I pulled in “Chuck E’s In Love” with Steve Gadd on drums into a session. It did not line up with any click. It felt great. Can Steve Gadd play to a click? Yes! Why didn’t they that day? I’d love to know. But I did notice the time moving around when Ricky Lee Jones started singing. So maybe that had something to do with it. Plus, there is a bridge that is a whole different groove and a whole different tempo. Then there is the most famous drum fill in the world to bring everyone back in. The track just grooves. No click
In the bible it says, “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them." I think this applies to a band grooving on a song too. It can be spiritual experience playing together in a band where everyone is listening and grooving together. A click can be a distraction.
A pendulum clock… it swings back and forth from a state of potential energy (up to one side) through to a state of kinetic energy (straight down) and on out to the other side to potential energy again using gravity. In a way, it is tension, release, tension, release. Digital clocks use quartz crystals they that grow now. They send an electrical signal through it. There is no tick-tock sound from these. But they are more accurate. Is accuracy subjective? No. Math will always win. And yet, if I quantize “Chuck E’s In Love” will it sound even better? No! It’ll sound worse. It’ll feel worse. Why? Because 2 or 3 (or more) were gathered together to play a song and groove was there also.
Yes, practice with a click a lot. (But more without one) And if you must play live with a click, then you must. But mostly play with the other musicians and try and put the click out of your mind. And if you have the rare treat to play live or record with no click, let there be groove.
Obviously, we don't know everything. But we do tend to think differently. Here are some of my thoughts on piano and maybe some on life. I play piano for Tracy Lawrence, produce new artists, write and practice piano.