Topic: Dependence  (Read 2342 times)

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Hank Gagnon

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Dependence
« on: October 06, 2012, 10:42 PM »
i play to recorded music. although i am 60, someday i might try playing in a band. when playing in a band, who do you follow or does the band follow you? do you start the song with a fill to get into the beat ?

Bart Elliott

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Re: dependence
« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2012, 03:13 AM »
Typically, in most music genres, the drummer drives the bus.

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Hank Gagnon

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Re: dependence
« Reply #2 on: October 07, 2012, 10:48 AM »
bart, what happens when driving the bus you've never been on that road?

Jason Horsler

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Re: dependence
« Reply #3 on: October 07, 2012, 11:57 AM »
then you made a wrong turn!

lol. no actually - picture yourself as an off road bus - to extend bart's metaphore to the breaking point.

Nathan Cartier

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Re: dependence
« Reply #4 on: October 07, 2012, 12:10 PM »
Then you drive with confidence that you'll find the way.  Fear is your enemy.  Confusion is your enemy. 

Most genres of music can be boiled down a few basic grooves, forms and concepts.  Exceptions being Progressive Rock and through-composed jazz or fusion pieces. 

If you're the driver, the bass player is the navigator and the singer is the police car in the speed trap.  The guitarist and keyboard player are talkative passengers.  When in doubt, look to your bass player for groove and song form, look to the singer to check your tempo and let the passengers keep you entertained.

Bart Elliott

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Re: dependence
« Reply #5 on: October 07, 2012, 04:55 PM »
By nature the drums are leader; period. So if you are a drummer, you MUST be a leader. That doesn't mean you don't take direction, it just means you are driving the bus.

In my clinics I always use the analogy of driving the bus, but think of it as a tour bus. You are driving the bus, determining it's speed, direction, etc., but there is someone on the mic next to you telling the passengers (and you) where we are going next and what they will see as we drive by.

Make sense?

Hank Gagnon

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Re: dependence
« Reply #6 on: October 07, 2012, 10:40 PM »
makes sense. reason i asked was i will be in austin and i have this idea of playing at antone's on jam band night. been there before  to watch. i don't have to tell you there is some majorly serious talent that goes up on that stage.

Bart Elliott

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Re: Dependence
« Reply #7 on: October 07, 2012, 11:42 PM »
Really, no matter what instrument we play, playing with conviction is a sign of seasoning.

In a jam situation, even when you don't know the song, playing with authority and conviction, while keeping it simple as you work your way through unfamiliar territory, will be received with positive feedback and leave you with a positive experience.

Ryan Smith

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Re: Dependence
« Reply #8 on: October 08, 2012, 06:56 AM »
One suggestion might be to find other musicians and get together for jam sessions in the basement.  Its a great no pressure way to develop the skills(great advice in the earlier posts) required to play with live musicians.  Ideally you can ask friends or friends of friends to get together.   Craigslist can be useful to find musician contacts or you could post your own.  I've seen many posts of people that want to jam but don't have any intention to gig.  I've also seen posts looking for musicians that are over 50.

Hank Gagnon

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Re: Dependence
« Reply #9 on: October 08, 2012, 11:09 AM »
thanks, i appreciate your sage advice.

dizz

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Re: Dependence
« Reply #10 on: October 09, 2012, 12:27 PM »
In your case at an open mic, when you'll be playing with people that you've never rehearsed a song with, someone else will likely start the song or count it in.  If that's the case, check-in with that person for tempo during the song from time to time but the bass player is the instrument you want to zone in with.  Once the tempo(speed-limit) is established, you can drive without fear of being pulled over lol.   Always keep in mind the main goal -Help the music blend into a smooth groove.  Make it feel good

Like Nathian said, don't second guess yourself if possible.  Early in the song when everything has been established, adhere to those parameters and play solidly and relax with it.  Bart's last reply is great advice if you're looking for a 'swing-thought'.   If you do what he suggests, you should leave a good impression which is probably why you're there (if your goal is networking).

In a jam situation you have much less responsibility.  In fact (to play with the same metaphor) -in a jam situation you're not really driving the bus -it's more like you're just the cruise control function.

You likely won't be asked to establish a tempo but you will be expected to keep it consistent.  And hope it is started correctly so no one turns around and asks you to pick it up or slow it down.  If that happens then you're driving again -give your mates something to follow slowly and steadily adjust until you see a nod from the leader.   I wouldn't go adjusting tempos drastically unless people are asking you to (in a jam situation).  It could ruin the performance -even if you are right.  Very minor pushing or pulling could work though

Once you're in a band and you'll be performing rehearsed music it's a bit different how you'll approach it all.  It's my opinion that everyone should follow each other.  Usually everyone in the band looks to the drummer for tempo and underlying feel.  Consider this your responsibility but don't be so rigid in the idea that you cannot blend with the players around you.  After all this is a team sport.

The bass player might want to pull you over to the shoulder keeping the passenger tires on the rumble strips and the guitar player might want you to get in the fast lane and make it there ASAP but in my experience, the best guide for knowing you're blazing the right trail(for me) is to listen to the vocals.  If it sounds like the singer can't fit the words in, can't get air, or is just not comfortable -you might be on the wrong path.  [This depends on your singer of course - he could have his own tendencies that are not accurate to the music's true parameters]

Vocals always rule in priority so if this player seems comfortable with your groove/tempo, you're probably doing it right.

Usually I start the song with a 4 count sometimes with stick clicks.  1 2 3 4 - of course it depends on time sig, if it comes in on 1, etc.  I wouldn't start a song with a fill unless that's the way it starts.  And if it does start with a fill that only consumes the second half of the first measure, counting the first half of the measure will help your mates feel it properly

This is an important aspect when talking about confidence.  If you're counting it in, do it with conviction and leave no room for doubt.  Don't whisper and make sure everyone can hear.

There are tools that can help you get off on the right foot such as metronomes and other devices that are similar but are more user friendly than a basic Metronome.  These devices can eliminate indecisiveness at the top of a song 

Hank Gagnon

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Re: Dependence
« Reply #11 on: October 10, 2012, 08:31 PM »
always appreciative of advice from drummers who have been there and done that. thanks all

 

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