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OT: Making an acoustic song rythmically strong without drums


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Hi, I have a few hours on credit on a local studio and I'm thinking of recording a song with my wife singing. Piano and vocals live, and some quick overdubs of keyboard bass, backing vocals, percussion, maybe some organ, everything played by me, except vocals. I do not want to involve other musicians for practical reasons. As I cant play drums well, only hand percussion instruments, do you have any ideas on how to make a song rhythmically interesting and funk, without acoustic or electronic drums or sequenced/electronic parts? I want to make it sound very big, organic, bluesy, funky, with a soul/gospel vibe as well. One part of the equation I believe that I already have: left hand bass skills... So, what can I do for rhythm?

 

My drawbars go to eleven.

Gear: Roland VR-09, Nord Electro 2 61, Korg CX-3. Hear my music: facebook.com/smokestoneband

 

 

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with the limitations you are forcing, not much option but to instrumentally on guitar and keys provide a rhythmic groove. ie. jack johnson

-Greg

Motif XS8, MOXF8, Hammond XK1c, Vent

Rhodes Mark II 88 suitcase, Yamaha P255

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You already mentioned percussion. Almost anything can serve that function - hand percussion instruments, foot stomps, hand claps.

 

Queen made "We Will Rock You" pretty clearly rhythmic with stomps and claps. You could even use a bass drum by playing it with a beater. That's no harder than playing cowbell.

 

And remember the immortal words of The Bruce Dickinson...

Moe

---

"I keep wanting to like it's sound, but every demo seems to demonstrate that it has the earth-shaking punch and peerless sonics of the Roland Gaia. " - Tusker

http://www.hotrodmotm.com

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Certainlly footstomps and handclaps will be included, the bass drum idea is also good. No acoustic guitar, unfortunatelly.

 

Curious about what are the immortal Bruce Dickinson words.. :)

My drawbars go to eleven.

Gear: Roland VR-09, Nord Electro 2 61, Korg CX-3. Hear my music: facebook.com/smokestoneband

 

 

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Also, I'd play the piano with a strong rhythmic feel, not too much pedal etc.

 

Final advice: When you're mixing, the percussions can really come alive with the right eq and reverb. Early reflections and just the right amount of predelay are the key. Experiment.

 

 

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Also, I'd play the piano with a strong rhythmic feel,

 

I agree that the manner of playing can help you toward your goal here, and might even give you very interesting results. You maybe can't have drums or guitar, but you might be able to play a few parts that help with the ryhthmic affect they have . .

 

If you care to, listen to some Bluegrass music - - there is no drummer, but there are sounds that happen to emulate the effect of drums. .. With the deep "woof" of the bass on 1/3, and a guitar "chink" (as part of the pattern) on 2/4, you have the effect of a drum groove.

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Or if you have a workstation type keyboard with drum sounds, or the studio has one that you can use, you could play some drum patterns on keys.

Rich Forman

Yamaha MOXF8, Korg Kronos 2-61, Roland Fantom X7, Ferrofish B4000+ organ module, Roland VR-09, EV ZLX12P, K&M Spider Pro stand,

Yamaha S80, Korg Trinity Plus

 

 

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I sometimes do solo piano accompaniment in a MOR rock (church worship) setting. Some things that come to mind:

 

Bass lines are less important than bass rhythms. To revisit Queen's "we will rock you," you could do the tonic note in octaves with your left hand on the "boom boom" part, and use the right hand on block chords on the "clap" part. This essentially assigns the bass and snare drum parts to your left and right hands.

 

Second step, then, is to realize that for all its importance, the snare drum back beat is so strong in pop music that you generally bury it (on solo piano gigs) without too much penalty. Instead of using the right hand just for beats 2 and 4, use it on 1-2-3-4 (quarter notes) or even 1-&-2-&-3-&-4-& (eighth notes). At this point, your right hand is doing the work of the ride or high hat cymbal.

 

If the bass line is bass-drummish enough, this should yield pleasing and rhythmic results sans drums.

 

-Tom Williams

{First Name} {at} AirNetworking {dot} com

PC4-7, PX-5S, AX-Edge, PC361

 

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I'm sure there's some relevant clever quote about this --- but sometimes less is more. Putting in a couple simple rhythmically interlocking parts is going to drive the rhythm than playing all over the place.

 

Unfortunately (for me at least), this is often easier said than done. ;)

 

- Jimbo

 

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Shaky eggs. Tambourine. Acoustic guitar body tapping. Congas, bongoes.

 

And..last but not least..B3 conga slaps.

Hammond: L111, M100, M3, BC, CV, Franken CV, A100, D152, C3, B3

Leslie: 710, 760, 51C, 147, 145, 122, 22H, 31H

Yamaha: CP4, DGX-620, DX7II-FD-E!, PF85, DX9

Roland: VR-09, RD-800

 

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don't be in too much of a hurry to layer parts - if you come at the piano part with enough rhythmic authority, the combo of the notes and the air around them may be all you'll need.

 

[video:youtube]

 

if you are set on overdubbing guitar or hand percussion as others here have suggested, just remember that you don't need them playing throughout. the olde Motown trick of "tambourine in the chorus" always works.

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the olde Motown trick of "tambourine in the chorus" always works.

 

May as well listen to the Motown Mr. Tambourine, Jack Ashford

 

[video:youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z_UF1PqM6Ng

Moe

---

"I keep wanting to like it's sound, but every demo seems to demonstrate that it has the earth-shaking punch and peerless sonics of the Roland Gaia. " - Tusker

http://www.hotrodmotm.com

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