in front of / on top of / behind the beat

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Sprudellio, Mar 24, 2005.

  1. Sprudellio


    Oct 16, 2002
    I think it would be amazing if one of the pros could record just a simple riff or maybe just 8ths over a click track, once in front of, once on top of and once behind the beat to clear things up for us who still struggle.

    Please? :help:
  2. DaftCat


    Jul 26, 2004
    Medicine Hat
    I second that!

    My imagination is all I have on this also, but something tells me I am imagining this wrong.

  3. There is an excellent demonstration of playing behind/on/slightly ahead of the beat from the Norm Stockton DVD (Volume 4), 'Pondering Bass Technique'. The whole 4 DVD set is highly recommended. Check it out! :)
  4. CJK84


    Jan 22, 2004
    Maria Stein, OH
    Listen closely to instrumental parts on recordings to determine where the drummer, bassist, guitarist, etc... are in relation to the beat (singers too!).

    Do you know why AC-DC usually has a heavy sound?

    It's because drummer Phil Rudd is sitting back on the beat - almost dragging it. The song Back In Black is a good example of this.

    This may seem like an impossible task to you, but you'll probably gain some skill and confidence if you consistently listen closely over the next 6 or so months.

    I find it easier to pick out where the drummer is in relation to the center of the beat - and then I listen for the bassist.

    Good luck.
  5. tim99

    tim99 Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2003

    I am in.

    I can not express how frustrating it is for me to read stuff like this.

    What defines the "center of the beat"?

    And are you saying that a drummer, all by themselves, with no other players playing, can play "behind the beat"?

    And if the drummer is behind the beat, and the bass player is ahead of the beat, are you saying that you believe that the "center of the beat" exists in some neverland, were there is not one single recorded sound regularly playing "on the beat"?

  6. SirPoonga


    Jan 18, 2005
    That's what I was wondering, isn;t it the drummer that created the beat?
  7. Sprudellio


    Oct 16, 2002
    Well drummers play multiple instruments at a time (bd, snare, hh, ...), so the hihat can be on top of the beat, but the bass drum can be a little behind ...and that's something I notice in some ratm songs. :hyper:

    But only after I've been told so a million times. :crying:
  8. SirPoonga


    Jan 18, 2005
    So, the question still is what determines the center of the beat?
  9. tim99

    tim99 Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2003
  10. tim99

    tim99 Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2003

    Can a drummer strike one of the devices they strike exactly on top of the beat, while they strike other devices ahead or behind the beat?

    Can a drummer strike the same device on top of the beat on say 1 and 3, or on say 2 and 4, while striking that same device ahead or behind the beat on the other beats in the measure?

    Does one of the devices in the drum kit always define the "center of the beat", if not every beat, then at least once per measure?

    Or, is it possible for the bass player and the drummer to define "the center of the beat" on the first beat of the measure by both being on top of the beat for that first beat only, and then the drummer is behind and the bass player is ahead for other parts of the measure?

  11. Playing ahead or behind the beat is a matter of playing ahead or behind an implied or sometimes real beat. A musician, by himself, can play behind the beat because the beat that he has in his head is ahead of what he is playing. When someone plays off beat they are hearing, subcounciously maybe, the "real" beat and creating tension by playing off it. The implied rhythm is what matters in terms of playing ahead or behind, not the actuall rhythm being played.
    To answer your questions tim99, the answer to all your questions except the third (in the last post) is yes. John Bonham (sp?) played ahead of the beat on the cymbals and behind with the bass and snare, as do some funk drummers. I've never heard someone do it but one could play exactly on and ahead/behind on the same kit. Or you can switch from one beat to the next, although I think this would sound like the drummer was messing up unless they really knew what they were doing.
    So bassically what defines the center of the beat is the implied beat, which in a way is in neverland, as it may not "physically" exist in the music.
  12. Phil Smith

    Phil Smith Mr Sumisu 2 U

    May 30, 2000
    Peoples Republic of Brooklyn
    Creator of: iGigBook for Android/iOS
  13. msquared


    Sep 19, 2004
    Kansas City
    The drummer does not create the beat. The drummer creates *a* beat.

    Everyone in the band is responsible for listening to the rest of the band and making sure their time is solid. Anyone can play behind/on/ahead of the beat, whether it's the drummer or otherwise.
  14. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings