Questioning my sanity - where is the backbeat?

kyle

Senior Member
Re: Questioning my sanity where is the backbeat?

Its on 2 and 4. It sounds like its on the and of 1 and 3. Starting from the first note of the song listen, that's where the measure starts. For some reason its hard to imagine the measure starting there though so the and of 1 and the and of 3 is trying to move the measure back.

Listen to where the drums actually come in. That's where the measure actually begins. Count from there and the snare is on 2 and 4.

At least that's what it sounds like to me.
 

poika

Silver Member
Re: Questioning my sanity where is the backbeat?

If you hear something "wrong" for the first time, it is incredibly difficult to change the way you hear it.
The human mind is oh so simple :)
 

camcoman

Senior Member
Re: Questioning my sanity where is the backbeat?

I need to clarify, the first quarter note of the song seems to be a pick-up note. The following eighth notes actually start the four bar intro. The drum pick up is falling (snare) on the and of 3 (open hats) on 4 in the fourth bar of the intro. This also seem to line up with the bass line. Make sense?
 
Last edited:

Naigewron

Platinum Member
Re: Questioning my sanity where is the backbeat?

I can't hear it any other way than 2 and 4.

The first tom hit is on the 4 of the last bar of the piano intro, and then the crash is syncopated (not sure that' technically the right therm, but that's what I've always heard it referred to as), meaning it hits on the & of 4 in the last intro bar.

The open hihat slosh of the groove is the same as the first crash hit; it's on the & of 4 in every bar.
 

kyle

Senior Member
Re: Questioning my sanity where is the backbeat?

I need to clarify, the first quarter note of the song seems to be a pick-up note. The following eighth notes actually start the four bar intro. The drum pick up is falling (snare) on the and of 3 (open hats) on 4 in the third bar of the intro. This also seem to line up with the bass line. Make sense?
First note of that song starts the song. It doesn't wait 3 beats than starts, it starts immediately on that note.
 

toddbishop

Platinum Member
If the snare is on 2 and 4, that puts that strong, repetitive section figure on (4) & (1) e &, which would be highly strange. Putting the beat there also screws up the phrasing of the vocals-- the backgrounds especially.

Cam, if you want to try to figure it out that way, count from the first note of the piano entrance:
& ||: 1e& 2& 3& 4& :||

But I think you're hearing it right, on the & of 1 and the & of 3, with that strong figure landing on 4 (e &) a 1.
 

8Mile

Platinum Member
Re: Questioning my sanity where is the backbeat?

If you hear something "wrong" for the first time, it is incredibly difficult to change the way you hear it.
The human mind is oh so simple :)
This is so true. I still have trouble with the Eagles Take It Easy and even Led Zep's Rock And Roll sometimes. If I "hear" the intro to Take It Easy "wrong" from the beginning, I can't change how I hear it in time for when the drums come in. It's maddening.
 

PQleyR

Platinum Member
I had this problem with 'You Rock My World' by Michael Jackson, except I found everyone else was hearing it wrong (as far as I was concerned)! My sister and me and some friends of ours did a load of MJ covers a while ago, and they had a version they'd got from somewhere that omitted the first beat of the first bar. So somehow this led to them inverting the bar in their heads so beat 2 became beat 4...which then meant that all the verses and choruses started on beat 3 of the bar instead of beat 1. This did not make sense to me, so I went on youtube and lo and behold, the original version has a bar at the beginning with four bass drum beats, proving, surely, that I was correct in thinking the first snare hit was beat 2...

...but somehow they still kept thinking it was that way round even after I showed them this!

Please tell me I'm not completely mad and tell me how you'd count this.
 

camcoman

Senior Member
Snare on 2 & 4. BASS drum on the AND of 1 also 3, theAND of 3 as well.

Base in bold and snare with underline:

1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &

Look at this sheet music:

http://www.jellynote.com/en/sheet-music-tabs/joe-cocker/just-like-a-woman/5076eba3d2235a7374cdd9c5#tabs:%23score_B
I looked at it, it's a different song Just a Woman not Woman to Woman. Thanks anyway.

If the snare is on 2 and 4, that puts that strong, repetitive section figure on (4) & (1) e &, which would be highly strange. Putting the beat there also screws up the phrasing of the vocals-- the backgrounds especially.

Cam, if you want to try to figure it out that way, count from the first note of the piano entrance:
& ||: 1e& 2& 3& 4& :||

But I think you're hearing it right, on the & of 1 and the & of 3, with that strong figure landing on 4 (e &) a 1.
Thanks Todd. I think it has to do with the initial piano pick-up note and the drum pick ups starting on the and of 3 in measure 4. Also as I said in my earlier post I lines up with the bass pattern. This was played originally played by either Jim Keltner and/or Alan White, Keltner is known for displacing beats.

I had this problem with 'You Rock My World' by Michael Jackson, except I found everyone else was hearing it wrong (as far as I was concerned)! My sister and me and some friends of ours did a load of MJ covers a while ago, and they had a version they'd got from somewhere that omitted the first beat of the first bar. So somehow this led to them inverting the bar in their heads so beat 2 became beat 4...which then meant that all the verses and choruses started on beat 3 of the bar instead of beat 1. This did not make sense to me, so I went on youtube and lo and behold, the original version has a bar at the beginning with four bass drum beats, proving, surely, that I was correct in thinking the first snare hit was beat 2...

...but somehow they still kept thinking it was that way round even after I showed them this!

Please tell me I'm not completely mad and tell me how you'd count this.
Absolutely right as far as the MJ track.
What is your stance on the piece posted?
 
Last edited:

toddbishop

Platinum Member
I gave it a closer listen, and what's going on in the rhythm section works either way. I can't hear the BG vocals as anything but screwed up in the SD on 2 & 4 orientation, though. I don't think I've heard the song before today, and I could be totally wrong.

I had this problem with 'You Rock My World' by Michael Jackson, except I found everyone else was hearing it wrong (as far as I was concerned)! My sister and me and some friends of ours did a load of MJ covers a while ago, and they had a version they'd got from somewhere that omitted the first beat of the first bar. So somehow this led to them inverting the bar in their heads so beat 2 became beat 4...which then meant that all the verses and choruses started on beat 3 of the bar instead of beat 1. This did not make sense to me, so I went on youtube and lo and behold, the original version has a bar at the beginning with four bass drum beats, proving, surely, that I was correct in thinking the first snare hit was beat 2...

...but somehow they still kept thinking it was that way round even after I showed them this!

Please tell me I'm not completely mad and tell me how you'd count this.
I have 1 on the word 'life' at the beginning of the verse at 1:14.
 

con struct

Platinum Member
Here's one that has me all mixed up. For some reason, I hear the bass drum playing the "ands." Played that way, it makes for a hell of an interesting beat that's a gas to play, and since it's African in origin I saw no reason to assume that the bass drum must be playing the quarter notes, but I must be wrong.

The problem is, as mentioned before, I just can't hear it any other way. See if you can tell what I mean.

Soda Soap by the Sierra Leon Refugees.
 

PQleyR

Platinum Member
I have 1 on the word 'life' at the beginning of the verse at 1:14.
Yes! You're with me then.

Here's one that has me all mixed up. For some reason, I hear the bass drum playing the "ands." Played that way, it makes for a hell of an interesting beat that's a gas to play, and since it's African in origin I saw no reason to assume that the bass drum must be playing the quarter notes, but I must be wrong.

The problem is, as mentioned before, I just can't hear it any other way. See if you can tell what I mean.

Soda Soap by the Sierra Leon Refugees.
For me that kick's incontrovertibly and uncontroversially on the quarter notes.
 

last man to bat

Senior Member
I'm with you Cam. I can't hear it any other way either. I try playing along to it counting the snares as beats 2 and 4 but I keep slipping back to it being on the an of 1 and an of 3 like you. The bass part makes more sense to me played this way too. Its puzzling to me that it could be anything other, It just doesn't feel right as a song for it to be on the 2 and 4. That doesn't mean I'm right of course, it would seem, reading other's take on it, that I have it arse about face. The problem for me is nothing playing the beat of 1 if the snares are landing on the 2 and 4, and my brain wants to lock into the 1 in this song for some reason and when it does that.... the an of 1 and 3 everytime... bugger!
 

Naigewron

Platinum Member
I can sort of hear what you guys are referring to with the vocals not really fitting with the snare on 2 and 4, but no matter how hard I try I can not make my brain turn it around to hear to snare on 1& and 3&. I can make myself count it that way just by displacing my counting, but then it just feels like I'm counting upbeats.

It's a (possibly literally) trippy track no matter how it's actually played.
 
Top