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What is a groove?

Chords, scales, harmony, melody, etc.

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KVRAF
 
4317 posts since 20 Jul, 2010
 

Postby Sendy; Sat Apr 26, 2014 1:19 pm Re: What is a groove?

bmrzycki wrote:Humans loathe perfect repetition. I tend to think this is because nothing alive repeats itself identically each iteration. Much like a semi-real plastic mask creeps us out our ears detect the how fake perfect repetition and spacing in sound really is.


Heavily disagree here, there's tons of funky music that's played or programmed bang on the grid. Pretty much all early house was created with drum machines and lots of people got into it.

Rock solid timing tends to "harden" a track, sometimes that's appropriate, other times, not.

Impossibly perfect timing combined with either monotony (endless looping) or extreme complexity (think aphex/squarepusher) can also create a sense of surreality or transcending time, in my experience.
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KVRian
 
986 posts since 26 Oct, 2007, from UK
  

Postby do_androids_dream; Sat Apr 26, 2014 1:31 pm Re: What is a groove?

tapper mike wrote:
do_androids_dream wrote:It's the space you leave in between...


I disagree. The space left in between is the pocket. One can have a groove which would be considered a hypnotic rhythmic phrasing without a pocket.

I Feel Love has a groove but not a pocket.


It's interesting to discuss these kind of things as I think I Feel love is anything but groovy - it's very regimented and robotic imo.

tapper mike wrote:I'll take you there has a groove and a syncopated pocket.


Awesome groove - lot's of space in that rhythm ;)
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KVRAF
 
2878 posts since 5 Jun, 2012

Postby fluffy_little_something; Sat Apr 26, 2014 1:36 pm Re: What is a groove?

Maybe groove refers to the bass more than to the drums, or the kind of interaction between them.

Anyone remember New Jack Swing? That genre was considered very groovy music, there was even a song called Groove Me by Guy :roll:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1QSaRjo7UYA

I just listened to it again and tried to figure out why it grooves. They certainly used a drum computer, so the human factor is probably not important.
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KVRAF
 
3139 posts since 11 Aug, 2006, from Austin, TX

Postby bmrzycki; Sat Apr 26, 2014 7:02 pm Re: What is a groove?

Sendy wrote:
bmrzycki wrote:Humans loathe perfect repetition. I tend to think this is because nothing alive repeats itself identically each iteration. Much like a semi-real plastic mask creeps us out our ears detect the how fake perfect repetition and spacing in sound really is.


Heavily disagree here, there's tons of funky music that's played or programmed bang on the grid. Pretty much all early house was created with drum machines and lots of people got into it.

Rock solid timing tends to "harden" a track, sometimes that's appropriate, other times, not.

Impossibly perfect timing combined with either monotony (endless looping) or extreme complexity (think aphex/squarepusher) can also create a sense of surreality or transcending time, in my experience.


Fair enough. :) My point was more about the melody and accompaniment and not the rhythm track. I should have been more clear about that. Dance music kick drums right on the beat are more or less a metronome for the producer and listener. Hardly anyone talks about the epic bass drum in a dance track. :)
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KVRian
 
1122 posts since 14 Aug, 2012, from Australia
 

Postby werp; Sun Apr 27, 2014 12:18 am Re: What is a groove?

Jace-BeOS wrote:As simple as i can put it: something that makes you start bobbing your head to it... :-)

apples floating in a barrel...
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KVRAF
 
9302 posts since 20 Oct, 2007

Postby jancivil; Mon Apr 28, 2014 7:28 pm Re: What is a groove?

bmrzycki wrote:
Sendy wrote:
bmrzycki wrote:Humans loathe perfect repetition. I tend to think this is because nothing alive repeats itself identically each iteration. Much like a semi-real plastic mask creeps us out our ears detect the how fake perfect repetition and spacing in sound really is.


Heavily disagree here, there's tons of funky music that's played or programmed bang on the grid. Pretty much all early house was created with drum machines and lots of people got into it.

Rock solid timing tends to "harden" a track, sometimes that's appropriate, other times, not.

Impossibly perfect timing combined with either monotony (endless looping) or extreme complexity (think aphex/squarepusher) can also create a sense of surreality or transcending time, in my experience.
Hardly anyone talks about the epic bass drum in a dance track. :)
I think we've run into a point of impasse as to the definition of 'groove'. If you tell me a clock is groovy, I just don't believe we mean the same thing. It doesn't work for me. Surreal complexity is beside the point of groove, isn't it? Beyond this, I can't know what it actually does absent a proof of it. 'a drum machine was used'; did no one do anything better than that the whole track? I wasn't there. If this is true, I have to say my experience with making a machine give me a live result compared with a grid tells me I would not enjoy the same response. 'Impossibly perfect'; yeah, quantization as 'perfection' doesn't do a thing for me as an idea and I have found it wanting in practice. Tick tock, tick tock, who cares? Experienced musicians bring intelligence and context, history, humor, a point of view; nuance and sensitivity, and magic. Why would one settle for a quantized execution? This is devolving.

'Lots of people' did something is not through itself persuasive at all. The general public voted for Hitler and likes Coldplay.

As to the sort of rhetorical statement, 'it's the space between the notes', I think if you're reacting rather than reflecting on that, you're missing some real food for thought.

James Brown's bands define groove IME, and it really is a lot to do with the space in between the activated notes or hits. And the swing, the push and pull versus the pulse. And the humor, the point of view, the attitude. The perfect clock, well I know what it is for certain, and groove means something else to me.
Last edited by jancivil on Mon Apr 28, 2014 8:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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KVRAF
 
2921 posts since 22 Jul, 2006, from Melbourne, Australia
  

Postby nix808; Mon Apr 28, 2014 7:53 pm Re: What is a groove?

Hey Sendy,
I may be wrong-
but I think ghost notes are not sounds.
They are a function in a piano roll.
If u turn ghosting on,
the notes in another piano roll's melody will be shown translucently over the melody that u r editing.

The groove-
I agree,
is the accent of the hook/phrase.
It will be where good dancers sit with their movements.

Shuffle can humanize machine timing adding more swing sometimes,
influencing how ur head bops to the millisecond precision
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Rad Grandad
 
24619 posts since 5 Sep, 2003, from New England U.S.A.
    

Postby Hink; Mon Apr 28, 2014 9:40 pm Re: What is a groove?

nix808 wrote:Hey Sendy,
I may be wrong-
but I think ghost notes are not sounds.
They are a function in a piano roll.
If u turn ghosting on,
the notes in another piano roll's melody will be shown translucently over the melody that u r editing.

The groove-
I agree,
is the accent of the hook/phrase.
It will be where good dancers sit with their movements.

Shuffle can humanize machine timing adding more swing sometimes,
influencing how ur head bops to the millisecond precision



Hi nix808, you are both right about ghost notes...yes PR's will have them as you say but there are also notes calles ghost notes :)

In music, a ghost note, dead note, or false note, is a musical note with a rhythmic value, but no discernible pitch when played. On stringed instruments, this is played by sounding a muted string. "Muted to the point where it is more percussive sounding than obvious and clear in pitch. ...
As long as you hate, there will be people to hate
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KVRAF
 
2921 posts since 22 Jul, 2006, from Melbourne, Australia
  

Postby nix808; Tue Apr 29, 2014 1:32 am Re: What is a groove?

Ta Hink!
You learn something every day hey
KVRAF
 
7221 posts since 19 Feb, 2004, from Paris
 

Postby Lotuzia; Tue Apr 29, 2014 2:27 am Re: What is a groove?

thomni wrote:
do_androids_dream wrote:It's the space you leave in between...


Yeah, I'd have to agree with this. It's the way you play a piece of music rhythmically as compared to how it is read. A half note is still a half note of course, but not all half notes will leave the same space for other notes or hits.


This. And playing together with the rest of the band ( ie to be in the same groove )

So : Rythm but together.

For human grooves : Probabilities _in timing, not velocity or timbral- are irrelevant here ( they can lead to different grooves though ) If a drummer plays ahead a strategic snare hit in the pattern ( or approx *rythm schematic* as I learned it in France ) he will tend to reproduce in the best possible way this syncopated hit in every *cycle* he plays, at least during a certain part of the track, and in any case will he *randomize* its timing.

In the same way, robotic super exact over quantized patterns are -only- one of the possible grooves. Like the primitive of it all, and funny that it was only possible with machines, so it came the last. So its just one of the many ways to think a rythmic schema, or groove.

If you take funky music as one of the archertypal generic genres dealing with grooves, you'll find a lot of variety of not quantised drum/bass/keys hits in these music, especially for the instruments in the medium and lower register ( ie its rare that the BD on the first step of a cycle of the music will be shifted ) In the same way all the grooves hesitating between pure ternary and binary music, that you can approach and get an idea of with a quantize between 66 and 80% are *pure* grooves. These were massively used in house music in the 80s/90s, but there are also the basis of a lot of funky/soul/fusion/progrock/mainstream stuff at slower tempi

Eh eh just my 0.002 kopecks
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KVRAF
 
7221 posts since 19 Feb, 2004, from Paris
 

Postby Lotuzia; Tue Apr 29, 2014 2:30 am Re: What is a groove?

Sendy wrote:I don't see the groove as the space between the notes. Of course, you can define anything in terms of it's negative space, they're the same information, so on a purely abstract level, the groove can be the space between the "marks" of the notes, or vice-versa, but in real terms, I see the space between the notes as being filled by the timbre and performance of the notes as they ring out, the length of the notes, any silences and muting, etc.


length of notes ( or gate ) is certainly important. That's why grooving a piano is very different from grooving an organ. Then, it still can be defined by *spaces between hits*, as it could be defined by *spaces between hits*. Basically this means the same thing.
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KVRian
 
744 posts since 28 Oct, 2004

Postby larm; Tue Apr 29, 2014 2:54 am Re: What is a groove?

Thinking about it.. I find that "groove" has a maximum BPM before it just turns into some forward pushing energy/drive (Cheesy example: 90:s happy hardcore). Like it becomes much harder to establish a groove pattern at > 130 BPM than 100 BPM... I think of it that groove relies on rythmic anticipation and a big part of building that is "spaces between hits"/silence or some shuffle and other tempo variations that are easier to comprehend at lower BPMs.

But then again a lot of latin grooves are quite fast ... but aren't those grooves even more "macro" events, that they span over more than one measure, i.e. the groove pulses on a slower BPM than the song BPM ..

Hmmm!
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KVRAF
 
4317 posts since 20 Jul, 2010
 

Postby Sendy; Wed Apr 30, 2014 10:26 am Re: What is a groove?

If you tell me a clock is groovy, I just don't believe we mean the same thing. It doesn't work for me.

I know, you dislike music that conforms to a grid. Perhaps groovy isn't the right word, but I believe you can make a grid dance, by carefully considering the elements you place on it and their parameters. I am into "computer music", I grew up with chiptunes in the way some others may have grown up with folk music.

Surreal complexity is beside the point of groove, isn't it? Beyond this, I can't know what it actually does absent a proof of it. 'a drum machine was used'; did no one do anything better than that the whole track? I wasn't there. If this is true, I have to say my experience with making a machine give me a live result compared with a grid tells me I would not enjoy the same response.

Phil Collins used a drum machine for "In the Air Tonight" because he wanted a mechanical rhythm. Sometimes you want it loose and human, other times you want it absurdly robotic. When you say "was nothing better done?", better for whom? Grid based sequencing, whether the grid is equal in division, swung slightly, or based on a repeating one bar groove, has been a massive part of electronic music, some of which I enjoy for it's specific properties.


'Impossibly perfect'; yeah, quantization as 'perfection' doesn't do a thing for me as an idea and I have found it wanting in practice. Tick tock, tick tock, who cares? Experienced musicians bring intelligence and context, history, humor, a point of view; nuance and sensitivity, and magic. Why would one settle for a quantized execution? This is devolving.


Perfection isn't really my bag in music, I find it stifles creativity, but when it comes to timing, I just really enjoy well programmed music that hangs on the grid yet punches through or transcends it. It depends how it's done. To make a statement that all music with rigid timing is a step back, seems a bit closed minded and a bit of a "high road" mentality. What about a holistic look at it? Sure, you may not like it, but that's a matter of taste rather than evolution.


'Lots of people' did something is not through itself persuasive at all. The general public voted for Hitler and likes Coldplay.


Ok, fair do's. What other people like is irrelevant. We're talking about our tastes. For me, the only thing that makes devolution is a lack of creativity. It's creativity that I'm interested in. What can we do with sound? I'm perhaps more interested in that than raw musicality in some ways.

As to the sort of rhetorical statement, 'it's the space between the notes', I think if you're reacting rather than reflecting on that, you're missing some real food for thought.


Oh, I've thought about it a lot, and you're right. Music is as much the spaces as it is the notes. We could probably all compare the mental models we have of different aspects of music and come up with completely different images. I honestly think, my initial definition in this thread, of a groove as a set of tendencies, a forwards momentum from which deviations cause a loss of energy but can add interest, sums up my model pretty well. It's the sum of all expectations the listener has. Beyond that, the word "groove" has all sorts of connotations and technical meanings depending on who you ask.

James Brown's bands define groove IME, and it really is a lot to do with the space in between the activated notes or hits. And the swing, the push and pull versus the pulse. And the humor, the point of view, the attitude. The perfect clock, well I know what it is for certain, and groove means something else to me.


Here's some grid-based music. Skip to 1:35 if you get bored of the intro.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TVXL21GcMO0

Does this have push and pull? Does it have a groove? Does it have "swing" (in the jazz sense of the word asin, a pleasing balance of proportion)? I'd be interested in what anyone else thinks, too.
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KVRAF
 
5614 posts since 13 Feb, 2006, from Wiesmoor, Germany
   

Postby Bronto Scorpio; Wed Apr 30, 2014 10:56 am Re: What is a groove?

+ 3.1416 for everything Sendy said, and yes, that track is groovy, even if I'm not the biggest Squarepusher fan to be honest.

A "Groove" is defined by the sounds equally as much as by the rhythm/notes in my opinion. One can't look at a bunch of notes and say "Wow! That's groovy!".

Cheers
Dennis
KVRAF
 
9302 posts since 20 Oct, 2007

Postby jancivil; Wed Apr 30, 2014 11:13 am Re: What is a groove?

Sendy wrote:If you tell me a clock is groovy, I just don't believe we mean the same thing. It doesn't work for me.

I know, you dislike music that conforms to a grid. Perhaps groovy isn't the right word, but I believe you can make a grid dance, by carefully considering the elements you place on it and their parameters. I am into "computer music", I grew up with chiptunes in the way some others may have grown up with folk music.
I think you can help it out by judging weight in timbre and all of this, but I do not experience a clock as musical. This is not an ideology, I've been at it a long time. If you could take say a James Brown record and import it into Cubase and make the timeline conform to all of it, you will, this is an absolute certainty, find that the BPMs are not clockwork.
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