Push vs. Pull?

Steady Freddy

Pioneer Member
What some seem to have a hard time expressing here is playing ahead or behind the beat. That's a musician's decision. Rushing or dragging is just poor timing. Push pull is a hand technique. That said, you can push or pull and groove along. That's usually not how it it is described tho.

The art of getting the right answer is asking the right question. Just sayin......................
 

Neilage

Junior Member
What some seem to have a hard time expressing here is playing ahead or behind the beat. That's a musician's decision. Rushing or dragging is just poor timing. Push pull is a hand technique. That said, you can push or pull and groove along. That's usually not how it it is described tho.

The art of getting the right answer is asking the right question. Just sayin......................
My original post came after reading the interview with Chad Smith in the latest issue of Modern Drummer:
Chad Smith: "Sometimes the pursuit of trying to make something sound perfect by taking out all the little mistakes, or little pushes and pulls, maybe they don’t realize that those imperfections are the thing that make a song great. I saw Rick Beato on YouTube quantizing Bonham’s drumming to demonstrate this point."

As previous posters have said, my understanding is that rushing and dragging are due to poor technique and are unintentional.
So, apparently Chad is just using incorrect terminology.

In the context of the interview, it's apparent that Chad is referring to intentionally pushing (playing in front of the bpm) and pulling (playing behind the bpm) as a technique.
 

Al Strange

Well-known member
My original post came after reading the interview with Chad Smith in the latest issue of Modern Drummer:
Chad Smith: "Sometimes the pursuit of trying to make something sound perfect by taking out all the little mistakes, or little pushes and pulls, maybe they don’t realize that those imperfections are the thing that make a song great. I saw Rick Beato on YouTube quantizing Bonham’s drumming to demonstrate this point."

As previous posters have said, my understanding is that rushing and dragging are due to poor technique and are unintentional.
So, apparently Chad is just using incorrect terminology.

In the context of the interview, it's apparent that Chad is referring to intentionally pushing (playing in front of the bpm) and pulling (playing behind the bpm) as a technique.
Absolutely, his terminology is perfectly fine in the context of what he’s explaining, he’s getting across his point really well, it’s a bit of a leap to suggest there’s an actual technique called push/pull though? I don’t think the language matters tbh so much as what it means? There are loads of posts above that cover it brilliantly... (y) :)
 

Steady Freddy

Pioneer Member
My original post came after reading the interview with Chad Smith in the latest issue of Modern Drummer:
Chad Smith: "Sometimes the pursuit of trying to make something sound perfect by taking out all the little mistakes, or little pushes and pulls, maybe they don’t realize that those imperfections are the thing that make a song great. I saw Rick Beato on YouTube quantizing Bonham’s drumming to demonstrate this point."

As previous posters have said, my understanding is that rushing and dragging are due to poor technique and are unintentional.
So, apparently Chad is just using incorrect terminology.

In the context of the interview, it's apparent that Chad is referring to intentionally pushing (playing in front of the bpm) and pulling (playing behind the bpm) as a technique.
And had you explained it like that there would have been a lot less confusion.
 

brentcn

Platinum Member
... by taking out all the little mistakes...

In the context of the interview, it's apparent that Chad is referring to intentionally pushing (playing in front of the bpm) and pulling (playing behind the bpm) as a technique.
It's a small quibble at this point, but it would seem that CS thinks that small rushes or drags can be accidental, if not intentional. He refers to them as mistakes, after all.

But, that doesn't mean that a player shouldn't, or can't, develop their sense of time to the point that it's possible to adjust your time center in relation to another instrument or musician. CS is a great rock star, but he probably doesn't have this level of control in his playing (nor would he have any need of it).

Can't a drummer, having multiple voices, push or pull a beat alone? I think many do. The most common one is tempo=R and K, pulling back with L.
I've been trying to work up a nice flammed backbeat. It's getting closer.
Of course! It's totally valid to create a "flammed" backbeat, but this is a very bold musical choice. Also, it's not absolutely necessary to keep one limb "on center", while other limbs are pushing or pulling -- more commonly, one part of the beat is delayed or rushed, even if there are multiple voices happening (for example, a bass drum and a hi-hat) at that moment. These techniques are at the core of the whole J. Dilla aesthetic. Hardware samplers like the MPC2000 were often used to combine pieces that did not precisely line up to a grid, so there was a somewhat drunken feel. After that, artists like D'Angelo encouraged Questlove (and later, Chris Dave) to emulate that particular feel of J. Dilla's sample-based music.

So, there are many ways to push or pull. It's unfortunate that other musicians write and talk about pushing and pulling in these ways, when the push/pull technique is so widely popular among drummers. Context is everything.
 

Neilage

Junior Member
And had you explained it like that there would have been a lot less confusion.
Wow. Two smart ass, snarky replies in a row from you.
Take it up with Chad Smith, not me.
You yourself stated that "Rushing or dragging is just poor timing.", which is completely contradictory to the intended act of slowing or speeding up on purpose.
 

blinky

Senior Member
Gordy Knudtsen calls the hand technique "open-close" instead of "push-pull", maybe that would avoid all misunderstanding?
 
Top