While I’ve gotten used to it, I’m not one of those drummers who enjoys playing to a click. Like it or not, it’s a fact of life. I really try to relax into as much as possible, and treat it like I would another instrument. If I’m on the money, it will disappear anyway. What are your secrets to playing with a click?
One of the guitar/singers I work with pushes the tempo, always. Nothing I did could stop him. Once we added the click to our live sets, my job became easier. Since I’m used to practicing with a click, it was an easy transition for me. Now we start at the right tempo & end at the right tempo, every song, every time. I hope the click never goes away, when playing with him.
Other settings, it’s not always necessary. As I said in the topic regarding dynamics & speed shifts, the best thing we can do is practice with a click, and record ourselves, individually & in groups. When we learn our tendencies, and our bands tendencies towards tempo changes, it helps us overcome them.
@bigbeat: Does your singer hear the click too? Either way, though, I wonder why it would improve your singer’s sense of tempo when he or she already had a drummer keeping steady time. I know a couple drummers who have used a click only to prove to bandleaders that they weren’t speeding up or slowing down.
Too many songs have breaks & drumless parts & he would take off. 1/2 the songs he started at the wrong tempo & there’s no going back. He’s in charge & there’s no use arguing. Most drummers that have worked with him gave up trying to keep him in check.
Now the click wins any arguments, and he only works with guys who can play to a click.
I have been practicing to a click(metronome) since I was a child. I use click tracks in the studio. However, when playing live, I never use a click. I am the click, and the rest of the band follows me. It works out great for us. Everything is always solid and on time, and I can push or pull the beat as needed to reign in a guitarist, or to simply allow the music to breath.
I use a click in the studio because most engineers and Producers ask for it.With pro tools and and all…BFD….drum sound replacement…its needed.
I’ve been playing to recording since i was like 5 and to a click since i was maybe 8 so it’s not issue.I LOVE playing with tracks much like Aaron Spears….it’s alot of fun.
I use a click live if needed but usually that’s in the form of a track with instruments and percussion so it’s not just a cowbell banging in your ear.The groups that use em are R&B/pop groups….or any rock thing using synth etc.Otherwise you shouldn’t need it if your a decent drummer.Of course it takes a decent drummer to play with a click too so…..
below photo playing with a funk group that uses SOME tracks…use Westone UM2 earbuds….the best IMO.
I use the click for studio and live and believe that playing with a click should be a skill that all drummers should learn. It has worked real well for me over many years. I currently play in groups that don’t use click….progressive free form jazz and funk. I frequently get
hired for studio work because they need someone able to read a chart while working with a click track. A special thanks to an instructor that made me aware of the click track skills needed. Sorry for all the (I’s) Don’t know how else to describe what’s going on.
I agree. I feel that every drummer should learn to play to a click and read drum charts, because they are skills that are needed in order to be a working drummer. They also greatly expand your knowledge and abilities behind the kit. Never forget, drums are instruments.
i’ve been wanting to put a click into our monitors at church for a long time now and noone wants to hear a metronome except me. It’s really aggravating. Our Singer/Guitar player is horrible with his tempo and our bass player isn’t much different which leaves me to try and reign them in. I don’t mind a click, I like the added security but everyone else is extremely opposed to it.
I tried that but they don’t follow me. Everyone else thinks they know best when it comes to the tempo. Its really frustrating. I even tried explaining it and it was like trying to explain quantum physics to a duck. which I’ve done and I got better results.
I can relate. I’ve played with a certain bandleader/guitarist for years that has the most relative sense of time I’ve ever come across. He often just comes in between beats or mistakes another beat for the downbeat – crazy stuff like that. I’ve often talked with him about it and he either shakes his head and feigns disbelief about his imperfect time skills or just gives me a little smile like he’s saying, “Well, that’s why I have a drummer — to keep time.” It drives me crazy when non-drummers don’t understand that keeping time is an essential skill for all musicians.