DRUMMERWORLD OFFICIAL DISCUSSION FORUM   

Go Back   DRUMMERWORLD OFFICIAL DISCUSSION FORUM > General Discussion

General Discussion General discussion forum for all drum related topics. Use this forum to exchange ideas and information with your fellow drummers.

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 07-27-2015, 06:07 PM
DrummerCA35 DrummerCA35 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 74
Default Covering Songs that Have Percussion

So, I play in a 5 piece band. Bass/drums/keys/guitar/lead singer. Some of the songs we do have percussion intros (ie, bongos/congas/cowbell/etc).

One example is Joe Cocker's "Feelin' Allright" which of course has that conga and/or bongo thing with the piano intro. After some trial and error trying to simulate it on toms, or hi-hat or whatever, and just decided to play a funky beat over the intro. (Sort of similar to the feel of Levon Helm's "Cripple Creek" beat.) Yeah I know that sounds weird. Trying to simulate congas on the toms and/or tom rims never sounded right to me when I tried it and nor did I want to haul around a set of congas or bongos, if even portable ones. It seems to have worked out fine playing a funky beat.

Another example is "Rapper's Delight" which has the congas/cowbell percussion intro. Same thing- after trying it different ways, I play a funky beat incorcorating the cowbell. It seems to work fine, and we recorded our demo with me doing this.

Now we are considering the "Cheerleader" song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jGflUbPQfW8 and this song has lots of congas, the beat is often just bass drum and conga with no snare (so it sound to me). Again I'm wondering what would sound best. Quarter notes on the bass drum and some rack toms/rims? Again, never had much luck simulating congas with rack toms. I've wondered about getting a set of those portable congas that are pretty much just the heads, but it's something else to lug....

Wondering what are some approaches you guys take when doing these kinds kinds of tunes when there is no percussionist in your band...


Thanks...
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 07-27-2015, 07:14 PM
Macarina Macarina is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 190
Default Re: Covering Songs that Have Percussion

But YOU are the percussionist.

I am finding these scenario's exciting and scary at the same time. In fact I have something very similar, but don't want to derail your thread.

My trying to accomplish something like this is sit behind the kit and just play the part over and over and play different parts of your kit. Play different beats.

I might go to youtube to see if someone has done something similar. Usually that's a whole lotta nothing, but ways to show you how NOT to play it. Maybe watch some live versions of the performance. I've seen a lot of bands take different approaches to classic songs and many times they are just as cool or better.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 07-27-2015, 07:31 PM
Hollywood Jim's Avatar
Hollywood Jim Hollywood Jim is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Phoenix, Arizona
Posts: 1,767
Default Re: Covering Songs that Have Percussion

I would use my snare drum with the snares turned off. Accented rim shots.

Listen to "Higher Love" by Steve Winwood. I realized that in this song the drummer probably uses a timbale,
but the snare drum with snares turned off will give you a very Latin, conga feel.

If I had to play a lot of songs that needed conga and bongos, I'd get a digital pad and use electronic sounds.

.
__________________
"To play a wrong note is insignificant. To play without passion is inexcusable." - Beethoven
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 07-27-2015, 07:37 PM
DrummerCA35 DrummerCA35 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 74
Default Re: Covering Songs that Have Percussion

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hollywood Jim View Post
I would use my snare drum with the snares turned off. Accented rim shots.

Listen to "Higher Love" by Steve Winwood. I realized that in this song the drummer probably uses a timbale,
but the snare drum with snares turned off will give you a very Latin, conga feel.

If I had to play a lot of songs that needed conga and bongos, I'd get a digital pad and use electronic sounds.

.
Great idea, I should have thought of this. Will try the snare drum with snares off/rimshots. Thank you!!
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 07-27-2015, 07:39 PM
DrummerCA35 DrummerCA35 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 74
Default Re: Covering Songs that Have Percussion

Quote:
Originally Posted by Macarina View Post
But YOU are the percussionist.

I am finding these scenario's exciting and scary at the same time. In fact I have something very similar, but don't want to derail your thread.

My trying to accomplish something like this is sit behind the kit and just play the part over and over and play different parts of your kit. Play different beats.

I might go to youtube to see if someone has done something similar. Usually that's a whole lotta nothing, but ways to show you how NOT to play it. Maybe watch some live versions of the performance. I've seen a lot of bands take different approaches to classic songs and many times they are just as cool or better.
Thanks for the ideas!
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 07-27-2015, 07:51 PM
tcspears tcspears is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 273
Default Re: Covering Songs that Have Percussion

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hollywood Jim View Post
I would use my snare drum with the snares turned off. Accented rim shots.

Listen to "Higher Love" by Steve Winwood. I realized that in this song the drummer probably uses a timbale,
but the snare drum with snares turned off will give you a very Latin, conga feel.

If I had to play a lot of songs that needed conga and bongos, I'd get a digital pad and use electronic sounds.

.
This is what I usually do if I need to emulate something that's played on latin percussion. I'll turn the snare off and play with my hands (it might hurt at first, especially as you do rim shots to create different sounds), or sticks if I need a little more voume or punch. Playing the snare with your hands will allow you create many different sounds from the one drum, will cover the bongo/conga parts, and it looks pretty cool too!
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 07-27-2015, 07:58 PM
DrummerCA35 DrummerCA35 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 74
Default Re: Covering Songs that Have Percussion

Quote:
Originally Posted by tcspears View Post
This is what I usually do if I need to emulate something that's played on latin percussion. I'll turn the snare off and play with my hands (it might hurt at first, especially as you do rim shots to create different sounds), or sticks if I need a little more voume or punch. Playing the snare with your hands will allow you create many different sounds from the one drum, will cover the bongo/conga parts, and it looks pretty cool too!
You guys rock! I don't think my hands would hold up doing this, BUT it occurs to me I could use "hand sticks" on a snare with the snares off: http://www.steveweissmusic.com/produ...se-drum-sticks
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 07-28-2015, 02:50 PM
Morrisman's Avatar
Morrisman Morrisman is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: South Australia
Posts: 56
Default Re: Covering Songs that Have Percussion

I've often played the opening of "Feeling Alright" with my hands on the snare, snares off, conga style, including slaps and accents. Then I quickly pick up the sticks and switch on the snare for the lead-in to the chorus. This only works because we do the first verse quietly, just the piano riff, vocal and 'congas'.

On most other songs with percussion I just ignore the percussion, and the audience never seems to notice.

On a similar tack, our band has been learning the entire "Rumours" album by Fleetwood Mac, and there are clearly some drum overdubs in some songs - for example in "You make loving fun" the basic beat continues while there are low tom accents at odd times. I tried doing both, but it messes up the feel. I now just play the basic beat, perhaps with an extra kick or two, and again, no-one notices. They're all focused on the lead singer.

Another example is the cowbell in "Honky Tonk Woman" Does anyone play that as well as the drum beat, or do you get someone else in the band to play the cowbell for the intro?
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 07-28-2015, 04:48 PM
DrummerCA35 DrummerCA35 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 74
Default Re: Covering Songs that Have Percussion

Quote:
Originally Posted by Morrisman View Post
I've often played the opening of "Feeling Alright" with my hands on the snare, snares off, conga style, including slaps and accents. Then I quickly pick up the sticks and switch on the snare for the lead-in to the chorus. This only works because we do the first verse quietly, just the piano riff, vocal and 'congas'.

On most other songs with percussion I just ignore the percussion, and the audience never seems to notice.

On a similar tack, our band has been learning the entire "Rumours" album by Fleetwood Mac, and there are clearly some drum overdubs in some songs - for example in "You make loving fun" the basic beat continues while there are low tom accents at odd times. I tried doing both, but it messes up the feel. I now just play the basic beat, perhaps with an extra kick or two, and again, no-one notices. They're all focused on the lead singer.

Another example is the cowbell in "Honky Tonk Woman" Does anyone play that as well as the drum beat, or do you get someone else in the band to play the cowbell for the intro?
Thanks for the ideas.

I used to play "Honky Tonk Woman." I used to try to play the cowbell with the left hand, mounted on the hi-hat stand. Along with everything else. I think I eventually just played a few bars of the cowbell alone and then dropped it. Our band plays "Blurred Lines." I've tried all kinds of combinations...cowbell with the right hand, along with snare/bass but not hats; trying to add the hats with the left hand, etc. I've seen videos online where guys pull off a great version of it. Our lead singer doesn't want to play the cowbell for that song. The last few times we played it out I just dropped the cowbell entirely and played the hats/bass/snare.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 07-28-2015, 05:49 PM
drummer-russ's Avatar
drummer-russ drummer-russ is offline
Silver Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: St. Peters Mo
Posts: 613
Default Re: Covering Songs that Have Percussion

Quote:
Originally Posted by DrummerCA35 View Post
So, I play in a 5 piece band. Bass/drums/keys/guitar/lead singer. Some of the songs we do have percussion intros (ie, bongos/congas/cowbell/etc).

One example is Joe Cocker's "Feelin' Allright" which of course has that conga and/or bongo thing with the piano intro. After some trial and error trying to simulate it on toms, or hi-hat or whatever, and just decided to play a funky beat over the intro. (Sort of similar to the feel of Levon Helm's "Cripple Creek" beat.) Yeah I know that sounds weird. Trying to simulate congas on the toms and/or tom rims never sounded right to me when I tried it and nor did I want to haul around a set of congas or bongos, if even portable ones. It seems to have worked out fine playing a funky beat.

Another example is "Rapper's Delight" which has the congas/cowbell percussion intro. Same thing- after trying it different ways, I play a funky beat incorcorating the cowbell. It seems to work fine, and we recorded our demo with me doing this.

Now we are considering the "Cheerleader" song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jGflUbPQfW8 and this song has lots of congas, the beat is often just bass drum and conga with no snare (so it sound to me). Again I'm wondering what would sound best. Quarter notes on the bass drum and some rack toms/rims? Again, never had much luck simulating congas with rack toms. I've wondered about getting a set of those portable congas that are pretty much just the heads, but it's something else to lug....

Wondering what are some approaches you guys take when doing these kinds kinds of tunes when there is no percussionist in your band...


Thanks...
My cover band plays Feelin alright. I play a conga beat on my 10 and 12" toms when the drum kit is not playing or is less prominent. In fact I start the song with the conga beat on the toms immediately following the previous song and the band gets into it when ready. It never fails to get heads bobbing and toes tapping with just that beat.

For me I listen to what is prominent. If it isa a cowbell or congas or whatever I try to emulate it with what I have at my disposal.
__________________
After a multi decade hiatus, I am back in a band!
January 2014.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 07-28-2015, 06:20 PM
Matt Bo Eder's Avatar
Matt Bo Eder Matt Bo Eder is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Disneyland, CA
Posts: 1,618
Default Re: Covering Songs that Have Percussion

I play Honky Tonk Woman all the time and use cowbell throughout except during the chorus and guitar solo. I love nailing the intro like the record.
__________________
YouTube channel: youtube.com/user/boeder101
Photoblog: mattederblog.blogspot.com
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 07-29-2015, 04:47 PM
Dignan's Avatar
Dignan Dignan is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Chicago
Posts: 459
Default Re: Covering Songs that Have Percussion

My band plays Feelin Alright and Honky Tonk. I've never tried the snare (with snares off) but will this week at practice. We play the "Traffic" version of the song which I don't think has congas or at least they aren't as prominent.

For Honky Tonk Woman, I play the cowbell pattern with my right and and keep 8th notes on the hats with my foot. As Bo said, the cowbell beat has to open this song up. Unmistakable
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 07-29-2015, 08:38 PM
tcurtis tcurtis is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 1
Default Re: Covering Songs that Have Percussion

In my cover band, I've started incorporating electronics (spd-s) for the more involved percussion sections. Of course there's the hassle of ensuring it works throught the PA/House.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 07-30-2015, 01:16 AM
SmoothOperator SmoothOperator is offline
Silver Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 559
Default Re: Covering Songs that Have Percussion

Quote:
Originally Posted by tcspears View Post
This is what I usually do if I need to emulate something that's played on latin percussion. I'll turn the snare off and play with my hands (it might hurt at first, especially as you do rim shots to create different sounds), or sticks if I need a little more voume or punch. Playing the snare with your hands will allow you create many different sounds from the one drum, will cover the bongo/conga parts, and it looks pretty cool too!
Rim shots with hands on a snare are surprisingly painless, in some ways it's easier than playing congas. If you are careful there is a little gap, where your knuckles never touch the rim or the head, where as with an unrimmed instrument your knuckles will always make contact. It helps to have the proper profile and curved rim, though. You might want to tune it higher to lower the rim.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 07-30-2015, 02:33 AM
Holden's Avatar
Holden Holden is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Grass Valley, Ca
Posts: 37
Default Re: Covering Songs that Have Percussion

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Bo Eder View Post
I play Honky Tonk Woman all the time and use cowbell throughout except during the chorus and guitar solo. I love nailing the intro like the record.
Hi Matt,
Does that mean you are playing cowbell Instead of hi-hat for intro and verses? Or are you somehow playing both cowbell and hi-hat at the same time.

Also, do you speed up through the whole song like the record, or keep the tempo steady?

Thanks,
jeff
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 07-30-2015, 03:59 AM
larryace's Avatar
larryace larryace is offline
"Uncle Larry"
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: In beautiful Bucks County, PA
Posts: 15,527
Default Re: Covering Songs that Have Percussion

Quote:
Originally Posted by Morrisman View Post
Another example is the cowbell in "Honky Tonk Woman" Does anyone play that as well as the drum beat, or do you get someone else in the band to play the cowbell for the intro?
I feel the cowbell part makes that song and is essential, so I forego my HH during the whole song and just do the cowbell figure, even through the solo. The extra space and the simplicity of the part works well without a hi hat IMO.

But does your bass player lay out on the verses? Not many bass players lay out on the verses. Just like not many bass players play bass chords to "Red House".
__________________
Sucking all the fun right out of life....
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 07-30-2015, 04:20 AM
Derek Derek is offline
Silver Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: So. California
Posts: 692
Default Re: Covering Songs that Have Percussion

Try snares off, cross sticking with your left hand. You can mess around with old bolero style stickings (double strokes, single strokes including rim shots, ping shots or various parts of the head or the rim itself). You can also switch how much damping you do to the head with your left hand. You may be surprised at how many diferent sounds you can get out of just your snare drum.
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 07-30-2015, 04:41 AM
JustJames's Avatar
JustJames JustJames is offline
Gold Member
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Sydney Australia
Posts: 1,473
Default Re: Covering Songs that Have Percussion

Quote:
Originally Posted by Morrisman View Post
Another example is the cowbell in "Honky Tonk Woman" Does anyone play that as well as the drum beat, or do you get someone else in the band to play the cowbell for the intro?
You can't NOT have cowbell for the intro.

I play the intro cowbell pattern, and then switch to the hats for the rest of the song.

My band also plays Love Shack, and for that I play the cowbell in synch with the bass drum part in the verses. 1 - 3 - 1 - and-3 and so on.

And for songs that have a quiet ending...chimes baby, chimes!
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 07-30-2015, 05:05 AM
Matt Bo Eder's Avatar
Matt Bo Eder Matt Bo Eder is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Disneyland, CA
Posts: 1,618
Default Re: Covering Songs that Have Percussion

Quote:
Originally Posted by Holden View Post
Hi Matt,
Does that mean you are playing cowbell Instead of hi-hat for intro and verses? Or are you somehow playing both cowbell and hi-hat at the same time.

Also, do you speed up through the whole song like the record, or keep the tempo steady?

Thanks,
jeff
Hi Jeff - yes, I am not playing the hi-hat when I'm playing the cowbell. There's enough going on with the other players that you don't really need to hear both the hi hat and the cowbell at the same time. The whole band is responsible for the groove so I let their parts happen without me further covering them up.

And no, I do not speed up throughout the song, I'm holding it steady all the way through. I might let it creep forward naturally, but for the most part I don't.
__________________
YouTube channel: youtube.com/user/boeder101
Photoblog: mattederblog.blogspot.com
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 07-30-2015, 07:09 AM
brentcn brentcn is offline
Gold Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 1,026
Default Re: Covering Songs that Have Percussion

Quote:
Originally Posted by larryace View Post
Just like not many bass players play bass chords to "Red House".
Isn't this the worst? This bass line is a giant pain to play, a real stretch over the fretboard, but such a cool part! And it works so well since the guitar playing "trades" with the vocals. Walking a basic blues is a corny-sounding substitute.

Quote:
Our lead singer doesn't want to play the cowbell for that song. The last few times we played it out I just dropped the cowbell entirely and played the hats/bass/snare.
Here's hoping you'll get to drop the entire tune! :)

But seriously, if you do "invent" a part, in order to copy percussion parts (which is often necessary), don't forget that other players may also alter their parts, in which case, your well-copied groove may not work so well, musically. Be prepared to let it go if necessary, and play the hand you're dealt.

Btw, playing your snare with your hands, as you would a conga, is going to be quiet compared to sticks.
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 07-30-2015, 03:42 PM
Morrisman's Avatar
Morrisman Morrisman is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: South Australia
Posts: 56
Default Re: Covering Songs that Have Percussion

Slightly off-topic, but related. What about songs that just have snare and bass, with no hi-hat. Do you find yourself adding hi-hat or ride, perhaps out of habit?
eg parts of Uptown Funk or Long Way to the Top

I guess the question boils down to: Is it better to be comfortable, and therefore play with better time and feel, than to try and copy the recording precisely, but less comfortably?

(Or maybe I should just practice more.)
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 07-30-2015, 05:30 PM
brentcn brentcn is offline
Gold Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 1,026
Default Re: Covering Songs that Have Percussion

Quote:
Originally Posted by Morrisman View Post
Slightly off-topic, but related. What about songs that just have snare and bass, with no hi-hat. Do you find yourself adding hi-hat or ride, perhaps out of habit?
eg parts of Uptown Funk or Long Way to the Top

I guess the question boils down to: Is it better to be comfortable, and therefore play with better time and feel, than to try and copy the recording precisely, but less comfortably?

(Or maybe I should just practice more.)
Your personal comfort shouldn't be the motivation. However, the more sparse your drum part, the easier it is for the other players to lose the groove and speed up or down against you. Adding some hi-hat notes in order to better communicate the time to the band is usually a good idea.
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 07-30-2015, 07:00 PM
DrummerCA35 DrummerCA35 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 74
Default Re: Covering Songs that Have Percussion

Quote:
Originally Posted by larryace View Post
But does your bass player lay out on the verses? Not many bass players lay out on the verses. Just like not many bass players play bass chords to "Red House".
"Honky Tonk" is not in our setlist now, but I've played in bands where it has been. And many times, with different bass players, I've had to ask them to NOT play the verses. It just sounds too good for the bass to lay out (as in the recording) and then come in on the choruses. Same kinda thing as "all right now."
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 07-30-2015, 07:03 PM
DrummerCA35 DrummerCA35 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 74
Default Re: Covering Songs that Have Percussion

Quote:
Originally Posted by brentcn View Post
Here's hoping you'll get to drop the entire tune! :)

But seriously, if you do "invent" a part, in order to copy percussion parts (which is often necessary), don't forget that other players may also alter their parts, in which case, your well-copied groove may not work so well, musically. Be prepared to let it go if necessary, and play the hand you're dealt.
Dropping "blurred lines" would suit me just fine, I don't care for it. Would much rather play "got to give it up", not that I'm saying they're the same. However, "Blurred Lines" goes over great when we play it out, even though I don't like it. My challenge is to just play it best I can and enjoy the audience reaction and get through the damn song.
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 07-30-2015, 07:10 PM
DrummerCA35 DrummerCA35 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 74
Default Re: Covering Songs that Have Percussion

About the posts of adding hi-hat where there is no hi-hat on the recording, OR playing 8th notes on the hats when the recording has off-beats or quarter notes:

I've been thinking about this lately. I think sometimes playing 8th notes on the hats when the recording didn't have it can be stifling and detract from the groove.

We do "Treasure" by Bruno Mars. I THINK (correct me if I'm wrong) there are no hats on the verses (I can't hear any), but the choruses have the hats on the off-beats. Initially I played 8th notes on the verses. Didn't feel right. Then, I just played snare/bass only on the verses and added the off-beats during the choruses. It picked the tune up, sounded better, and the band remarked that the song sounded better.
Reply With Quote
  #26  
Old 07-30-2015, 07:17 PM
DrummerCA35 DrummerCA35 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 74
Default Re: Covering Songs that Have Percussion

Quote:
Originally Posted by Morrisman View Post
Slightly off-topic, but related. What about songs that just have snare and bass, with no hi-hat. Do you find yourself adding hi-hat or ride, perhaps out of habit?
eg parts of Uptown Funk or Long Way to the Top

I guess the question boils down to: Is it better to be comfortable, and therefore play with better time and feel, than to try and copy the recording precisely, but less comfortably?

(Or maybe I should just practice more.)
We do Uptown Funk and I just play the hats. I've never noticed that they lay out? I'll take another listen! There are other songs though like "Treasure" where I stopped playing hats in the verses...
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are Off
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off




All times are GMT +2. The time now is 08:19 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.0
Copyright ©2000 - 2015, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Bernhard Castiglioni's DRUMMERWORLD.com