Could this be why some find a click track unnatural feeling and lifeless?

multijd

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What if the drummer has been established to have excellent ability to keep time? And, feels a mood to speed something up for dramatic effect? You want to be mechanical at all times? Why even need a click track? If a drummer requires one? It may say something about the stability of his skill.

The drummer ends up listening to the "click dictator" and not to the other musicians like he should... It may be the reason the life we used to sense in music seems to be lacking too often these days... Its my opinion of course. But, I have seen famous pro's say they hate it as well.
It’s part of the job. If you don’t want to be “slave to the master of the click”, then don’t take the job. But in the end, those who have truly mastered the click don’t follow it, it actually disappears as you are playing.
 

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Wait a second why is it.. Only the drummer (is it?) that gets the click.

Why doesn't the guitar player or bass player get the Click. (or do they?)
Has that ever happened? (besides the the won't get fooled again keyboard loop

Let's imagine the sax player out front has the click in his ear; he's the only one with the click; How'd that work out.
Or imagine the bass player in the band is the only one with a click in his ear
how would that work out

pretty sure at one time maybe still conductors out front watching a screen may have "had the click" visually maybe that he then conducted the whole band from

So is it that it's always the drummer that has the click false true or

Symphony Orchestras by way "of the baton" have the "click" be it au natural

Why can't the drummer- with his two batons err sticks- be trusted to be the click in a live setting with unlimited time or anytime a band is assembled (without time constrictions.

The only or one reason for a click is if something is to be exactly for example 2:45 seconds..
 
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JDA

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wonder how much we'd enjoy it if the bass player had a click in his ear every song; wonder how that would feel ---to us.. lol

We'd probably say "Back Off you're killing me"...lol
 

multijd

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The only or one reason for a click is if something is to be exactly for example 2:45 seconds..
Yes this is one reason. On production shows there may be any number of (pre-recorded) events (musical, visual, pyro!...) that may coordinate exactly with the live musicians/dancers. The way this is done is someone or more than one has a click, possibly with counting added to facilitate entrances.
In “Broadway” shows all kinds of events are synchronized with a click. Often everyone gets this click since they are all wearing headphones. Many times the click will be used for accurate tempo count in and tempo changes. The conductor adjusts the orchestra to both the click and the action on stage. It’s a balancing act sometimes.
Sonetimes you have a click going the entire time because there are three musicians and four singers but there is an orchestra of accompaniment that is ore recorded and you have to synchronize with that. I’ve done many shows where there was only one rehearsal the day of the show with these requirements the click was absolutely necessary.
The click was again necessary on a large orchestral gig I did with The Who. All of the percussionists and the section leader in each section of the orchestra had a click. The rest of the group followed the conductor AND the section leader.
Another very helpful situation is remote recording. No one is ever together. We did quite a bit of this during lockdown. It was very effective for getting a good solid take.
 

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Wait a second why is it.. Only the drummer (is it?) that gets the click.

Why doesn't the guitar player or bass player get the Click. (or do they?)
Has that ever happened? (besides the the won't get fooled again keyboard loop

Let's imagine the sax player out front has the click in his ear; he's the only one with the click; How'd that work out.
Or imagine the bass player in the band is the only one with a click in his ear
how would that work out

pretty sure at one time maybe still conductors out front watching a screen may have "had the click" visually maybe that he then conducted the whole band from

So is it that it's always the drummer that has the click false true or

Symphony Orchestras by way "of the baton" have the "click" be it au natural

Why can't the drummer- with his two batons err sticks- be trusted to be the click in a live setting with unlimited time or anytime a band is assembled (without time constrictions.

The only or one reason for a click is if something is to be exactly for example 2:45 seconds..
Usually the entire band gets the click. For one thing, there are parts of some songs the drummer doesn't play. You're going to trust guitarists and singers to keep you in time while you lay out? :). Second, there are occasions where you might play with backing tracks, midi controlled stage lighting, keyboard sequences, automatic guitar effects changes . All that stuff would be a disaster without everyone having the click in their ear.

I know there are some bands that only have the drummer playing to a click, but I would hate that. Time is everyone's responsibility, not just the drummer's.
 

GeneZ

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It’s part of the job. If you don’t want to be “slave to the master of the click”, then don’t take the job. But in the end, those who have truly mastered the click don’t follow it, it actually disappears as you are playing.
You don't understand a drummer who does not need a click track. Do you?
 

GeneZ

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Usually the entire band gets the click. For one thing, there are parts of some songs the drummer doesn't play. You're going to trust guitarists and singers to keep you in time while you lay out? :). Second, there are occasions where you might play with backing tracks, midi controlled stage lighting, keyboard sequences, automatic guitar effects changes . All that stuff would be a disaster without everyone having the click in their ear.

I know there are some bands that only have the drummer playing to a click, but I would hate that. Time is everyone's responsibility, not just the drummer's.
That is "Classical Music" playing technique.... Must play by the sheet. Its not jazz nor free for any style. It playing a show. Fine. The click has its place. We used to call it a "conductor." He has been replaced by a machine in part.

Then they are marching.. not dancing.
 

GeneZ

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Give the drummer that can't keep time, the click... Then, give him the door afterwards.

Control freaks can not discern between what is alive and dead. They just want it their way to prove they are in control.
 
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davezedlee

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I think my biggest issue with clicks is their precise numeric, value

a beat boxer could spit out any number of phrases (or any musician, for that matter), and they could ALL loop, and sound amazing

but none of them would be a perfect number ie 120.000 or 131.000 or 143.000 bpm

so i wonder if the “magic” in the phrasing gets lost across the millions of songs produced that way
 

tnsquint

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What if the drummer has been established to have excellent ability to keep time? And, feels a mood to speed something up for dramatic effect? You want to be mechanical at all times? Why even need a click track? If a drummer requires one? It may say something about the stability of his skill.

The drummer ends up listening to the "click dictator" and not to the other musicians like he should... It may be the reason the life we used to sense in music seems to be lacking too often these days... Its my opinion of course. But, I have seen famous pro's say they hate it as well.
The reason I argue this is simply that a professional drummer, in the current time frame, will be called on the use a click for any number of reasons:

- Remote recording (which is extremely common)
- Playing live to tracks (which is extremely common)
- Playing live to a click to sync an entire production (which is extremely common)
- Playing a video session (almost always)
- a producer or artist who just wants a song cut to a click (also, extremely common)

Very few drummers, if any, would ever be in a position to say no to these situations and keep a gig. These are facts for those wanting to be professional musicians in the current age and if someone wants to die on their art to argue that, “die on their art” is precisely what will happen.

This may not apply to mainstream jazz players (if that is the ONLY thing you ever play) or an orchestral musician or maybe not apply to a bar band player or someone that just plays for their own enjoyment. But I can say without any note of hesitation that I work with hundreds of artists a year and ALL of them play to a click either all the time, or when they have to.

My concern is young people that are wanting to get together the necessary skills to “make it” in the industry. Playing well to a click (and yes, clicks have tempo adjustments to account for any number of things) is an extremely important skill. Not being able to do so will ruin a career. Saying that it is not crucial is misleading by a long shot. That is not meant to be a personal attack, but young people need to know the truth.
 

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Peter Erskine played with a click with Steely Dan. One night he upped the click 1bpm on Hey Nineteen just to see if Fagen would notice. He did.
 

GeneZ

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I think my biggest issue with clicks is their precise numeric, value

a beat boxer could spit out any number of phrases (or any musician, for that matter), and they could ALL loop, and sound amazing

but none of them would be a perfect number ie 120.000 or 131.000 or 143.000 bpm

so i wonder if the “magic” in the phrasing gets lost across the millions of songs produced that way

Does anyone use a click track when playing a live performance? ...
 

tnsquint

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Does anyone use a click track when playing a live performance? ...
Gene, I know you don’t like click tracks and clearly you don’t need them for the playing you do, but believe me, tons of live artists play to clicks.

The real issue here is if one is playing as a member of a band and everyone in the band is dead set on not using a click, and that band can be your entire career, then great. If you play in situations where you never need a click, great. If a song was great in the 1950s or 1960s or even some of the 1970s, it was great without a click. We all know that.

Drummers that want to make a career for themselves in 2021 better be able to play to a click. That is all there is to it. The moment you sit down, never spending the time to work to and around a click, and the producer starts asking for the click, will be a frightening (and probably a gig-losing) moment indeed.
 

GeneZ

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I also disagree with using a click live. A good drummer is supposed to be like a metronome, but also should allow the music to breathe and accelerate/decelerate a little bit here and there. Bands that record to click tracks often use their recording software to put in accelerando and decelerando after the fact, actually.

It is definitely important to start a song at the right tempo. One way to do it is to figure out the bpm and then have the drummer or band leader check a metronome and then count off the tempo. However, in my experience if I just sing the lyrics in my head it usually locks me right into the tempo. Too fast and you can't get the words out. Too slow and the words are dragging. So I can get the right tempo within a couple bpm just by hearing the vocals in my head (or the lead line if it's an instrumental).

I have played with drummers that speed up like mad. It's a common and very annoying problem. That's why good drummers who can keep time are worth their weight in gold. (And I have one right now!). I did play in a band for a while with a drummer that knew he had a problem. He wrote down all the tempos of all the songs and used headphones with a click track to start the song and kept it on throughout to keep himself on tempo. The music didn't breathe as much as I would want, but it was certainly better than the alternative.

Finally, sometimes you are playing a song and it is dragging just a little, or feels just a hair fast. (Of course, using a click could help prevent this problem, at the expense of more tempo dynamics.) A good band can perceive this and adjust on the fly. Typically this works best if there is a clear band leader who is acting as the "conductor". I've become the conductor in my current band mostly by default. I play guitar so it's easy for everyone to see me: I can twist my body around and look at everyone. The bass player could do it, but he's more introverted. I lock in with the drummer, give hand signals as needed occasionally, and everyone follows me and the drummer.

One exception would be if you are in a band that uses a lot of loops or pre-recorded tracks. Then you pretty much have to use a click track or else the band will drift out of synch with the loops. I've been in bands that do this and over time grew to hate it as kind of a necessary evil at the time for a few key songs.

https://www.tdpri.com/threads/if-you-dont-play-to-a-click.607049/#post-6751741
 

tnsquint

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I also disagree with using a click live. A good drummer is supposed to be like a metronome, but also should allow the music to breathe and accelerate/decelerate a little bit here and there. Bands that record to click tracks often use their recording software to put in accelerando and decelerando after the fact, actually.

It is definitely important to start a song at the right tempo. One way to do it is to figure out the bpm and then have the drummer or band leader check a metronome and then count off the tempo. However, in my experience if I just sing the lyrics in my head it usually locks me right into the tempo. Too fast and you can't get the words out. Too slow and the words are dragging. So I can get the right tempo within a couple bpm just by hearing the vocals in my head (or the lead line if it's an instrumental).

I have played with drummers that speed up like mad. It's a common and very annoying problem. That's why good drummers who can keep time are worth their weight in gold. (And I have one right now!). I did play in a band for a while with a drummer that knew he had a problem. He wrote down all the tempos of all the songs and used headphones with a click track to start the song and kept it on throughout to keep himself on tempo. The music didn't breathe as much as I would want, but it was certainly better than the alternative.

Finally, sometimes you are playing a song and it is dragging just a little, or feels just a hair fast. (Of course, using a click could help prevent this problem, at the expense of more tempo dynamics.) A good band can perceive this and adjust on the fly. Typically this works best if there is a clear band leader who is acting as the "conductor". I've become the conductor in my current band mostly by default. I play guitar so it's easy for everyone to see me: I can twist my body around and look at everyone. The bass player could do it, but he's more introverted. I lock in with the drummer, give hand signals as needed occasionally, and everyone follows me and the drummer.

One exception would be if you are in a band that uses a lot of loops or pre-recorded tracks. Then you pretty much have to use a click track or else the band will drift out of synch with the loops. I've been in bands that do this and over time grew to hate it as kind of a necessary evil at the time for a few key songs.

https://www.tdpri.com/threads/if-you-dont-play-to-a-click.607049/#post-6751741
Again, your opinion is that you don’t like click tracks. My comments are simply based on the absolute fact that playing to a click is a necessary skill. I just produced a televised awards show with 15 live acts. All of them played to a click as their preference. I just spent a day with an artist shooting an on location video series. Every take of every song was to a click.

Not every live performance I work with is to a click, but I bet at least 80% are. So for young drummers out there reading any of this thread that want to earn a living playing music, playing well to a click is as important as developing any rudiment. That is an undeniable fact.
 
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GeneZ

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Again, your opinion is that you don’t like click tracks. My comments are simply based on the absolute fact that playing to a click is a necessary skill. I just produced a televised awards show with 15 live acts. All of them played to a click as their preference. I just spent a day with an artist shooting an on location video series. Every take of every song was to a click.

Not every live performance I work with is to a click, but I bet at least 80% are. So for young drummers out there reading any of this thread that want to earn a living playing music, playing well to a click is as important as developing any rudiment. That is an undeniable fact.
Sorry.. That was not my opinion. I gave a link.
 

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Not really not your opinion was it. Maybe you've changed your opinion over the course of this thread.
 


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