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Episode 136 – Playing With Recordings Vs. Playing With People

Phil and Jon are back in a newly revamped studio B with a topic suggested by a member of our listening audience. This week we discuss the pros and cons of playing with recordings versus playing with live musicians. The request was sent to us in regard to the tribute band show that we did several weeks ago. Our listener, Tony, recently became involved with a Steely Dan tribute act. He’s spent copious amounts of time working with the original recordings however he’s discovering that he has to make numerous adjustments when playing the exact same songs with live musicians.

We discuss Tony’s situation and then debate some of the positives and negatives of playing with recordings. Some of the benefits we outline are: ear training, learning typical song forms, learning grooves, ‘playing’ with the professionals, de facto transcription, learning good time/feel, and the pleasure of playing with good music. We then discuss possible detriments such as: being led thus not stating assertive time, possibly learning bad feel/tempos, not listening to yourself, setting up your band mates to fail, and trying to measure up to studio fidelity perfection. We also give some tips to combat these issues along with some ideas for practicing with drummer-less tracks.

We finish out the show with a brand-new segment of the DWG Garage. Jon has not one, but two, great tips for dealing with problematic, vintage Ludwig drums.

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