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> Rage Against The Machines - Or Not ?
Staffy
post Apr 13 2010, 11:26 PM
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I have written on this topic before, but since my investigations got a little further, I want to share my new experiences.
The thing basically is: As an "old-school" player, playing with real musicians mostly in the whole life, I can't simply play to backings tracks without sounding "square" in some way. I can't simply make the timing fit to a static, programmed background decent enough. It helps if I play the bass manually and fixing around with the drums, but still it doesn't sound "real".

So whats the point discussion this? Well, the new players coming round doesn't seems to have a problem with this, since they started out playing with metronome backing tracks, but how will they sound with a "real" band? Does it also apply the other way round? Eg. do they have problems keeping time with real musicians? Are the music today going towards a "quantized" type of playing? Looking at most of the lessons here, they consists mostly of triplets, sixteenths, eigh-notes etc. which is typically quantized timing. If one study for example guitar players like Van Halen, Allan Holdsworth, Hendrix - there are a lot of tuplets (eg. 5,7,9 shapes)

So the point here is - are the art of guitar playing getting as boring as the keyboard playing today? (personal thought, even that there are some fantastic piano-players around)

Another issue that is most frustrating is that even the smallest latency in the sound-card forces You to play "forced" in order to sound "in time", instead of playing relaxed on the beat - otherwise it will sound bad imo.

So what Your experiences on these topics guy's? Just shoot, I'm most interested in what You think!!!

//Staffay


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Santiago Diaz Ga...
post Apr 14 2010, 04:48 AM
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Mmm... I grew up playing with metronome and backing tracks and I think it didn't effected in the negative way on my playing with a real band. But I think it is just a matter of how you grew up playing and how you feel more confortable playing with


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sted
post Apr 14 2010, 01:00 PM
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I kind of agree with Staffy here, I played lots of gigs to backing tracks but when I got a real band the feel was really different, because I had other musicians they would play their own timing to suit the track and retard certain parts and play behind the beat in others, the dynamic was very different, also playing to backings meant the same thing over and over, with band you can mix things up, change the volume, extend solos, you start to really feed off each other and feel the music more. tongue.gif
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blindwillie
post Apr 14 2010, 01:49 PM
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The interaction between musicians is what makes it interesting, puts some tension and anticipation into the music.
To bad if that will be lost.

This post has been edited by blindwillie: Apr 14 2010, 01:50 PM


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jstcrsn
post Apr 14 2010, 01:53 PM
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this is why i have mastered neither- playing with a click or a drummer blink.gif
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JVM
post Apr 14 2010, 02:39 PM
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QUOTE (sted @ Apr 14 2010, 07:00 AM) *
I kind of agree with Staffy here, I played lots of gigs to backing tracks but when I got a real band the feel was really different, because I had other musicians they would play their own timing to suit the track and retard certain parts and play behind the beat in others, the dynamic was very different, also playing to backings meant the same thing over and over, with band you can mix things up, change the volume, extend solos, you start to really feed off each other and feel the music more. tongue.gif


I feel the same. It pretty much goes without saying that live music with real musicians is almost always going to be more interesting and dynamic than with a computer.

However, I think there is something interesting and hypnotic about the repetitiveness and simplicity of a programmed beat. And of course, it doesn't have to be simple at all, you can really do them up. Already we're getting close to emulating a live drummer for example, but I think that is not the point.


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The Uncreator
post Apr 14 2010, 02:45 PM
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To be honest it depends on the drummer. If he can keep time it wont be a problem. Like everyone here i grew up to metronomes and such, But have played with enough drummers to know a good drummer can keep time, And when I play with a band it will be as natural as it is with the metronome. That said, I have played with drummers who switch tempos with every bar, by a range of like 5-10 bpm, Its IMPOSSIBLE to keep time then. laugh.gif
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Adrian Figallo
post Apr 14 2010, 02:48 PM
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you are right man, for me it is HARD to get into the band context after a long period of making lessons or youtube videos, the vibe is different, and playing in a band context it is real a musical context, even a try to make lessons very musical oriented.

but just have a beer or two and forget about all the theory and rules you know and it will be fine, at least it works for me smile.gif

Also you gotta get used to it, for example drummers play fills faster, and slow tempo songs softer, bass players sometimes go out of tempo when they're playing the bassiests notes, a song with a lot of delays is hardly on tempo, things like that smile.gif


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Artemus
post Apr 14 2010, 04:15 PM
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Ignoring your personal opinion of keyboard players wink.gif I can only relate to this in terms of the way I teach piano, but I believe my point will relate to your original matter of discussion.
Often I am faced with teaching students how to play a passage accurately but at the same time make the music "musical". This is especially true in the faster passages involving scale runs and flourishes, akin to the shred guitar style of playing. To practice, it is essential to learn and play in the most mechanical way possible, not simply to understand such aspects as rhythm/grouping/phrasing but also instill the muscle memory with the "fundamental" way of playing such a passage.
Once this is mastered, it inevitably sounds cold, empty and unmusical, so I then say - play the passage again, keeping to the tempo as much as possible, but focus on bringing out a certain phrase or dynamic marking. For more musical (cantabile) lines, sing the melody and play along with what you sing. As long as the focus has been on accuracy and keeping tempo, there is enough control to be able to mould the music into whatever sonic landscape you desire. Without this approach, the music will 9 times out of 10 sound sloppy and uncontrolled, which detracts from any emotion that may be put into the music.

I read somewhere that Chopin played with an incredibly regular, accurate tempo but his performances were anything but mechanical by the way melodies were brought out by ever so slightly pushing and pulling the notes of the melody in and out of time - a gentle rubato - which contrasted with the perfect time keeping of what the rest of the music was doing - something that would be nigh impossible without first being able to play the music in perfect time.

In summary, it is my opinion that the best approach is the mechanical approach to learning because this affords the amount of control necessary to play something musically without losing accuracy, or feeling that your fingers are "running away" from you.

First master your fingers. THEN tell them what to do.. not the other way around


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Staffy
post Apr 14 2010, 04:29 PM
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QUOTE (Artemus @ Apr 14 2010, 05:15 PM) *
Ignoring your personal opinion of keyboard players wink.gif I can only relate to this in terms of the way I teach piano, but I believe my point will relate to your original matter of discussion.
Often I am faced with teaching students how to play a passage accurately but at the same time make the music "musical". This is especially true in the faster passages involving scale runs and flourishes, akin to the shred guitar style of playing. To practice, it is essential to learn and play in the most mechanical way possible, not simply to understand such aspects as rhythm/grouping/phrasing but also instill the muscle memory with the "fundamental" way of playing such a passage.
Once this is mastered, it inevitably sounds cold, empty and unmusical, so I then say - play the passage again, keeping to the tempo as much as possible, but focus on bringing out a certain phrase or dynamic marking. For more musical (cantabile) lines, sing the melody and play along with what you sing. As long as the focus has been on accuracy and keeping tempo, there is enough control to be able to mould the music into whatever sonic landscape you desire. Without this approach, the music will 9 times out of 10 sound sloppy and uncontrolled, which detracts from any emotion that may be put into the music.

I read somewhere that Chopin played with an incredibly regular, accurate tempo but his performances were anything but mechanical by the way melodies were brought out by ever so slightly pushing and pulling the notes of the melody in and out of time - a gentle rubato - which contrasted with the perfect time keeping of what the rest of the music was doing - something that would be nigh impossible without first being able to play the music in perfect time.

In summary, it is my opinion that the best approach is the mechanical approach to learning because this affords the amount of control necessary to play something musically without losing accuracy, or feeling that your fingers are "running away" from you.

First master your fingers. THEN tell them what to do.. not the other way around


This is most interesting. I know a lot of really good classical trained musicians with amazing technique - but none of them can play a simple jazz standard like "All of me" decent, since they do it with an awful timing. I will go as far as saying that classical timing and rock/jazz timing is two totally different things. And then we got the computer timing, which is obviously the most accurate - but less musical imo.

I agree to that using metronome/backing tracks is a good way to practice, but still I think that is also affects the music when it comes down to a live performance. I heard drummers that learned to play like the tracks on Top 20 - that was really programmed from the start, but it just bored me since they doesn't groove anything at all. Also there's a pattern nowaday's that the musicians practicing a lot alone, instead of getting together and play some real music. To me, I think this is a pity and the music itself will suffer since nothing can be more creative than playing with real human beeings.

//Staffay




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fkalich
post Apr 14 2010, 06:49 PM
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I don't believe in using such (metronome and backing tracks) in practice nearly as much as most here do (apparently). I wonder if they are not counterproductive altogether. Not sure. But I definitely don't believe in using them as much as most seem to.

edit: after thinking, yeah, if you do practice a good deal without artificial rhythm support, and if you *DON'T* push the speed faster than you can handle without sacrificing artistic quality, maybe a good thing, probably. At least those are my standards. Take tapping. I rarely hear tapping that I consider great. Here is one example of what I consider really good tapping. Guys sure, keep up, but you don't hear this kind of bounce to the cadence. There is a difference between just keeping up with the BPM, and keeping up and having the life in your play that Juan exhibits here. I firmly believe that this is only achieved by practicing with high quality, and gradually building up, never sacrificing quality for speed. A lot of very experienced guys say that, but then often as not violate this maxim themselves, only they violate it at higher speeds than more intermediate players.

https://www.guitarmasterclass.net/solo-guit...valero-tapping/

This post has been edited by fkalich: Apr 14 2010, 09:09 PM
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Ivan Milenkovic
post Apr 19 2010, 12:14 PM
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Interesting points Staffay. I Also notice music is progressing towards quantized rhythm forms, but I'm not sure in what extent, and if it is a short term or long term trend. It's connected with technology and the way people are making music today - sure, but there are lots of music that is not falling into this trend, so I cannot make decisions without facts.
However, we as humans have natural ability to determine very precisely if something is out of beat. This makes the music human. What is crucial for musicians is to first understand perfectly the rhythm theory, apply it through practice, and then use their creativity to play with rhythm. There are so many options for playing with rhythm, and knowing only a few of them can only limit a person as a musician. This is why I recommend practicing every phrase with all kinds of note durations and time signatures. This way a musician really gets a feel for various rhythmical patterns, accents - compared to a player who focuses solely on 8th/16th notes in 4/4 bar for example.
Playing before and after the beat is something that comes with time and experience, as you say, you've been in the business long time and achieved that skill - naturally. In time musicians achieve that skill, and they can determine what type of playing fits the track best. No way in doing this for a young musician who is not sure how to keep the beat, let alone to achieve the control of any kind of advanced rhythmic movement.


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