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  #1  
Old 11-24-2013, 03:26 AM
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Default Band Not Wanting To Stay In Time?

Let me start this by saying that I'm not bragging, but I was blessed with a good sense of time. And I believe that practicing with a metronome has only sealed my ability to know where the 1 is, and make sure it falls in the same spot every time.

So why in God's name, do so many musicians in my area not want to follow the time I keep!?
It's something I've been noticing for a long time, but it seems like they other musicians expect me to keep time with them moving up and down in bpm over the song? I mean for the most part I'm a simple drummer. There's not a lot of flare in playing. So if you're not going to follow my time, what is the point in me being there?

I honestly don't think I'm being unreasonable here. For example: the band I was playing with up until last month was a three piece. Our guitarist sang as well. He done a fantastic job of keeping in time with me, but the bassist just seemed to do whatever he wanted whenever he wanted.

Have things of similar nature happened to any of you?
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Old 11-24-2013, 03:41 AM
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Default Re: Band Not Wanting To Stay In Time?

People get caught up in their own lines and you'll find that bassists and guitarists will often rush runs which then leads them into a sped up momentum in the following bar - in the same way as drummers can rush fills and come out a bit faster.
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Old 11-24-2013, 04:46 AM
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Default Re: Band Not Wanting To Stay In Time?

Polly nailed it. It's important to "lock in" with a bass player. If that needs work, you two should work on it.
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Old 11-24-2013, 04:50 AM
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Default Re: Band Not Wanting To Stay In Time?

I play to a click 100% and won't make eye contact if I notice a player wanting me to budge. I once had a singer with LSD insist that I find the album tempo for every song, program my click and pull those tempos up live, only for him to realize they were WAY too slow that way and turns around flapping his arms and such,,,,,,,,, I just stared down at the floor and keep chugging away lol. He nicely asked me to not play to a click ever again with him.
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Old 11-24-2013, 05:47 AM
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Default Re: Band Not Wanting To Stay In Time?

I think LSD must be in concert with cocaine. Lead singers get so amped up that everything is too slow for them. From where they counted off to even if you give them a bit and pick up the song.

I've set my phone with the Live BPM ap off to the side and when the singer glares and yells that the song dragged, I'll show them that we sped up 5 BPM over the tune.
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Old 11-24-2013, 06:07 AM
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Default Re: Band Not Wanting To Stay In Time?

Maybe you should be playing with a higher caliber of players....as the heartbeat and foundation of any band, I feel we drummers should establish a leadership role with time and tempo....at rehearsal you could have an iPod with all the tunes and set the standard for tunes by quickly hearing part of each song....it's also ok to arbitrate and bump things up a bit if everyone agrees, but on stage in a club, etc, folks should be mature enough to lock in to the drummers cadence and discuss things offline if adjustments need to be made.
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Old 11-24-2013, 06:18 AM
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Default Re: Band Not Wanting To Stay In Time?

This is one of the reasons I left the last band I was in.

The guitarist had such a crappy time feel it began to get on my nerves. I told him about it and he apparently started practicing the set daily to a metronome... that was good of him and there was an improvement but in the end still not enough.

I made sure both the other band members knew where I stood on the timing thing, and in a way they teamed up on me and said that I was being too anal... I wasn't being too anal (they were just shit) but I'm sure there is a point where you have to accept that other kinds of musicians just don't consider rhythm and timing as much of a priority and it's up to you to be the perfect foundation that they float around +/- a few milliseconds.
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Old 11-24-2013, 06:39 AM
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Default Re: Band Not Wanting To Stay In Time?

on most of the greatest records ever recorded the players are pushing and pulling all over the place....the key is that they moved together so the average ear never hears it

watch most of the best rock and jazz groups ever.....they pull each other around ...its fucking beautiful

being stubborn and feeling that your time is the only time is probably hurting the music way more than helping it

learn to flex with the emotion of the room

if these cats are doing a lot more than being emotionally elastic then I suggest you find some better people to play with
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Old 11-24-2013, 08:39 AM
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Default Re: Band Not Wanting To Stay In Time?

I have three clocks in my kitchen, but only one of them keeps "perfect" time and that is the digital clock on the microwave oven.

The other two clocks are much more beautiful to look at.


Here's a nice little documentary clip called "Different Drummer : Elvin Jones"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qn1xMVmLbWk
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Old 11-24-2013, 08:58 AM
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Default Re: Band Not Wanting To Stay In Time?

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Originally Posted by WhoIsTony? View Post
on most of the greatest records ever recorded the players are pushing and pulling all over the place....the key is that they moved together so the average ear never hears it

watch most of the best rock and jazz groups ever.....they pull each other around ...its fucking beautiful

being stubborn and feeling that your time is the only time is probably hurting the music way more than helping it

learn to flex with the emotion of the room

if these cats are doing a lot more than being emotionally elastic then I suggest you find some better people to play with
Yes...push and pull is what makes music beautiful. Rock, Jazz and even classical music has that aspect, but as you say its a subtle emotional feel. If the other guys in the band are simply poor timekeepers, then that is another story.
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Old 11-24-2013, 09:39 AM
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Default Re: Band Not Wanting To Stay In Time?

OP, most bands are faced with these problems, occasionally if your lucky everyone in the band has similar sense of time and so it's not an issue.

My general approach is to simply find which ever instruments time is closest to mine and really lock with them, more often than not it is not the bass player but the keyboards. Then politely ask the other members to play to your united time. I agree with the earlier comment that guitar players tend to speed up on certain riffs and the following section.The only exception to this is if the band is in the traditional singer song writer format, in which case I just go with the singer song writer- and don't let go on no matter what. Eventually the singer song writers time will get better.

You are in it together.
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Old 11-24-2013, 02:39 PM
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Default Re: Band Not Wanting To Stay In Time?

Another take on this could be a cultural one. Back in the day (I know, yawn) I never had a problem with the bands I was in staying in time with each other. Ever.
Could this be because the opportunity to woodshed an instrument, especially drums, was not an option for the vast majority of drummers or other musicians. The first step, after learning the basics, was to play with a band as it was usually the only way to get to play the kit in anger. So we were all learning our instruments as we went along, but, also learning to keep time as a group.
I would count in, 1 2 3 4, or whatever, and we were off. I was keeping the time and the rest were following but there was a lot of push and pull as the emotion of the music took over.

Now, with the luxury of electronic kits and even home practice spaces, guys can woodshed for years, many hours per day If they wish, so the need to play with others has diminished. So it may be possible that by playing to a click/metronome, or playing along constantly to MP3 players, you are in effect always following and never leading. So when it comes to band playing any fluctuation in timing by the other members is going to throw you as, In effect, your backing track is fluctuating.
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Old 11-24-2013, 03:19 PM
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Default Re: Band Not Wanting To Stay In Time?

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Originally Posted by Captain Bash View Post
My general approach is to simply find which ever instruments time is closest to mine and really lock with them, more often than not it is not the bass player but the keyboards. Then politely ask the other members to play to your united time. I agree with the earlier comment that guitar players tend to speed up on certain riffs and the following section.The only exception to this is if the band is in the traditional singer song writer format, in which case I just go with the singer song writer- and don't let go on no matter what. Eventually the singer song writers time will get better.

You are in it together.
Agreed on this. One of my current playing situations is a husband/wife team; he plays acoustic guitar too fast (and with only one rhythm), while she sings too slowly. Very often I've got him nearly muted out of my monitors and her just enough to hear which phrase she's on, and lock in with the piano and bass.

Ultimately, it is every musician's responsibility to keep time accurately. Drums are just the most obvious place where time is played in most circumstances. Your band and playing situation may vary, and if time is going to do strange or unorthodox things, let it be because you're all that good, not because you're all that bad.
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Old 11-24-2013, 08:10 PM
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Default Re: Band Not Wanting To Stay In Time?

I played with a band for a few years in middle and high school, and we had a really weird sense of time. Sometimes the guitarists wanted me to follow them, and others times they followed me. For us, it totally worked. Of course, everyone different, but the we just clicked perfectly. If we were on separate pages trying to do our own thing, that's a whole other story.
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Old 11-24-2013, 08:54 PM
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Default Re: Band Not Wanting To Stay In Time?

Re: doing the cover songs faster than the original tempo because there's not enough energy. That's a crock.

Those songs worked at the tempo it was recorded at. Making it faster only detracts. Needing the song to go faster than the recording is a sure sign of someone who is not comfortable with space.

I think the main thing is the song ends up at pretty much the same speed as when it started. I will compare the front of the song to the back of the song. What it does in the middle....human time is not metronomic. The way humans feel musical time varies. Push and pull feel good. As long as the song doesn't run away. Push and pull are almost unavoidable. Speeding up over the course of the song however is a different thing. Generally not a good thing.
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Old 11-24-2013, 08:59 PM
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Default Re: Band Not Wanting To Stay In Time?

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Re: doing the cover songs faster than the original tempo because there's not enough energy. That's a crock.

Those songs worked at the tempo it was recorded at. Making it faster only detracts.
Naaah. Loads of tunes are done faster live than in the studio. Exhibit A, m'lud

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...VU3JYcQS0#t=31
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Old 11-24-2013, 09:19 PM
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Default Re: Band Not Wanting To Stay In Time?

Not saying it's not done. Look at James Brown. Just my opinion. I like it when the band can capture the vibe that sold a million.

A rework is different too. But a cover band trying to copy a song...that's what I am talking about. It's just a preference. My point is that the original tempo doesn't lack. People who can't do it at the original tempo are deficient in some areas, JMO.
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Old 11-25-2013, 01:00 AM
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Default Re: Band Not Wanting To Stay In Time?

Larry, it can depend on instrumentation. If the band covers a tune where the original has with horns and the full monty then it can sound rather thin played at low volume by us at the original tempo. We've found a number of our tunes have benefitted from a bit of a giddyup.

In my experience it's been more important that everyone in the band is comfortable with a tempo with the lines they have (especially singer and lead instruments) than for the tune to be played at the correct tempo - at least in non-art music. It all about da vibe, mon.

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Old 11-25-2013, 01:56 AM
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Default Re: Band Not Wanting To Stay In Time?

Man, just came from a gig which was great but the band insisted in rushing the time so i really had to contain them which by consequence will sound weird, I guess people are just caught up in the adrenaline. I get the adrenaline as well, but I try for it not to afect the timing.


What do you reckon is the best solution? Go with them or just force the time? I really don't know
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Old 11-25-2013, 02:01 AM
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Default Re: Band Not Wanting To Stay In Time?

Aretha Franklin's "Respect" is one song that I hate hearing sped up. The original was so perfect...you cannot beat it. I feel that way about a lot of songs.

We do "The Weight" in my trio. It's too fast. It misses the vibe. Leaders choice. I just don't like when people "white" the music all up.
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Old 11-25-2013, 02:38 AM
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Default Re: Band Not Wanting To Stay In Time?

I must disagree with folks that feel sped up tempos are ok...or even "better".....bull puckey! Especially in a cover band scenario where you are playing for a club owner and to entertain people....it's very sophomoreish for a singer or, frankly, any melodic instrument to apply their narcissistic view and change the prior art....I understand and agree about pushing and/or laying back as a unit around the recorded tempo, sure....

Deliberate tempo policing preserves the groove and peaks/valleys of the source material....and when that original feel us there, it is impressive and fun....

If you are licensing and re recording prior art, well, that's a different approach and that seems like an appropriate scenario to apply creative license....and give a song a different treatment if so desired...

In a cover band playing to entertain and to promote dancing, it always sounds best to maintain key and tempo.
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Old 11-25-2013, 03:44 AM
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Default Re: Band Not Wanting To Stay In Time?

I'm notorious for wanting to kick songs into high gear, especially if the band playing before us plays really quick and gets me going. I don't bump up slow songs that much, but if it's a quick tune already I'll add a little pep to it. The guys I was playing with at this time rather enjoyed it, and I had a bit of fun also, so no reason to complain, but it seems like the bassist we had just had a poor sense of time. I mean there were times when I'd hear him play something, and I'd think "where the hell are you?"

Then this jam session I played with for a couple of years. When I played with those guys, it was like I was dragging a sack of rocks around the stage. Me and the dude who came in and played bass, he was an older fellow, were a good pair. He sat his amp right next to me so I could feel it while I played. It was a good experience.
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Old 11-25-2013, 04:07 AM
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Default Re: Band Not Wanting To Stay In Time?

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I must disagree with folks that feel sped up tempos are ok...or even "better".....bull puckey! Especially in a cover band scenario where you are playing for a club owner and to entertain people....it's very sophomoreish for a singer or, frankly, any melodic instrument to apply their narcissistic view and change the prior art....I understand and agree about pushing and/or laying back as a unit around the recorded tempo, sure....
Bottom line is, does it sound good? Being authentic is ideal in many gig situations but I'm glad not everyone strives for the same thing.

Narcissistic? That reminded me of a scientist at a former workplace who liked to write fiction on the side. Some of his scientist colleagues thought that was egotistical of him ... to choose to describe the contents of his imagination at times rather than external reality.

I like the dynamic of a band putting music out because they like it and then seeing who relates to it or not, as opposed to a more pro approach. It's hit or miss, though - to succeed you have to be either brilliant, moving with the zeitgeist, or lucky. Only recommended for those not worried about the pay.
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Old 11-25-2013, 11:53 AM
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Default Re: Band Not Wanting To Stay In Time?

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Aretha Franklin's "Respect" is one song that I hate hearing sped up.
Aretha's Respect? Whatchootalkin' about? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qo3aeXZFZkg ;0)
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Old 11-25-2013, 08:58 PM
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Default Re: Band Not Wanting To Stay In Time?

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Naaah. Loads of tunes are done faster live than in the studio. Exhibit A, m'lud

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...VU3JYcQS0#t=31
That is definitely true, I think only Rush plays live at the exact same BPM as their studio albums. This is simply because of the stress. You probably remember being called to the front of the class at primary school to read the poem you learnt by heart. This is usually how we define the speed of sound: it goes so fast that the poem is finished by the time the first phrase reaches the other side of the classroom. It takes a lot of "breathe in, breathe out, concentrate…" to speak or play at the right speed.

It may be interesting to play much faster live than the tempo of the original song. But it is rarely intentional.
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Old 11-25-2013, 09:15 PM
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Default Re: Band Not Wanting To Stay In Time?

This is EXTREMELY common...

...due in part, imho, to the myth that drummers are to 'keep the time'....leading to laziness of those who spout this nonsense.

All participants in a song are equally responsible for 'keeping the time' of the song.
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Old 11-25-2013, 10:08 PM
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Default Re: Band Not Wanting To Stay In Time?

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Naaah. Loads of tunes are done faster live than in the studio. Exhibit A, m'lud

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...VU3JYcQS0#t=31
Declined. Doesn't do it for me. The horns kill it for me too. It's too formal. It's got a certain soul to it granted, but the whole "I'm a woman and I feel neglected" vibe is missing. Instead they turn it into variety show fodder.

Some songs can't be bettered. Not a fact, just an opinion. It's like trying to improve on the Mona Lisa.

It can't be done! Tom! How am I gonna generate that kind of power?!! 23 JIGA WATTS?
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Old 11-26-2013, 07:15 AM
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Default Re: Band Not Wanting To Stay In Time?

A really good drummer I know told me that mediocre singers want to speed up songs in a mistaken effort to create "energy". While the really good ones want some space to milk the emotion of the song, thus creating real connection with the audience and real energy.

Speed is a poor substitute for feel.

I think there is another difference between the way folks learn now and the "back in the day" garage band thing. With all the brain food about theory and technique folks get caught up in trying to learn more sophisticated stuff before they've learned to play easier stuff well. It takes time and patience to learn to play with feel and groove. And many people want to jump ahead to playing fancy. Back in the day if you wanted to be invited to join a garage band, you had to be able to play the songs. Now people go to open jams and try to play faster or more complex stuff that they can barely get though cause they downloaded some tab off the internet or watched some "how to play it" video.

A guitar player I know is a fairly spectacular soloist and always has a waiting list for students. They want him to teach them his licks and all. Usually he has to work with them for a few months just playing rhythm and getting some groove or swing. Then he'll start to teach him theory and riffs. A few who stick it out catch on that what makes his solos so engaging is the time and swing with which he plays those licks. Why when they learn the lick, it doesn't sound like him.

A really common thing I hear are fast RLK triplets at the end of songs. The faster the apparently better. But rarely are they even and more rarely do they swing. The drummers that these folks are trying to imitate sound the way they do because of how they phrase the triplet. But if all you think of is getting though the strokes as fast as possible, it will never sound like the gospel chops cats.
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Old 11-26-2013, 07:44 AM
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Default Re: Band Not Wanting To Stay In Time?

@aeolian.....your treatise on tempo, etc is right on the money! You are exactly correct about the feel, rhythm and technique issues you touched on.

From a guitarists perspective, you can always hear the deficiency in the vibrato and rhythmic motifs ....cause good playing has a motif....I mean if you want to be at the highest levels. It is certainly much harder to play tastefully, with rhythm and dynamics than it is to shred. I've been spanking the plank (stole that from rev willie g) for some time and it is a long journey.

The same goes with drumming...and driving a band. I made the mistake of jumping in and trying to be Neil Peart before I realized,,,,hey this stuff is very linear and may not be of much use in the real world.....then I went back to some zz top and realized its actually more challenging to learn the proper feel and shuffle of things like Tush than it is to learn Fly By Night or Something For Nothing.....so, I jettisoned the Rush habit and have been focusing on getting that Chris Layton, Simon Kirke, Phil Rudd and Frank Beard thing happening.....groove and tempo and moving the song.

What a fool I was ;-)
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Old 11-26-2013, 11:44 AM
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Default Re: Band Not Wanting To Stay In Time?

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That is definitely true, I think only Rush plays live at the exact same BPM as their studio albums. This is simply because of the stress. You probably remember being called to the front of the class at primary school to read the poem you learnt by heart. This is usually how we define the speed of sound: it goes so fast that the poem is finished by the time the first phrase reaches the other side of the classroom. It takes a lot of "breathe in, breathe out, concentrate…" to speak or play at the right speed.

It may be interesting to play much faster live than the tempo of the original song. But it is rarely intentional.
Y'know, I really don't believe that. At least not with the tunes I've linked to, the Stax soul stuff, on this thread. It's dance music, pure and simple. And the evidence is clear when you see Al Jackson and the band intentionally speed things up. Watch the Stax/Volt Norway gig to see that happen a few times. Here's one example http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ND4P-gy1PM
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Old 11-26-2013, 11:46 AM
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the whole "I'm a woman and I feel neglected" vibe is missing. Instead they turn it into variety show fodder.
We're talking about Respect, here? You do know it was an Otis original and Aretha covered it?
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Old 11-26-2013, 04:01 PM
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Default Re: Band Not Wanting To Stay In Time?

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Declined. Doesn't do it for me. The horns kill it for me too. It's too formal. It's got a certain soul to it granted, but the whole "I'm a woman and I feel neglected" vibe is missing. Instead they turn it into variety show fodder.

Some songs can't be bettered. Not a fact, just an opinion. It's like trying to improve on the Mona Lisa.

It can't be done! Tom! How am I gonna generate that kind of power?!! 23 JIGA WATTS?
but Arethas version IS a cover

Otis wrote the song ....and his is the original
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Old 11-26-2013, 07:49 PM
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Default Re: Band Not Wanting To Stay In Time?

Lots of bands record an album and once the label and everyone involved on mastering it is done it sounds nothing like the band had intended. I hear that all the time. Here is a perfect example of that exact thing happening where the band clearly realizes theat the song sounds much better at a faster tempo and leaves the original in the boring dust lol.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ixRH7QeImf0

and now the good version

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UgVlLJPP2wg
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  #34  
Old 11-26-2013, 10:49 PM
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Default Re: Band Not Wanting To Stay In Time?

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Originally Posted by WhoIsTony? View Post
but Arethas version IS a cover

Otis wrote the song ....and his is the original
Oh whoops. I can't seem to say much that's right lately.
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  #35  
Old 11-26-2013, 11:46 PM
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Default Re: Band Not Wanting To Stay In Time?

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Originally Posted by larryace View Post
Oh whoops. I can't seem to say much that's right lately.
No Uncle Larry, that's not right - only a couple of recent statements have been wrong, the rest has been good ... oh, apart from this last comment, of course - haga!

Never mind me, please continue discussion :)
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  #36  
Old 11-27-2013, 07:45 AM
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Default Re: Band Not Wanting To Stay In Time?

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Originally Posted by Liebe zeit View Post
Y'know, I really don't believe that. At least not with the tunes I've linked to, the Stax soul stuff, on this thread. It's dance music, pure and simple. And the evidence is clear when you see Al Jackson and the band intentionally speed things up. Watch the Stax/Volt Norway gig to see that happen a few times. Here's one example http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ND4P-gy1PM
Love it. But that sounded more like a deliberate shift in tempo in the middle than Al rushing. The accelerando at the end is pure gospel church praise.
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  #37  
Old 11-27-2013, 08:16 AM
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Default Re: Band Not Wanting To Stay In Time?

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Originally Posted by arthurk1 View Post
Lots of bands record an album and once the label and everyone involved on mastering it is done it sounds nothing like the band had intended. I hear that all the time. Here is a perfect example of that exact thing happening where the band clearly realizes theat the song sounds much better at a faster tempo and leaves the original in the boring dust lol.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ixRH7QeImf0

and now the good version

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UgVlLJPP2wg
Personally, I disagree. I think that second vid they are playing the song at an un-comfortable pace and it's squishing the parts and transitions really awkwardly. Also, sheesh. That dude really stopped a song in front of what looks like thousands, maybe tens of!
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Old 11-27-2013, 08:31 AM
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Default Re: Band Not Wanting To Stay In Time?

I think when everyone locks in it's great. There's some give an take; but when the band is all over the place, drunks out of tune, out of time, etc., it sounds terrible - but probably good enough for a bar room dance floor full of other drunks.

The best bands I've seen are locked in, musically together, and most of the bands I've seen don't have this totally mastered. I guess that's one of the things that separates the masters from the semi-professionals.
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Old 11-27-2013, 04:12 PM
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Default Re: Band Not Wanting To Stay In Time?

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Originally Posted by Aeolian View Post
Love it. But that sounded more like a deliberate shift in tempo in the middle than Al rushing. The accelerando at the end is pure gospel church praise.
Yeah. That's what I'm saying, based on my belief that Al was such a god he knew exactly what he was doing. :-)

"Accelerando" - I like it
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