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What is "Drive" in Music and How is it Generated

Aug 9, 2017 - 7:00:21 PM
340 posts
Joined Jul 26, 2015

Here's an interesting discussion topic. I have often considered doing the number of interviews with people to create a film or essay on this subject.

A few of the Old-Time and Bluegrass musicians I view as playing with drive include the Lantana Drifters, Uncle Dave Macon's Fruit Jar Drinkers, the Red Fox Chasers, the Crook Brothers, the Rockdale Ridgerunners, Chris Gray, Paul Warren, Scotty Stoneman, Dick Crawford, Billy Hazelwood, Wayne Yocom, John Lanham, and Richard Hoffman.

Edited by - soppinthegravy on 08/09/2017 19:14:50

Aug 10, 2017 - 9:53:58 AM
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54 posts
Joined Aug 1, 2017

I think drive is feeling and emotion.
Aug 10, 2017 - 10:38:06 AM
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50 posts
Joined Aug 10, 2017

It's the danceability. Do people rise to their feet and start dancing? Do they start tapping their feet? Does the energy rise in the room? That's drive.

I think it's accomplished by people keeping the time, establishing a strong, steady rhythm at a tempo that gets people moving. You don't need a lot of fancy twiddly bits or a lot of notes or even perfection to generate drive, but you do need the rhythm.

This is my first message. I hope it's okay to reply!

Aug 10, 2017 - 3:04:38 PM
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Danie, I definitely agree with you for certain styles of music, but not all music is danceable.
Aug 10, 2017 - 8:25:09 PM
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335 posts
Joined Jan 25, 2012

I think it is more than all of this. It's a strong, incessant rhythm, to be sure. Drive is relentless. I suspect in music that we feel "drives" there is a little bit of pushing forward on the tempo, or playing on top or just slightly ahead of the beat. This gives the sense of urgency. The opposite is dragging behind, which can give a more languid, laid-back style. Some syncopation also can give the feeling of drive, which is why it is so prevalent in popular styles of music.

Aug 11, 2017 - 4:58:24 AM

gapbob

USA

425 posts
Joined Apr 20, 2008

Seems to me that if someone is listening to you and notices the swing or syncopation, then that is too much.  At least for traditional fiddle.

Edited by - gapbob on 08/11/2017 04:59:42

Aug 11, 2017 - 8:27:59 AM
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quote:
Originally posted by novolis

Danie, I definitely agree with you for certain styles of music, but not all music is danceable.

I'm not sure I'd use the word "drive" to describe music that isn't danceable. I'd probably choose something more like flow or lift or spirit or emotion perhaps.

Aug 11, 2017 - 9:19:28 AM
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Fiddler

USA

3600 posts
Joined Jun 22, 2007

In my opinion, drive is related to danceability, as Diane mentioned above.

Strong rhythm is one thing, but another is an almost imperceptible lead-in of the melody to the beat. It not only gives it drive, but also lift. Manytimes, a player will play a little behind the beat which creates drag. When the tune is exactly on the beat, it can be pounding and drive the listener into the ground.

How to get it? Listen. Listen. Listen. ... and Listen some more. Down bow on the downbeat (or the beginning of a phrase) is one tip that helped me immensely when I was starting. This puts a natural accent there. It also forces an accent on the upbow which gives the lift.
 

Aug 11, 2017 - 9:28:40 AM
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892 posts
Joined Jun 13, 2011

Drive personified:


https://youtu.be/Q_MWeOs8Ffg

Edited by - Mojohand40 on 08/11/2017 09:29:24

Aug 11, 2017 - 9:35:55 AM
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boxbow Players Union Member

USA

2158 posts
Joined Feb 3, 2011

Total lack of hesitation.  Be. There. Now.

Aug 11, 2017 - 1:07:40 PM

340 posts
Joined Jul 26, 2015

Yep. A guy told me. "When your time comes to pick, don't thumb around. You grab it, and you go."
quote:
Originally posted by boxbow

Total lack of hesitation.  Be. There. Now.




Aug 11, 2017 - 1:20:09 PM

340 posts
Joined Jul 26, 2015

What if they like it? I always thought the measure of a fiddler's drive was how many buck dancers or cloggers were joining in the jam.
quote:
Originally posted by gapbob

Seems to me that if someone is listening to you and notices the swing or syncopation, then that is too much.  At least for traditional fiddle.




Aug 12, 2017 - 12:01:38 PM

Old Scratch

Canada

130 posts
Joined Jun 22, 2016

"Lift" is what gets'm on their feet.  "Drive" is what keeps'm there.

Actually, I just said that because it sounds good.  I think 'drive' can be apart from 'danceability'.  'Drive' implies considerable forward momentum, which can raise the level of excitement, but it's not always what's wanted for dancing.  Depends on the type of dancing and dancers.  And then there's 'groove'.  No doubt there will be those who disagree, but groove and drive are almost mutually exclusive to my mind.  If want groove, slow down; if you want drive, put the whip to 'er.

Aug 12, 2017 - 1:55:56 PM

gapbob

USA

425 posts
Joined Apr 20, 2008

What
(the return inserted by the website) I was trying to suggest (IMHO) is that the things that make up drive and lift shouldn't dominate the tune, rather they should silently, insidiously, infect the listener.
quote:
Originally posted by soppinthegravy

What if they like it? I always thought the measure of a fiddler's drive was how many buck dancers or cloggers were joining in the jam.
quote:
Originally posted by gapbob
 

Seems to me that if someone is listening to you and notices the swing or syncopation, then that is too much.  At least for traditional fiddle.

 

 


Aug 12, 2017 - 2:08:49 PM

340 posts
Joined Jul 26, 2015

That brings up an interesting topic, the differences and similarities between, drive, groove, swing, and lift.
quote:
Originally posted by Old Scratch

"Lift" is what gets'm on their feet.  "Drive" is what keeps'm there.



Actually, I just said that because it sounds good.  I think 'drive' can be apart from 'danceability'.  'Drive' implies considerable forward momentum, which can raise the level of excitement, but it's not always what's wanted for dancing.  Depends on the type of dancing and dancers.  And then there's 'groove'.  No doubt there will be those who disagree, but groove and drive are almost mutually exclusive to my mind.  If want groove, slow down; if you want drive, put the whip to 'er.




Aug 12, 2017 - 2:18:39 PM

59 posts
Joined Aug 26, 2016

Not sure you will know "Drive/Lift/Groove" when you HEAR it.... Suspect you will know it immediately when you Feel it.

Edited by - michaeljennings on 08/12/2017 14:19:10

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