Archives For December 2012

Rhythm Playing

Rhythm is not just for the drummers in the band.  I know that sounds obvious, but think about it — as band members, how much more of the time are we thinking about what notes we’re playing as opposed to when we’re actually playing those notes? Continue Reading…

Part 5 of 8 in the series Taking It Apart

Les Paul blur

Since the middle of the 20th century, the guitar has been one of the most popular instruments in the world, and it’s not hard to see why! It’s relatively easy to learn, it’s not too expensive, and it can find a home in just about any musical genre. One important reason behind the guitar’s popularity is that it excels not only at playing chords but also at single-note expression.

What’s so special about that? Continue Reading…

I Lift My Eyes Up

We interrupt this current series to bring you a crucial piece of information …

Think about an in-person conversation that you had with someone today. Not about what was said, but about what was done. Or, if you haven’t seen anyone yet today, stop reading this point, go find someone, have a conversation about the weather, and come back to finish reading this post.  Continue Reading…

Part 4 of 8 in the series Taking It Apart

Bass

The bass guitar is glue that holds the band together.

I have no idea what this analogy means. I’ve heard it said about bass – and almost everything else on stage – and I cringe every time I hear it! But, I shouldn’t complain without an alternative, so I’ll offer my own view of how the bass functions in pop/rock music: Continue Reading…

And we’re starting to build the band now. We’ve spoken to the consistency of the drums, now it’s time to add another instrument. You probably know what instrument makes the most sense to add at this point (because it’s in the title of this post) — the bass guitar.

There are many reasons the bass fits logically into the puzzle piece that we have in the drums right now. Sticking with the “100% rule” logic here, the bass fits in with the kick drum on the drum set. Why? For one reason, the sonic range is actually similar. Hanging out around that 50-150Hz mark, both instruments are more often felt than they are heard in the mix. Secondly, when both instruments (kick & bass) line up their primary accents, the groove of the song becomes clear for the rest of the band to build on top of.  Continue Reading…

Part 3 of 8 in the series Taking It Apart

snare on Meeting House Oakville stage

The first time a snare drum really stood out to me was “Under the Table and Dreaming“, the album that put Dave Matthews Band on the map. It’s a 1990s classic full of rich instrumentation, funky acoustic guitar parts … and drums! Drummers were drooling over everything Carter Beauford hit, and even a total beginner guitarist like me got caught up in that ominous “crack” on two and four that defined the intro to “Ants Marching”.

When it comes to drums I believe many sound techs fall for the kick first, but grow to love the snare the most. Continue Reading…