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View Full Version : Everybody thinks they can play tambourine and cowbell...


samc
February 19th, 2011, 01:29 AM
Until you record them next to a really good percussionist....

Three members of the band I'm working with learned that lesson today.

DPower
February 19th, 2011, 01:37 AM
Until you record them next to a really good percussionist....

Three members of the band I'm working with learned that lesson today.

I used to think I could do a lot of things before I started recording good musicians.

Which makes recording bad ones all that much more painful.

Damage, Inc.
February 19th, 2011, 01:50 AM
Kind of like how everybody thinks they can sing because it looks so easy on American Idol.

samc
February 19th, 2011, 02:35 AM
But most non professional singers probably won't insist that they are good enough to sing on an important album, playing the tambourine or cowbell however is another matter.

sqkychair
February 19th, 2011, 04:44 AM
Go listen to a real live salsa band, you might not ever pick up another piece of hand percussion in your life out of shame.

chrisj
February 19th, 2011, 06:15 AM
Dunno about cowbell so much (I guess it's unforgiving, right?) but holy crap is tambourine a bitch! What a nightmare!

otek
February 19th, 2011, 12:02 PM
Try playing tambourine and shaker well at the same time.


otek

samc
February 19th, 2011, 01:11 PM
Showing this video usually scare the wannabes away but then you might have to sit through an hour or so of everybody (unsuccessfully) trying to play like like this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MIxLdY8B5l0&feature=fvw

samc
February 19th, 2011, 01:14 PM
Dunno about cowbell so much (I guess it's unforgiving, right?) but holy crap is tambourine a bitch! What a nightmare!

The person who played the cowbell on this project replaced the click as time keeper and the drummer as groove maker in one go....and that is not really the easiest thing to with a simple background instrument.

chrisj
February 19th, 2011, 06:49 PM
The person who played the cowbell on this project replaced the click as time keeper and the drummer as groove maker in one go....and that is not really the easiest thing to with a simple background instrument.

Well that's just it- cowbell is metal percussion, ONE huge-ass attack transient and some ring. I don't care where you put it, it cannot be a background instrument. It becomes THE front edge of the beat, that's the whole point. Brutal :)

Damage, Inc.
February 19th, 2011, 09:30 PM
But most non professional singers probably won't insist that they are good enough to sing on an important album...

I sure have had my time wasted by 'singers' whose only experience is in the shower. Maybe some of these are weeded out when you are at the major label level.

As far as hand percussion, my first eye-opener with it was seeing Tito Puente. His guiro player played the same eighth-followed-by-two-sixteenths pattern for the whole show, and never even thought about the possibility of leaving the pocket. I was blown away.

otek
February 19th, 2011, 11:10 PM
Showing this video....

I've seen that clip before, and it slays me EVERY time.


otek

Johnny
February 19th, 2011, 11:33 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=76xRpjmotFk

MacGregor
February 19th, 2011, 11:55 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=76xRpjmotFk

Yep!

Who the hell needs a complete drumkit?

0B7KnrxTafU

Mac
.

PRobb
February 20th, 2011, 12:03 AM
Until you record them next to a really good percussionist....

Three members of the band I'm working with learned that lesson today.

No shit. I've done a lot of hand percussion ODs in my life, and I'm pretty good at it, but when a real pro is in the room it's a whole 'nother story.

Same with shker. A great percussionist can make a simple shaker sing.

Barish
February 20th, 2011, 12:35 AM
Same with shker. A great percussionist can make a simple shaker sing.

I can say the same for darbouka as well.

Everyone seems to have one or two in their vicinity but when you bump into someone who gives it what it takes, it's ecstatic.

BFJyu838fEY

Barish
February 20th, 2011, 12:42 AM
...and some odd time signatures for you, weird 20/8th, 22/8th and shit:

jmWBSf22fHM

Barish
February 20th, 2011, 12:47 AM
By the way, Pandeiro up there is simply amazing. That tambourine man is a bloody nutter.

B.

samc
February 20th, 2011, 02:38 AM
All of these musicians are amazing, but these instruments are playing a lead role and nobody would claim they can play like this, unless they were actually able to or just plain mad.

Some people hear a tambourine or cowbell being played as a rhythm instrument in a song and think they can probably do as well as the person playing in the song.

sqkychair
February 20th, 2011, 06:48 AM
I played for years with a chick singer who always played shakers. She made it look so simple. She used the little eggs and some larger cylinder types and then one she made from aluminum and filled it with CAT LITTER! Sounded awesome!

The band always followed her shaker as she held the best rhythm of all of us and sang at the same time.

When any of us, including the drummer, picked up those shakers we sound epileptic at best.:lol:

sqkychair
February 20th, 2011, 06:51 AM
I've seen that clip before, and it slays me EVERY time.


otek

Same here, that's my favorite part of the movie. I admit my eyes watered up the first time I saw it.

nobby
February 20th, 2011, 07:31 AM
I played for years with a chick singer who always played shakers. She made it look so simple. She used the little eggs and some larger cylinder types and then one she made from aluminum and filled it with CAT LITTER! Sounded awesome!

Only if you use fresh cat litter.

Otherwise, it sounds shitty.

cozmicslop
February 20th, 2011, 08:46 AM
Yep!

Who the hell needs a complete drumkit?

0B7KnrxTafU

Mac
.
Amazing...

samc
February 20th, 2011, 10:30 AM
For some unknown reason a lot of drummers can"t play percussion to save their lives.

ivmike
February 20th, 2011, 11:46 PM
For some unknown reason a lot of drummers can"t play percussion to save their lives.

The same goes for many percussionists that I've met; they are different disciplines; I believe this is the crux of the original post.

samc
February 21st, 2011, 01:10 AM
The same goes for many percussionists that I've met;
The can't play percussion?

Smileyblue
February 21st, 2011, 05:26 AM
We are lucky to have had this gentleman come and work at the studio. An amazing percussionist.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3LwbuTsO7s4

Barish
February 21st, 2011, 08:19 AM
The same goes for many percussionists that I've met; they are different disciplines; I believe this is the crux of the original post.

...and then I saw (and happened to be live recording) this:

http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=454160919149

And she looked just like this on my camera from the sidestage, high heels and all:

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=487458978880&set=a.451095528880.224299.659113880&theater

And no, she was not the drummer on the night, but was rather the percussionist. I guess she was doing the percussion purely because the other dude who played the drums couldn't do it.

I think the crux of the stuff is this:

If you are self taught on your instrument, then yes, they can look like different disciplines to you.

But if you studied it and learned it in a proper conservatory thoroughly, then they are not too far apart. It's like having to learn to play guitar in different tuning schemes. Once you get a crack in it, then it flows.

B.

ivmike
February 21st, 2011, 09:54 AM
...and then I saw (and happened to be live recording) this:

http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=454160919149

And she looked just like this on my camera from the sidestage, high heels and all:

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=487458978880&set=a.451095528880.224299.659113880&theater

And no, she was not the drummer on the night, but was rather the percussionist. I guess she was doing the percussion purely because the other dude who played the drums couldn't do it.

I think the crux of the stuff is this:

If you are self taught on your instrument, then yes, they can look like different disciplines to you.

But if you studied it and learned it in a proper conservatory thoroughly, then they are not too far apart. It's like having to learn to play guitar in different tuning schemes. Once you get a crack in it, then it flows.

B.

I disagree with your analogy entirely; we're not talking about guitars that are tuned differently here; we're talking about the difference between a trumpet and a french horn or a Steinway and a Mini-Moog; these are different disciplines.

For what it's worth, I am classically trained.

And your videos don't work; I m prevented from seeing them.

MacGregor
February 21st, 2011, 11:02 AM
When it comes to cowbell-playing, this guy (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wlrkiNzpJaY) is THE shit.

Action starts at about 2:07.

Mac
.

Barish
February 21st, 2011, 11:31 AM
I disagree with your analogy entirely; we're not talking about guitars that are tuned differently here; we're talking about the difference between a trumpet and a french horn or a Steinway and a Mini-Moog; these are different disciplines.

For what it's worth, I am classically trained.

And your videos don't work; I m prevented from seeing them.

I don't know about your particular case, but in majority of the cases I've been encountering, properly trained people are very competent on instruments with similar topographies, even though the mentalities behind them may vary.

I tried to upload a mov version of the video here but somehow it wouldn't accept it. Anyway. May be it's better so we do not digress.

B.

redbone
March 11th, 2011, 09:00 AM
I don't know about your particular case, but in majority of the cases I've been encountering, properly trained people are very competent on instruments with similar topographies, even though the mentalities behind them may vary.


B.

Drumset and tambo are far from similar. Trumpet and french horn are much closer.

Barish, your experiences are the opposite of mine.

It's usually the trained percussionists who blow chunks on kit.

Buzzgrowl
March 11th, 2011, 04:18 PM
Many years ago I witnessed a 20 minute tambourine solo (it was actually a "Pandeiro" - a fancy tambourine of sorts) by Airto Moreira (http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=airto+moreira&aq=0).

It was a truly overpowering spiritual experience.

cheers, - Buzzgrowl

Tone Laborer
March 22nd, 2011, 07:12 AM
And NOBODY seems to realize they're the loudest things on the stage.

samc
March 22nd, 2011, 10:35 AM
They are only the loudest thing on the stage when they're not being played expertly...Otherwise they're just a part of the groove you don't really notice until the player stops playing.