Leaving "space" in the music....how?

Discussion in 'The Sound Hound Lounge' started by 2HBStrat, Jan 14, 2015.

  1. 2HBStrat

    2HBStrat Member

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    In several musical situations in 2014, and some continuing into 2015, I have run into situations in which I'm playing with people who can't not play. In other words if there is a song being played, they're in.....they can't leave space in the music.......they don't ever drop out for effect, and they feel they have to play even in places in the song in which their instrument isn't in just to "fill it up." Is there any solution to this? Is space important in music?
     
  2. sahhas

    sahhas Member

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    well, i believe in music notation it is called: rests
     
  3. Pat Healy

    Pat Healy Member

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    "Hey dude. Lay out on the second verse. Thanks."
     
  4. jonnytexas

    jonnytexas Supporting Member

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    I think some guys get this naturally, and some guys that don't can get it naturally can with experience and coaching. I am of the second variety and got coached by older better players. Maybe you can be the guy that helps them on their musical journey.
     
  5. RLD

    RLD Member

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    Dynamics...building sections from sparse to full, verse vs. chorus, etc.
    Maybe they are not aware of these subtleties?
    Instruct them.
     
  6. greggorypeccary

    greggorypeccary Member

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    When Coltrane said to Miles that he didn't know how to stop, Miles purportedly replied, "Try taking the ****ing horn out of your mouth."
     
  7. pgoon

    pgoon Member

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  8. greggorypeccary

    greggorypeccary Member

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    I know, right? I mean, this isn't rocket science. :)
     
  9. jonnytexas

    jonnytexas Supporting Member

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    It was explained to me like this by a much better player and musician than I will ever be. "We can shout and yell all we want, but when you whisper, people lean in to listen.
     
  10. nickbruce

    nickbruce Member

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    communicate directly - "can you try playing 50% of the time instead of 95%?"
    If you have players that can count, see if they'll try counting only the negative space (vocalize the beat only on rests). It's their job to have enough rests to count on so they don't get lost ...
     
  11. RLD

    RLD Member

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    Instead of just ordering someone to play less, it helps if you can explain why in an informed, logical way.
    Show examples of dynamics and building excitement by adding parts as a song progress.
    Why does a drummer open his hat a bit more in this part?
    Why did the guitar player play this part with a different chord than the first time?
     
  12. Pat Healy

    Pat Healy Member

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    The best analogy I've ever heard for this was from a very experienced studio engineer who has recorded the likes of Steve Winwood, LeAnn Rimes, Dann Huff, and others. He said "Music is like a window. There's a finite amount of space that you can fill with a few beautiful things, or a bunch of tiny busy little things that don't mean ****." At this time I was about 20 and was only interested in playing fast and often. Really changed my perspective on the whole thing. Maybe share that with your busy bandmates.
     
  13. tiktok

    tiktok Supporting Member

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    There's a T-Bone Burnett story about producing an Elvis Costello track. Elvis did the usual guitar and vocals, and then he overdubbed a bass part, which had like seven notes total throughout the four minute tune. As in "seven note events", not "a selection of seven notes played multiple times". T-Bone said something to the effect that it was the sort of bass line that a bassist would never write, because it was so spare and off-kilter, but that a songwriter or arranger would, because he had no ego involved in showing that he was "useful" all through the song. Just seven locations during the song where the bass added something that was missing.

    Brian Eno has also talked about how songs that arise from band writing sessions/jams typically have everyone playing all the time, and they often benefit from someone stepping back and muting a lot of the parts to carve out a dynamic arrangement that breathes, but that the individual musicians are often stuck in their own view on the floor and intent on showing "Look! I can do this! I'm not useless!"

    Roger Deacon, the bassist in Queen, had a vocal mic in front of him at shows. He didn't sing, but he plays that one triangle note in "Killer Queen". I always liked that there was a mic for just that.
     
  14. 27sauce

    27sauce Supporting Member

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    We've got a guy like that. You can't play with him, you play around him. The irony is that he leaves out a bunch of parts.
     
  15. bigtone23

    bigtone23 Member

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    Dynamics and dropping out is just as important as the parts that are being played. It's fundamental musicianship to understand this.
    I play drums in a few bands with 3-6 other members that often require coaching on this. Some overplay because they have to keep their themselves occupied, some feel awkward standing on stage not playing, some just don't get the dynamic aspect of music.
    Sometimes the blame is on the rhythm section, as they are usually pumping throughout the songs. If they aren't interesting to listen to, the rest of the band will play over it to 'cover up' the lackluster groove.
     
  16. Mayor McCheese

    Mayor McCheese Member

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    Make him listen to the Police.
     
  17. JCW308

    JCW308 Supporting Member

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    When that happens in our band, we stop and say we need to work on the dynamics. Quiet down, build up, stay out for a verse, etc... If that doesn't work, sometimes I have to single someone out and say "it's just too much guitar - try cutting it back to like 25 percent" or something along those lines.
     
  18. RLD

    RLD Member

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    True.
    Bass and drums should be able to hold ones interest.
    If they can't propel a groove, adding stuff on top is just a band-aid.
     
  19. Fishyfishfish

    Fishyfishfish Member

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    Personally I think that a sign of a mature and accomplished musician is when they know when to let the song "Breath". I play with some people that just can't fit enough notes into a song -diddle diddle diddle.... It is something learned over the years and often from being fired or not hired because of it. "Don't shove the whole cake in your mouth, take bites" they told me.
     
  20. emdub123

    emdub123 Supporting Member

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    Good expression, I was told "Don't be the kind of player that feels the need to fill every second of the song with the sound of his instrument."
     

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