Humbly seeking some advice

DrumWhipper

Very well Known Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
May 6, 2016
Messages
1,048
Reaction score
924
Location
Arkansas
I’ve recently been working to become more proficient with a click track and have been running one in live shows for the past few months. I have songs where I’m solid and locked in, then I have some where I feel like the guitar or bass is pushing, and I find myself inevitably going with them when I try to pull them back in and I feel like they aren’t coming with me.

The artist I play for has noticed this and made mention of it. I told him that he is correct and that I have pulled away at times because I didn’t want to wreck the song live on stage if they begin to push and pull away from me.

The vast majority of the time I’m the only one on the click. Last night we added the click to the lead vocalist’s ears as well which is when he noticed the issue.

How should I work to combat this issue? I know I should always lock in, but I worry about wrecking the song when other musicians not hearing the click push the tempo and it’s obvious they are in front of me and not with me.

I’m not afraid to work more or to take pointers and suggestions.
 

thejohnlec

Very well Known Member
Joined
Sep 14, 2017
Messages
1,060
Reaction score
1,024
Location
Ohio Valley
Is everyone else in the band using in ears? If so, you may want to suggest that the whole band have the click in their ears as well.

Otherwise, a respectful conversation during a rehearsal to let the band know what you and the singer are hearing and trying to accomplish. It’s YOUR job to set the tempo, but it’s EVERYONE’S job to keep the time. Any musician who doesn’t realize this needs to be informed of it.

That being said, there is room to move with the time without sacrificing the tempo if things onstage get a little more amped up. This can be accomplished even with a click.

Hope this helps!
 

Trilock_Gurtu

Very well Known Member
Joined
Jan 8, 2017
Messages
1,472
Reaction score
1,701
Location
Vancouver, BC, Canada
Been there. If the other players aren't going to have a click, then it has to be made perfectly clear to the other musicians - follow me. This comes down to communication in a group setting, discussing the issue, so everyone is on the same page, plus you cover your butt.
 
Last edited:

DrumWhipper

Very well Known Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
May 6, 2016
Messages
1,048
Reaction score
924
Location
Arkansas
Rest of the band is on monitors, not using in ears.
 

bpaluzzi

DFO Veteran
Joined
Jan 8, 2008
Messages
1,672
Reaction score
2,620
Location
SF Bay Area
Been there. If the other players aren't going to have a click, then it has to be made perfectly clear to the other musicians - follow me. This comes down to communication in a group setting, discussing this issue, so everyone is on the same page, plus you cover your butt.
Also, if you’re the only one on the click, it means you need to keep tempo even when the drums aren’t “supposed to” be playing. Quarters on the hat / stick clicks. Anything to keep a pulse going.
 

DrumWhipper

Very well Known Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
May 6, 2016
Messages
1,048
Reaction score
924
Location
Arkansas
Also, if you’re the only one on the click, it means you need to keep tempo even when the drums aren’t “supposed to” be playing. Quarters on the hat / stick clicks. Anything to keep a pulse going.
Yep. I’m keeping time on the hats

 

Tornado

DFO Master
Silver Supporting Member
Joined
Sep 6, 2017
Messages
4,359
Reaction score
5,626
Location
Dallas
What's the reason the other guys can't get the click too? That's nuts. I would hate that.
 

JDA

DFO Star
Silver Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 7, 2005
Messages
26,851
Reaction score
15,720
Location
Jeannette, Pa.
Like to hear that played without any click.
 
Last edited:

drums1225

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 23, 2017
Messages
377
Reaction score
691
Location
New York, USA
Why are you using a click on gigs? Simply to get the right starting tempo and hold it there, or are you using backing tracks?

The only time I play to a click on gigs is when there are backing tracks. Everyone in the band hears the click (or at least has the option to) in their in-ear monitors, but in the absence of in-ears, you can't really pump click through the monitors for obvious reasons.

Bottom line, you shouldn't go with the guys who are pushing and pulling the time. If you're locked to the click, they need to come to you. It's their issue to fix, and it's most often because they're not really listening and are not relaxed. Try rehearsing with the click coming out of the PA so they can begin to hear their tendencies. Most often, it's an awareness thing. If they don't realize there's a problem, they're not going to venture to fix it.
 

Doof

DFO Veteran
Joined
Feb 20, 2007
Messages
1,779
Reaction score
191
As said above, unless there are backing tracks or visual sequences to that are part of the show (or something specifically demanded by a band leader), I leave the click to the studio or practice only.

I’ve played with some musicians that don’t have perfect time, but it’s never been such that the audience would notice.

Getting the correct tempo for count in from some type of metronome is one thing, but I like the song to feel live. The real pros can make it feel good and ‘breathe’ behind a click. I’m just not one of those.
 

mfk252

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 21, 2013
Messages
46
Reaction score
32
Here are a few suggestions that I've tried in the past:
1) talk to the band and identify the songs with the issues and ask your bandmates for more eye contact with you.
2) Record the rehearsals on a DAW with a click- then you can show the people that are pulling away from the click
3) Try the liveBPM app - it gives you a visual indication of your tempo with a graph so the tempo can breathe a bit without going off the rails
4) Turn down the rhythmic offenders in your IEMs (or turn up the people with good time)
 

TPC

Very well Known Member
Joined
Aug 8, 2019
Messages
1,017
Reaction score
1,408
Location
San Pablo, CA
The artist I play for has noticed this and made mention of it. I told him that he is correct and that I have pulled away at times because I didn’t want to wreck the song live on stage if they begin to push and pull away from me.


How should I work to combat this issue?
If you’re the only one on the click (bad idea doomed to failure), and the leader is mentioning that you’re moving away from the click, then it’s apparent that your main job is to lock into the click. If the rushers usher in a train wreck, it’s on them. You can only do one of the two things, bend and try to keep things from crashing, or lock into the click.

Of course, as others have said, have the discussion with the rushers, etc., etc. But this rarely works. If they are hearing the tune speeding up in their mind’s ear, that ain’t gonna change anytime soon. So you take ownership of the time, and they can own the wreckage.

The better solutions are, imo, everyone gets the click, or no one gets the click. Good luck, I’ve been there and it ain’t easy.
 

Tornado

DFO Master
Silver Supporting Member
Joined
Sep 6, 2017
Messages
4,359
Reaction score
5,626
Location
Dallas
4) Turn down the rhythmic offenders in your IEMs (or turn up the people with good time)
This is your best bet. If you and you alone are a slave to the click? Screw 'em. The click is your God.
If they're going to abnegate their responsibility to keep good time by refusing a click, let them train wreck until they wise up. I mean, do that in rehearsal if you have them... But this is an unfair and angering position they have put you in.
 

Houndog

DFO Master
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 10, 2005
Messages
5,709
Reaction score
6,157
Location
Oklahoma City
Funny how guitarists always like act tempo is never an issue for them .
I tried being the only one with a click .
The others immediately jumped ahead of it .
I just turned it off , I’m not going to argue with guys that have degrees in music ..
 

VintageUSA

Very well Known Member
Joined
Mar 3, 2016
Messages
1,205
Reaction score
439
Location
The South
I have one guitarist in my band that has trouble with tempo (usually too slow) when he is the song's beginning solo instrument.
Otherwise, the band always follows me.
I've found that with experienced bandmates, this is rarely a problem.
 

Seb77

DFO Master
Joined
Apr 11, 2013
Messages
3,655
Reaction score
2,319
Location
Germany
Also, if you’re the only one on the click, it means you need to keep tempo even when the drums aren’t “supposed to” be playing. Quarters on the hat / stick clicks. Anything to keep a pulse going.
I once recorded to a click; a two-bar break comes up, horns couldn't hold the tempo for that long, I had to play hh throughout. It could be muted later, but live it'd be a pity if I had to do that.

One aspect that hasn't been mentioned: I think there is a dimension of authority that can people make you follow more or less. I'm not always in control of that myself, but I know when I hear it with other drummers. In short, groove harder!
 


Top