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Re: Can I have your feedback?

On 6/6/12 2:23 PM, Rainer Thelonius Balthasar Straschill wrote:
I, too, had been hearing what rick describes (the inaccurateness that is destracting, even a little disturbing when the drums are first laid down), then I found that when the track develops that it works like that "run of the mill groove with a twist" effect - and was curious what others, especially guys like "I learned to play precisely like a drum machine with any swing setting in single-percent steps" Rick perceived.

Then again: if this was unintended, it might just be that the next time you play it, it will end up just a tad bit too sloppy to work well, so it might be advisable to practice this. If it was by design - then well done imo ;).

Very astute observation, Rainer.
Sometimes a quite lumpy performed loop will work really organically as a piece of music proceeds.

In lectures about live looping and timing to the Percussion Arts Seminar annual convention, I have pointed out how one can use an inaccurate loop by how the subsequent tracks fall are composed to lay on top of it.

Unfortunately, if it's perceived as lumpy to begin with, you get off to a 'bad start' with the audience.

I've played with musicians from many different world cultures that have "molays" or rhythmic grooves that vary quite a bit from metronomically quantized time. From the way Algerians play their triplets to the way Rio Brazilians perform their parts on Ganza, Repinique, Caixa-Ca and Tamborim; the way Malinkan djembe drummers 'swing' their djembe parts in a way that is NOT triplet swing to the way New Orleans' Second Line drummers barely swing their parts in a way that is not even consistent, there are great grooves in the world that are not metronomic, but the fact of the matter is, those different feels have been worked out over dozens to hundreds of years with the very
best and most accomplished musicians in the culture.

Some drummers groove their asses off......some don't. There are metronomically and anally clean trapset drummers who could get a 'Gold Medal' in the drumming Olympics who are painful to listen to from my experience.

But.........and it's a huge 'but', there is such a thing as playing rhythmically inaccurate parts that sound 'wrong' in most people's

To me, I think it behooves anyone to learn how to play as perfectly metronomic as possible........to put long,long hours
into being as 'robot-like' as possible.

An early mentor of mine (a guitarist) said, "Every song can groove at every tempo <with the caveat of tempi that fit into human entrainment tolerances, of course>.............He said, "It's your job to FIND the groove at any given tempo." It was one of many, many wise things that he taught me. To play 'Sunshine of your Love' at 80 BPM, you are going to have to play the snare drum significantly behind the beat to make the slow tempo feel *heavier* just as you may need to play perfectly metronomic if you take the same tune at 140 BPM.

If you can groove at any speed, then it becomes very much easier to hear how other musicians put their own feel (playing ahead of the beat, behind the beat, swing it, stretching rhythms (like Afro-Cuban/Brazilian drummers).

I, myself, after having to learn how to play to click tracks, drum machines and sequencers in those 80's recording sessions that Andy is so anxious to get away from (and I feel ya, Andy, on that one) I remember that I had to drive around with the famous "Bateria Nota 10" cassette in my car, just listening to the Brazilian musicians's feel for hours at a time before I began to
'get' what they were doing.

Now that we live in the computer age, it is not difficult to take an audio sample wave form and analyze it as it lays against a perfectly quantized drum machine part.............move your midi notes to coincide with the sampled wave form's *feel*; loop it and then play to it over and over until you get how the rhythm feels (and how it varies from *perfect*). I wish I'd had these tools in the late 70's and throughout the 80's..............it's amazing how we can use our technology (and, indeed, our live loopers) to teach ourselves how to play with "what is" as opposed to what we wish it is.

The worst thing that can happen, practicing with a metronome is that you can become a much deeper musician, rhythmically speaking.

From my experience, rhythmically deep musicians are pretty rare. A lot of musicians have a good feel but are limited in what else they can do besides what they know or naturally intuit. Very few have really gone the extra mile and worked their
asses off getting *as tight as you can be*.

  Everyone I've ever met who has done that work,  to be truthful, was
at the top of their game and many have been what their cultures would call, "Masters".

with respect,
Rick Walker