On 4/3/12 6:58 PM, Bennett Williams wrote:
I second the MIDI click thing as the backbone of the loop. You have to remember that there can only be one reference point for time in any given musical situation, and if there is a drummer involved, the drums are the reference point for the band. The question is if the drummer is playing to a click or not. If there is any kind of sequencing or looping going on, it MUST be synced to a master click that the drummer listens to, because it is the one reference point for time. This click however, must only be heard by the drummer, and not the band... because..... there can only be one reference point for time, and the band plays with the drummer. If the band hears the click, then there will be the two reference points of the drummer and the click, and the moment the drummer gets ever so slightly off-beat, a train wreck will happen right then and there. Loops can be more audibly forgiving than a click, so even in cases where the drummer gets a little behind or in front of the beat, the loop will still sound okay, and the band grooves on. Think of Keith Moon playing Baba O'Riley or Who Are You with the ARP Synth going on in the song. Moon gets off-time a little bit, but the songs still kicks ass. In more regimented situations where absolute precision is required, still the click is the master time, and only the drummer should hear it to give the musical impression that the loop and drummer are all in sync. The loop and the drummer both "listen" to the click.
I hear and understand and even concur with what you say here, Bennett,but, as a drummer/percussionist and bandleader all of my life, I have to say that the truly great groups I've ever had the privilege of paying in (and they've been very, very few and far between) had one thing in common: every member of the band was a great 'drummer'.
There is a perception in the musical world that is really pernicious when it comes to manifesting a truly awesome rhythm section and that is the 'buck stops' with the drummer, rhythmically.
One of the coolest shows I ever saw was Herbie Hancock at the 'Secret's era of his more pop/funk material. One, by one, every member of the band came on stage (and there were 6 ore 7 musicians) and laid down a groove; one groove building on top of the other. By the time Herbie came onstage (in a pretentious cape, I might add), the groove had built over about 5 minutes to a fever pitch.
It all started when Wah Wah Watson walked on stage; sat down by himself in a chair with a huge L-5 Gibson hollow body electric guitar and laid down the funkiest fucking guitar line I'd ever heard.
In 30 seconds, the entire auditorium was on their feet dancing (they'd all been sitting down when he took the stage). It only got better and better as each member came on stage and did their bit on top of the groove already laid down.
So, what I'm saying is, that if a group is really, really accomplished rhythmically, then they can all have a click track in their ear phones and they'll still be able to play as one.
I've experienced it and there was no conflict.Everyone has to take responsibility for the rhythm if you are going to groove deeply.
Just sayin! with respect if you don't agree, RickPS I also saw King Sunny Ade do a very similar approach to playing a layered intro, although he
had 20 people in his band.