Should I stay or should I go?

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
The guy has a great voice.

I don't think he's a dick, he's just seems blissfully ignorant to what musical time is and how it works and how it doesn't work. It's no crime.

It will be hard to get him to understand a problem when he doesn't realize one exists though.

Maybe try to convince him to just be the singer, and let someone else do the guitar. Sure he can hold a guitar and strum once in a while, but let someone else actually do the heavy lifting. I bet he can follow along to a steady band just fine.

Just one guy with a guitar can float the time however they want, just like a lone piano player, to great effect (done right).

All the floating time stuff mostly gets thrown out the window the minute other musicians are introduced into the mix in today's Country climate.

How you can get that across to him is just the start of things. Then he has to work at playing to a click. I'm not holding my breath. The guy has a great voice though.
 

Shane247

Active member
The guy has a great voice.

I don't think he's a dick, he's just seems blissfully ignorant to what musical time is and how it works and how it doesn't work. It's no crime.

It will be hard to get him to understand a problem when he doesn't realize one exists though.

Maybe try to convince him to just be the singer, and let someone else do the guitar. Sure he can hold a guitar and strum once in a while, but let someone else actually do the heavy lifting. I bet he can follow along to a steady band just fine.

Just one guy with a guitar can float the time however they want, just like a lone piano player, to great effect (done right).

All the floating time stuff mostly gets thrown out the window the minute other musicians are introduced into the mix in today's Country climate.

How you can get that across to him is just the start of things. Then he has to work at playing to a click. I'm not holding my breath. The guy has a great voice though.
Floating time. Interesting, I've never heard that before.
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
We tried using a click together but he turned it off saying its messing up his rhythm.
If he can't play to a click, then he can't play with a timekeeper of any description. I get wanting to float time with the dynamic as a solo performer - that has value in certain pieces, but has no place for a drummer unless tempo changes are mapped.

Perhaps you could just turn up to the next rehearsal without gear, & offer interpretive dance instead ;)
 

timmdrum

Silver Member
I remember reading an interview with Matt Chamberlain many years ago about how difficult it was to follow Tori Amos because her compositions had a tendency to move and shift within the time, and to loose or gain the occasional note here or there...he wasnt complaining about it, he was simply talking about how sometimes the gig calls for an elevated level of sensitivity to what the vocalist is doing.
Yeah, there's a big difference between someone like Tori who's a pro, and knows that she intentionally performs an Accelerando/Ritardando, versus someone who thinks he/she is steady, but isn't. I missed hearing the clip before it was deleted, but those of you who heard it- was it purposeful slowing/speeding, or an accident of unsteady time?

To the OP: if it's the latter, especially if he's rude about it, politely split. If it's the former, it might be a good experience opportunity to learn how to follow someone who plays this way.
 

Shane247

Active member
Yeah, there's a big difference between someone like Tori who's a pro, and knows that she intentionally performs an Accelerando/Ritardando, versus someone who thinks he/she is steady, but isn't. I missed hearing the clip before it was deleted, but those of you who heard it- was it purposeful slowing/speeding, or an accident of unsteady time?

To the OP: if it's the latter, especially if he's rude about it, politely split. If it's the former, it might be a good experience opportunity to learn how to follow someone who plays this way.
When he started playing and singing, it is at 87 BPM. he would accelerate then slow down some. By the time he gets to the end of the song he is at 101 BPM. I am Pretty darn good at holding time. I don't play beyond my ability to stay in time. He says I make him rush using the hi hats and says we wont use them, Metronome is also out because he says it messes up his rhythm. All my recordings are fine, even the impromptu stuff.
 

Shane247

Active member
Oh, his last drummer keeps giving excuses to not show up. The Bassist quit him some time ago... He's solo now except for me trying it out. This lead was given to me by a friend. I felt obligated to at least try. By himself, it sounds great.
 

Shane247

Active member
The guy has a great voice.

I don't think he's a dick, he's just seems blissfully ignorant to what musical time is and how it works and how it doesn't work. It's no crime.

It will be hard to get him to understand a problem when he doesn't realize one exists though.

Maybe try to convince him to just be the singer, and let someone else do the guitar. Sure he can hold a guitar and strum once in a while, but let someone else actually do the heavy lifting. I bet he can follow along to a steady band just fine.

Just one guy with a guitar can float the time however they want, just like a lone piano player, to great effect (done right).

All the floating time stuff mostly gets thrown out the window the minute other musicians are introduced into the mix in today's Country climate.

How you can get that across to him is just the start of things. Then he has to work at playing to a click. I'm not holding my breath. The guy has a great voice though.
It's kinda like the ground cable in you vehicle. You know when you blame everything else and replace the entire electric system first and it still dosen't work
 

Peedy

Senior Member
When he started playing and singing, it is at 87 BPM. he would accelerate then slow down some. By the time he gets to the end of the song he is at 101 BPM. I am Pretty darn good at holding time. I don't play beyond my ability to stay in time. He says I make him rush using the hi hats and says we wont use them, Metronome is also out because he says it messes up his rhythm. All my recordings are fine, even the impromptu stuff.
That would be fine so long as his meandering came back around to the beat (like a sine wave). Take a listen to Macy Gray and Amy Winehouse (lots of other Jazz/R&B/Soul singers do it too). This idea is a part of their style. BUT, the musicians are clued in from the start and its part of the deal. If he wants to do that, it needs to be as a part of the whole.

TOUGH PART - Don't be shy, tell him with kindness. Even if he gets mad now, he'll start asking others and should come around.

Pete
 

Highway Child

Senior Member
Shane247 welcome to DW and by now of course you'll know you'll never be alone when it comes to problems with time in bands! I've got 4 horn players telling me to turn off the click cos its dragging them back!.........
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
@Shane247

Since you've pretty much received a consensus, it's time to take the audio down.

As someone else mentioned, there's ethical questions/barriers surrounding the use of someone else's unreleased works. Always remember that you're linking snippets for the purpose of fostering the brief conversation, and not for posterity... So always remember to take them down after the conversation's been had.

It looks like the consensus is that you should try to take a firm stand on the use of a metronome when recording or excuse yourself.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
He says I make him rush using the hi hats and says we wont use them, Metronome is also out because he says it messes up his rhythm.
The only positive I can salvage from this is he sensed something wrong. Except instead of taking responsibility, he totally blamed you because he felt that you "made him rush", when in reality, HE dragged the time. But he heard it. He just can't fathom that it's his doing. Tough situation.

I don't get the feeling that this man can bring himself to realize that he is the cause of the time problems anytime soon. That's unfortunate because the guy has the voice.

The only way I can see to handle this situation is to gently state that he has a great voice and when he can do a demo and stay on the click from front to back, then sure, you would be happy to help out. Until then, you're not wasting your time with out of time demos, no matter who makes them. It's not him, it's the out of time-ness. It's not personal. But it's just not how drummers work either. Pull rank. The drums are YOUR wheelhouse. If he wants drums on his track then he needs to take your professional advice. He doesn't quite get the steady time thing and it would be detrimental for him to dismiss your requirements. You're on HIS side! He has to be able to play his songs to a click as the minimum requirement for drums. Minimum requirement. It's not that hard with an acoustic strummed guitar, please. He's acting like he's beyond reproach, and isn't seeing that he's nowhere near that point.
 
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Shane247

Active member
@Shane247

Since you've pretty much received a consensus, it's time to take the audio down.

As someone else mentioned, there's ethical questions/barriers surrounding the use of someone else's unreleased works. Always remember that you're linking snippets for the purpose of fostering the brief conversation, and not for posterity... So always remember to take them down after the conversation's been had.

It looks like the consensus is that you should try to take a firm stand on the use of a metronome when recording or excuse yourself.
The Audio has been deleted. The link no longer works.
 

TMe

Senior Member
If he can't play to a click, then he can't play with a timekeeper of any description.
I'm an amateur and if I didn't play with anyone who couldn't follow a click, I'd never play with anyone. I don't think I've met a non-pro musician (other than drummers) who can play with a click or practices with a metronome regularly.

I've taken a different approach, where now my time is very fluid and I go with the flow. My mental image is that of a pianist hired to accompany a tenor for a recital. In that scenario, the pianist might be the more accomplished musician, but the spotlight is on the tenor.

Of course, the same guys who can't keep time then complain that the drums aren't forceful enough. So you can never really win, but you can work with what you've got - or move on.
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
Yes, but he won't follow me. His muscle memory pushes him off time. He's been playing on his own with no click for over five years. Thanks for responding.
So you've definitively found the issue here... It's not you. The guy can't play in time and won't listen to any other time source or even work with you a little push/pull.

I'd suggest that he's not ready or musically mature enough to play with a drummer who actually has a solid sense of time. It'll be nothing but frustration.
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
Shane247 welcome to DW and by now of course you'll know you'll never be alone when it comes to problems with time in bands! I've got 4 horn players telling me to turn off the click cos its dragging them back!.........
LMAO

Yea, dude, the click is totally dragging! Someone should tell that "click" guy to stop dragging the beat.
 
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