Cover Tunes and original tempo (too slow?)

hector48

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I'm playing drums in a rock band doing cover tunes.
I often find that the band, as a whole, is pushing to play the songs a bit faster than the original recording, especially on recordings that are not fast originally.
Do you, as the time keeper, try to slow it down, or give in and accept that the song should be played faster, when playing live?
 

hector48

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Let me also note that when I hear the original band playing their own song live, the tempo often seems faster than the recording as well.
 

drumstuff66

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I'll add to bolweevil's thought: I'll sometimes say to the band if it feels a little slow live, we're probably closer than you think without rushing it...

I also use an old beatbug to agree on tempos in rehearsal, or after hearing a live recording, so everyone can agree to a good live tempo...
 

repete

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There’s faster and there’s too fast. I don’t know if the audience can tell the difference if it’s a little faster but we tried to play covers close to the original tempo without really worrying about it being a little faster sometimes. The crowds seem to like dancing to faster songs
 

ARGuy

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I think the whole band is the time keeper, not just the drummer. Unless you're playing as a duo, you're outnumbered and if enough of the band wants to play it faster it's going to go faster unless you're willing to create a train wreck every time the tempo creeps past a point that you're comfortable with. You need to have some way of measuring where you are tempo-wise, something with a number. A band member(s) saying "That feels too slow!" really means nothing.
 

MrYikes

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and I am very sure that I wouldn't last a night playing with Ray Charles playing Georgia at 10 beats per minute. (though I really would have liked to try.)
 

b/o 402

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I find, when playing live, just adding +2 bpm to the recorded tempo is about right. Just enough to goose the energy, without losing the feel. See if that works for you.
 

CherryClassic

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I think that happens with all musicians in general. Unless they are playing to a click device, which I despise but that's just me. I believe a true musician wants to feel the music as if their playing with their hearts. It doesn't have to be the exact tempo but a speed the audience can feel an attachment to.

It's kind of funny though, some of my friends are streaming YouTube as a loner during this 19 thing. They will start with the guitar at much faster tempo then start singing and trying to fit in the words. And I'm thinking; how am I suppose to dance to that? But I think it's just natural, people tend to rush through things especially if they don't have their heart into that song. Plus I'm thinking, he probably doesn't know how to dance. LOL

sherm
 

Castnblast

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I think there is always a tempo where the song is going to sit best for all involved. If you do a simple voice memo recording with a phone, you find out quickly if the tune is in the pocket or not. Then discuss as a group and adjust accordingly
 

CherryClassic

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I think the whole band is the time keeper, not just the drummer. Unless you're playing as a duo, you're outnumbered and if enough of the band wants to play it faster it's going to go faster unless you're willing to create a train wreck every time the tempo creeps past a point that you're comfortable with. You need to have some way of measuring where you are tempo-wise, something with a number. A band member(s) saying "That feels too slow!" really means nothing.
Yes, and when you begin to feel the train wreak coming lock in with the bass man and it will pull together. You guys should be working together. I always say and learned a loooong time ago the bass is the metronome for the band and dancers dance to the drums. I think the dancers dance to the punch of the bass drum and feel the rhythm them fall in love with the music.

sherm
 

hector48

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My biggest issue is when the song starts with guitar.
Our guitarist gets excited and starts songs too fast.
What I started to do is give him a stick click tempo or hi hat before he starts to reign him in a little.
 

Renoroger

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My $.02 here. I have played covers for a living since the early 70s and it wasn’t until the advent of sequencing in the middle 80s did the tempo finally get under control. It helped me a great deal with trust in my own tempo, which is really advantageous when the keyboard player has a coffee cup full of coffee and the bass player has a coffee cup full of bourbon. I try to rehearse with the band with a metronome so the players are accustomed to only hearing the song at the right tempo. Unless it was an extreme case, one of the bands I was in traditionally bumped up the tempo by 4 bpm to what we called “show tempo“. My experience has often been when playing on stage with a new song where we are still becoming familiar with lyrics and chords it’s “too fast“, after the song is old hat it’s “too slow“! My dB-66 (Dr.Beat, a la Vinnie with Sting) has often been my strongest ally on stage. And when the band realizes that I can put something on the clock at any point they begin to trust my tempo a bit more. It is an imperfect world and I have imperfect time but this helps me hold it more toward the center. Good luck!...
 

Peterk256

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I look up the original BPM on https://tunebat.com/ and compare it to my liveBPM app readings during rehearsal. If there is a big discrepancy or a disagreement on tempo I discuss it with my band mates. If we decide it should be a different tempo than the original at least we have some basis of an informed decision.
 

ThomFloor

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Record and listen to band practice to hear if its too fast. Most bands do play faster live, but as said above, too fast then sounds amateurish.
This can be a major frustration with a band, you are playing the right tempo but they think it drags, til the guitarist or keyboardist finds they can't work all their solo notes in ....and they wonder why.
I too bring livebpm to band practice and it quickly settles any tempo debates.
 

Fat Drummer

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I do agree that most live shows mark the tempo just a but quicker to keep the energy up a tick. I know everyone has a different internal clock but mine is pretty easy... I honestly can not precive a single BPM change up or down! I can feel 2 and I can hear 3. Most of the larger artist shows I have been on played everything up 3 to 5 BMP by design.

In my own cover bands I am pretty flexable to the consensus, I don't mind a 3 to 5 bump as long as we stay there and dont use that number as a launching pad! But on occasion the orgional tempo is to engrained into the feel and groove of the song to mess with it. Some songs just don't have the right feel or persionility speed up OR slowed down!
 
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