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Thread: Click tracks???

  1. #1

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    Default Click tracks???

    Hi guys, probably a question for some of the more seasoned drummers among us, or at least guys playing at a pro (paid) level - actually anyone who has something to add here si welcome - I don't discriminate - click tracks.

    Recently the church I've been playing at has hired an outside consultant to come in and help with the music. This church actually is three churches, all in seperate locations, with different sizes and bands, so that's the reason they have done this - to try and get something consistant - help get decent muscicians spread accross eahc of the location etc... Anyway this guy is a pro level muso himself - drummer in fact and a damn good one - got a glimpse of his skill last night - first time I met him. After hearing me play a couple of songs he aksed me what I'm like playing with a click track - I've never done this, and was honest and told him so.

    Apparnlety it's not that my timing is bad, actually he was quite impressed, it's just that to help get a nice full sound and to replace certain insturments we don't always have, he wants ot start using some tracks, which ofcourse will run and need to make sure everything hits and plays exactly spot on.

    My question is this - has anyone played or does play with click tracks - what is it like and how difficult is it to get used to compared to playing without anything like that? I think I've got pretty solid timing, and I've never been able to play with a metronome or anything, so I've always had to rely on me to set the timing and keep it good and solid - something I think I do fairly well - I'm just concerned having this track in my ear will throw me out completely and make me feel like a newbie again - which is something I don't look forward to.

    Any advice, suggestions, things I can do now to sort of prepare for it - I know very little about click tracks so, i have no idea what to expect and I've heard it's very different to playing without one.
    "What consumes your mind, controls your life" - So, what consumes your mind?

  2. #2

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    Click tracks will make you CRAZY!!!!


    If you have a metronome, start playing to it. Click tracks are just that.

  3. #3

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    What BLD said. Click Track is to metronome as metro...ummm, never mind.

    I've used them in the studio and they do take a little bit to get used to. But if you guys are going to use tracks along with the music this is really the only way to get it right everytime you play.
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  4. #4

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    Start practicing with a metronome at various tempos to get used to the idea.
    There's a lot to be said for Time Honored tradition and value.

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  5. #5

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    There is a trick, treat as another instrument in the band, this will make you much more comfortable. Once you get comfortable with it will be no big deal. I hate recording without it.
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  6. #6

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    Playing in time to a metronome is one thing, playing in the pocket to recorded parts is something else. start practising to a metronome as soon as you can.
    Is the new constultant revamping the pa/ monitor and board in his suggestion of click/recorded tracks?



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  7. #7

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    The new consultant is doing allot of stuff from what I can gather - he knows his stuff that's for sure and some of the ideas I've overheard seem pretty good to me. Like I said as a drummer he is brilliant - simply brilliant, so I'm basically going to leech as much info and skill out of him as I can while I can, he siad he will work with me to help me get used ot the click track, and is also gonna give me lesson type instruction just in general to help me get my playing to the next level.

    As far as the current pa system we ar eusing it is actually pretty good, although I do beleive we are looking at some equipment changes, but not sure of specifics.
    "What consumes your mind, controls your life" - So, what consumes your mind?

  8. #8

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    Plying to a metronome I can do quite comfortably. When I was playing click track in a band I was in, that threw me out considerably. Trying to feel the music and concentrate on the click track. It can be overwhelming. It took some time to get used to but it will happen. Start playing to a metronome or even better, record a click track over some songs that you play such as the tool song you recorded.
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  9. #9

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    just grab a keyboard from the thrift store and play along to its beats

  10. #10

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    I wanted to learn more about click tracks too... I know it's like a metronome, but are there any programs or anything I can use to make them? (I never stick to one time signature/tempo)
    "Life is backwards. Happiness isn't something you seek, it's something that finds you when you are doing the right thing." - Zone47

  11. #11

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    I've never used "Click" tracks as such but, it is my understanding that there purpose is to keep that one "Time " signature from straying all over the place while recording.
    There's a lot to be said for Time Honored tradition and value.

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  12. #12

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    We are starting to incorporate that into our show.

    We have taken repetitive parts of songs and sequenced them to the full length of the original song and basically created the click track with it.

    What is different is that there is a 4 count for me to lock into and then I count out the next four (for the band) and then they basically come in and follow me.

    I've found following the "click track" is just like playing with another instrument or a copy of another song. If you can stay with the song you are playing with, then you won't have any problems with the click track. Just be sure you can hear it over everything else if you are getting nothing more than the click track.

    Since our band has only 3 basic instruments, we are sequencing certain parts of songs that I'll be playing along with and then the guitar and bass or guitar and keyboard can play along with me and the sequenced part is the instrument that would normally be repeated throughout the original song.

    Where this can be a bad thing is if the sequenced part skips.
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  13. #13

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    I have a lot of experience of playing with clicks. To be honest, I love it. Takes away any arguments about tempos etc

    I had always practiced with a metronome, which I guess made the transition easier. Everyone has their own opinions on Volume. John Robinson has the click the loudest thing in his cans, Simon Phillips has it low. I am somewhere in between. Early on I had the click REALLY loud in my headphones for security, but once I was confident, I turned it down and down till, in the end, I only heard it over my playing during the click count, or if I drifted off the beat a little bit. I used to use headphones with a volume slider so I could turn them up and down, so if there was a time change, or a tricky part, or say a new bass player in the band pulling things about, I could turn it up, Then drop it down again to a lower level as things settled.

    Try to get a copy of the clicks that you will be playing to and practice with them. Often they have enough other tracks on them that you can play along and know where in the song you are, and what's happening. This will help you get comfortable for when the rest of the band are there as well.

    I also used to use a programmable drum machine, so that for production shows I could make my own clicks if we weren't using tracks. That way, we would establish the tempo during rehearsal, and there could be no argument about tempos during the run of the show.

    Quick story. One pop band I was in, we got a new bass player who started criticizing my timekeeping. After a few nights of this, I brought the drum machine into the dressing room before a gig, and asked the Band leader to help me set the tempos for the first set. After all were agreed, we went out and GROOVED. When we got back to the dressing room, the Bass player was nice, but condescending, "You see Andy, Without the click you DO have a problem, but I'm sure if you practice a lot you'll be able to develop reasonable time in the end." I sent him back to the stage, and asked him to bring the Drum Machine. When he got back, I asked him to take the battery out. He opened the compartment and found there was no battery in it. I told him that I'd taken it out immediately BEFORE going on stage, and given it to the band-leader. The reason we were tight that night was because he followed me and didn't expect me to follow him. Sometimes life can be SP sweet.

    Cheers

    Andy

  14. #14

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    Ha! Good story, Andy!
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  15. #15

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    We don't need no steenking click tracks.. I just never have used them.. my meter and time is THAT good.. (joke) -Les

  16. #16

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    I doubt that I would use a Click track while playing with the Big Band...to many variations within the charts with regards to tempo. The other night we sight read one of my newer charts. Starts off with a Rubato trumpet solo and hits full stride on the 8th bar without any gradual speed up.Other times, I have used a metronome to keep a tight rein on the band...especially them steenking sexes er, saxes...always want to go to fast or to slow.
    There's a lot to be said for Time Honored tradition and value.

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  17. #17

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    I've worked with them a good deal live and in the studio and have never had problems. Like everything else, it's always a bit scary at first but you get used to it. Personally I don't like working with click tracks live. It has great advantages to work in sequenced parts but IMO it takes some of the fun out of playing because you lose some "ebb and flow" and it can be limiting. That's another conversation.
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  18. #18

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    AAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHH HH click tracks, be prepared to throw things!!!!!!
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  19. #19

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    I got made to try and play along to a click track in the college recording studio...I just couldn't do it...espescially the one in Logic - really makes you go crazy. In then end they got my bassist playing with me in a separate isolation booth, then deleted his track so there was just mine left =]
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  20. #20

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    It might be mainly because recording is such a big hobby for me but I can't imagine recording without a click track. There are just too many plus sides to ignore when it comes to recording and using a click. You can avoid speeding up or slowing down of a song, re-arrange easily within the program, punch in and out if need be. When someone says they don't want to use a click simply because it will take away from the "natural feel" of the song its hard for me not to disagree more. We practice with clicks don't we? A drumset could simply be described as one huge condensed click track. We still always need a point of reference though if we want to make sure we don't fluctuate in speed.

    Those are my 2 cents though or 5. :-) I know that many classic and great songs were written/recorded without one but myself, I know I'm not that good a drummer to keep perfect timing.
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