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snare on the one

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Howard K, Apr 23, 2003.


  1. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    UK
    AAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRGGGGHHH!!!!

    My new band www.bidgiereef.com have a song called powerless.

    The drum pattern runs accross two bars with the snare hit on 1 and 2 1/2.
    ...and just to make it that much harder the keys part starts on the 4 in the second bar of the drum pattern.
    Then, on top of this, middle eight has what should be a simple chord sequence, each chord change on 1, but because of the drum pattern it's like pulling teeth!

    The sing is fantastic when we get it right, but damn it is so difficult!!!!

    We have our first gig tonight and this is the only track I'm unsteady on. I've had four complete rehearsals fopr an hour set and all is fine except this one track.

    Just thought I'd share... anyone else have difficulty with a snare on 1 pattern,,, it's so damned unnatural!!!!
     
  2. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Interesting looking new band, Howard - although it say on the website Garry Jones on bass? :confused:

    Have you agreed to change you name? ;)

    "Postal workers turn dockers" :confused:

    But I liked the idea about the freedom of Jazz, the diversity of global sounds, the romanticism of classicism - but not sure about the bits after this! ;)
     
  3. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    UK
    Yeah, sounds good doesnt it.

    Their old bass player didnt work out apparently. They gave me demo with him on it and I was more than a little concerned cause there was improv of a higher standard than I'm capable of all over it! I mean real flashy stuff. Probably the kinda stuff you play Bruce ;)
    Anyway, I learnt the lines and song structres, auditioned and did some more simple improv in my own style and they loved it.
    They said they're ex bassist (an ex-pro as you read!) just refused to stick to the song structure and kept improvising through verse and chorus alike and that it was ruining the songs.

    A lesson to be learnt there!

    Anyway, yeah, they're great to play with. A guitarist who knows his chords & keys - an ex-pro drummer who teaches full-time (he's amazing!), a classically trained keys player who teaches - and the singer is an ex-actor - he's a character for sure!
    The other band members aren't of such a notable standard, but are all great players, they do what is needed and do it really well.

    It is a nice mix too. We have a blues number, a reall odd swing track, two which blatantly qualify as live drum&bass, a funk track at 180bpm - the one I talked about above, a couple of odd - "I'spose you could call them weird ballad" numbers? ...and a spoken work jazz number in two parts: early and late september.. nice ;)

    I'm only really getting to grips with the set right now, but there's so much room for musicality. The jazzy no, has SO much scope - right now I just play the same line throughout because the guitars get more and more out of time with delay, so it's all I can do to stay on track

    ..but yeah, it's cool. An original band that will play all sorts of music, mixed up or just different styles... great players to learn from ..and a drummer with good time. It's a breath of fresh air I tell you!

    :)

    I even get several bass solo sections in the songs :cool:
     
  4. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Yes - don't believe singer/songwrters when they say they like "the freedom of Jazz" - they are all control-freaks!! ;)

    What they mean is - it is OK fo me to have freedom, but the rest of you have to play exactly what I want when I want!!
     
  5. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    UK
    quite!

    although, so far it's more like "this is the song, it needs to groove like this and these are the chords" - which may not be any freeer than your average band, but doe allow more scope to for me to explore in my writting and improv

    where they have a specifc bass line i play it, but otherwise as long as what i do fits it's good. we're working on 3 new tracks and the songwriter has composed midi demos, with bass lines... he sort of specifies the groove, push here, pull there, type thing and the rest is up to me.

    i dont think that's all that far off jazz in some respects. a chart will specify tempo, meter, chords and form - and in some cases the feel, shuffle, swing or whatever?

    for me it's ideal - it's a great learning curve and a nice transition between standard 4/4 rock & pop and more complex pieces of music.
     
  6. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    It does sound like an interesting band - all the best with your gig! You know I was only joking on the last post!! ;)
     
  7. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    UK
    I am a firm believer in the proverb "many a truer word spoken in jest"!

    The "freedom of jazz" is a pretty ambiguous statement anyhow, judging by some of the things I've read about Buddy Rich and how he treats his band :D
     
  8. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    The website mentioned supporting the Blockheads - now that would be a gig I would love to get and would be happy to come along and see you, if you can introduce me to Norman Watt-Roy! ;)
     
  9. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    UK
    Did it?! Coool! I havent really read all the 'marketing gumph' yet. I know they some big gigs in the past, Womad being one of them.
    That'd be great wouldn't it, wow! I bought my 1st blockheads CD recently - a greatest hits CD - it's fantastic!

    That's be much better than supporting Sepultura - which another one of my bands has been "promised"... like sh'yeah right that'll happen!

    Well, if we do get the gig I'll stick you on the guest list - if I can, I'm only a bass player :rolleyes: do hold me to that.
     
  10. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    UK
    Holy Crap!!

    I knew we had a gig on 1st November, but they hadn't told me what it was yet!

    We're supporting the Blockheads!!!

    ...at the Zodiac too! Man that place is huge!!!

    Wicked!!

    :bassist: :D
     
  11. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    So howard, do you guys all play the cheapest gear you kind find and write songs about buying expensive nice stuff?

    bidgie reef and the GAS
    :meh:
     
  12. JimK

    JimK

    Dec 12, 1999

    It's so "unnatural" because, over the years, you & me have internalized the kick on 1 & 3 & the snare on 2 & 4! ;)
    I used to play with a guy that loved putting the kick in the backbeat...like a dog, I would usually follow & he would call me on it. Eventually, I stopped depending on him to keep MY time...I learned to be responsible for 'keeping me in my place'.

    So like you guys are keeping it interesting!
    Keep it up!
     
  13. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    UK
    I know, I know hellish isn't it!!!

    I mean I can hear the groove and I can feel it, but playing it solidly is a different matter. The fact that the keys part is a beat ahead or whatever doesn't help either. The middle section also has changes per bar on the one. I have to count like my life depends on it to keep time!

    I did 'OK' at the gig last night... I made significant cock ups (I.e. lost my place for a bar or two) in two tracks, one of was this one with the nightmare snares and the other is he third track...
    It has a middle eight with 5x 4 bar chord progs with a change per bar - I haven't memorised them yet. So I get half way through the 1st chorus and realise my note pad is still in my bag! Arrrgggh, so I'm there shouting at the bongo player to get my pad from my bag quick - what a prat!!!

    Considering I've learnt an hour set (11 tracks) in less than a month (since joining the band) and in that time I've had 3 rehearsals totalling less than 5 hours, have been in Devon on hols for a week and had rehearsals and gigged with another band - I think I did OK.
    ...but I'm not happy about my mistakes. As far as I'm concerned it's unacceptable. So I'm gonna have to live & breath the set until I'm blazing through it :)

    We also have one with drum 'as usual', but where the entire bass groove completely on the up beat, on the 'and'. That one's easy actually, but we didnt play it :bawl:

    BTW, block heads gig is on the 15th Novemeber in Oxford and we're trying to get more!
     
  14. wulf

    wulf

    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    So, what's the 'Howard K Method' for 'living and breathing the set'?

    Enquiring minds want to know ('cos I think it might lead to an interesting discussion).

    Wulf
     
  15. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    UK
    Well, I'll listen to it a couple of times a day at work and play through at least once per day at home...
    with a strong focus on the tracks I have specific problems with.

    For example this particular track I'll sit there patting my knees on the kick & snare until I can follow the pattern whilst tapping my foot on the 1-2-3-4 so I feel precisely where the kick & snares are.
    I'll also play through the bassline with a click about a thousand times.
    I'll play my bass along with the track, placing root-octave just the kick & snare to get a feel for it.

    Basically I'll study the drum part and get right inside it so I really know what's going on. Then I'll play it several times a day until I'm sick of it.

    Another thing I find helps is writing several diffrerent lines for the track too.
     
  16. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    UK
    note - i should have done this before, but time wasn't on my side

    still no excuse really :rolleyes:
     
  17. wulf

    wulf

    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    I've found that (attempting) to transcribe things helps me get them fairly firmly fixed in my head - it also gives me a valuable memory aid if I haven't looked at a song for a while, as I can just pull out the transcription and generally the feel of the line comes back as I try to sight read it.

    I started off just transcribing from the recordings we're working on (all covers at the moment) but now that I'm building up a repetoire of MD recordings of gigs and rehearsals I'm also starting to transcribe my own adaptations (particularly useful as the song mutates because nobody else has tried learning it note for note ;) )

    Wulf
     
  18. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    UK
    funny you should say that - I'm planning to copy the drum pattern (the intro is just solo drums) into wavelab so i can 'see' where the beats lie in the two bar phrase and understand how the groove works properly.
    I'll probably work out the basic keys part too as it's fairly simple.

    the song only has two chords for the verse and choruses (F min, DbMaj) so there's not really that much to it harmonically, it's just the groove that's tricky for me
     
  19. wulf

    wulf

    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    Is it definitely in 4/4 and not something more complex? Even if it's not, you might find that an alternative way of counting would help, so instead of "[1] & 2 & 3 & 4 & 1 & 2 [&] 3 & 4 &" you think "[1] 2 3 4 5 6 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 [1] 2 3" (or whatever - it's hard to say without hearing the drumbeat).

    Wulf
     
  20. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    UK
    oh yeah absolutely it's in 4/4.
    it is literally because the snare is on the one and the kick on the 4 (or 4 1/2) that it is difficult to grasp.
    counting "one and two and..." helps alot, but i know if i spend 1/2 hour looking the beat and understanding where each kick & snare lies i'll be fine.

    next time you jam with yor band, ask your drummer to play a beat over two bars with a snare on 1 and 2 & 1/2 and a kick on 4 - he can fill in the middle himself... it compltely opposes practically all standard rock/pop rhythms which is why it's so tricky!

    it does sound great tho - has a realy nice roll to it.

    if you have a non-free email I can email the track to you as a windows media file if you like?
    my email is howard.king@yellgroup.com - drop me a mail if you want to hear it