Discussion:
Best drummer at keeping time?
(too old to reply)
John Doe
2012-01-04 03:33:37 UTC
Permalink
Obviously being able to keep time helps (although I get this weird
but familiar feeling that somebody is going to say that keeping
time is a ridiculous measure).

Is keeping time used to practice drumming? It would be an
objective measure. Is there ever such a contest to see who can
keep the best time? If so, who is/was the best? I'm a layman. For
all I know, professional drummers could keep time forever, so the
point would be moot. Otherwise, I would like to know. Mainly
curious.

Thanks.
Sean Conolly
2012-01-06 04:05:09 UTC
Permalink
Post by John Doe
Obviously being able to keep time helps (although I get this weird
but familiar feeling that somebody is going to say that keeping
time is a ridiculous measure).
Not at all, having solid time is one of the fundamentals of playing, along
with consistent tone, and volume, speed, etc. But as a player you should be
more concerned about the groove than keeping perfect time, even though
perfect time can be part of the groove. The big exception is being able to
keep perfect time with a click in the studio, because it's required so all
of the tracks will match.

Yes you do have to extremely good time to play with a click track, because
you can't hear the click if you're on top of it. If you can hear the click
while you're playing, then you're off time.
Post by John Doe
Is keeping time used to practice drumming? It would be an
objective measure. Is there ever such a contest to see who can
keep the best time? If so, who is/was the best? I'm a layman. For
all I know, professional drummers could keep time forever, so the
point would be moot. Otherwise, I would like to know. Mainly
curious.
A good tool to practice with if you really want to work on time keeping is a
Russian Dragon. You plug a metronome or click track into it and then you
play along, it shows you on a display how far ahead or behind the click you
are. Now that I think about it, I have one around here somewhere and I know
a young drummer who could really use it. Lets see, it was in one of those
boxes about eight years ago...

Sean
Steve Turner
2012-01-07 02:45:17 UTC
Permalink
Post by Sean Conolly
Post by John Doe
Obviously being able to keep time helps (although I get this weird
but familiar feeling that somebody is going to say that keeping
time is a ridiculous measure).
Not at all, having solid time is one of the fundamentals of playing, along
with consistent tone, and volume, speed, etc. But as a player you should be
more concerned about the groove than keeping perfect time, even though
perfect time can be part of the groove. The big exception is being able to
keep perfect time with a click in the studio, because it's required so all
of the tracks will match.
Yes you do have to extremely good time to play with a click track, because
you can't hear the click if you're on top of it. If you can hear the click
while you're playing, then you're off time.
Post by John Doe
Is keeping time used to practice drumming? It would be an
objective measure. Is there ever such a contest to see who can
keep the best time? If so, who is/was the best? I'm a layman. For
all I know, professional drummers could keep time forever, so the
point would be moot. Otherwise, I would like to know. Mainly
curious.
A good tool to practice with if you really want to work on time keeping is a
Russian Dragon. You plug a metronome or click track into it and then you
play along, it shows you on a display how far ahead or behind the click you
are. Now that I think about it, I have one around here somewhere and I know
a young drummer who could really use it. Lets see, it was in one of those
boxes about eight years ago...
Sean
To me, all the typical drumming "contests" (like the "fastest drummer", etc)
are meaningless in the real world. What would be more impressive to me would
be for a drummer to be given a random tempo (say 106) and a specific amount of
time (say three minutes), then to begin playing at that tempo without any
outside assistance and be measured against it. The drummer who keeps the most
consistent and accurate time wins. Boring for sure, but that's the kind of
talent most band leaders would appreciate.
--
Any given amount of traffic flow, no matter how
sparse, will expand to fill all available lanes.
To reply, eat the taco.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/bbqboyee/
John Doe
2012-01-07 15:53:08 UTC
Permalink
Post by Steve Turner
Post by Sean Conolly
Post by John Doe
Obviously being able to keep time helps (although I get this
weird but familiar feeling that somebody is going to say that
keeping time is a ridiculous measure).
Not at all, having solid time is one of the fundamentals of
playing, along with consistent tone, and volume, speed, etc.
But as a player you should be more concerned about the groove
than keeping perfect time, even though perfect time can be part
of the groove. The big exception is being able to keep perfect
time with a click in the studio, because it's required so all
of the tracks will match.
Yes you do have to extremely good time to play with a click
track, because you can't hear the click if you're on top of it.
If you can hear the click while you're playing, then you're off
time.
Post by John Doe
Is keeping time used to practice drumming? It would be an
objective measure. Is there ever such a contest to see who can
keep the best time? If so, who is/was the best? I'm a layman.
For all I know, professional drummers could keep time forever,
so the point would be moot. Otherwise, I would like to know.
Mainly curious.
A good tool to practice with if you really want to work on time
keeping is a Russian Dragon. You plug a metronome or click
track into it and then you play along, it shows you on a
display how far ahead or behind the click you are. Now that I
think about it, I have one around here somewhere and I know
a young drummer who could really use it. Lets see, it was in
one of those boxes about eight years ago...
Sean
To me, all the typical drumming "contests" (like the "fastest
drummer", etc) are meaningless in the real world.
And what is your "real world"? You're just a spectator like me,
right? Or you have some drumming accomplishments that you can
point to that gives your opinion credibility? Are you a sponsor?
No, of course not.
--
Post by Steve Turner
What would be more impressive to me would
be for a drummer to be given a random tempo (say 106) and a specific amount of
time (say three minutes), then to begin playing at that tempo without any
outside assistance and be measured against it. The drummer who keeps the most
consistent and accurate time wins. Boring for sure, but that's the kind of
talent most band leaders would appreciate.
--
Any given amount of traffic flow, no matter how
sparse, will expand to fill all available lanes.
To reply, eat the taco.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/bbqboyee/
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From: Steve Turner <bbqboyee swtacobell.net.invalid>
Newsgroups: rec.music.makers.percussion
Subject: Re: Best drummer at keeping time?
Date: Fri, 06 Jan 2012 20:45:17 -0600
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Sean Conolly
2012-01-07 17:51:55 UTC
Permalink
Post by John Doe
Post by Steve Turner
To me, all the typical drumming "contests" (like the "fastest
drummer", etc) are meaningless in the real world.
And what is your "real world"? You're just a spectator like me,
right? Or you have some drumming accomplishments that you can
point to that gives your opinion credibility? Are you a sponsor?
No, of course not.
Eh, most of the long time members in here are working drummers with
extensive careers performing and recording. That's real world from my
viewpoint, and I think most of the others here (although many have left over
the years). And in that context (i.e. skills that help your career) it's not
the quality of your chops, it's the quality and clarity of your musical
ideas that set you apart. It's the difference between being a player and
being a musician.

Sean
Steve Turner
2012-01-07 19:46:01 UTC
Permalink
Post by John Doe
Post by Steve Turner
To me, all the typical drumming "contests" (like the "fastest
drummer", etc) are meaningless in the real world.
And what is your "real world"? You're just a spectator like me,
right? Or you have some drumming accomplishments that you can
point to that gives your opinion credibility? Are you a sponsor?
No, of course not.
Somebody piss in your Wheaties there "John"?

My opinion is just that; it doesn't have to be credible, and I don't really care whether you
like it or not. But even if I was just a "spectator", most musical events I'd be attending
in "the real world" are not drumming contests, but are gigs or concerts where the drummer is
playing a "song" along with other musicians. The vast majority of the spectators aren't
going to give a rat's ass whether or not the drummer can play faster than anybody else, but
I'm pretty sure they WILL know if the drummer can't keep time. We've all seen drummers who
THINK they're the fastest in the world, yet they can't hold a tempo to save their life.
--
Free bad advice available here.
To reply, eat the taco.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/bbqboyee/
gpsman
2012-01-09 16:33:55 UTC
Permalink
Post by Sean Conolly
you can't hear the click if you're on top of it. If you can hear the click
while you're playing, then you're off time.
That's a new one on me. What causes that...?
Post by Sean Conolly
A good tool to practice with if you really want to work on time keeping is a
Russian Dragon. You plug a metronome or click track into it and then you
play along, it shows you on a display how far ahead or behind the click you
are. Now that I think about it, I have one around here somewhere and I know
a young drummer who could really use it.
What drummer... or musician, or studio couldn't use that...?!

A quick Google suggests that might be a difficult (and expensive) tool
to replace.
http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/1995_articles/aug95/jeanius.html
http://lmgtfy.com/?q=%22russian+dragon%22+site%3Acraigslist.org

You must be rich... or something.
-----

- gpsman
John Doe
2012-01-09 18:00:55 UTC
Permalink
Post by gpsman
Post by Sean Conolly
you can't hear the click if you're on top of it. If you can
hear the click while you're playing, then you're off time.
That's a new one on me. What causes that...?
There is an obvious answer to anyone who has two brain cells...
Post by gpsman
Post by Sean Conolly
A good tool to practice with if you really want to work on time
keeping is a Russian Dragon. You plug a metronome or click
track into it and then you play along, it shows you on a
display how far ahead or behind the click you are. Now that I
think about it, I have one around here somewhere and I know
a young drummer who could really use it.
What drummer... or musician, or studio couldn't use that...?!
A quick Google suggests that might be a difficult (and
expensive) tool to replace.
http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/1995_articles/aug95/jeanius.html
http://lmgtfy.com/?q=%22russian+dragon%22+site%3Acraigslist.org
You must be rich... or something.
That sounds like a pointless troll. There is little or no reason
on UseNet to care what someone else's financial status might be.
In this situation, none.
--
Post by gpsman
-----
- gpsman
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From: gpsman <gpsman driversmail.com>
Newsgroups: rec.music.makers.percussion
Subject: Re: Best drummer at keeping time?
Date: Mon, 9 Jan 2012 08:33:55 -0800 (PST)
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gpsman
2012-01-09 19:22:41 UTC
Permalink
Post by John Doe
Post by Sean Conolly
you can't hear the click if you're on top of it. If you can
hear the click while you're playing, then you're off time.
That's a new one on me.  What causes that...?
There is an obvious answer to anyone who has two brain cells...
Obvious ≠ correct.
Post by John Doe
Post by Sean Conolly
A good tool to practice with if you really want to work on time
keeping is a Russian Dragon. You plug a metronome or click
track into it and then you play along, it shows you on a
display how far ahead or behind the click you are. Now that I
think about it, I have one around here somewhere and I know
a young drummer who could really use it.
What drummer... or musician, or studio couldn't use that...?!
A quick Google suggests that might be a difficult (and
expensive) tool to replace.
You must be rich... or something.
That sounds like a pointless troll. There is little or no reason
on UseNet to care what someone else's financial status might be.
In this situation, none.
<rolls eyes> Then go with the "or something", Evelyn.
-----

- gpsman
Sean Conolly
2012-01-10 12:50:34 UTC
Permalink
Post by Sean Conolly
you can't hear the click if you're on top of it. If you can hear the click
while you're playing, then you're off time.
That's a new one on me. What causes that...?
Post by Sean Conolly
A good tool to practice with if you really want to work on time keeping is a
Russian Dragon. You plug a metronome or click track into it and then you
play along, it shows you on a display how far ahead or behind the click you
are. Now that I think about it, I have one around here somewhere and I know
a young drummer who could really use it.
What drummer... or musician, or studio couldn't use that...?!

A quick Google suggests that might be a difficult (and expensive) tool
to replace.
http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/1995_articles/aug95/jeanius.html
http://lmgtfy.com/?q=%22russian+dragon%22+site%3Acraigslist.org

You must be rich... or something.

------------------------
I paid about $50 bucks, so draw your own conclusions.

Sean
Sean Conolly
2012-01-10 14:00:34 UTC
Permalink
Post by gpsman
Post by Sean Conolly
you can't hear the click if you're on top of it. If you can hear the click
while you're playing, then you're off time.
That's a new one on me. What causes that...?
Post by Sean Conolly
A good tool to practice with if you really want to work on time keeping is a
Russian Dragon. You plug a metronome or click track into it and then you
play along, it shows you on a display how far ahead or behind the click you
are. Now that I think about it, I have one around here somewhere and I know
a young drummer who could really use it.
What drummer... or musician, or studio couldn't use that...?!
A quick Google suggests that might be a difficult (and expensive) tool
to replace.
http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/1995_articles/aug95/jeanius.html
http://lmgtfy.com/?q=%22russian+dragon%22+site%3Acraigslist.org
You must be rich... or something.
------------------------
I paid about $50 bucks, so draw your own conclusions.
Also, mine is the original compact version, the prices you're seeing are for
the newer rack mount version.

Sean
gpsman
2012-01-10 15:35:07 UTC
Permalink
Post by Sean Conolly
Post by Sean Conolly
you can't hear the click if you're on top of it. If you can hear the click
while you're playing, then you're off time.
That's a new one on me.  What causes that...?
You must be rich... or something.
I paid about $50 bucks, so draw your own conclusions.
Also, mine is the original compact version, the prices you're seeing are for
the newer rack mount version.
So... they're... "different"... That doesn't suggest anything about
their comparable values, and I can't find any reference of a compact
version. That might be, and probably is, one rare piece of gear.

(Admittedly, for all I know there are 1000 free apps for cell phones
that do a far better job...)

But, I don't understand the cause-effect in your time/click
relationship.
-----

- gpsman
-MIKE-
2012-01-10 17:23:04 UTC
Permalink
Post by gpsman
Post by Sean Conolly
Post by gpsman
Post by Sean Conolly
you can't hear the click if you're on top of it. If you can hear the click
while you're playing, then you're off time.
That's a new one on me. What causes that...?
You must be rich... or something.
I paid about $50 bucks, so draw your own conclusions.
Also, mine is the original compact version, the prices you're seeing are for
the newer rack mount version.
So... they're... "different"... That doesn't suggest anything about
their comparable values, and I can't find any reference of a compact
version. That might be, and probably is, one rare piece of gear.
(Admittedly, for all I know there are 1000 free apps for cell phones
that do a far better job...)
But, I don't understand the cause-effect in your time/click
relationship.
-----
- gpsman
I've never seen one in a studio. And yes, there would be an app 15
minutes later. Somebody already did an app to replace the beat
bug/groove guide/tempo ref.

It's kind of silly to think about using it in the studio, anyway. One
more thing to be looking at, instead of the chart... doesn't make much
sense. If you can't stay on the click and groove then this thing won't
help. It's a moot point, anyway, since they can just use beat detective
or a similar plug-in software to nudge the parts wherever they want.

There are great drummers in Nashville, who have great time, who get
"beat detectived" in post. I know a couple drummer/producers who do it
on their own parts.
--
-MIKE-

"Playing is not something I do at night, it's my function in life"
--Elvin Jones (1927-2004)
--
http://mikedrums.com
***@mikedrumsDOT.com
---remove "DOT" ^^^^ to reply
gpsman
2012-01-11 06:34:07 UTC
Permalink
Post by -MIKE-
It's kind of silly to think about using it in the studio, anyway. One
more thing to be looking at, instead of the chart... doesn't make much
sense.
Needing a chart to record, which is what I assume you mean by "in the
studio", doesn't make any sense to me. I've never thunk of recording
any part I hadn't perfected.

Maybe studio time is free or cheap these days, I don't know.
Post by -MIKE-
If you can't stay on the click and groove then this thing won't
help. It's a moot point, anyway, since they can just use beat detective
or a similar plug-in software to nudge the parts wherever they want.
That does make sense, is a perverse way. "Singers" have for some time
no longer needed pitch control, why should a "drummer" be required to
have time control...?
Post by -MIKE-
There are great drummers in Nashville, who have great time, who get
"beat detectived" in post. I know a couple drummer/producers who do it
on their own parts.
Why? If a "musician" (or several) can't hear it by ear, what's the
point?
-----

- gpsman
Sean Conolly
2012-01-11 14:40:50 UTC
Permalink
Post by gpsman
Post by -MIKE-
It's kind of silly to think about using it in the studio, anyway. One
more thing to be looking at, instead of the chart... doesn't make much
sense.
Needing a chart to record, which is what I assume you mean by "in the
studio", doesn't make any sense to me. I've never thunk of recording
any part I hadn't perfected.
Maybe studio time is free or cheap these days, I don't know.
A lot of that works involves walking in cold, getting a chart and
description of what the producer is looking for, and being able to lay down
a solid track in a few takes. The guys who get those calls are well paid
BECAUSE they don't waste studio time.
Post by gpsman
Post by -MIKE-
If you can't stay on the click and groove then this thing won't
help. It's a moot point, anyway, since they can just use beat detective
or a similar plug-in software to nudge the parts wherever they want.
That does make sense, is a perverse way. "Singers" have for some time
no longer needed pitch control, why should a "drummer" be required to
have time control...?
One big reason is that the songs include automated parts, which fit a lot
better if all the parts have perfect time. There's ways around this but that
adds to the studio time.
Post by gpsman
Post by -MIKE-
There are great drummers in Nashville, who have great time, who get
"beat detectived" in post. I know a couple drummer/producers who do it
on their own parts.
Why? If a "musician" (or several) can't hear it by ear, what's the
point?
What if the drum part is the first track?

I only have anecdotal knowledge of this type of playing, I mostly do band
demos with the whole band playing, only overdub the vocals.

Going back to the Russian Dragon, I never found that useful for practicing
the drum kit, I just used it with the practice pad (back when I would still
practice now and then). I think it might be better for a newer drummer if
they can't sense how and when they are drifting.

But anyways....

Sean
-MIKE-
2012-01-11 17:18:52 UTC
Permalink
Post by Sean Conolly
Post by gpsman
Why? If a "musician" (or several) can't hear it by ear, what's the
point?
What if the drum part is the first track?
I really hate recording like that. Musicians play better together
because there is always a synergy of ideas and each inspires the others.
My best parts-- stuff I'd listen to later and have to break down my
own playing because I'd never played it before-- was done with the whole
band or at least rhythm section and singer on the sessions.
Post by Sean Conolly
Going back to the Russian Dragon, I never found that useful for practicing
the drum kit, I just used it with the practice pad (back when I would still
practice now and then). I think it might be better for a newer drummer if
they can't sense how and when they are drifting.
But anyways....
Sean
I guess my point about it being useless in the studio is that if a
drummer needs it on a session, the drummer shouldn't be on the session.
If it's a band thing where the drummer is playing the parts, having to
stare at that thing is going to stress him out and kill his playing.
Who knows, maybe it's the one thing the guy needs to push him over the
edge and help him keep good time. If I were the producer, I'd try it
during sound check or maybe put the first song on, let the other guys go
for a smoke and see how the drummer does with it. Give him a few
unimportant minutes to see if he likes it and can do it.

But if he can't groove to the thing in a few minutes, it's not going to
happen that day. Move on. :-)
--
-MIKE-

"Playing is not something I do at night, it's my function in life"
--Elvin Jones (1927-2004)
--
http://mikedrums.com
***@mikedrumsDOT.com
---remove "DOT" ^^^^ to reply
-MIKE-
2012-01-11 17:03:44 UTC
Permalink
Post by gpsman
Post by -MIKE-
It's kind of silly to think about using it in the studio, anyway. One
more thing to be looking at, instead of the chart... doesn't make much
sense.
Needing a chart to record, which is what I assume you mean by "in the
studio", doesn't make any sense to me. I've never thunk of recording
any part I hadn't perfected.
Maybe studio time is free or cheap these days, I don't know.
No, it's still expensive. That's why you use great session players who
can read a chart and still make it sound like they wrote the song.
A band recording their own record is one way to record an album, but
that's in the minority for studio sessions. In most cases you have
session players playing songs they never heard until they walked into
the studio that day. Of course, they actually did hear it, yesterday and
every day before that, because most pop music is the same formula.
Post by gpsman
Post by -MIKE-
If you can't stay on the click and groove then this thing won't
help. It's a moot point, anyway, since they can just use beat detective
or a similar plug-in software to nudge the parts wherever they want.
That does make sense, is a perverse way. "Singers" have for some time
no longer needed pitch control, why should a "drummer" be required to
have time control...?
Post by -MIKE-
There are great drummers in Nashville, who have great time, who get
"beat detectived" in post. I know a couple drummer/producers who do it
on their own parts.
Why? If a "musician" (or several) can't hear it by ear, what's the
point?
-----
- gpsman
He does have time control and a great ear. It's not an issue of giving a
sloppy drummer good time using a computer. It's a case of making a human
drummer with great feel and pocket sound like computer programmed drums.
At least the trend had swung back to using a human drummer instead of
programming the whole thing.
--
-MIKE-

"Playing is not something I do at night, it's my function in life"
--Elvin Jones (1927-2004)
--
http://mikedrums.com
***@mikedrumsDOT.com
---remove "DOT" ^^^^ to reply
Sean Conolly
2012-01-11 14:50:09 UTC
Permalink
Post by gpsman
Post by Sean Conolly
you can't hear the click if you're on top of it. If you can hear the click
while you're playing, then you're off time.
That's a new one on me. What causes that...?
Transient masking. If the click is really a 'click', the sound is masked by
the transients from the drums if they occur at exactly the same moment. Back
when we used those quartz metronomes the click was so short it could even
even get lost under brushes.

Exceptions are: quiet drummers with good isolation headphones (or a frickin
LOUD click), or if the sound for the click has some sustain to it. They guys
I know who are good at it just lock in with the time and don't worry about
hearing the click.

Sean
-MIKE-
2012-01-11 17:08:44 UTC
Permalink
Post by Sean Conolly
Post by gpsman
Post by Sean Conolly
you can't hear the click if you're on top of it. If you can hear the click
while you're playing, then you're off time.
That's a new one on me. What causes that...?
Transient masking. If the click is really a 'click', the sound is masked by
the transients from the drums if they occur at exactly the same moment. Back
when we used those quartz metronomes the click was so short it could even
even get lost under brushes.
Exceptions are: quiet drummers with good isolation headphones (or a frickin
LOUD click), or if the sound for the click has some sustain to it. They guys
I know who are good at it just lock in with the time and don't worry about
hearing the click.
Sean
I think Lee Kelley has talked about that before. When I'm working with
an artist or other players who have bad time, I have to have that click
way up, just as sort of a security blanket. But yeah, when everybody is
following me, the click can sit down underneath everything else in the
mix and it disappears. If you star to get off slightly, you hear the
click "flamming" with kick or snare.
--
-MIKE-

"Playing is not something I do at night, it's my function in life"
--Elvin Jones (1927-2004)
--
http://mikedrums.com
***@mikedrumsDOT.com
---remove "DOT" ^^^^ to reply
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