Jump to content
Please note: You can easily log in to MPN using your Facebook account!

What's your definition of "GROOVE"?


Gruuve

Recommended Posts

I'm still thinking about that article in BP about groove. No one interviewed really gave an objective definition. Of course, maybe that's because "groove" is totally subjective? Something to ponder...

 

Anyway, let's analyze this. Music is essentially three distinct components: melody (some progression of pitches), rhythm (some collection of mathematical note durations), and dynamics (soft, loud, anything in between, with loud accents or soft grace notes spread throughout). Of course, if you randomly generate a bunch of pitches, rhythms, and dynamics and dump it all together, that's not necessarily "music" (or is it?)

 

If "groove" is this characteristic that makes humand beings bob their heads, shake their booties, or move their bodies in some way, then which of the three components most directly impacts that? Put more succintly:

 

1) Melody? I don't know...if you play a whole note, does that groove by itself? To me, no.

 

2) Rhythm? This is where I think the groove is IMHO. You could take some arbitary rhythm and play it all on the same pitches, or spread it around several different pitches in some scale, does that make it groove or not groove? Usually, I think the rhythm is the groove-maker, sometimes the melody helps, sometimes it hinders.

 

3) Dynamics? I think this has a secondary part to play. Dynamics enhance rhythms by giving some parts accents and others not. You could even think of a "ghost note" (a note you don't play but people still hear) as a dynamics characteristic of a rhythm.

 

So, is syncopation (throwing into the rhythm notes that fall on the "&" in an eigth note pattern or on the "e" and "a" in a sixteenth pattern, etc) for groove? My immediate inclination is to say "yes", but then I've heard songs where the basic rhythm is all eight notes, and it grooves. Now, if you take a straightforward rhythm that's all eight notes and accent some of them, does that groove more than all notes the same dynamic? IMHO, yes...or at least usually. If you accent the downbeat, that sets one kind of groove. If you accent the 1, & of 2, and 4, that sets another kind of groove (but then I guess that & of 2 counts as syncopation, does it?).

 

Anyway, I'd like to hear your musings. Post your thoughts....

 

Dave

Old bass players never die, they just buy lighter rigs.

- Tom Capasso, 11/9/2006

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 17
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Any solo or combo of instruments that interact in a way that flows,or makes you want to move wether its tapping,nodding or dancing. Doesn't matter how its done,as long as its done. Thats what it means to me.

 

Whole notes can grove against something else. Its a rhythm thing,I guess.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

i have always considered groove to be a player's relationship with time (or the beat, if you prefer).

 

what i like about my definition of groove is that it is not specific to a type of music, or to the rhythym section. anyone, any instrument, any musical style can have groove.

 

i think the hardest grooves i have ever heard are chad smith's drum grooves on "blood sugar sex magik".

 

robb.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Groove? That's what's on the back of a country bassist's instrument isn't it? Damn belt buckle.

 

I'm sure we'll trod the well-worn paths all such discussions lead through, one of them being troffed out by those who confuse groove with certain STYLES of music, or certain instruments, etc.

 

robb didn't do that. Good man.

.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

Groove has as much to do with the performer's relationship to the Oneness of the universe, flowing through the music to unite the audience as it has to do with any musical concept.

 

"Let's raise the level of this conversation" -- Jeremy Cohen, in the Picasso Thread.

 

Still spendin' that political capital far faster than I can earn it...stretched way out on a limb here and looking for a better interest rate.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 6 months later...
Originally posted by   :

Groove? That's what's on the back of a country bassist's instrument isn't it? Damn belt buckle.

 

I'm sure we'll trod the well-worn paths all such discussions lead through, one of them being troffed out by those who confuse groove with certain STYLES of music, or certain instruments, etc.

 

robb didn't do that. Good man.

Hi Greenboy,

 

Re. "Damn belt buckle"

 

Here's how I protect my guitar finishes from belt buckles, etc. Actually I'm surprised that guitar shops don't have these on all their display giutars; www.ScratchPadUSA.com

 

Best,

GM

Life is too short, eat your desert first!
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Groove is foremost a repetitive complimentary combination of drums and bass that bring an additional dimension that cannot be accurately articulated in written music. Groove can only be played by musicians with feel. Feel is the ability to add life to a series of notes and drum voices.

 

Davo

"We will make you bob your head whether you want to or not". - David Sisk
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The groove.. I'd say it's the music's heartbeat: movement, propulsion, continuity, inevitability, interaction between musicians. I don't remember who said it, but some musician once said in an interview that playing music is like playing three-dimensional chess, playing with the three elements of music: rhytm, harmony and melody. I'd add tone to the equation; if you're playing with a modern, crisp high-end bass you'll come up with different ideas than with an old Precision. I must say that I'm a bit of a Luddite as I have a fairly strong dislike of sequenced music and using click tracks: too often such music has this dull sameness to it which drives me crazy, the music just doesn't breathe.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

OT, but... Anyone else notice the sig line of the spammer known as "Guitar Man"?

 

He seems to be advocating the consumption of soil.

Oar something.

 

Oh, and he's full of SPAM.

 

Just thought I'd mention it.

 

Oh, and groove to me is like art:

Your definition of groove might not be mine.

You know it when you see it, but it's often

in the eye of the beholder.

 

:)

 

 

Peace,

 

wraub

 

I'm a lot more like I am now than I was when I got here.

 

 

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...