Things guitarist tell drummers to do...

Aeolian

Platinum Member
A common production trick before computers and drum machines was to splice a loop of tape a couple of bars long and just let it run in a machine so there was a steady time track. Then fills could be punched or spliced in, or often just recorded along with the steady beat.

Guitar one string at a time is not that far off from what Tom Sholtz did. Playing a complete chord though distortion sounds muddy so he stacked up one note at a time to get that sound.

Many old soul songs had multiple guitarists on them, each playing one or two notes out of a chord. If you arrange the intervals right, the result is really big and airy sounding. Even more fun to do it on stage, sounds like you're inside a giant harp.

The great things about playing both instruments are both being able to communicate in the others language and being able to understand the players vocabulary and what they're likely to do in a given situation.
 

Headbanger

Senior Member
Here's two from a guitarist I played with. They were good suggestions, it just took me a while to figure out what he meant.

“Play a quick one-two.” He was describing a flam.

“Slow it down on the chorus.” That meant a switch from 8th notes to quarter notes on the cymbal.
 

opentune

Platinum Member
.....and then there is the Stax Sound. Play it live off the floor and record to two tracks in two takes. Magic.
 

Naigewron

Platinum Member
Believe it or not, that was some what common way to record in the late 70's and early 80's.

Many records in the disco era were done like that, and some rock albums in the early 80's were done like that.

These days, they can just use sound replacement software to accomplish the same objective.
There's a great segment from the Foo Fighters documentary series that aired last year (Sonic Highways) where they record one of their songs in a kind of similar manner. Taylor plays the drums and Dave plays the cymbals, and they record them in separate rooms at the same time. I can't even imagine how synced up two players need to be to pull that off, but if anyone could, it would be Taylor and Dave.

Here it is:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=99c3LCf4YqE
 

JustJames

Platinum Member
There's a great segment from the Foo Fighters documentary series that aired last year (Sonic Highways) where they record one of their songs in a kind of similar manner. Taylor plays the drums and Dave plays the cymbals, and they record them in separate rooms at the same time. I can't even imagine how synced up two players need to be to pull that off, but if anyone could, it would be Taylor and Dave.

Here it is:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=99c3LCf4YqE
Synced up?

That would be to the click track, wouldn't it?

In which case, how is it any more or less synced up than for any two other musicians playing to the click?

Too many question marks in this post?

Who can say?
 

Naigewron

Platinum Member
Synced up?

That would be to the click track, wouldn't it?

In which case, how is it any more or less synced up than for any two other musicians playing to the click?

Too many question marks in this post?

Who can say?
Well, synced up in the sense that they have to sound like a single drummer. If one guy plays ahead of the beat and the other plays behind, it would sound pretty awful. If I were to attempt this with another drummer I suspect the microtiming issues would make for a pretty horrible sounding drum track.
 

SquadLeader

Gold Member
"Slow down". Always "slow down". "Play it slower". "Take it easier". "Slow it down a bit this time mate" Blah blah blah.

Our songs aren't fast. And when played too slow they drag awfully and become dirgy. I do have the capacity to play them fast. But never TOO fast. Even when I have played them just far too fast (and known it part way through the song) the song usually rocks....better....

His problem is basically that he doesn't have the stamina himself to play at the speed our songs SHOULD be played at.

I've lost count of the number of times I've shouted "WE'RE SUPPOSED TO BE A PUNK BAND YOU COCK". Punk played slowly just becomes crappy Indy Rock unfortunately. When I get irritable about this during a rehearsal I have a pair of marackers I hand to him and say "knock yourself out Bez".


And, almost as irritatingly, "give me a tap in". This, on a piece of music he'll start on. For me, it beggars belief, that a guitarist cannot grasp the speed at which he needs to start strumming a song at. It's easy peasy.

To which I always respond "just play it as fast as you can"....And he'll usually start it too slow.
 

mikyok

Platinum Member
So I don't mean to pick on guitarist... (Ok maybe a little :)

So the guitarist in one of my bands goes like:
"Why don't we record drums one drum at a time... You know, you first play the only snare part of the whole song, then only the bass drum part of the whole song..."

Erm...

Why don't we record the guitar part one string at the time? Like you first just play the E string part of the whole song... Then just the G string... LOL

Anyway, what hillarious things did guitar players (or other band members) tell you to do?
Def Leppard Hysteria was recorded this way (The guitar parts).

I think QOTSA No-one knows was recorded similarly, the drums and cymbals were recorded seperately. Why? No-one knows!

It's all studio jiggery pokery going to the nth degree.
 

TTNW

Pioneer Member
Our rhythm guitar player says this all the time, "Well, you're part goes boom titty boom titty".

Nothing we play has that beat.
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
Def Leppard Hysteria was recorded this way (The guitar parts).

I think QOTSA No-one knows was recorded similarly, the drums and cymbals were recorded seperately. Why? No-one knows!

It's all studio jiggery pokery going to the nth degree.
Yes. Quite a few QUOTSA albums, and the recent Royal Blood album that kicks serious ass were recorded with drums as more than one performance.

In both cases, they basically did cymbals and drums separately. Also, as I've read, in both cases, they put replacement pillows for the drummer to hit for the stuff that wasn't there. That way, the movements stay true to what you'd normally do.

What you end up with is mixing possibilities and a "huge" drum sound that is really hard to get if you've got cymbals mixing in the tom mics, or visa versa. The Royal Blood album did an especially good job of this and the drums sound almost too good. Incredible fidelity in the tom sounds, and everything can be mixed just so.
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
"Slow down". Always "slow down". "Play it slower". "Take it easier". "Slow it down a bit this time mate" Blah blah blah.
In defense of 'some' guitarists.

Much like the grip/technique of a double stroke roll is dependent on tempo, many guitar parts require a picking pattern that will need to be reworked if the tempo exceeds a certain threshold. Good guitarists can usually economize/adapt and sacrifice a bit of fidelity. It used to aggravate me that intricate flat-picked parts often turned into one-dimentional banjo-sounding parts live. There were also times where I had to completely forego rasgueado patterns (flamenco technique) because the tempo exceeded the ability of most mortal humans to articulate them.

If you want to play at a higher than normal tempo, that's fine, but everyone on stage needs to write and rehearse parts for those tempos. 'Playing faster' isn't always an option.
 

SquadLeader

Gold Member
In defense of 'some' guitarists.

Much like the grip/technique of a double stroke roll is dependent on tempo, many guitar parts require a picking pattern that will need to be reworked if the tempo exceeds a certain threshold. Good guitarists can usually economize/adapt and sacrifice a bit of fidelity. It used to aggravate me that intricate flat-picked parts often turned into one-dimentional banjo-sounding parts live. There were also times where I had to completely forego rasgueado patterns (flamenco technique) because the tempo exceeded the ability of most mortal humans to articulate them.

If you want to play at a higher than normal tempo, that's fine, but everyone on stage needs to write and rehearse parts for those tempos. 'Playing faster' isn't always an option.
We're playing very basic punk mate. At the speed we've always played it. He wants to slow it all down. No-one else does....punk sounds pretty damn sh1t played slow.

But as he's getting older...he's getting a little lazier. Won't take a little pain for his craft.

He'll sign up to play any crappy unpaid, largely unrespected, support slot because it means he can just turn up with his guitar and plug into the backline and bugger off straight afterwards. No regard whatsoever for the fact that for the drummer (only) these 20-25 minute support slots are actually an awful experience.

You got me on a rant there....I'm not the greatest fan of guitar players....Throughout my lifetime I've found most of them to be prize bell ends I'm afraid.
 

rogue_drummer

Gold Member
It boggles the mind, but here goes:

1) Last band I was in, the keys player couldn't make rehearsal one Saturday so the bass player kept telling me to "play more cymbals to cover for Ted being out". Then 10 minutes later he told me to "play something else besides cymbals all the time",

2) On the Beatles' "Slow Down" same bass player, same day suggested to me to play with brushes, only louder because he couldn't hear me,

3) The guitar player from the first band I played in after I started back drumming again in 2007: "Are you sure the snare wires go on the outside? I thought they went inside the drum? I'm pretty sure they go on the inside."

4) Guitar player from a band I played in briefly told me to "slow it down". I slowed the tempo down and he shouted over the music "Not like that, I mean slow your drumming down!" We finally figured out he meant to play quarter notes instead of 8ths on the hats.

...and a good one..."Can you hit that drum with legs more?" (bass player referring to a floor tom.)
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
There's a great segment from the Foo Fighters documentary series that aired last year (Sonic Highways) where they record one of their songs in a kind of similar manner. Taylor plays the drums and Dave plays the cymbals, and they record them in separate rooms at the same time. I can't even imagine how synced up two players need to be to pull that off, but if anyone could, it would be Taylor and Dave.

Here it is:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=99c3LCf4YqE
Trippy.

And holy heck, is there enough dampening on the drums? lol
 

ottoman

Junior Member
Yep, a totally legit technique, though I had thought (and this seems like it should be the case if it is not already) that the idea is you record with electronic cymbals and then replace those. That way you have some simulacrum of the auditory response you're expecting, which helps not only you, but also anyone else who may be tracking along with you, most commonly bass. When you go back and replace the cymbals there is a small 'thwack' sound that will be buried by the real cymbal sound, and may just add a tad of definition to the cymbal attack.


Yes. Quite a few QUOTSA albums, and the recent Royal Blood album that kicks serious ass were recorded with drums as more than one performance.

In both cases, they basically did cymbals and drums separately. Also, as I've read, in both cases, they put replacement pillows for the drummer to hit for the stuff that wasn't there. That way, the movements stay true to what you'd normally do.

What you end up with is mixing possibilities and a "huge" drum sound that is really hard to get if you've got cymbals mixing in the tom mics, or visa versa. The Royal Blood album did an especially good job of this and the drums sound almost too good. Incredible fidelity in the tom sounds, and everything can be mixed just so.
 

bonerpizza

Silver Member
When Joey Castillo recorded drums for Queens of the Stone Age albums I know he did the drums and cymbals separate but I don't know how recording one drum at a time would work, I guess it depends on the type of music and complexity of the parts.

I like when guitarists will try to mouth out the part I should play "doo da doo da da doo da da doo" or whatever, at first it was irritating but now I've gotten used to it and can somehow understand what the hell they're trying to say!
 

JustJames

Platinum Member
Previous rhythm guitarist in my band fancied himself as a music theory boffin.

So I'd get requests like "Can you play it a bit more syncopated?" and "Play it like you're playing it, but with more of a groove."
 

Morrisman

Platinum Member
In the 50's band I recently left, the guitarist would always say"You're going too fast - we have to do it exactly the same speed as the original recording 'cause that's what the dancers are used to."

Then I'd play him the original, e.g "Rock Around the Clock" and he'd say: "That's ridiculous, they can't dance that fast, slow it down."

What he was really saying was "I can't do the guitar solo up to speed."
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
I was rehearsing for a church gig one Sunday and the guitarist told me to "play the most bland and generic Chris Tomlin fill ever."
I do this A LOT! :)

Not a lot of flashy playing in modern worship music; however, it has gotten MUCH better over the past 5 years or so.


Some of Joy Division's work was recorded that way and it sounds utterly stunning. Sparse and desolate.
Wow, someone mentioned Joy Division. Love them!


It boggles the mind, but here goes:

1) Last band I was in, the keys player couldn't make rehearsal one Saturday so the bass player kept telling me to "play more cymbals to cover for Ted being out".

I had just put my coffee down, and I'm glad I did. This is hilarious!


Ok, things guitar players have asked me to do? Let's see...


1. We were working on a song to play at church, and our team listened to the song together. The song had a drummer, an aux percussionist, and a loop. They asked me if I could play it. I said, "Sure! But which part?"

2. Had a worship leader say something like this: "During the chorus, can you play something like this? Ju, ja-ju, ju, ju, ju." She said this while swinging her arms.

3. We started a song one time in church, and I whispered to the leader, "I've never heard this song before in my life. What is it?" She said, "Don't worry about it. You'll do fine. It's slow."

4. Had a guitar player one time who was trying to be a hotshot and decided to "show me how it goes" on drums. Let's just say it didn't end well for him. I purposely butchered the song so bad on stage he ran off.
 
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