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Leonard Smalls

Click tracks and drummers

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8 minutes ago, tthiggins said:

drummer overplaing and trying to fit in fills that dont need to be there

That's usually what it is...

He's a rock drummer who thinks he can do funk, but can't. I've been trying to beat the GoGo groove into him for months now, even getting on the drums to demonstrate (and I'm no drummer!) but we're still stuck with that Stone Roses attempt at the Funky Drummer!

To be fair, we are a rock band but I'm trying to make it interesting by giving it a funk vibe. Anything to stop that annoying thing all rock drummers seem to do, which is constantly hit all the crash cymbals so you can't hear owt else.

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I've played with the same drummer in two different bands using a click track. Both had a lot of sequenced parts so no room to move the tempo. He was far and away the easiest drummer for me to lock in with, often feeling like we were playing as one.

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Using a click in live situations can be perceived as a criticism of ones abilities, however being comfortable with can open up possibilities of using other medium in a show, or midi files. It’s just another tool. 

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27 minutes ago, oldslapper said:

 It’s just another tool. 

I know that feeling  🤓

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Yep we use click for a small selection of songs every gig where we use backing track. All of us on in ears and it's so easy. Drummer absolutely needs to be able to hear both the click and the track and it really helps if everyone can. 

If a drummer can't work with a click he or she simply needs to practice more. I always practice bass parts either to a click or a backing track so I'd definitely expect a drummer to be doing similar. 

Musicians who can't keep time don't belong in bands imo.

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This was part of the reason why one of the bands I'm in lost their drummer. The drummer demanded to play with a click and it caused constant problems. Especially on songs which started with 4 bars of guitar riff. Which unfortunately is quite a few of them!

It sounded rubbish him counting with his sticks or hats/cymbals all through and the guitarist hated it as he found it hard to jump straight in at the exact tempo. It kind of killed the vibe and made everything more awkward.

Other players doing different songs may well have better results of course! As always there's no right answer and it depends how it fits your situation.

I think it's good for recording so you can set everything up in the DAW and keep it all consistent, but for live performances I would be worried about it negatively affecting the dynamics or flow of the song.

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Thing about the click track is that have to be disciplined as a band and totally follow the drummer for tempo. If other band members start pulling in a different direction then he either has to go with it, in which case he's got this annoying click that's out of time or he has to try and pull you all back. Messy! 

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