Q&A | Clicks and Loops

Q? I’ve started using a few click tracks and loops in our services, due mainly to not that many musicians in our worship band. How often do you play with clicks and loops and do you program them yourself or get them from somewhere else?

Calum’s thoughts…

Loops/clicks:  I only tend to use those for a predefined set, usually more performance oriented but not always.  When i’m out with an artist such as Brian Doerksen for instance, we use loops and clicks on a few of the tunes that have backing tracks of choirs, orchestra’s etc…otherwise everything else will be click free.  I have a reference LED pulse on a metronome to kick off the tune, but usually the individual musician who is starting the tune will know it sufficiently to not even need that.  Else i’ll count them in using the metronome as my reference.

If I am playing with a loop or click that i’ve created myself, i’ll do it using a mixture of a drum machine, loop generator, V-drums and ‘live’ instruments through Garage Band, ProTools or some other DAW.

I’ve never had a great ‘team’ experience when using clicks in local church settings, I think primarily because most people are used to taking their timing and cues from other musicians, rather than a click.

The recording process enabled me to quickly trust the click and learn to imply the required feel against it.

Music has to breathe, especially in a church setting.  By keeping to a strict grid we can ending up powering our way through what could have been a more creative space – selah anyone??


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