FDP Home Page / FDP Forum / FAQ's

The FDP is made possible by the following companies and individual members like you.
Please use the links below to show them we value their sponsorship.

Amazon

Musician's Friend

Yellowjackets Tube Converters

Apex Tube Matching

WD Music

Antique Electronics Supply

Guitar Center

MOD KITS DIY

Sweetwater

Amplified Parts

Jensen Loudspeakers


* God bless America and our men and women in uniform *

* Illegitimi non carborundum! *

If you benefit and learn from the FDP and enjoy our site, please help support us and become a Contributing Member or make a Donation today! The FDP counts on YOU to help keep the site going with an annual contribution. It's quick and easy with PayPal. Please do it TODAY!

Chris Greene, Host & Founder

LOST YOUR PASSWORD?

......................................................................

   
FDP Jam
Calendar
Find musicians
in your area!
  Search the Forums  

FDP Forum / I'd Hit It! - Drums and Percussion / Click Track?

Flytoo
Contributing Member
*

Texas/USA

May 24th, 2012 10:03 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Anyone use a click in a live situation? If so, which one do you use and how do you hear it through headphones, monitor?

This is all new to me so any help will be appreciated.

garp
Contributing Member
********

Connecticut USA

Stompin' on the avenue by Radio City
May 24th, 2012 11:10 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I don’t and never have. However, I could potentially envision some live situations where one might be necessary.

Many big touring acts use backing tracks these days, so the drummer has to have some sort of monitor system out of necessity.

A few years ago, I was playing bass for a band in which the drummer had *major* tempo issues. He didn’t want to wear headphones or an in-ear monitor, so we ended up convincing him to use a metronome with a very bright flashing LED. It was his responsibility to reset the BPM for every tune, but he saved his job.

Flytoo
Contributing Member
*

Texas/USA

May 24th, 2012 01:14 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Well I have to admit that I was highly offended when I was first asked to use a click. However in our band, it isn't me that has major tempo issues it's the keys player who refuses to stay with me. This guy will yell at me in the middle of a tune trying to say that I've sped up when in reality he's dragging the tempo down. I don't think he's ever played with a drummer before in his life. I've tried to talk to him about this in the past but, he swears his playing is always spot on. Everybody else in the band knows it's him but apparently they don't want to cross swords with him. So, they think the solution is to get me using a click and then, when he strays from the tempo they'll be able to say without a doubt that it is him. I know my timing isn't perfect but it's a lot better than his ever thought about being. And, whenever he's not around, the rest of us are able to play together and it sounds good and we have fun. There are no timing issues. When the keys player is there, the fun is gone and trying to play drums with this guy just sucks the life right out of me. Over the years, I've played drums in lots of bands and this is the first time that my timing has ever been questioned. Ok rant over.

Back to the click track....I've done some research and I've learned that nobody's timing is perfect and that nowadays just about every artist requires their drummers to play with a click (or backing track). I'm trying to figure out what the best option is. I've seen some drummers use earbuds plugged into a laptop (no idea what software they are using for the click), that sits next to their kit. Others use other devices (I know Tama makes one). I've also seen some youtube vids of drummers that have a backing track (real drum sounds) playing through their monitor. I don't have the money to experiment with all of the various options out there, so I'm hoping some of you can tell me what works best for you.



garp
Contributing Member
********

Connecticut USA

Stompin' on the avenue by Radio City
May 24th, 2012 01:57 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Wow. Tough situation there. Hope you can find a solution that doesn’t ultimately involve firing the keys player.

If you happen to have a Mac laptop, Apple’s GarageBand has a super-easy-to-use metronome function. Additionally, there are lots of inexpensive standalone metronomes with headphone jacks available at FDP sponsor Musician’s Friend.

Flytoo
Contributing Member
*

Texas/USA

May 24th, 2012 10:23 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Thanks for the help garp! I don't have a Mac but I will continue to research this topic and will check out Musician's Friend as well.

Lazmo

Oz

May 25th, 2012 09:11 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Record a gig or rehearsal and listen back... even a crappy recording will tell you, the keyboardist and the band, what is really going on.

There are devices like the Temporef and an iphone app called BackBeater... that tell you the tempo as you play.

With my original band, I set the song tempo into a metronome and using the LEDs (no click sound) I count the song in. That way we always start in the range of where it should be. During the song I keep an eye on the LEDs, and it is easy to tell if the band is getting ahead of the LEDS or behind. I used to use a Boss but it was too slow with it's up/down arrows to change tempos between songs, so I use a Korg Beatlab mounted to my hi-hat now, as I can just punch the numbers into it. BTW, to do this, you need to use the "tap" function of the metronome to determine the tempo of the song and then you need to write the tempo of the song next to the song title in your setlist.

I will say though, that I think that it is OK and quite common for music to have an ebb and flow and I've noticed since I started using the metronome, that the band goes to a slightly faster tempo in the choruses and then back to the main tempo for the verses. It's only a couple of beats faster, but it is with almost every song. I used to fight it when I first noticed it, but then realised that we always came back anyway. So that was good. And that is with different line-ups too... not just the same guys.

I've done click in the studio and it is real hard and I have found that I'm better off to program a drum track and play to that. As for doing click live, I can see that for some bands it is totally necessary, like with midi obviously, but I would rather the music breathed... within reason.

I did the best part of a year as an open-mic drummer... and I endured many many many times both the hare and the turtle. Sometimes, simultaneously. I find that if I hum the song really loudly in my head, I can overcome them.


Flytoo
Contributing Member
*

Texas/USA

May 26th, 2012 10:07 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Thanks for all of the great info Lazmo. I think what you said about programming a drum track might be the best option for me. I'm just not sure how to go about it. Do I need a Mac to accomplish this or are there other options? Is it better to have the track played through your monitor or is it better to use headphones?

Lazmo

Oz

May 27th, 2012 03:35 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Mac or PC, there are plenty of apps that do metronome and/or drum-machine, but if you don’t have the mac or laptop, a second-hand standalone drum-machine will be the cheapest approach. I have my trusty Boss Dr550 drum-machine which I have used for years, but there are heaps of much better ones that do not cost much. You won't be able to use a monitor to listen to the click or the audience will hear it, so it will have to be headphones. But it will be hard for you to keep "on" the click if the rest of the band can't hear the click and are not used to playing like that or have timing issues. Remember, all members of the band have input into the tempo.

Loathe as I am to say it, but... one thing you could do, is use a sequencer via midi from the keyboard to get your click/drumsounds and both you and the keyboard guy run headphones and then you both lock into that. Giving some cans to the bass player might help you out, as at least the rhythm section will be locked in too. If it really has to be on the money... as in really tight, well great, you will all need to be capable of that. I think it will mostly likely suck the life out of your band and you will hate it, but that's just my view. It depends how serious you want to be.

Just from another completely different angle. It may not be a tempo issue at all. There is three ways you play any beat at any given tempo. On the beat, before the beat and after the beat. Lots of styles rely on this to get that styles unique feel. Maybe you are a laid back behind the beat guy and he is an in front of it guy. So, although the tempo may not be varying so much, the tension within the band is still pushing and pulling. Band Member A is in front of the beat, Band Member B is behind it, where is the actual "one" ?

I reckon before offering to play to a click, as you may very likely regret it, record the band somehow. Listen back, evaluate, make some judgement calls and then adjust accordingly.




Flytoo
Contributing Member
*

Texas/USA

May 27th, 2012 02:37 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Wow, a lot of helpful info there Lazmo. Thanks for taking the time!

I've been playing with this keys player for the past 12 years but up until a couple of months ago I was playing bass and we didn't have a drummer. I tried to have a conversation with him years ago about playing in time but he flat told me that he was "spot on". I let it go an would just slow down when he slowed down, just to keep the peace. But, now that I'm playing drums, there is no way I'm going to blatantly slow down just to make him happy. As far as I know, the drummer's job is to keep the time and I intend to do my job. You're right, I do tend to play at the front of the beat while the keys guy plays at the back of the beat. I can adjust for that okay. That's not a problem. The problem is that the keys guy plays a lot of notes (in some songs more than others), and he's gonna play all of those notes even he if can't fit them all in from a timing standpoint. Then, after he jacks the timing out of whack, to accommodate all of the notes, he points the finger at me. He's not fooling anybody. Again, the entire band knows it's him. When there are no drums, people may not notice as much, but with drums, everybody notices. I've even had people come up to me and say "Hey, I heard you slow down up there". So far, I've just bitten my tongue and moved along. The rest of the band is counting on technology to fix this problem but I'm not so sure that it will. We are supposed to be getting a new sound board, monitors etc. They think that will help. Plus, hey want me to play with a click so that when he strays from the beat, they'll be able to tell him that I'm spot on. I doubt that he'd be open to playing with headphones and listening to a click. And, I shouldn't have a problem playing with a click because that's how I've always learned new songs is by playing along with recordings. So, I'm used to listening to other drummers and playing along with them when I practice. Yet, when I tried the click at practice last week, it didn't go as good as I would have hoped. I was using ear buds with my wife's iPhone running the Pro Metronome app. I had it playing quarter note clicks in 4/4 time and I was having trouble staying with it. At home, I can stay with it all day long. I'm thinking, if perhaps there was something available that would allow me to hear an actual high hat and snare drum sounds, that it might make it easier? BTW, I do have a laptop.

Lazmo

Oz

May 28th, 2012 02:42 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

It is not surprising at all that you had trouble playing to a click, while drumming for your band.

"I shouldn't have a problem playing with a click because that's how I've always learned new songs is by playing along with recordings. So, I'm used to listening to other drummers and playing along with them when I practice. Yet, when I tried the click at practice last week, it didn't go as good as I would have hoped. I was using ear buds with my wife's iPhone running the Pro Metronome app. I had it playing quarter note clicks in 4/4 time and I was having trouble staying with it. At home, I can stay with it all day long"

But at home, when you are playing along with a recording or the click... the recording or the click is not rushing or dragging, it is staying right on the money... and so will you as you are playing to it. But in this live band situation, only you are hearing the click, yet the rest of the band are playing along supposedly listening to you, but in reality they are pushing and pulling on the tempo big-time, meanwhile surprise surprise, you can't seem to stay on the click. When they speed up or slow down, you will no longer be "on" the click or you will no longer be playing the song with the band... one or the other, sometimes both.


"I'm thinking, if perhaps there was something available that would allow me to hear an actual high hat and snare drum sounds, that it might make it easier?" --- No, it won't make any difference as the rest of the band will still be rushing or dragging..

"I doubt that he'd be open to playing with headphones and listening to a click" --- Great, he's laying it all on you, but the only person who can fix his tempo is him... so, he really needs to hear where HE goes wrong. In fact, just for one rehearsal I would get the entire band some buds, just so they know how hard it is to stick to a click.


Lazmo

Oz

May 28th, 2012 07:23 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Maybe just tell him to play less notes ;-)

Flytoo
Contributing Member
*

Texas/USA

May 28th, 2012 05:07 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Lazmo, I think you've nailed it! You are absolutely right! I'll either be playing with the band or the click. That makes perfect sense to me. Thank you so much for clearing this up before I spend money on stuff that really isn't going to help.

I'm gonna suggest that the whole band listens to the click and see where that goes. Thanks again.

Lazmo

Oz

May 30th, 2012 11:12 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

With our first original band, for the initial few gigs the singer was counting in the songs. But, he would get all excited and fired up as the gig progressed, rocking out man, and then count us in way too fast. We the band, would then be humming along tempo-wise at a serious old rate. Way faster that we should be. There was no rushing or dragging, we were just going faster than we should be. He couldn’t fit his words in and the guitarist was going like billyo… luckily he’s a great player, so he could handle it.

So, enter the metronome. We never found out if the two subsequent singers suffered the same problem, as we always used the metronome after that, as it just works. For no surprises, I always count in the same way… one and two and one two three four.

tahitijac

USA/San Clemente, CA

Happy Sunsets
Jun 26th, 2013 12:26 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Our new drummer plays with a click track. I like it but find myself (rhythm guitar) trying to decide to follow the beat or our lead guitar (plays by feel)who sometimes changes the tempo as we move along an instrumental song. Where do other rhythm players go when this happens?

(This message was last edited by tahitijac at 07:17 PM, Jun 26th, 2013)

FDP Forum / I'd Hit It! - Drums and Percussion / Click Track?




Reply to this Topic
Display my email address             Lost your password?
Your Message:
Link Address (URL):
Link Title:




Moderators: Chris Greene  Iron Man  reverendrob  

FDP, LLC Privacy Policy: Your real name, username, and email
are held in confidence and not disclosed to any third parties, sold, or
used for anything other than FDP Forum registration unless you specifically authorize disclosure.

Furtkamp.com 
Internet Application Development

Copyright © 1999-2017 Fender Discussion Page, LLC   All Rights Reserved