and feel and that’s the mental hook-up with the songs.
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.
Your thoughts on Rudd's words?
Yeah, nah. Letters don't have spell check, grammar check, and word recommendations. I've seen too many fails to even bother pointing them out anymore.It's very easy to write a letter
also very easy to send an email
It's important to recognize that a click can be used in several ways. You can treat it as an unbending law, doing your best to ensure that you never deviate, even momentarily, from its monotonous measurements, a legitimate approach if the situation calls for it. Another option is to use it as a roadmap that keeps you on course but doesn't dictate your every stroke. Sometimes it's acceptable (and even desirable) to be just in front of or just behind the click, depending on the mood and feel of the song. Just because a clock is on the wall doesn't mean you have to observe its every turn. The same is true of a click track.
In my career I have found the only people who complain about playing with a click are the ones who can't do it or just can't sound natural when it is on.
It is a large part of what takes place in todays session and even live world sometimes and as been for a long time
some of you sound like my mom complaining about everyone emailing and not sending letters anymore
"they've forgotten how two write in cursive!"
It's very easy to write a letter
also very easy to send an email
we are musicians ... adaptation is what we do constantly in every aspect of our professional lives
It is not a big deal
Have to say this topic has got me excercised, guess getting old and grumpy has its benefits haha. But what I'm saying is...in the limited amount of recording I did back in the 70's...there was no "click track" and those old tunes still sound great and do they wander?.....maybe a bit but not so u would notice and even in the odd bar where they do it gives the music a warm fuzzy feel....this seemingly manic necessity for perfection has got nothing at all to do with making great music.
Time is supposed to breathe in music
It is supposed to ebb and flow ... it creates emotion
As a musician that doesn't excuse you from learning to be able to sound natural with a click
All the best to do it can record with a click and have you bet your house that there was no click on when they tracked
Gadd, Vinnie, Kunkel, Vega, Keltner, Newmark, Robinson, Jeff, Marotta etc
There is no way to tell what tracks they recorded with a click and which they recorded without.
It's only the guys who cannot stop sounding like they are chasing a chicken around a farm when it's on who hate it.
It's part of what we do.
Learn to be free with it and move on
I'm aware that they moveDo you mean breathe as in playing behind or in front of the click ?
Many older records would actually move in BPM going in or out of sections of a song. That's not possible with a click.
There's a website somewhere (I'll try and find it)where you can pick any song and it will plot a graph which shows the BPM moving in different sections. I was really surprised at some great drummers, Pocaro, Copeland etc etc
I'm aware that they move
they feel great that way
it doesn't excuse us as drummers from being able to complete tasks that are expected of us in professional settings
You can be against clicks all you want but if you work as a drummer you will eventually be asked to play with one.
If you cannot execute that task and sound natural you may not be asked to work again
word travels fast in this business
I’ve never noticed those old songs speeding up .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.