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Author Topic: Dynamics and playing  (Read 3263 times)

Offline bno

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Dynamics and playing
« Reply #15 on: June 11, 2008, 08:56:13 AM »
Another thought occured to me.  And that is the distinction between dance music and concert music.  One is intended to provide a steady beat that never fluctuates and brings a community together in movement.  The other is to engage the listener and challenge their senses and intellect.  It is the purpose of dance/tribal/war/rock/hiphop music to remain steady and forceful to act as a binding force.  This dawned on me as I was going to recommend Paul taking his son to the piano recitals (which I'm sure he's already done, educator that he is) as a perfect venue for experiencing dynamics, but if you're a piano player (as opposed to a pianist) and you want people to dance, you play FFF and pound the crap out of the piano.  I would say that most pop/radio music is for dancing.  HOWEVER, a good rock/party band can and does "bring it down" and lay the groove low - it makes for a good show.  So I don't know what my point is here.  Oh, well.
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Dynamics and playing

Offline mountaindewaddict

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Dynamics and playing
« Reply #16 on: June 11, 2008, 10:05:30 AM »
Guys, we also need to consider the listening context - which I think is often in the driver's seat when it comes to dynamics.  Most rock / pop music today is begin listened to in a mobile context (car stereo or i-Pod).  It is impossible to catch subtle dynamics with road noise and the business of life.  I like classical music, but I don't listen to it in the car, because I want to hear all of it, and I just can't without turning it up so loud that when the whole orchestra kicks in it hurts my ears.  In a concert hall, that's not an issue.  

The other thing is that in our crazy hectic society, we are mortally afraid of silence.  I could get over-spiritual here, but won't.  Essentially, I think that the only place you are ever going to hear good dynamics is in a concert hall, or a good bar band that really knows their stuff.  So support live music!  (I know, I'm preaching to the choir! [:D] )

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Casey

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Dynamics and playing

Offline prjacobs

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Dynamics and playing
« Reply #17 on: June 11, 2008, 11:40:37 AM »
quote:
Originally posted by Lwinn171

When I think on the subject of dynamics, I think about things like Not playing all the time. Staying out of the way of the vocals. Using the volume knob, and making good use of a multi-channel amp. It's also in the hands, how hard you attack the strings. I make an effort to have some options, volume-wise, but the key is to have an ear for when to make sure you are heard, and when to make sure someone else is.



Yes Lawrence, this was certainly the way I did it when playing live, except that I only used a one channel amp. [:)] These days, my live work is occassionally playing B3 with Tommy James and the Shondells, and the band has great dynamics.  Yes... I'm a part time Shondell...
Bno, I agree about the difference between dance music and concert music, although if we go back to the analog age, people recording or playing live had natural dynamics due to the reality of resting and not being able to play wall to wall as machines do.  Again, we've raised the bar in terms of the noise floor, but even when music is constantly loud and sequenced, it's the changing of color that refreshes the ears.
I go to tons of classical concerts, probably mostly solo piano, since I'm studying it these days, and it takes me a while for my ears to adjust to the hall.  Yes, I've taken my son to some classical concerts, but while he likes the music and respects the incredible skill needed, he can't really relate it to his "School Of Rock All Stars" world of cranking it out on stage.
I know that most of the world is listening to music in cars; I'm one of the exceptions, since I live in Manhattan, but my focus with him is in live performance.  Again, I go back to Lawrence's quote above and try to instill in him the capacity to listen for a good balance, let the vocals be in the forefront and play with massive feel.  And when you have a solo, kill it... Yes, Lawrence having a great drummer and bass player is essential.  Then all you have to worry about is your hair...
« Last Edit: June 11, 2008, 04:14:04 PM by prjacobs »
 

Dynamics and playing

Offline bembamboo

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Dynamics and playing
« Reply #18 on: June 12, 2008, 09:10:37 PM »
It can be as simple as " back off during the vocals".

Dynamics and playing

Offline Lwinn171

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Dynamics and playing
« Reply #19 on: June 12, 2008, 11:30:37 PM »
quote:
Originally posted by bembamboo

It can be as simple as " back off during the vocals".



Yeah, that's a great place to start. Instantly more professional if you create a space for the vocals. I like to think of it as "creating an environment" for the vocals, almost like a soundtrack... It is a goal of mine to one day make that concept work in a rock setting. Dynamics are at the heart of what I envision for my current band (about 6 weeks old, just getting started). Got a great group of guys, and it's starting to sound like something... The doors are wide open to do whatever we wish with it. This discussion is fueling some powerful ideas for me. Thanks for letting me rant on about it... [^]

Lawrence Winn
2001 Classic,1998 Classic
Boogie MK IV, Behringer ACX-1800, Zoom A2, various effects

Lawrence Winn
2001 Classic, 98 Deluxe
various amps, various toys