DO ANY OF YOU GRUNT WHEN YOU PLAY?

CC Cirillo

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Just wondering if any of you make guttural noises when you play as I apparently do.

A few years back a bandmate started recording rehearsals. One day he hands me some headphones: “You might want to listen to your background vocals on this track.” I’m grunting and moaning as I play a particularly brisk part. Bonhamish moans.

The last time I was in a studio with a different band, the engineer was sliding bars and at one point isolated me. I winced expecting to hear grunts, but there were none. Perhaps with the position of the mics it wasn’t as detectable, or maybe since the tune was more laid back I just wasn’t grunting. I’m pretty sure I do it when the BPMs are over 110.

I’ve never had anyone notice it in person when I’m playing/rehearsing, and I’ve had bandmates stand very close to me on stages, but then again it’s pretty loud in the engine room.

Anybody make sounds?
 

Ian S

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I don't think I do, none that I'm aware of anyway. But I've always found it very interesting when players make audible noises while playing. It's debatable but I never found it bothersome, even in more obvious cases like Keith Jarret. Sometimes it even adds something special to the sounds, as with Pat Metheny or Abdulllah Ibrahim(Dollar Brand) their high pitch humming along with their single note lines is actually quite beautiful to my ears.

I also get a kick out of players whose mouths move and their faces contort into funny expressions. It's sort of like the musical Holy Ghost grabs them. I think it's awesome to lose yourself in the moment to that degree. I've never seen footage of myself while playing so I don't know if I make faces either..
 

Pat A Flafla

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I don't think I do, none that I'm aware of anyway. But I've always found it very interesting when players make audible noises while playing. It's debatable but I never found it bothersome, even in more obvious cases like Keith Jarret. Sometimes it even adds something special to the sounds, as with Pat Metheny or Abdulllah Ibrahim(Dollar Brand) their high pitch humming along with their single note lines is actually quite beautiful to my ears.

I also get a kick out of players whose mouths move and their faces contort into funny expressions. It's sort of like the musical Holy Ghost grabs them. I think it's awesome to lose yourself in the moment to that degree. I've never seen footage of myself while playing so I don't know if I make faces either..
I came here to liken my occasional goofy utterances to Keith's. I usually play with loud bands, so it's not a big deal. I don't get nearly as stoked at soft gigs, so it's never come up then.
 

JazzDrumGuy

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Not that I know of. When I'm gigging, I know I make a lot of frowns because I know I'm hacking along even though the positive crowd reaction tells me otherwise.

When I'm playing jazz, which is usually by myself at my house, I sing the bass lines in my head.....and sometimes out loud.....
 

Cauldronics

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Yup! I've had it take me out of my zone a few times. I tend to grunt fairly loud during ambitious roundhouse fills or very uptempo, loud playing. I don't do it as much anymore (I don't think) but that might be from playing less of the aforementioned than I used to. I have picked up more control and relax more than I did 20 years ago, too.
 

Cauldronics

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I don't think I do, none that I'm aware of anyway. But I've always found it very interesting when players make audible noises while playing. It's debatable but I never found it bothersome, even in more obvious cases like Keith Jarret. Sometimes it even adds something special to the sounds, as with Pat Metheny or Abdulllah Ibrahim(Dollar Brand) their high pitch humming along with their single note lines is actually quite beautiful to my ears.

I also get a kick out of players whose mouths move and their faces contort into funny expressions. It's sort of like the musical Holy Ghost grabs them. I think it's awesome to lose yourself in the moment to that degree. I've never seen footage of myself while playing so I don't know if I make faces either..
Mingus is another one who made a lot of vocal noise when playing. Sometimes intentional, sometimes not, I'd guess.

I was told I make popping movements with my face when playing. There was a video of it somewhere. Don't know if I still do.
 

hsosdrum

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Yep, I unconsciously grunt and growl almost continually when I play; been doing it for decades. (Louie Bellson used to do it too.) It's a good thing our instrument is loud enough to mask it, otherwise I'd sound like Keith Jarret. My recording setup has never picked it up — my overhead mics are a couple of feet higher than my head.
 

hsosdrum

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Depends on what i eat before a show. Its tough to fart on those drum stools though, if you dont time it right, you got a problem:eek:
This is another matter entirely. I've often said that if reincarnation is real, the one thing I DON'T want to come back as is my drum throne!
 

piccupstix

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Pat A Flafla

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I unknowingly did (26 years) up until my band found out I can sing and got me a headset mic. Cured that really quick.
No longer use a headset.
I sing pretty well, but I never get a mic because they know I'll say things like, "The singer's had enough. Please stop bringing him shots."
 

Squirrel Man

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So I don't when I practice even playing to songs with headphones but I do sort of hum along when playing with musicians, kind of a head thing with me and helps me organize what I'm doing and preparing for what's coming up.

It never was an issue when I played with bands 20 years ago but... over 30 years ago when I was in a garage band right out of high school and I never really realized it but we were doing an Iron Maiden tune so it was always loud, 2 minutes to midnight - the part where it softens up right before the third chorus my bandmates caught me grunting something out and immediately ceased playing and laughter ensued.

It became a standing joke, fondly nonetheless.
 

audiochurch

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Man, when I used to play punk/hardcore,I would lose my voice every gig. I think I grunted, screamed, sang, and played with every ounce of my being those gigs.
 

Ian S

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No. But, WTH is that noise Keith Jarrett makes when he plays?
Yeah, I certainly understand this. It usually doesn't bother me much and I love his playing in general, so I put up with the few times per record when it gets really loud and nasally.
 

goodcat1337

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I catch myself gritting my teeth a lot, and not grunting or growling, but I’ll hum a single note in whatever key the song is in. But it’ll just be one long hum until I realize I’m doing it. Just a “mmmmmmmmmmmmmm”
 


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