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#615829 - 05/14/08 03:48 PM Do you Drone?  
Joined: Apr 2001
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Mike Dunbar Offline
Mike Dunbar  Offline


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Nashville Tennessee
Do you use drones in your music? A drone is a note or notes that continue throughout a piece or section of music. Both the Scottish and Irish bagpipes use drone pipes. It's those notes, usually in fifths, that keep playing through the melody. A 5 string banjo has a drone string. There are drone tones used in Indian music. Early organ music will have a pedal tone.

Many folks will play a G, C, and D chord on the guitar while keeping the notes D and G on the top two strings (making a G, Cadd9, and D sus4).

How about you, do you drone? How about me, am I simply droning on?

All the Best,
Mike


You've got to know your limitations. I don't know what your limitations are. I found out what mine were when I was twelve. I found out that there weren't too many limitations, if I did it my way. -Johnny Cash

It's only music.
-niteshift

Mike Dunbar Music

#615936 - 05/14/08 09:01 PM Re: Do you Drone? [Re: Mike Dunbar]  
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Mark Kaufman Offline
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I love drones...they remind us what key we're in.

"Jangle" is popular again...that's that Byrd's sound, often using electric 12-strings, and playing a chord pattern while keeping one or two strings open...thus creating a drone. My favorite "guitar drone" is to keep the high E and B strings open while I play "E figure" barre chords...Sounds great barred on E, A, B...and especially the F#. I've written probably a dozen songs using that drone.

#616605 - 05/16/08 07:43 PM Re: Do you Drone? [Re: Mark Kaufman]  
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Tom Tracy Offline
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I like to drone
when I'm alone
or on the phone
I drone.

I drone
sometimes with wood and stone
I love the tone
Of a drone.

when I give the dog a bone
I drone
it's a skill I like to hone
the constant moan
like an aural cologne
when I'm in my zone
I drone.

A chanter! A chanter!
Forget all this banter
Get back to the seeds
that I’ve sown
gotta sharpen the reeds
in the shape of a cone
I condone
I can drone
I can drone

#616607 - 05/16/08 07:44 PM Re: Do you Drone? [Re: Tom Tracy]  
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Tom Tracy Offline
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Okay, I'll post it in the lyrics forum. I was inspired - thanks Mike.

#617546 - 05/19/08 11:59 AM Re: Do you Drone? [Re: Tom Tracy]  
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Mike Dunbar Offline
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A tome to drones. I love it.


You've got to know your limitations. I don't know what your limitations are. I found out what mine were when I was twelve. I found out that there weren't too many limitations, if I did it my way. -Johnny Cash

It's only music.
-niteshift

Mike Dunbar Music

#617691 - 05/19/08 08:49 PM Re: Do you Drone? [Re: Mike Dunbar]  
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Hummingbird Offline
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I like Tom's lyrics, ha ha.

Some people do like to drone on, but not me. Really.

Yes, Mike I have, on one occasion, used a "drone", in trying to do something minimalist. Not sure how successful I was. But I think you have inspired me to try again. After all, if one can be good at droning...


Vikki Flawith: Songwriter/Composer, Singer/Voice Teacher

12Feb10- *NEW BLOG: "BE YOUR OWN GURU ;)"

MY STORY & MY MUSIC: http://www.vikkiflawith.com
Be a FAN: http://www.reverbnation.com/vikkiflawith
#617692 - 05/19/08 08:49 PM Re: Do you Drone? [Re: Mike Dunbar]  
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Jack Swain Offline
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I seem to when I am telling a story from the past!

#617708 - 05/19/08 09:21 PM Re: Do you Drone? [Re: Jack Swain]  
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Mark Kaufman Offline
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I remember Nancy, she fail in the woter an droned.

#618057 - 05/20/08 06:59 PM Re: Do you Drone? [Re: Mark Kaufman]  
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Jack Swain Offline
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Originally Posted by Mark Kaufman
I remember Nancy, she fail in the woter an droned.


Say, were you with Ted that night?

#618059 - 05/20/08 07:16 PM Re: Do you Drone? [Re: Jack Swain]  
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Mike Dunbar Offline
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Oh No, That was Mary Jo!


You've got to know your limitations. I don't know what your limitations are. I found out what mine were when I was twelve. I found out that there weren't too many limitations, if I did it my way. -Johnny Cash

It's only music.
-niteshift

Mike Dunbar Music

#618061 - 05/20/08 07:17 PM Re: Do you Drone? [Re: Mike Dunbar]  
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Mike Dunbar Offline
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Nashville Tennessee
But everyone knew her as Lil...Lil McGill.


You've got to know your limitations. I don't know what your limitations are. I found out what mine were when I was twelve. I found out that there weren't too many limitations, if I did it my way. -Johnny Cash

It's only music.
-niteshift

Mike Dunbar Music

#618599 - 05/22/08 05:15 AM Re: Do you Drone? [Re: Mike Dunbar]  
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mattbanx Offline
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Great Topic!

I looked at sound more than if I bounced off of fiths.
I used to like taking dark riffed notes of a bass sound and go thourgh a recording, adding layered synths and sometimes guitar around it.
Mainly new wave/punk.
But there is almost a horn type of feel, a gradual build up from that one bass riff and synth.

Drone is great for building up in a recording.

I have a couple recordings I am currently working on, three part songs doing that.
But repitition can sound too jingly.
Drone never brings to mind cookie cutting pop.
I like these songs to where much is placed around 3 chords and the sonic effects.

Pink Floyd is one of several acts that use a basic riff through a recording and add to it..
Procol Harum seems to have that too with "A Whiter Shade Of Pale".
Copped from a Bach piece and unforgettable.
Those drums keep that song flowing.
Also Traffic's "Low Spark Of High Heeled Boys".
Is there such a thing as a drone rythmn?
I love that bass, piano, and drum.
I would like to do a song in that style without copping it.

I don't know if this is what was meant.
I always thought drone meant the same basic riff through a song.

I liked that odd, off key layered bass in Nirvana's "Come As You Are".
May not be a band that goes over at this site.
But that is the type of bass sound to build upon.

I think I see the drone in the hook that is burned forever in my head.

#618633 - 05/22/08 09:42 AM Re: Do you Drone? [Re: mattbanx]  
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niteshift Offline
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Yep, but usaually a bunch of chords over a constant bass line. Or a high floater, maybe strings, over a couple of changes. Brings in intersting harmonics.

cheers, niteshift

#618670 - 05/22/08 11:58 AM Re: Do you Drone? [Re: niteshift]  
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Mike Dunbar Offline
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Good stuff, folks. Matt, the traditional definition of drone calls for musical tones, but in principle, an insistent rhythm would be very similar. These days, I'd call a repeated rhythm a "loop," even if it wasn't actually being looped. A constant phrase of changing notes, however, isn't a drone, but rather an ostinato. Check out the ostinato

Nite, yep I like high floating strings, organ, or synth stuff.

To all:

Related to a drone, try this, play an A minor chord. Then in the bass, play the same chord with an F note, then the same chord with an F# note. An old chum of mine, Mike Smith, wrote an excellent song that used this (only his was F#m I believe) called "Car on Fire." So for bonus points, what would you call these chords?


You've got to know your limitations. I don't know what your limitations are. I found out what mine were when I was twelve. I found out that there weren't too many limitations, if I did it my way. -Johnny Cash

It's only music.
-niteshift

Mike Dunbar Music

#618676 - 05/22/08 12:11 PM Re: Do you Drone? [Re: Mike Dunbar]  
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niteshift Offline
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Hmmm...

Amin, Fmaj 7th and ...... F#min dim ?

cheers, niteshift

#618679 - 05/22/08 12:37 PM Re: Do you Drone? [Re: niteshift]  
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Mike Dunbar Offline
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Quick, nite,

Amin, self evident. Fmaj 7th...F A C E...root, third, fifth, maj seven...bingo. F#dim...F# A C E...root, min third, diminished fifth, min seventh...nope.

By the way, there's also a trick to this question.

Mike


You've got to know your limitations. I don't know what your limitations are. I found out what mine were when I was twelve. I found out that there weren't too many limitations, if I did it my way. -Johnny Cash

It's only music.
-niteshift

Mike Dunbar Music

#618706 - 05/22/08 01:55 PM Re: Do you Drone? [Re: Mike Dunbar]  
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niteshift Offline
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Ok, I'm not seeing the trick, so how about C dim 6th ?

cheers, niteshift

#618708 - 05/22/08 02:07 PM Re: Do you Drone? [Re: Mike Dunbar]  
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Mark Kaufman Offline
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Originally Posted by Mike Dunbar
So for bonus points, what would you call these chords?

Arthur.

Now where's me points?

#618714 - 05/22/08 02:22 PM Re: Do you Drone? [Re: Mark Kaufman]  
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Mike Dunbar Offline
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Mark, actually we stopped using points when we went over to electronic distributors. Thread Drifters Rule.

nite,

Let's look at the chord by itself. F# A C E. A garden variety diminished chord is technically a fully dimished seventh: three minor thirds stacked up. root, minor third, diminished fifth, and diminished seventh (or double flat seven). In the key of F#, you have F# G# A# B C# D# and E# (1234567) So F# is root, A is flat third, C is diminished fifth, and E is just flat seven...not double flat seven. This is what is called a half diminished chord, or a minor seven flat five. So it is F#half diminhed, or F#m7b5. HOWEVER, there's another trick. Play the chords, listen to them, and see what they sound like...in context.

All the Best,
Mike



You've got to know your limitations. I don't know what your limitations are. I found out what mine were when I was twelve. I found out that there weren't too many limitations, if I did it my way. -Johnny Cash

It's only music.
-niteshift

Mike Dunbar Music

#618726 - 05/22/08 02:38 PM Re: Do you Drone? [Re: Mike Dunbar]  
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niteshift Offline
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What ? Ya can't have a half diminished chord. I agree with F#min7b5, but are you guys in Nashville making things up ?

I think half diminished is kind of like being half pregnant.

OK, just played em. Woke up the wife,she's not pleased !

Next chord in the sequence is F chord over a G bass.

The F# bass is a passing note, part of a chord structure. I'm hearinng what guitarists refer to as a sus chord. ( for the F# bit )

cheers, niteshift


#618784 - 05/22/08 04:19 PM Re: Do you Drone? [Re: niteshift]  
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Wow. Guess I'd have to say if I gets in over my head, I drone. Canna swim. You guys are way over my head. Think I go shallow water now.

Joe

#618809 - 05/22/08 05:30 PM Re: Do you Drone? [Re: Joe Wrabek]  
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Mike Dunbar Offline
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Nashville Tennessee
Nite,

The full name is the half diminished seventh, it's also known as the "Bernard Hermann" chord as Mr. Hermann used it often when scoring Alfred Hitchcock's films. Here's a run down of chords including the half-dim7.

http://www.tonalityguide.com/xxdim7.php

I'll give you just a hint: it sure sounds like a chord. The chord it sounds like is a chord without a note.

Joe, a droning man, doesn't sound good. I'd pitch you a line, it can float if it doesn't hit something sharp and go flat, then you'll be swimming with the bass.


You've got to know your limitations. I don't know what your limitations are. I found out what mine were when I was twelve. I found out that there weren't too many limitations, if I did it my way. -Johnny Cash

It's only music.
-niteshift

Mike Dunbar Music

#618816 - 05/22/08 05:45 PM Re: Do you Drone? [Re: Mike Dunbar]  
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Joe Wrabek Offline
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Thanks, Mike. If you throw me a line, I shall feel positively augmented.

Joe

#618822 - 05/22/08 05:55 PM Re: Do you Drone? [Re: Joe Wrabek]  
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Mike Dunbar Offline
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Joe, that's a major relief for me, now I can rest.


You've got to know your limitations. I don't know what your limitations are. I found out what mine were when I was twelve. I found out that there weren't too many limitations, if I did it my way. -Johnny Cash

It's only music.
-niteshift

Mike Dunbar Music

#618828 - 05/22/08 06:11 PM Re: Do you Drone? [Re: Mike Dunbar]  
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niteshift Offline
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Ah, ya got me Mike. I want to play some more, but i do have to sleep. You're the man with technicals, and it's good to get the brain firing again. Sort of lost it for a few years. Let me have a sleep and a think on it, and I'll get back to you.

You do good stuff Mike.

cheers, niteshift

#618833 - 05/22/08 06:28 PM Re: Do you Drone? [Re: niteshift]  
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Tom Tracy Offline
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how would you classify this - a didgeridoo played with circular breathing. Most likely, it's nonestop like a drone, but played well, it also has rhythm, and with a good instrument, lots of overtones, so more than one pitch and possibly melodic.

Would it be a drone, ostinato, or something else??

#618839 - 05/22/08 06:49 PM Re: Do you Drone? [Re: Tom Tracy]  
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Mike Dunbar Offline
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Hey Tom,

Well, probably the old fa...I mean the revered giants of western music who have gone before us and created the names "drone" and "ostinato" would have found the didgeridoo to be too strange to be considered in "serious" music. They wouldn't have classified it as anything other than noise. Luckily for us, modern western music is open and accepting to sounds, new and old, from around the world.

It falls a bit "in the cracks." First, I'd check and see if the aborigines of Australia had a name for the role the didgeridoo played in their indigenous music. Just as the "clave" is the name for both the instrument and it's rhythmic place in Afro-Cuban music, that name would IMO take precedence.

If, without such info, I had to make a call, I'd say it was a "dronstinato."

Mike


You've got to know your limitations. I don't know what your limitations are. I found out what mine were when I was twelve. I found out that there weren't too many limitations, if I did it my way. -Johnny Cash

It's only music.
-niteshift

Mike Dunbar Music

#650076 - 09/08/08 03:30 AM Re: Do you Drone? [Re: Mike Dunbar]  
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Chris Jay Becker Offline
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Chris Jay Becker  Offline
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Cedar Rapids, Iowa, USA
My favorite trick is the one Mike mentioned in the start of this thread "playing a G, C, and D chord on the guitar while keeping the notes D and G on the top two strings (making a G, Cadd9, and D sus4)." That's how I always play in G, plus you can play an Em with the D and G still anchored on the high strings (which makes it an Em7, I believe. This is a trick I first learned from the Smashing Pumpkins' "Disarm."

I also like to slide a first position D chord up and down the neck while keeping the open D string as a drone. In different positions this gives you cool slash chords like E/D, G/D. A/D etc. A first position A chord also sounds great played up and down the neck with the open A string ringing.

You can also do cool things with a Drop D, or even a Double Drop D tuning. Try dropping both E strings to D, then slide a first position E chord up and down the neck while letting both "D" strings ring. It's gnarly.


Chris Jay Becker
Hallelujah Street Music
#651643 - 09/12/08 04:34 PM Re: Do you Drone? [Re: Chris Jay Becker]  
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Mike Dunbar Offline
Mike Dunbar  Offline


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Thanks Chris,

I like those sliding chord shapes too. The drop D and Double Drop D are a Droner's DeeLite!


You've got to know your limitations. I don't know what your limitations are. I found out what mine were when I was twelve. I found out that there weren't too many limitations, if I did it my way. -Johnny Cash

It's only music.
-niteshift

Mike Dunbar Music

#653505 - 09/19/08 11:10 AM Re: Do you Drone? [Re: Mike Dunbar]  
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Brenda Lowry Offline
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Brenda Lowry  Offline
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Droner's DeeLite? Dee-licious! Chris, I do that too - haven't tried that dropped D trick, tho. Will have to play with that.

Brenda


Brenda

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#653796 - 09/20/08 04:51 PM Re: Do you Drone? [Re: Brenda Lowry]  
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Mark Kaufman Offline
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Minneapolis
The Pink Floyd song "Wish You Were Here" is based on exactly what Chris just described. Those top two notes stay where they are, while chords switch about here and there between Em, G and A. Very fun to play.

#655545 - 09/26/08 08:28 PM Re: Do you Drone? [Re: Mark Kaufman]  
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Jim Offerman Offline
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Jim Offerman  Offline
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Utrecht, The Netherlands
Yes, I do.

The piano (me) plays a D in the bass from start to finish, if that's not droning I don't know what is smile


Jim Offerman ~ inspirational pop music
blog - follow me twitter - buy 'Start Here' on bandcamp!
#655547 - 09/26/08 08:34 PM Re: Do you Drone? [Re: Jim Offerman]  
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Mike Dunbar Offline
Mike Dunbar  Offline


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Nashville Tennessee
Y'all are droning on beautifully! The Beatles had a famous song where they sang a drone line through part. What was it?


You've got to know your limitations. I don't know what your limitations are. I found out what mine were when I was twelve. I found out that there weren't too many limitations, if I did it my way. -Johnny Cash

It's only music.
-niteshift

Mike Dunbar Music

#656510 - 10/01/08 02:57 PM Re: Do you Drone? [Re: Mike Dunbar]  
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Johnny Daubert Offline
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Johnny Daubert  Offline
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New Jersey, USA
I've only droned when my foot, (you'll love that!), would stay on the Piano's sustain pedal too long! Kind of cool for a certain song maybe. NOT for most of course.

It was all in the FOOT!

Ha!

John


Actually a Member Since 1996 or 97 (Number One Hundred Something).
Songnado I and II:
http://www.soundclick.com/bands/page_music.cfm?bandID=322686





#656805 - 10/02/08 04:18 PM Re: Do you Drone? [Re: Chris Jay Becker]  
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FreewheelNat Offline
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FreewheelNat  Offline
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London, England
Originally Posted by Chris Jay Becker

I also like to slide a first position D chord up and down the neck while keeping the open D string as a drone.


I wrote a song using that trick a few years ago for an old music project of mine and it was always the song people preferred.

I don't use that many drones but I do sometimes. Mostly, with the E, A or D strings. I've got to explore drones with the other strings wink

#1010622 - 06/02/13 09:41 PM Re: Do you Drone? [Re: FreewheelNat]  
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Brian Austin Whitney Offline
Brian Austin Whitney  Offline


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Indianapolis, IN USA
Drone has a whole different meaning today... why do you think that is Mike?


Brian Austin Whitney
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"Don't sit around and wait for success to come to you... it doesn't know the way." -Brian Austin Whitney


#1020837 - 08/24/13 01:53 AM Re: Do you Drone? [Re: Mike Dunbar]  
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Keith Gamble Offline
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Keith Gamble  Offline
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Tension and release. Drones create the tension.

#1020849 - 08/24/13 04:31 AM Re: Do you Drone? [Re: Keith Gamble]  
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John Lawrence Schick Offline
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John Lawrence Schick  Offline
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PA
Pedal point is one of many useful composing techniques. Bach and many of the Greats used it often.

John smile

#1022540 - 09/05/13 04:59 AM Re: Do you Drone? [Re: John Lawrence Schick]  
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R&M Offline
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R&M  Offline
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In rock, metal, and alt there has always seemed to be some extended notes and latency. Some recordings I have done have come out too fast and imbalanced without that.
What is done at the time might not lay down with what is heard when recording.
Sometimes patching from stereo units with different sets of eq's has done more than pedals or mixers for me.

#1044558 - 04/06/14 01:42 AM Re: Do you Drone? [Re: R&M]  
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PopTodd Offline
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PopTodd  Offline
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Western Springs, IL, USA
Love playing drones. Used to do it all the time when I was still in a psychedelic band. Droning the D string on this one. A cover of a 13th Floor Elevators song. (I'm the second guitar to come in.):
http://redplasticbuddha.bandcamp.com/track/rollercoaster

#1044583 - 04/06/14 02:06 PM Re: Do you Drone? [Re: PopTodd]  
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Kolstad Offline
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Kolstad  Offline
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Denmark
Playing a modal progression in E major sounds great on a Tele with a touch of dirt on. Keeping the bottom E as a drone while playing other diatonic chords on top. "Drone" twang all day!


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#1045520 - 04/16/14 11:19 AM Re: Do you Drone? [Re: Kolstad]  
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PopTodd Offline
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PopTodd  Offline
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