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Timing is everything.

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Freeze Andy, Sep 24, 2020.

  1. Freeze Andy

    Freeze Andy

    Aug 20, 2020
    Ok so my buddy drummer comes over to my place to rehearse a couple of songs. One song in particular, whitney Houston I will always love you. We have a very talented young girl who really can nail it. Anyway we wanted to get the timing right when we rehearse with her. Ist issue, i put a click track to it to measure what it is we are doing. Ist problem, it was obviously recorded on tape and the timing moves around a bit. After about an hr or so i have it all straightened out. Then my mate starts rambling on about "he keeps the time off the high hat". If you listen carefully, there is no high hat only a side stick click. Then he wants to argue that hes right and i dont know what i am talking about. "Ok, i hear what you say, but there is no high hat on the recording".
    He just wrote me a letter to say he doesnt want to associate with me anymore.
    *** just happened? Look, I am the first to admit i dont know it all, far from it, but is he talking in tongues, lol?
    legalbass likes this.
  2. bradd

    bradd Supporting Member

    Jan 27, 2008
    Minneapolis, MN
    There's high hat in the song. I wouldn't think that this would be enough to dissolve a working relationship, but everyone is stressed. Give him some time and reach out in a few weeks.
  3. Are you sure you both have the same recording? Nobody should mistake high hat for sticking or vice versa.
    fleabitten, Ekulati and One Way like this.
  4. Freeze Andy

    Freeze Andy

    Aug 20, 2020
    poopie a brick, there is a high hat there. Its so so so low in the mix, you breath and you miss it. I am a heavy breather, lol.
    I agree, its a rather trivial matter to get all hung up about.
    So as a bass player i have conditioned my brain to follow the bass drum. What is this idea about following the high hat? Especially if you cant hear the damn thing.
  5. I am not familiar with the drum part on the tune in question but I guess it must be beating out time. Some very very good drummers can do it with any part of the kit while going nuts on the rest of it playing all around the 1 2 3 4 they are considerately tapping out for everyone.
  6. bradd

    bradd Supporting Member

    Jan 27, 2008
    Minneapolis, MN
    Yes, it's fairly low in the mix. I generally listen to the high hats and the bass drum and try to find the perfect place between them.
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2020
  7. Bass teacher said to me: ''to be able to play off the beat first you must be able to play on the beat''.
    steveksux, fhm555, GTx2 and 5 others like this.
  8. CB3UK


    Jan 13, 2017
    Ive played drums for 23 yrs and bass for 22.

    Just pulled the song up out of late night interest. Bro, there is absolutely a high hat in there. Sorry. Buy your buddy a 6pack
  9. I once knew a drummer who was so despondent over his bad timing, that he threw himself in back of a train.
    steveksux, Shafty, retslock and 46 others like this.
  10. Freeze Andy

    Freeze Andy

    Aug 20, 2020
    cb3uk. there WAS a high hat before it got mixed so damn low. i dont like the idea of blowing my ear drums out to hear a high hat. Yes i now agree its there to some extent. All he had to say was " its there so far down in the mix you can hardly hear it". I couldnt hear it at first , i still think it goes missing in lots of places, so i can only assume thats the way the guys mixed, not because he wasnt playing it. so i was arguing what are you keeping time to if you cant hear it? so its a case of chalk and cheese, and he's taken offence. i am willing to admit my mistakes, but why do people internalise it so much. I mean it was SOO SOO damn important to win an arguement you were having with yourself, lol. people are strange
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2020
  11. Element Zero

    Element Zero Supporting Member

    Dec 14, 2016
    Interesting. It was beaten into me in high school jazz band to pay more attention to the drummers high hat because that’s what kept time. 26 years later I STILL stand to the left of the high hat lol.
  12. Freeze Andy

    Freeze Andy

    Aug 20, 2020
    element, is there more to the idea? Obviously we are all ears on this one. What do other more seasoned players think?
  13. HardNHeavy


    Apr 17, 2014
    Wow that went south real quick, from drummer buddy to non association...over a timing issue....geez!

    I always used the HH as a "clock" as well as just knowing the song inside out.
  14. Freeze Andy

    Freeze Andy

    Aug 20, 2020
    hardnheavy, the timing issue was probably a subplot. you know people and power plays. In the letter he wrote me, he emphasised that part of the conversation . It was I that asked the question and he was answering a different question. Trying to impose " he's" knowledge agenda. The more i think about it, the more i think it was a power play. So my question remains, if you cant hear the high hat, what do you keep time to?
    MrMoonlight likes this.
  15. Biggbass


    Dec 14, 2011
    Planet Earth
    The real issue I see is that if something so trivial caused your friend to not want to associate with you anymore then perhaps he wasn't really your friend to begin with.

    Maybe you should have tried Dolly Parton's version instead. And, yes, there is a high hat in the song...both versions.
    mcnach and JRA like this.
  16. Element Zero

    Element Zero Supporting Member

    Dec 14, 2016
    Personally, if I can’t hear the hi hat while playing with an actual drummer, I can still “hear” the hi hat in my head. Subdividing the beat internally gives me a HUGE sense of joy and satisfaction when playing with other people.

    Again, it goes back to high school jazz band. We had a very gifted drummer who when taking solos, would really mess with the timing and feel. Similar to what the dude from Ghost-Note does. If you don’t count the beat in your head as loudly as possible, you’re gonna get lost.
    Rabidhamster, DirtDog and Winslow like this.
  17. BobKos


    Apr 13, 2007
    Sounds to me like you were probably being a dick about it while it was happening so he blew you off. Lesson learned hopefully. Keep an open mind and a closed mouth when working out issues. Somebody else might be right. Another consideration is that it took a post to anonymous forum members to make you realize the drummer friend was right! You couldn't figure it out even after he adamantly told you what is going on with the song. You openly believed a bunch of strangers but not your friend. Just saying....
  18. How's your hearing? Those high frequencies are the first to go.
    geof_, Ggaa, Skerrvydog and 4 others like this.
  19. Freeze Andy

    Freeze Andy

    Aug 20, 2020
    bobkos, i accept your kind kick in the head. Its never black and white like that, but hey, you see it that way, he saw it that way. I am not trying to pass judgment, just reflecting on a sad miscommunication.
  20. Freeze Andy

    Freeze Andy

    Aug 20, 2020
    whero, i think my hearing is ok. When i really crank up the volume, I can hear the h/h until whitney belts it then you cant. Its not a volume level i feel comfortable at. So yea my fault its buried in the mix. Sure i can hear it in my head, but it still begs the question, if you cant hear it, what are you keeping time to? The side stick is clear as a bell. I am happy to follow what ever puts me in sync. It helps if i can hear it without going deaf too.

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