When your guitar player starts a song way too slow or fast..

SkinBeater

New member
What do you do... I've been playing for over 20 years now in a million different bands and always have the same problem... i usually wait for the breaks in the song and try to speed up the tempo there... what do you do??

Jon


check out some of my vids at....
www.myspace.com/shogun_warrior32
 

Animal

New member
When your guitar player starts a song way too slow or fast..

...I simply slow him down, or speed him up!

Or I can try to conduct him, stomping my hi-hat in "eight's" in order to get him back on track.
(I don't have this problem very often with my guitar player, I stress to add... :wink: )
 

diceptikon

New member
uhhm, i have had this problem several times with my guitar player. sometimes he gets the idea that he is expressing himself creatively when he decides to start our song off 1/3 slower than normal because he is "feelin it". unfortunately you will be the one to sound like an ass if you make attempts to adjust. so my solution has been to just bite your lip and deal with it and when the show is over you need to instead adjust his ego. i'm sure you all know how that goes. communication before the show makes communication in the show a slight bit easier.
beezy bees
 

Qbs

New member
I've solved this problem in my band by ALWAYS starting a song with me giving the tempo by means of quarter notes either playing the hi hat w/foot or just by hitting the sticks :)
 

BillRayDrums

New member
....is to listen to the vocals. If the singer is comfortable, then the tune is at proper speed and tack. End of discussion.

I had this same situation Saturday night- did a corporate casual with a well-established band. This band has been notorious among drummers in town to be a nightmare because two members of the band disagree vehemently as to where tempos should be. One guy wants things really fast, the other wants things loose and relaxed. To someone who is not experienced this can be unpleasant and you'll feel like you went through a meat grinder at the end of the night.

Anyway, I solved all that by playing to the vocalist's phrasing. If they can sing and are happy, then the job is done. That night, everyone went home happy.
 

funkdrmr

New member
If it's WAYY off, I'll hold the rest of the band from coming in (as well as myself) and that gets the attention of the culprit. They look back, left alone on their extended intro, and I reel 'em back in to tempo as fast as possible and we all come in again as planned.

I haven't really had a big problem with this in my current band, but I know one thing that helped. I wrote down all of the click tempos for my guitar players. The week before the show, everyone went through each song at least once every night at the proper click tempo.

Come Saturday at our show, we were tighter and all of the songs were VERY close to the proper tempos.
 

devilspain

New member
lol good question! it'll prob happen all the time. if in a live situation you gotta bare it out. but in practise dont be no woose. if i feel the tempo is wrong and its not my fault illl stop and tell them that they are all really gay and should learn to keep tempo better. then reclick the tempo :D lol always works for me lol. of course i do it pleasently :)
 

mikeellis

New member
Been there lots of times.

Usually the songs ends with a lame comment blaming 'the drummer' and I usually make a note to 'explain' to the banjoist that he/she DOES NOT blame me for his/her **** ups.

Korg make a great little metronome, really cheap, I don't go anywhere without it. When depping for live dates, I always get agreement from the 'plucker' on the tempo and make a note. So when they bitch about the tempo, I can 'explain' that they agreed it.

Doesn't always work since they are proper musos......
 
When this happens to me, I try to slow it down or speed it up as quickly into the song as possible and keep it there, so as not to draw attention to the change in tempo. It seems like the longer I wait to push or pull the guitarists the more obvious it is, if it gets really bad to where I've gotten too far into the song, I try to keep it right there.

Or like Devilspain stated, if it gets really bad, I'll stop and just let em know that hey, we need to be tighter, back off on the tempo "speedy"!! lol..

Portnoy rules man!!
 

Fudman

New member
I just play at there speed. If they give me shit I through a stick at them, not hard though (it happen once)
 

pphunk

New member
It depends.

If it's way too fast or slow i will usually speed it up or slow it down accordingly, but in a way that would seem natural to an audience.

If it's just a little off i've leave it alone and usually see if it was intentional afterwards, sometimes if our guitarist has a really demanding song to play after that one he may slow it down a little so as not to burn himself out. I have no set in stone tempos, but when they get too slow/fast fills can sound rushed or lacking.
 

m

New member
BillRayDrums":11f5e8u6 said:
playing to the vocalist's phrasing. If they can sing and are happy, then the job is done.
to me, that's the key. You can tell how the vocalist is reacting to the tempo- if it's not working, then it really is the drummers responsibility to fix it. A gradual adjustment to the tempo shouldn't be too noticeable; you ought to be able to nudge it back into the appropriate zone pretty smoothly. Keep the singer happy!

I wouldn't stay at the wrong tempo if it was obviously hurting the song- I think adjusting it would be the best way to go.
 

ganeshgiri

New member
I agree with several previous posts; Depends on the situation... I usually follow the bandleader. If that is someone other than said guitarist, my solution has always been to count the song in myself: the vast majority of bandleaders I've worked with have expected this from me anyway. I play in a show band with a set list of 190+ tunes, so I have to keep a list and a metronome handy to make sure the tempos are consistent each night.

My view is this: your primary job as a drummer is to keep time. To set the tempos is the drummer's job by default, unless the bandleader does it. I'm kind of bossy about this and arrangements onstage, but I was actually asked to do it this way by the bandleader, and the band likes it.

It's very convenient to use a metronome for political reasons, as well as practical ones: people (or gutarists) will question your sense of tempo incessantly; they will not argue with a machine. I sometimes don't need it, but just having it visible keeps the guitarists off my case. Go figure...

All the best!
 

harvey of born

New member
i have had the same problem sometimes, you just kind of have to go with the flow. if you blow up on stage it doesn't look that professional and can cause problems with the rest of the set. try to get the tempo back and run with it.
 

BillRayDrums

New member
ganeshgiri":3ha2qs21 said:
your primary job as a drummer is to keep time. To set the tempos is the drummer's job by default
The drummer is there to play music, just like the rest of the band. It's everyone's job to keep their own time. The second you acquiesce to becoming a human metronome is when you become no better than a floorscrubber.
 

ganeshgiri

New member
BillRayDrums wrote: "The drummer is there to play music, just like the rest of the band. It's everyone's job to keep their own time. The second you acquiesce to becoming a human metronome is when you become no better than a floorscrubber."

Um, DUH.

As I understood it, this forum was about what do you do when the guitarist fails at keeping their own time. In reality, I have never encountered a "human metronome", so I can't say whether they are better than some of the floorscrubbers I have known, who were really very nice guys (or hardware), and some were good musicians.
 

BillRayDrums

New member
ganeshgiri":b976xesr said:
BillRayDrums wrote: "The drummer is there to play music, just like the rest of the band. It's everyone's job to keep their own time. The second you acquiesce to becoming a human metronome is when you become no better than a floorscrubber."

Um, DUH.

As I understood it, this forum was about what do you do when the guitarist fails at keeping their own time. In reality, I have never encountered a "human metronome", so I can't say whether they are better than some of the floorscrubbers I have known, who were really very nice guys (or hardware), and some were good musicians.
----------------------------------------
Whoa there,Sparky!! I'm not wanting the floorscrubber's union #789 to come picket in front of my house! No disrespect to the floorscrubber was intended. I know some pretty cool ditchdiggers as well. If one is happy in life doing what they do, then that's all that matters, right?

I've met human metronomes. They are those who think that by playing 100% straight up&down time that that gets them a gig. I know guys who use a clicktrack as a crutch on stage. If the guitarist tries to bump it up a notch, he can't because of the drummer's strict adherence to his little bleeper stuck in his ear.

I try to dispel the notion that drummers are "timekeepers". Rather, drummers are "time players". Everyone has to maintain good time in the band. If the guitar player is rushing, usually the bandleader looks at the drummer as if it's his fault. It's the default function of a drummer, just like you had stated a couple of posts back. I say that if there's argument regarding tempo, follow the vocalist.

When I was just starting out with Ike Turner he was constantly railing me over tempo. So, I took a Tama Rhythm Watch to rehearsal and started nailing down his tempos. He kind of looked confused about what I was trying to accomplish, but went along with it. So he starts a tune that I had nailed down at about 126bpm at 100bpm, and sang it with as much conviction and grace as he did at 126bpm. There I was, trying to reconcile this deficit of beats-per-minute to myself and he told me "There's only one tempo and that's your heartbeat. Everything else is just feeling." The Rhythm Watch went back into the closet.

If you read any of my posts here you know that I'm all about helping. I'm not here to start fights.
 

stump

New member
This is a problem for all bands at some time or another...anyone who says that it is not is full of it. As far as I go as a drummer, I keep eye contact with 2 people...my bass man (who is like my left wheel) and my lead man (singer). If you have a connection then all it takes is a look. One to or from one of them and it is passed along. If you have a tight group then you know what I mean. Bottom line ...you are the tempo man! Try not to let the hype throw your tempo off. In many cases, the crowd will not know the difference, so if you have a stubborn one in the group...roll with it and try to correct it off stage. Don't let the crowd know that something is wrong by making it obvious.
 

ganeshgiri

New member
BillRayDrums: That's cool... I agree with your points.

It is everybody's job to keep time, but I thought this forum is about what to do when someone doesn't. If the bandleader wants the tempos to fluctuate, fine. Anybody else, ask the bandleader (read: person writing your check) first. I kind of thought we were talking about errors anyway, not an intentional tempo change, so my answers are from that perspective.
 

The Alien Drummer

New member
Everyone has a great point. The difficulty is that we are all guilty of misjudging time. Some nights we're wound up others we're not. I feel that all drummers need some way to justify their time. I always set the tempo for whoever starts the song. Me personally, if it's a dance song that is supposed to be straight time i'll play it to click. If it's a rock song that may dance around the time then i set the metronome and use the visual light to keep on track or start the tempo by the vibration from it. Any way I choose i'm always keeping time with my left foot so that I don't stray to far from the tempo.
Again, just IMO. Hope that helps.
fyi, here's the one i use
 
Top