Author Topic: destroying anticipations  (Read 3600 times)

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Offline ekurburski

destroying anticipations
« on: November 23, 2019, 07:40:39 PM »
No idea of where to post this.  When studying big band arranging at the Naval school of Music a great deal of emphasis was given to NOT destroying anticipations with the drum fills. So how do you insure you're not doing that with the auto fills?
« Last Edit: November 23, 2019, 07:41:52 PM by ekurburski »
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Offline travlin-easy

Re: destroying anticipations
« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2019, 08:38:29 PM »
Much of this will depend upon the song itself, but when in doubt, use the fills judiciously. Same goes for vocal harmony.

All the best,

Gary 8)
Love Those Yammies...

Offline markstyles

Re: destroying anticipations
« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2019, 09:22:20 PM »
Yes, be careful not to use fills too often, and use p a few different fills. Normally of course fills are  put in the last measure of verse,  bridge, or chorus.  A fill often is a signal that a different part is about to happen.  If you are doing this in your DAW,  modify the rhythm of the notes or the notes themselves.  So one fill might just be a rack tom, and a floor tom.  Some fills could be some extra snares, or kicks in the last bar of verse. another could be a full roll of al toms. 

Some fills might be extra notes in the last 1 or 2 beats.  Might also be the whole measure. There is a psychology to music.  The brains job is to find patterns, I personally feel, there is a 'satisfaction' in figuring out the patterns, whether it be chord structure, melody, rhythm.  But if the music continues with the same patterns, the brain starts to look for something else to analyze, and looses interest.  Fills in a song, are surprises and indications of what is to follow.  That is why interesting songs often  'layer' new parts in as song progresses, to keep you picqued as to what might happen next.   

 You need enough repetition for the brain to find patterns in the music. But if this continue to go on and stay more of less static.. The brain begins to lose music.

There is also a value to repetition, like 'Billy Jean' by Michael Jackson.  You get drawn into the hypnotic rhythm.  Jackson maintains that basic structure much longer than expected, but he 'fools with your anticipation' not with drum fills, but with his vocal stylings, of 'ooh', huh, breaths, growls, etc.  He also knew that his dance moves would be so surprising and enticing, the strong rhythmic/harmonic bed he created would keep you 'hypnotized' to.

Congratulations on taking the Naval school of music chorus..  I have perused it's content.  It is very thorough.   If the statements above 'strike a chord with you'.. (ha ha).. Thee is a great book, 'This is your  brain on music'.  A valuable insight into music for a songwriter, composer, even performer.  There is also a free course at I believe it is called something like 'Music as Biology'.  I took it several years ago.  Coursera tries to get you to pay for it, and you get a 'certificate' (it's not college credit, or anything) You can also do something like 'audit' it for free. You get no teacher feedback, only other students, which may or not be helpful, depending on what they get out of the course.  The teacher who gives the lecture, is pretty boring, but the information and insight you gain, will give you lots to think about regarding  composing, playing, or even just enjoying music

Leonard Bernstein gave a few lectures on music at Harvard many years ago.  You can find this for free, on the internet and also is very insightful.  You don't have to be heavy into music theory or study, to get a lot out of this. 
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Offline ugawoga

Re: destroying anticipations
« Reply #3 on: November 26, 2019, 09:05:17 PM »

I think that all comes from inner self and imagination the same way a story is told. Then again it is all down to what genre the music is.
If it feels good do it!! 8) :).
I will start making my own music in the New year and whatever comes out of my cranium i will put it down.
Music is full of anticipation, suspension, passing notes etc .
It is up to the author with the magic ink :)

All the Best
John :)
« Last Edit: November 26, 2019, 09:08:28 PM by ugawoga »

Offline Brian 007

Re: destroying anticipations
« Reply #4 on: November 27, 2019, 08:00:50 AM »
Hi John,

Your dead right if it's your own composition , and it's what you want go or it, but above all enjoy what you create and play and do it your own way, good luck with your music creation,

All the best,  Brian007

Offline andyg

Re: destroying anticipations
« Reply #5 on: November 27, 2019, 10:47:03 PM »
Depends a bit on what you mean exactly by 'anticipations'. Do you mean that in the strict sense of a melody note anticipating a harmony change, or vice versa. Or do you just mean that you don't want to spoil the upshift or downshift in a piece as it moves from verse to chorus and back, for example?
It's not what you play, it's not how you play. It's the fact that you're playing that counts.

Offline ekurburski

Re: destroying anticipations
« Reply #6 on: November 28, 2019, 03:45:59 AM »
Andyg.  It seems you hit it on the head.  It seems no one here knew what I was referring to. I'm talking about rhythmic  anticipation.  Seems that for the most part jazz music and in particular swing tends to anticipate the first beat of a phrase by a small amount.  Not sure I'm explaining this correctly.  Seems I had difficulty with this when I was studying it.  Anyway, the idea is I don't want to step on the anticipation by not ending the phrase b4 the anticipation starts.  So the drum fill needs to end b4 the anticipation starts.  I don't see how I can assure that this doesn't happen with altomatic fills.  Hope that makes sense/
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Offline mikf

Re: destroying anticipations
« Reply #7 on: November 28, 2019, 05:10:20 PM »
Anticipation and then release is a very important feature in music. It can be rhythmic, harmonic and or melodic. Its when we build a natural sense of what should happen next, like a change from verse to chorus, or a chord change. Then when it happens there is a pleasing sub conscious momentary sense of release. The drum fill when used properly is a way of emphasizing that, and of course you are right that you normally don't want to spoil it by covering the change with the fill and therefore missing the release. But I think that most fills on the arranger work this way anyway, they precede and lead into the change.
Its also interesting that another neat musical trick that composers, arrangers and jazz musicians use is to build tension by building anticipation then deliberately not providing or delaying the release. This build in tension making the release even more pleasing - almost to the point where you subconsciously start to wonder if the player knows what he is doing, then suddenly realizing he really does. A good example of this often found in rock music is to have an anticipated chord change but the bass keeps playing the same notes right through the chord change. The opposite of this to make music interesting is changes that are sudden and not really anticipated, like an unusual modulation in a melody, or a sudden rhythm change. Like the change from 4/4 to 6/8 nd back to 4/4 in the Elvis Pressly song 'suspicious minds'.
But it all has to be subtle and underused to be effective.

Offline ugawoga

Re: destroying anticipations
« Reply #8 on: December 30, 2019, 12:02:01 AM »
Not like EDM . Full of suspensions!!! ;D :P " Get me a headache tablet"!! ear plugs ::) !!