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Thread: Click and backing tracks

  1. #1

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    Default Click and backing tracks

    I got into a conversation with some fellow drummers who use click and backing tracks for every song they play live. They were talking about how it messes them up if they lose the tracks in their ears.

    Well, here I am, a guy who's played for nearly 27 years, and I tell them I've never used either. I practice the songs and follow the band leader while keeping the best with the bass player.

    This blew one of these guys minds. I told him I have nothing against people who use the tracks, but when you have situations like they were discussing where you are live and can't play the song because you don't have tracks going in your ears, that's an issue.

    Maybe I'm old school, but I don't want to be a drummer who can't keep time without tracks in my ears. It would be embarrassing as hell to be on stage, the tracks go dead, and you can't play the song.
    Six piece Mapex Horizon kit. Sabian B8X cymbals. Vater Drumsticks.


  2. #2

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    Default Re: Click and backing tracks

    My 1st band was in 1961 and I stopped playing in bands in 2005 (although I did play with a trio for about 18 months)

    I have recorded, played about 8-10K gigs and have never used a click track. I hate going through my usual stuff about them, but, as I have said about 100 times before, IF A BAND STARTS A SONG AT 100BPM AND FINISHES AT 103, ABSOLUTELY NO 1 GIVES A DAMN. I'VE YET TO SEE ANYONE BRING A METRONOME TO A GIG AND TIME A BAND.

    I also don't own a cowbell, never have, never will. Same goes for a china cymbal, the worst sounding cymbal EVER, and, I've never owned a practice pad, EVER, always used pillows.

    I have heard it all in my 60 years of playing: too loud, too soft, too much drums, not enough drums, but, never, as in NEVER, has my timing been called into question. I wouldn't and haven't ever spent 1/2 a second thinking about it. If my timing was that far off, I would have been driving a truck 45 years ago.

    Don't worry about it. Go tell a guitar player that he's playing a song wrong and watch his eyes cross and steam come out of his ears, (and sometimes other places) and see the kind of response you get.

  3. #3

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    Default Re: Click and backing tracks

    I posted this on Facebook and had some guy that I know tell me you can't get gigs if you don't play to a click.

    Two things here.

    1: He's only been playing a few years, and he struggles to get gigs.

    2: I play in the same area as him, and I get more than he does, and I don't use them. I also play for several studios, and don't use them.

    At the end if the day, I don't want to rely in a crutch. If you can't play a song without a click in your ear, I'd venture to say you're not a real drummer. A real drummer can keep time without something backing them up.
    Six piece Mapex Horizon kit. Sabian B8X cymbals. Vater Drumsticks.


  4. #4

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    Default Re: Click and backing tracks

    Playing to a click or using backing tracks? I think practicing to a click is very important, but using one live is pretty pointless. No one is really going to notice or care if the song is a little slower or faster than normal. If you lose the click with backing tracks things go downhill PDQ. We lost our keyboard player and after several months trying to find a replacement (there are apparently only 4 in my state) we decided it was either use tracks or completely change the setlist. The crowd doesn't even care that there's no one onstage playing the keyboard/piano parts.

  5. #5

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    Default Re: Click and backing tracks

    I don't get this thread , if the band requires backing tracks you have to play to a click , if it doesn't you don't have to ,simple really
    MY KIT
    LUDWIG CLASSIC MAPLE SALESMAN
    13, hanging toms,16 ,18 floor toms,24 Kick, 14x5.5 snare,
    CYMBALS
    Paiste 2002 ,22 big beat , 18 med , 18 crash , 16 crash , 18 china , 14 sound edge hats

  6. #6

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    Default Re: Click and backing tracks

    Quote Originally Posted by eddahenry View Post
    I don't get this thread , if the band requires backing tracks you have to play to a click , if it doesn't you don't have to ,simple really
    The points the guy said he can't play without one. He played his church this morning and the track went out in his ear. He froze and couldn't play the song. He can't play without a click track. Then he claimed you can't get ANY gigs if you don't play with a click. That's false. I'm playing MULTIPLE times per week and don't use click tracks.

    My whole point is there's nothing wrong with using a click. Manu pros do, but you don't need to get so dead set on relying on the click that when it goes out during a technical issue that you can't play the song (s). You better know how to stay in the pocket to keep the song going when an issue arises.
    Six piece Mapex Horizon kit. Sabian B8X cymbals. Vater Drumsticks.


  7. #7

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    Default Re: Click and backing tracks

    I read it if he loses the tracks in his ears he loses the song ,, which you do if you don't have A real solid inbuit metronome , if the track is Still playing FOH and you cannot hear it it can go bad real quick , and yes I agree you don't need to be able to play to a click to get gigs , but it helps , the guy you spoke to just lacks confidence if he cannot play without his click (comfort blanket) seen drummers the same , when a click comes on (first time in studio) the same thing happens . IMO you should never become so reliant on anything , click, no click , drum set up , pedal set up , change it up all the time for the lols ,, he'll some gigs I set up left handed (well that's more because I use to when I was young cause PHIL Collins was like my hero lol )
    MY KIT
    LUDWIG CLASSIC MAPLE SALESMAN
    13, hanging toms,16 ,18 floor toms,24 Kick, 14x5.5 snare,
    CYMBALS
    Paiste 2002 ,22 big beat , 18 med , 18 crash , 16 crash , 18 china , 14 sound edge hats

  8. #8

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    Default Re: Click and backing tracks

    I played in a band for 4 years that didn't have a bass player. We decided to program the bass parts on a sequencer so the remaining members of the band could make a bit more money each week. So for those years I wore a nice pair of over the ear headphones. I had my own small mixing board next to my kit and took a feed off the main board. I had a nice mix of the entire band as well as the click in my headphones. Not once in 4 years did we ever experience a problem with the sequencer , it was the most dependable member of the band.

    This is a video of us before we got the sequencer. Here we were using a 4 track tape machine. The keyboard player recorded all the bass parts and a click track. This method however was very undependable , had many problems hence we switched to the sequencer. However when the tape failed the band did not, we continued to play the song, there just wasn't any bass part.

    https://youtu.be/v_FpWsv846k

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