Please help unblock my cloth ears ...

Pollyanna

Platinum Member
Time is Tight by Booker T and the MGs http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GUGsZgkjrco

It's an old relic (1969) we spontaneously jammed last night. In the playback it felt like the drums were wrong, so I checked up the original ...

The way I'm hearing it, at the beginning he's playing 8ths on the hats and quarters on the kick and snare ... and as the verse progresses he gradually raises the snare volume. In the second progression he starts accenting beat 3.

Then there's the change and I'm okay after that. A very subtle approach that creates a slow cooking sense of build.

Am I hearing it right? Just checking my ears ...
 

moontheloon

Silver Member
yeah

to me it sounds like quarter notes on snare with 8th note hats

then around 30 seconds in it sounds like he drops a back beat on 2 and 4

hard to tell though

I think anything you do in time will work since this song has been interpreted many different ways over the years
 

Mad About Drums

Pollyanna's Agent
Difficult to hear it well, but after a few listen, I think he's playing quarter notes on the bass drum, 8th notes on the hihat and back beat on 2 and 4 right from the start on the snare, but with a very soft snare hit, which increase in density and volume gradually up to the first fill, but I could be wrong, +1 on "anything you do in time will work" with such a song. :)
 

Pollyanna

Platinum Member
Thanks guys. Glad it's not just me.

moontheloon said:
I think anything you do in time will work since this song has been interpreted many different ways over the years
I guess so. Seems the main thing is to keep a strong emphasis on the quarters.
 

Too Many Songs

Senior Member
Four on the floor and what I think you hear as quarters on the snare is in fact snare buzz from the kick drum pulse.

When playing the 8ths on the hi-hat he's accenting the back beat. He may just be doing that with the right hand but he could be playing the back beat on the high hat with the left hand for the first two times through and then switching to the snare.

Great band and tasteful playing by all concerned.
 

8Mile

Platinum Member
I found a live clip of them playing this and he's playing backbeats all the way through on 2 and 4. I bet that's what was happening on the record but the mix might be making that hard to hear.

It's funny with older recordings how difficult it can be to figure out what the drummer is doing. I remember listening to rock tunes from the 60s and finding myself leaving out notes at certain times, accenting notes only in certain measures, making things way more complicated than they should have been. I thought that must be what the drummer was doing to get the record to sound that way, so I tended to learn it that way.

Of course, later, they'd re-master the recording and I'd hear the drums more clearly and realize the drummer wasn't doing those things at all. He was laying down something much simpler and it was just the mix/recording quality that made it sound like the drummer was varying all those things.

When I played in a country band, the guitarist once told me that every time he struggled to figure out what sounded like a really difficult guitar pop-country guitar part, it was almost always his ears playing tricks on him, making it sound harder than it was. The answer was always a relatively simple thing that he'd eventually stumble on and then he'd wonder what he was thinking all that time. Well, my experience with some of those old drum parts is the same.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
I'm hearing quarters on the snare, which he switches to half notes on 2 and 4 after a little while, then he goes back to quarters at the beginning of the progression where they drop the dynamics. I definitely hear quarters in the front of the song.
 

eddypierce

Senior Member
Time is Tight by Booker T and the MGs http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GUGsZgkjrco

It's an old relic (1969) we spontaneously jammed last night. In the playback it felt like the drums were wrong, so I checked up the original ...

The way I'm hearing it, at the beginning he's playing 8ths on the hats and quarters on the kick and snare ... and as the verse progresses he gradually raises the snare volume. In the second progression he starts accenting beat 3.

Then there's the change and I'm okay after that. A very subtle approach that creates a slow cooking sense of build.

Am I hearing it right? Just checking my ears ...
In case you're curious, Booker T. and the MG's did two versions of this tune: the single version (which is the one you linked to, and the one most people are familiar with), and they also did an album version for the album "Uptight." The album version is faster and Al Jackson plays a slightly different groove--check out this youtube video, which shows them recording it (at 4:45): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=amo2PQKHmq4

While we're on the subject, check out this great footage of Al Jackson with Booker T. and the MG's playing "Booker Loo": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1kgBgX5HsqU&feature=related

Ed
 

Pollyanna

Platinum Member
It's funny with older recordings how difficult it can be to figure out what the drummer is doing. I remember listening to rock tunes from the 60s and finding myself leaving out notes at certain times, accenting notes only in certain measures, making things way more complicated than they should have been.

... Of course, later, they'd re-master the recording and I'd hear the drums more clearly and realize the drummer wasn't doing those things at all. He was laying down something much simpler and it was just the mix/recording quality that made it sound like the drummer was varying all those things.
How true. There's less separation both with the kit and the full band, and the sounds blend together in a way that can make things hard to differentiate. The drums were mixed lower than they are today, more polite.

I like it - especially, as you say, the way it implies all sorts of ghost notes that aren't there ... unless they mix the tambourine higher than the drums. That's just frustrating, given how much better the track would have sounded with a more realistic mix.

Good comments, guys. The live versions seem to be played differently to the studio - 4 on the floor with standard backbeat.
 

Pollyanna

Platinum Member
The album version is faster and Al Jackson plays a slightly different groove--check out this youtube video, which shows them recording it (at 4:45): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=amo2PQKHmq4
Great find! Yes, now he's playing the ride and 8ths on the kick - 1, 1&, 3 and 3&. It works well too.

While we're on the subject, check out this great footage of Al Jackson with Booker T. and the MG's playing "Booker Loo": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1kgBgX5HsqU&feature=related
Favourited :)


edited to add: i wanna hear your version real bad. i know it's right.
Ha! I was trying to avoid it because 1) we were looking at segueing from Reach Out so it's heaps slower and sounded draggy, and 2) our guitarist flubbed his way through it (classical background, struggles with improv). I usually try not to post things that are not pleasant listening.

I've attached a small portion that's less objectionable than most of it lol. I think many years ago I saw a cover where the drummer was playing eighths on the hats and quarters on the snare, so that's what I did. Then I was adding kicks on 3& and 4&, which I think came from my old hard rock days.

I think it would have sat better if I played the kicks s quarters, but I wasn't alert to the possibility at the time. Alas, you can't put a young head on old shoulders ...
 

Attachments

Mad About Drums

Pollyanna's Agent
I've attached a small portion that's less objectionable than most of it lol. I think many years ago I saw a cover where the drummer was playing eighths on the hats and quarters on the snare, so that's what I did. Then I was adding kicks on 3& and 4&, which I think came from my old hard rock days.

I think it would have sat better if I played the kicks s quarters, but I wasn't alert to the possibility at the time. Alas, you can't put a young head on old shoulders ...
First post I'm reading on this snowy sunday morning, and what can possibly be better than listening to you drumming to set the mood for the day, eh? Polly :))

... Yep, four on the snare with the kick on on 3& and 4& works too for that song, but I agree that the four on the kick with standard backbeats provide a more relaxed approach and it's more suited to the song IMO. :)
 

Pollyanna

Platinum Member
First post I'm reading on this snowy sunday morning, and what can possibly be better than listening to you drumming to set the mood for the day, eh? Polly :))

... Yep, four on the snare with the kick on on 3& and 4& works too for that song, but I agree that the four on the kick with standard backbeats provide a more relaxed approach and it's more suited to the song IMO. :)
Ah Henri, you old smoothie, you :)

Agree, I much prefer Al Jackson's approach. Loud snare on the quarters is a bit grating IMO. I liked Al J's approach in the studio clip that Eddy posted too.
 

unfunkyfooted

Silver Member
Great find! Yes, now he's playing the ride and 8ths on the kick - 1, 1&, 3 and 3&. It works well too.



Favourited :)




Ha! I was trying to avoid it because 1) we were looking at segueing from Reach Out so it's heaps slower and sounded draggy, and 2) our guitarist flubbed his way through it (classical background, struggles with improv). I usually try not to post things that are not pleasant listening.

I've attached a small portion that's less objectionable than most of it lol. I think many years ago I saw a cover where the drummer was playing eighths on the hats and quarters on the snare, so that's what I did. Then I was adding kicks on 3& and 4&, which I think came from my old hard rock days.

I think it would have sat better if I played the kicks s quarters, but I wasn't alert to the possibility at the time. Alas, you can't put a young head on old shoulders ...
yeah, i was a bit surprised to that that was what he was playing on the original recording, for the same reasons. i just never conceived of it. but i'm not worried. i know the groove is in good hands. thanks for the clip. always a pleasure.
 
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