Straight or shuffle?

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
AMEN,they dont realize the drummer is the one listening to everyone in the band and has great insight to suggest good songs for the band to play

That's assuming the drummer can be objective, which is difficult from where they sit compared to the listener/dancer that the band is playing for.

Does the drummer let their personal likes/dislikes govern what they recommend? That's bad. That's not the person who should be suggesting songs for a band that wants to get gigs.

Everyone in the band needs to be able to choose songs that people want to hear. That's the point of doing gigs. There needs to be a level of agreement that transcends personal musical tastes/agendas. Players who haven't got that are unhappy, and wonder why they don't get gigs.

I get gigs because I like playing drums... to pretty much any song. I have never told a band that i didn't like a song presented to me. If asked the right question, I might answer that it's not a well-known enough to warrant playing, but that's not based on whether I like it or not. There are a lot of songs I like that I wouldn't suggest be played by a cover band that wants to get gigs.
 

Bozozoid

Well-known member
There have been times while doing a straight feel I've actually done a shuffle type fill which can get a big smile from the band like..dude..that was cool. Sometimes it's..uh oh..hes trying to make us lose our part but this is rare and you have to recognize when it's cool and when it's NOT.
 

MntnMan62

Junior Member
Ultimately, playing a beat straight and playing it with a shuffle groove are two very different things. A child in nursery school can tell there is a difference. The drummer is supposed to play for the tune and the band. But not everything you come up with will work with every song. Same goes for any other instrument. Guitar, bass, keys, sax, etc. When you play in a band, you aren't the only person who has say in the music being played. You're only one voice out of as many people there are in the band. I love the shuffle beat. But it has to fit the tune.
 

Chris Whitten

Well-known member
AMEN,they dont realize the drummer is the one listening to everyone in the band and has great insight to suggest good songs for the band to play
Actually I find most drummers just listen to the drum parts. That's why you get so many drummers on forums saying they get bored playing 1 & 3, 2 & 4. I'm listening to the overall song, and if the song is great I never get bored playing the simplest drum part.
The worst thing is for a drummer to suggest songs just based on the drum part they prefer to play.
I have spoken up in cover bands if I feel a song is not good and we could be replacing it with a better song. But like 'Bermuda' rightly points out, it's all a collaboration, a collective decision. But in the end the drummer needs to go with what the leader of the band or the lead singer (often the same) wants to present to the audience.
 
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Chris Whitten

Well-known member
You can certainly take something straight and give it a little more swing.
That's a specific feel that is correct for the genre. Steve Jordan talks about this in several excellent videos.
At the birth of rock and roll you had drummers who grew up in jazz and blues, suddenly playing songs with a straight 8 feel and a pronounced 2 & 4 backbeat.
The end result was often playing in the cracks - a slightly swung straight feel, or a straight feel with swung drum fills, or a mix - straight drums with swung guitar, or swung drums with straight guitar. A completely fascinating subject to dive into IMO.
 

Old PIT Guy

Well-known member
Ghost notes are your friend here!

The key here is to really ghost those notes. You could conceivably play ghosted snare drum notes amidst a backbeat on just about any song if the ghosted notes are inaudible or very nearly so (without gating). And that's not an easy thing to do at all.
 

pocket player

Junior Member
That's assuming the drummer can be objective, which is difficult from where they sit compared to the listener/dancer that the band is playing for.

Does the drummer let their personal likes/dislikes govern what they recommend? That's bad. That's not the person who should be suggesting songs for a band that wants to get gigs.

Everyone in the band needs to be able to choose songs that people want to hear. That's the point of doing gigs. There needs to be a level of agreement that transcends personal musical tastes/agendas. Players who haven't got that are unhappy, and wonder why they don't get gigs.

I get gigs because I like playing drums... to pretty much any song. I have never told a band that i didn't like a song presented to me. If asked the right question, I might answer that it's not a well-known enough to warrant playing, but that's not based on whether I like it or not. There are a lot of songs I like that I wouldn't suggest be played by a cover band that wants to get gigs.
Valid points but ,i am just stating that over my 25 years of drumming in rock cover bands i agree with PPG that the drummers suggestions are usually towards the bottom of the picks.
 

pocket player

Junior Member
Actually I find most drummers just listen to the drum parts. That's why you get so many drummers on forums saying they get bored playing 1 & 3, 2 & 4. I'm listening to the overall song, and if the song is great I never get bored playing the simplest drum part.
The worst thing is for a drummer to suggest songs just based on the drum part they prefer to play.
I have spoken up in cover bands if I feel a song is not good and we could be replacing it with a better song. But like 'Bermuda' rightly points out, it's all a collaboration, a collective decision. But in the end the drummer needs to go with what the leader of the band or the lead singer (often the same) wants to present to the audience.
Agreed ,but alot of times in the intermediate level of non pro cover bands, alot of the other players are not listening to the total song output ,or what the audience is grooving on, i am sure there are other musicians who do listen,but alot of times theres one who do not .and as the drummer you have to try and keep this in balance.in the songs chosen. EX playing a sweet melodic rock song and the guitarist still has his guitar set at the stadium dirty channel,or the singer has a very low singing range and the band is picking songs from Led Zep with R.Plant at the top of his range.
 

Old PIT Guy

Well-known member
You have to groove and sound convincing both with ghost notes and without. I see so many times ghost notes being used as the solution to everything.

I don't think it's necessarily always a solution to a problem as much as it could become a problem for guys who get deep into expressing themselves through a sense of dynamics who become too reliant on ghostnotes as placeholders for their feel.
 

mikyok

Platinum Member
The key here is to really ghost those notes. You could conceivably play ghosted snare drum notes amidst a backbeat on just about any song if the ghosted notes are inaudible or very nearly so (without gating). And that's not an easy thing to do at all.

That's what I was getting at, it really is a feel thing more than anything audible.

I have to do a lot of covers of modern songs that are all lifeless programmed, autotuned tripe and it's so hard to put the human element back into them. Subtlety is the key though!
You have to groove and sound convincing both with ghost notes and without. I see so many times ghost notes being used as the solution to everything.

Agree, I think the thing the OP hasn't mentioned is what songs he is referring to. There's certain genres and tempos which work/don't work.

Also if you have a bassist worth his salt, just lock it in the pocket and follow each other.
 

Chris Whitten

Well-known member
Agreed ,but alot of times in the intermediate level of non pro cover bands, alot of the other players are not listening to the total song output ,or what the audience is grooving on
I don't really understand, as non-pro bands, playing any songs you don't (as a collective) enjoy playing.
I will play 2&4 all night long if I am moved by the music and see happy faces in the crowd. I DO see a lot of drummers complaining about being bored by simple drum parts. They aren't engaging with the music IMO.
 

Bozozoid

Well-known member
I don't really understand, as non-pro bands, playing any songs you don't (as a collective) enjoy playing.
I will play 2&4 all night long if I am moved by the music and see happy faces in the crowd. I DO see a lot of drummers complaining about being bored by simple drum parts. They aren't engaging with the music IMO.
Chris..sometimes do you think drummers are bored with simple parts due to subpar players? when you get groove gods all of a sudden the drummer changes his outlook on simplicity?
 

BrokenStick

Junior Member
It was bad because it took one of the most impassioned songs in the entire history of rock ‘n’ roll and rendered it lite EZ listening. It was utterly facile, something which people who had heard the song dozens or hundreds of times would never have imagined possible.
Facile? Curious word choice. Personally, I liked it. EZ listening, absolutely. WTF you expect from an unplugged concert. In the end, his tune to do with as he sees fit.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
Personally, I liked it
Me too. Never listened to it before now. I much prefer this version to the original. It completely cut out that god awful too long guitar solo at the end that I dont care for also. It's a win all around for me.
 
WTF you expect from an unplugged concert. In the end, his tune to do with as he sees fit.
Of course it is. And if he wants to take one of the most emotionally charged songs in the rock canon and license it to a douche commercial or sell it to Mark Zuckerberg or render it a vacuous trifle, of course he gets to do it. But as to WTF I'd expected from an unplugged concert: I guess I'd expect a major artist to do a good job, as he indeed did with the rest of the show. I'm actually kinda baffled by the notion that being unplugged automatically renders a performance tepid, as that clearly runs contrary to historical evidence.

It seems obvious to me that an unplugged format does not, in fact, automatically make a song's rendition anemic or insubstantial, and to bolster that claim I'd present, well, many other Unplugged concerts, notably Pearl Jam's, R.E.M.'s, LL Cool J's, Neil Young's and especially Nirvana's, not to mention pretty much the entire rest of the Clapton Unplugged, which ranges from the lovely to the outstanding to the (intentionally) heartbreaking. And that's just mentioning actual Unplugged concerts, not the long and storied history of recordings and performances of a similar makeup.
 

BrokenStick

Junior Member
Me too. Never listened to it before now. I much prefer this version to the original. It completely cut out that god awful too long guitar solo at the end that I dont care for also. It's a win all around for me.
Never one of my favorite Clapton tunes to begin with, and I grew weary of that over-long solo section at the end as well.
 

BrokenStick

Junior Member
Of course it is. And if he wants to take one of the most emotionally charged songs in the rock canon and license it to a douche commercial or sell it to Mark Zuckerberg or render it a vacuous trifle, of course he gets to do it. But as to WTF I'd expected from an unplugged concert: I guess I'd expect a major artist to do a good job, as he indeed did with the rest of the show. I'm actually kinda baffled by the notion that being unplugged automatically renders a performance tepid, as that clearly runs contrary to historical evidence.

It seems obvious to me that an unplugged format does not, in fact, automatically make a song's rendition anemic or insubstantial, and to bolster that claim I'd present, well, many other Unplugged concerts, notably Pearl Jam's, R.E.M.'s, LL Cool J's, Neil Young's and especially Nirvana's, not to mention pretty much the entire rest of the Clapton Unplugged, which ranges from the lovely to the outstanding to the (intentionally) heartbreaking. And that's just mentioning actual Unplugged concerts, not the long and storied history of recordings and performances of a similar makeup.
You are putting a good many erroneous and unintended words and conclusions in my mouth: tepid, anemic, insubstantial. Hmm. I liked that version as I do the rest of the album. All I intended is that it was easier listening and refreshing. Unplugged concerts are ... what ... I can't think of a word. It does not mean that they are by nature vacuous, banal, anemic, uninspired,, lacking in intensity, or emotion or that they can't be edgy.
 

davor

Senior Member
Shuffles are fun to play, for sure!

What type of tunes do your cover bands play? We can suggest tunes that would fit in terms of genre and/or decade, that have shuffle grooves.
Thanks for all the replies (and tangents) on this thread!

Here's some of the songs. We recently got a new singer so this might be my opportunity to suggest some shuffle songs. Here's some we are trying out:

Need you tonight - INXS
Creep - Radiohead
Valerie - Zutons
Sweet Child o mine - Sheryl Crow version
Proud Mary - CCR
Don't worry baby - beach boys
I run to you - Lady A
Hold on, Hold on - Neko Case (if anyone knows this one, I'm really struggling working out the 2 bar fill by ear, and there's no sheet music anywhere?!)

As always, comments so much appreciated :)
 
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