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ubit

Pretentious so called professionals

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My playing isn't really 'professional' enough for me to get away with anything resembling pretentiousness so I think I'm OK.

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[quote name='discreet' timestamp='1430580686' post='2762831']
Yes. I'd say this was definitely behind the beat, too:

http://youtu.be/ABc8ciT5QLs
[/quote]

I'm really sorry mate but to me that's ON the beat . every bass note is on a drum beat. This is, if you will excuse my pretentious term, is what I'm talking about.

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[quote name='discreet' timestamp='1430580829' post='2762834']
This may help?

http://youtu.be/GlcSuJlOwJ0
[/quote]

Ok man, I appreciate your links. This one is dead obvious. When the bass player plays behind the beat, it sounds dreadful and out of time and I'm sure jazz is the only medium where you could get away with this. To my ear, ON the beat is the ONLY way to sound completely in time. As I've said before,it has to be about feel. If you consciously play before or after the beat in most genres of music, you are going to sound like you have no clue what you are doing. Maybe it's because my background is rock and indie with a bit of traditional thrown in, which is regimental in its rules, that I stick to these rules.
The "pretentious" musicians I am talking about do not play jazz. I tend to suspect the majority of advocates of the term have a bit of emperors new clothes isms about them . I'm not trying to start an argument by any means, so forgive me if my views fly in the face of yours ;)

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[quote name='ubit' timestamp='1430680479' post='2763676']


Ok man, I appreciate your links. This one is dead obvious. When the bass player plays behind the beat, it sounds dreadful and out of time and I'm sure jazz is the only medium where you could get away with this. To my ear, ON the beat is the ONLY way to sound completely in time. As I've said before,it has to be about feel. If you consciously play before or after the beat in most genres of music, you are going to sound like you have no clue what you are doing. Maybe it's because my background is rock and indie with a bit of traditional thrown in, which is regimental in its rules, that I stick to these rules.
The "pretentious" musicians I am talking about do not play jazz. I tend to suspect the majority of advocates of the term have a bit of emperors new clothes isms about them . I'm not trying to start an argument by any means, so forgive me if my views fly in the face of yours ;)
[/quote]

Have a listen to Queen's Crazy Little Thing Called Love. John Deacon's Bass drives the song along.

Compare it with practically every cover, even a live version of Queen playing with Lambert and the new bass player. It just won't drive in the same way.

And that's rock.

Edited by TimR

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[quote name='gjones' timestamp='1430580581' post='2762830']
This is behind the beat playing. You hear it a lot in blues. You also hear it in funk too.

[media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E7rv8pu-0z0[/media]
[/quote]

On the beat again . Ok, there is half beats thrown in but the basic beat is one and two and one and two and one ant two etc, the bass sits right on the money with all of this.

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[quote name='TimR' timestamp='1430669559' post='2763560']
It's more of an anticipation or a relaxing of your playing.
[/quote]

It's definitely a 'feel' thing.

[quote name='ubit' timestamp='1430680479' post='2763676']I tend to suspect the majority of advocates of the term have a bit of emperors new clothes isms about them.
[/quote]

When I was doing a lot of programmed music in the 90s and 00s 'quantisation' was a huge subject and very important to the feel and rhythm of a song. The 'feel' of one song can be overlaid on another. There are quantisation templates that can be applied to any song which give different results in each case. But If playing on the beat is working for you, then leave it at that. :)

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[quote][color=#282828][font=helvetica, arial, sans-serif]Top of the menu for each song, regardless of the tastes of the client and demands of the producer is the tempo and feel of the track. Once we think we've got the master take the first thing we check is whether or not we've played ahead, on or behind the beat.[/font][/color][/quote]
This is interesting - when you look at the audio, to what extent are the notes played by the different instruments actually in different places? Does the drummer tend to define the beat, with the other musicians in front of or behind that?
For what it's worth, I've often thought that although we talk about playing in front of or behind the beat, for bass players at least, it might also be to do with how sharp an attack we put on the notes. A slap or a plectrum pick has a much more precise attack than a softer finger action, let alone a double bass note. In jazz, the DB player might well be going at the note on the beat, but because of the soft attack and the tone of the instrument, we hear it as being somewhat behind the beat.

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I don't have a copy of BGM handy. Can someone fill me in as to who the 'pretentious so called professionals' are that are being referenced in the OP?

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[quote name='ubit' timestamp='1430679593' post='2763666']
I'm really sorry mate but to me that's ON the beat . every bass note is on a drum beat. This is, if you will excuse my pretentious term, is what I'm talking about.
[/quote]

Agreed.

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[quote name='JoeEvans' timestamp='1430684311' post='2763734']

This is interesting - when you look at the audio, to what extent are the notes played by the different instruments actually in different places? Does the drummer tend to define the beat, with the other musicians in front of or behind that?
For what it's worth, I've often thought that although we talk about playing in front of or behind the beat, for bass players at least, it might also be to do with how sharp an attack we put on the notes. A slap or a plectrum pick has a much more precise attack than a softer finger action, let alone a double bass note. In jazz, the DB player might well be going at the note on the beat, but because of the soft attack and the tone of the instrument, we hear it as being somewhat behind the beat.
[/quote]

Sometimes no one. The beat can be implied. Sometimes maybe just the ride cymbal or something.

We're human beings and the thought that we are all playing the notes exactly at the same time is nonsense when you actually think about it. It'll always be a few milliseconds out.

As commented above. Listen to programmed sequenced music and it will sound like it is being played by a robot. Which it actually is.

Edited by TimR

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There seems to be two sorts of 'behind the beat' that I've come across. One is the jazzy [i]one-and two-and rhythm[/i], which is probably measurable in demi semi quavers or something, and one is just a subtle but consistent lag behind the beat. For example, doomy sounding bands can lag behind the beat to create a denser sound, whereas some bands can sound feverish and frantic by being right up on the beat, or slightly ahead of it. For the former I'm thinking of Cornucopia by Black Sabbath and the latter I'm thinking of stuff like The Police.

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[quote name='TimR' timestamp='1430685578' post='2763756']
Sometimes no one. The beat can be implied. Sometimes maybe just the ride cymbal or something.

We're human beings and the thought that we are all playing the notes exactly at the same time is nonsense when you actually think about it. It'll always be a few milliseconds out.

As commented above. Listen to programmed sequenced music and it will sound like it is being played by a robot. Which it actually is.
[/quote]
Yes - what I was wondering was, if you looked at the audio tracks on Logic or whatever, you'd be able to see where the different musicians' notes sat relative to one another. I'm intrigued to know if the earlier poster (or indeed you) had done that and could report back.

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Another interesting experiment would be to record a track with a band, then push the bass parts back and forward against the drums to see how it sounds when the playing is literally and precisely behind or ahead of the beat by different amounts. Has anyone done that? Better still, does anyone have a multi-track recording of a track they could doctor in that way then post a link to here?

Edited by JoeEvans

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[quote name='JoeEvans' timestamp='1430687077' post='2763779']
Another interesting experiment would be to record a track with a band, then push the bass parts back and forward against the drums to see how it sounds when the playing is literally and precisely behind or ahead of the beat by different amounts. Has anyone done that? Better still, does anyone have a multi-track recording of a track they could doctor in that way then post a link to here?
[/quote]

No. Because it would sound wrong and artificial. Each note isn't a precise amount out each time.

As has been said, it's all about feel.

There is another thing that we do that no one questions. Internal dynamics. That's where each note has a very slightly different volume and attack.

All these things are what we hear when we hear someone who has been playing for a long time verses a beginner. They're what makes a tune come alive.

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But 'feel' has to exist as a specific musical action, or rather a combination of actions. I'm still interested to know to what extent playing behind the beat is actually literally a matter of playing a note slightly later than other musicians in the band, or more of an effect created by a soft attack or whatever else. And if it is about literally being behind the beat, whether that's all notes, or an approach to swung rhythms based on the placement of the second note of each swung pair, if that makes sense... It seems to me that visual examination of an audio recording of a good band playing the right feel would add a lot to an otherwise slightly abstract discussion. And although a doctored track with the bass pushed forwards or back would obviously sound weird, it might be revealing all the same.

Edited by JoeEvans

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[quote name='Happy Jack' timestamp='1430650966' post='2763328']
Hmmmm ... helpful if you're a drummer, I'd guess.

I found myself automatically listening to the bass player.

:rolleyes:
[/quote]

So did I. When I first watched it I thought it was the bass player who was playing ahead and behind the beat. Of course to make playing ahead or behind the beat effective, some instrument has to be playing right on the beat. The effect won't be noticeable if everyone is playing behind or in front of the beat. It will just sound like everybody is playing on the beat.

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[quote name='JoeEvans' timestamp='1430684311' post='2763734']

This is interesting - when you look at the audio, to what extent are the notes played by the different instruments actually in different places? Does the drummer tend to define the beat, with the other musicians in front of or behind that?
For what it's worth, I've often thought that although we talk about playing in front of or behind the beat, for bass players at least, it might also be to do with how sharp an attack we put on the notes. A slap or a plectrum pick has a much more precise attack than a softer finger action, let alone a double bass note. In jazz, the DB player might well be going at the note on the beat, but because of the soft attack and the tone of the instrument, we hear it as being somewhat behind the beat.
[/quote]

We don't look at the waveforms, we listen to the song! Interesting what you saying about the double bass speaking slowly, somewhere in the Carol Kaye technique column on her website she says jazzers should push, especially when walking. I checked this with the drummer I was working with, a hard core jazzer, and he agreed, on or behind sounds lethargic in his experience. With regards to where the beat actually is, it is implied of course but different genres have different approaches. Funk famously has a heavy beat one but if you listen to parliament or JB they have a way of hanging on 4 that really makes 1 seem that tiny bit late that just makes the tempo roll.

Jerry Wexler, someone who really understood musical time, got booker T and the MGs to really hang back on 2 and 4 for Wilson Pickett's in the midnight hour, which invariably you don't hear when it's covered.

Latin music is mostly written in 4 but if you don't feel it in half time it's going to sound stilted. I'd love to learn more about African rhythms, they mess my head up etc etc.

In my view rhythm is the principle ingredient of music, just watch how people respond to different rhythms, yet the one thing we practice the least. We'll spend ages learning about off axis response and mechanical coupling from the barefaced website but its pretentious to discuss the way we play the notes we expect people to listen to.

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I agree with unit in it has to be a feel thing. I also think it had to be when necessary. I don't see how you can always play behind or in front. It it's about what the genre or piece needs. If a song needs to push, why play behind? Or vice versa!?

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[quote name='ubit' timestamp='1430680479' post='2763676']
Ok man, I appreciate your links. This one is dead obvious. When the bass player plays behind the beat, it sounds dreadful and out of time and I'm sure jazz is the only medium where you could get away with this.
[/quote]

Oh dear. This clip just keeps doing damage.

The bass player in this clip is playing consistently and accurately ON THE BEAT.

This is a clip designed to show our drumming brethren how to play ahead of or behind the beat, while the rest of the band deliberately plays with all the feel and swing of a cheap metronome.

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[quote name='Happy Jack' timestamp='1430730844' post='2764000']


Oh dear. This clip just keeps doing damage.

The bass player in this clip is playing consistently and accurately ON THE BEAT.

This is a clip designed to show our drumming brethren how to play ahead of or behind the beat, while the rest of the band deliberately plays with all the feel and swing of a cheap metronome.
[/quote]

Yes I realise the bass is constant and it's the drums that are changing, but whatever is happening, it sounds out of time and if I heard a band playing like that, I would think they are not very tight and I would walk out, music stand or not!

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Yes the clip is doing damage.
Although the demonstration outlines the whole concept of
behind, in front and on it, the only part that actually swings
is when the drums drop out at 03:16/17 and just leaves Bass and Guitar...lol...

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I feel as though I'm in some sort of position to comment on this subject seeing how it's something I've been studying for the past year.

Let's clarify some terms quickly, groove means repetition. Feel is the way a person interprets the rhythm of the song. So yes, pulled, pushed, and on are types of feels.


But, playing behind or in front of the beat, is NOT being out of time. Not even in the slightest can you say it is out of time. A naturally derived rhythm has a pulse. It is not absolute, which is where you can interpret rhythms differently. Having your drummer or yourself shake an egg shaker and recording said action, will show what I mean. The beat has a minuscule area that the note can be delivered in. We are talking about something that you physically cannot count, but you certainly can feel it.

If you want to hear some behind the beat playing then listen to this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bo8DH21BbfY

Pino gets the feel of that spot on, he's behind the beat, which gives the song it's "wonk" you have to really listen in depth to the drums and the bass simultaneously, but trust me this is the epitome of behind the beat playing.

Now for a pushed beat:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NaLBZD5Gbqk

The way the bass interacts with the drums is where the beat is pushed or pulled. Pino sits right on the back end of Questloves drums, he's always behind it. Flea on Give it Away is leading Chads drums, he's ahead of the beat.

Now, all of this pushed, pulled, on stuff can be referred to pocket playing. Draw out a bar showing where each beat is and play that with either an egg shaker or a drummer, you'll notice there is a little bit of lee-way with the beat placement. It is incredibly hard to master but you CAN consciously do it. I'm even in the process of writing a piece of music that allows me total freedom of beat placement to demonstrate pushed, pulled, and on during a song.

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[quote name='scalpy' timestamp='1430593098' post='2762994']
I'd rather listen to a pro describing how their music works than a weekend warrior saying they need this bass or that bass for their sound! It seems crazy that most people will read for hours on what gear to use but then just go, oh the music bit, when I'm playing, that's just me. Nuts. I was watching a questlove video the other day and he explains how he has had to learn how to play behind himself to do the d'angelo records. Software companies have spent a fortune developing quantising grids, or top producers spend ages shuffling waveforms around to get the music happening- quantifying rhythm is what we should be talking about on musician forums, not so much 'I use these strings to play the dog and duck!'

Sorry, ranting.....
[/quote] agreed! I kinda just presumed we would all know this sorta stuff - obviously not so a good thread to have!
[quote name='Sibob' timestamp='1430652477' post='2763362']
Surely, as a bassist, you should be listening to the drummer?! ;)

Si
[/quote] post number 46 before someone points that out! The bass can sit behind or in front of the beat, whatever - but it's pointless to talk about unless you also know what the drums are doing. You've to play as a unit - and the bass placement relative to the drums makes the feel of the song. I played in a band for years with a drum machine and how I chose to place the beat relative to the drum beat would make the song. (right hand technique and the attack of the note is also important) - the whole "ahead is aggressive and fast sounding" and behind is "laid back" etc is meaningless without knowing what the drums are doing.
Often with new drummers I've not played with I'll play a game to see how much I can pull them out of time by my note placement- play dead in time but push and pull around the beat and see how good their timing is.... *evil face*

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