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Nahum Offline OP
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After the well-known joke about the inverse relationship between the amount of play chords on stage and the number of the audience in the hall, there was a serious question:
Is there a connection between rock harmony on two chords and the presence of two main drums: bass and snare?
Drums are acoustically very powerful instruments, stuffed with low and high harmonics; of which the main ones can be distinguished by ear. In other words, each kick is a whole chord, albeit "polluted". Now let's move on to blues, rhythm and blues and shuffle in the most primitive harmonic scheme.
||: 1 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 4 | 4 | 1 | 1 | 5 | 4 | 1 | 1 (5): ||.
The rhythm formula, also primitive, will be
||: B(ass) -S(nare) B- S: || or ||: bb-ss bb-ss: ||
Maybe you also know that, a theoretically single chord in a bar , on piano alternates 2 chords (I and IV ), and the sound of the second chord will always be higher - like a snare, which in a normal situation, it always follows the bass, but not vice versa.
I'll try to put it more simply: there is a correlation between alternating chord sounds and alternating drum sounds; although not necessarily one to one.

?

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laugh

Last edited by Nahum; 05/07/21 07:00 AM.
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Your question is intriguing.

Overall, I think the drums are just there as a secondary support to the other instruments. They guide timekeeping, emphasize accents, and help fill in the sound. Also, bars & clubs want loud music so the patrons speak loudly, get dry mouths, and buy more drinks.

Looking at the drum sheet music on the second video, I suppose:

1) Just playing quarter notes at the start principally serves to mark the tempo. It emphasizes a rigid squareness. The snare drum accents the 2 and 4 of the music. Can't get much more boring.

2) Adding eighth notes moves the focus from the tempo to the swing. For eighth notes, I think the bass is more subtle than the snare is due to the snare's loudness, higher frequencies, and overtones (ignoring dynamics, ghost notes, etc.). Ever so slightly less boring.

** With the swing, there is a subtle difference between adding the bass on 3+ versus +3

***Taking a measure in isolation, bass on the 3+ seems more laid back, whilst the bass on the +3 is a bit more aggressive. Not sure why but I'll try a guess. The loud snare seems to sustain (and/or keep our attention) for a long time when compared to bass. But in the second scenario (bass on the +3), the snare sustain is cut off 50% of the time. And the eighth note is emphasizing the weak 3 so now we have 3 strong notes in the measure (1,3,4).

***Combining measures in the middle of the piece, we see that the two bass motifs create 2 different spaces (just 2 quarter notes between measures 4 and 5, and 4 quarter notes between measures 5 and 6). Not random but certainly less boring.

3) The rising drum "excitement" from the square 9th measure to the 12th measure just follows what the other instruments do, whatever the purpose of the 12th measure may be.

I don't enjoy these basic 12 bar blues and they generally put me to sleep. Some good musicians can make them very interesting indeed, but I don't think the drum part is critical in those cases.

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I don’t get the premise of this thread. I think the early country blues folks were maybe playing I IV and V chords on their guitars before the backbeat became a very popular and important dance feature.

I hear the 12 bar blues form as a very natural sequence each cord is played just long enough until it wears out it’s welcome in bags for the next cord. I think it evolved out of trial and error.

“Maybe you also know that, a theoretically single chord in a bar , on piano alternates 2 chords (I and IV ), and the sound of the second chord will always be higher - like a snare, which in a normal situation, it always follows the bass, but not vice versa”

What?

You mean how when a blues pianist has four bars of the basic I chord they will use the IV I “fall in” to the I chord phrase for each bar of I?
For example, often times played on the beats 4+, (F triad to C7) like a pickup. Some of my friends call this move “church chords”. As in the African American church music.

Last edited by RinTin; 05/07/21 03:35 PM.

Jazz piano Instructor. Technical Editor for Mark Levine's "The Jazz Theory Book". Studied with Mark Levine, Art Lande & Mark Isham (1981-1990). Also: Barry Harris & Monty Alexander (1993-present)
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Originally Posted by newer player
Your question is intriguing.

.
Sure , only I'm trying to look not from the point of view of a pupil of European or Western culture in general, but in the light of African musical traditions. People belonging to these traditions hear and perceive music differently than we do.
Starting from the early stage of development of African musical cultures (which continues in certain regions), there is no separating systematization of musical phenomena: singing, dance, rhythm and music playing have one common name, reflecting the traditions of syncretism; and also there is no division into professionals and amateurs. Hence, the meaning of such familiar elements as melody, multi-voice vertical coupled with rhythm, timbre differs from what we are used to. These cultural characteristics of also West Africa have been historically imported into America, along with the very culture that has been attempted to suppress; but nevertheless left a specific indelible mark on American music.
In African societies, the role of drums is not only musical, but primarily social: the transfer of information, communication, social organization. This could only be possible if the sound of the drum was endowed with the properties of a human voice, and the playing of it was the sounding of a specific language , on the one hand related to the spoken language , on the other hand - to dance . In the traditions of many non-European musical cultures, at least two types of drum sound (in fact, a whole vocabulary) are initially studied - a low, rounded and sharp high. For example, on the Arabic darbuka it sounds like "Doom-Tik". If you highlight the dominant overtones, then the difference between the pitches will correspond to the first and third harmonics - like a tonic and a dominant.
That is, in the drum, in addition to its rhythmic and timbre properties, there are also melodic, functional, and in the presence of more than one instrument in a simultaneous game - also harmonic. In a modern drum kit, these sounds are split between bass drum and snare; however, they can be removed from every percussion instrument; unless the drummer is in the habit of hammering in nails.
Therefore, one should not be surprised that the rhythmic sound of the drums fits (or does not fit) into the overall harmonic rhythm. Take Keith Jarrett's trio recordings and listen to how drummer Jack DeJonnette is involved in harmonic part of performance. The musician is just phenomenal!

Originally Posted by RinTin
What?

You mean how when a blues pianist has four bars of the basic I chord they will use the IV I “fall in” to the I chord phrase for each bar of I?
For example, often times played on the beats 4+, (F triad to C7) like a pickup. Some of my friends call this move “church chords”. As in the African American church music.

In the above video Shuffle Blues the guitarist plays
|| A7 D\A A7 D\A | % | % |% | D G\D D G\ D || etc

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Nahum
[ listen to how drummer Jack DeJonnette is involved in harmonic part of performance. The musician is just phenomenal!
Maybe his ability to play piano helps as he is a very good piano player also. Here are two cuts first one 1985 the second 2015.





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Originally Posted by dpvjazz
Nahum
[ listen to how drummer Jack DeJonnette is involved in harmonic part of performance. The musician is just phenomenal!
Maybe his ability to play piano helps as he is a very good piano player also. Here are two cuts first one 1985 the second 2015.
Oh, yeah! I found out about this in 1967, when, during a meeting of the members of Charles Lloyd quartet with Moscow musicians and journalists, DeJonnette sat down at the piano, and Jarrett sat down at the drums.

Last edited by Nahum; 05/08/21 10:50 AM.
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This linkage can be examined from the other side: take such R&B drums playback and try to play regular bebop on it, not only rhythmically, but also harmonically. I do not know about you, I get fits of suffocation!

Last edited by Nahum; 05/09/21 12:02 PM.
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Rhythm is everything and why drums are so important. You dig into great musicians and you find a lot of them play drums at home to better understand rhythm and how to fit in with their main instrument. Dave Liebman one of his clinics he can't play drums, but he has a ride cymbal and sticks and learns the ride patterns of the great Jazz drummers. Understanding rhythm and drum is key for pianist to listen for holes in the rhythm they can fill. Even playing solo you have to have good rhythm to make it interesting to the listener, a computer could play the note, but as you know that sound boring. Some of the great drummers today are known for playing melodically on drums and not just keeping time. Listen to Brian Blade for example. Chick Corea was a drum and never stopped Chick's rhythmic approach was key to his sound. The drums have a vocabulary like in all genres.

In music school one of my favorite classes and teachers Larry Muhoberac Rhythm Section playing. What his did was take the big Funk, Soul, R&H hits of the day like Rufus and break down just the rhythms of what every rhythm instrument was playing, no pitches. The pianos, bass, drums, guitars, percussion in kind of like a score. They each had their rhythmic patterns they were playing but put together as a section ever sixteenth note was covered. It was really interesting to see how drums and bass play off each other, guitar and keyboards, percussion weaving in and out.

Even on playing on all parts of one beat on top, dead center, and laid back. Where one instrument might only be playing on top or in back, a drummer might be covering all parts between the different parts of thier set. One of my all time favorite drummers is Jim Keltner who plays all styles but mainly known for his Rock playing. Jim can play the simplistest Rock beat but it sound HUGE. I was lucky to be around Keltner a few times and once asked him how he did that. He said it's really simple my hi-hat hits are dead center of the beat, the bass drum is on top of the beat, and snare is behind the beat. Collectively it covers all parts of a beat. Jim is like a human metronome and can will play fills falling and falling behind the beat then just drop back in perfect.

So underestimate the importance of the drummer and rhythm period. Remember the first musician was someone banging rocks together making up beats.

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Originally Posted by MrShed
He said it's really simple my hi-hat hits are dead center of the beat, the bass drum is on top of the beat, and snare is behind the beat.
That is not really simple!

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Originally Posted by MrShed
Dave Liebman one of his clinics he can't play drums, but he has a ride cymbal and sticks and learns the ride patterns of the great Jazz drummers. .
In 1988 I was playing with him at a concert when his drummer was late and he asked me to sit at the piano and sat down at the drums. His efforts during the game related to the effects of the polio were very clear; but the overall sound was Elvin Jones. I heard the same from Steve Grossman. Both Steve and Dave played with E.J.

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[Linked Image]

Strict acoustic matching between drum sound and the sound of chords.

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Nahum, this is on my personal list of all time greatest Rock & Roll recordings. So what observations can you share ? And at any specific points in the recording.



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Originally Posted by indigo_dave
So what observations can you share ? And at any specific points in the recording.
I honestly don't know what exactly you expect me to answer. This band sounds fantastic in their genre.

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Originally Posted by Nahum
Originally Posted by indigo_dave
So what observations can you share ? And at any specific points in the recording.
I honestly don't know what exactly you expect me to answer. This band sounds fantastic in their genre.

I was simply wondering how your theory would apply to a real world rock song.

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Originally Posted by indigo_dave
I was simply wondering how your theory would apply to a real world rock song.
Not a theory - a hypothesis. I try to draw on a variety of sources, not just Eurocentric culture.
Drums and harmony in the classics:
Timpani in classical music are tuned according to the main functions in the main key or key of the moment. Interestingly, in European musical culture, tympani follows harmony, and drums traditions was associated with military music, starting with their import to Europe during the Crusader period.

from 3:17

Arabic music:



Oud plays macam Rast in C; Darbuka: boom - E, tik - overtone E, third pitch - F.

Now let someone dare to assert that there is no harmony in oriental music !!!

African music:



Singing in D , Agogo F#-D


My guess is that the more the music is designed for dancing and the body language, the less chords it will have.

Last edited by Nahum; 05/15/21 12:24 PM.

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