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Bonham

Black Dog Musically Wrong?

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I still wonder how they come in after every verse live. IS there a count? Or do they just jump on it as soon as Robert finishes? Bonzo talks about how they had a count (in that rehearsal tape) but I'm still trying to figure it out. I think maybe they only listen to his last line to use as a count. Anyone know for sure?

when we (my band) would play it together, we would just have an understood slight pause after i was finished singing, and all come back in together.. you can just sort of feel it.

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I'm not a trained musician or a pro, only a self taught drummer who can get by, but the first time I heard it I was attracted to it BECAUSE of the odd times involved.... I didn't know what I was hearing technically, but I instinctively knew this band was brewing up some strange stuff in the lab, and I was likin' it. Some how, some way, it sounded wrong, but if sounding like that is wrong, who would ever wanna be right? B)

Critics of the band also said Bonzo couldn't keep time, and that he was dragging the band down because of it, often playing so far behind the beat, odd timed cymbal crashes..... But it is the essence of who they were, and why the music is so fresh and meaty almost 40 years later.

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He says, "The riff doesn't fit rythmically in to the song. It's about one note too long to fit properly."

Thats why they are great musicians, they play with their hearts, not with a maths book at hand B)

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The golden rule: If it sounds good, play it. I play guitar too and I could care less about theory (although I do know the basic stuff you are supposed to know). Instead of focusing on whether something is theoretically correct you should focus on playing with feeling and emotion. You aren't going to connect with your audience through theory, it's going to be through emotional quality of your playing. And although I do not know Jimmy Page, I'm sure he would agree with me.

same here, i play guitar and i agree. It doesn't really matter.

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I play drums and guitar.

I don't read, so I had to do it like this: on drums, for me the trick was to learn each different groove (part) technically in the song...then understanding the feel of each part on it's own. THEN it was easier to figure Black Dog out. Just a matter of piecing the parts together in smooth transition.

I hope this helps!

Johnny

Edited by JohnnyGuitar

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it doesn't really matter that it's musically wrong

But it's not musically wrong! People (some people) just think it's wrong because it's got an unconventional structure.

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Some of you need to understand that the odd time structure is not an example of them eschewing trained songwriting. It's an example of them flaunting their mastery of it. Of course that doesn't mean they don't also "play with feeling" in the song, it just means that most successful bands would kill to have come up with even one song in their catalog that makes such an odd time signature work and is thought of as a classic 3+ decades later.

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it doesn't really matter that it's musically wrong

The whole point is that it isn't musicaly wrong. It's just very clever. So clever in fact that even some people who like to think of themselves as "musicians" don't understand what's going on.

Some of you need to understand that the odd time structure is not an example of them eschewing trained songwriting. It's an example of them flaunting their mastery of it.

Exactly.

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Once you know the rules, then you can mess with things and shake it up a good bit. Some people mess with things (like arrangements that not are traditional and don't even know it, so they learn by their efforts). Wisdom is applying others successes and learning from their mistakes.

Page and Jones were already masters of arranging, writing and producing music well before Led Zeppelin.

R B)

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The riff basically goes out on a rhythmic limb and then comes back in sync with the drums. It's a very effective trick. Something similar is done with Kashmir as far as the drums and the guitar being on two independent patterns that create a shifting syncopation.

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But it's not musically wrong! People (some people) just think it's wrong because it's got an unconventional structure.

Is there a such thing as musically wrong? And if there is, where's the line between unconventional and wrong? And that's not sarcasm, I'm genuinely interested in this.

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Is there a such thing as musically wrong? And if there is, where's the line between unconventional and wrong? And that's not sarcasm, I'm genuinely interested in this.

Nope....it may sound like crap but nothing is musically wrong.

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I don't care is it musically wrong. I just like the song so much and it rocks. One of the best bluesy riffs ever in my opinion. :D

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The riff basically goes out on a rhythmic limb and then comes back in sync with the drums. It's a very effective trick. Something similar is done with Kashmir as far as the drums and the guitar being on two independent patterns that create a shifting syncopation.

Yea, my friend doesn't get that. Then again, he has done nothing with his life apart from sit around and make excuses for being a lazy bum.

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LMAO...

Your friend appears to only know one time signature. Get him playing some odd time signatures and a whole new world will open up for him...that section is 5/8

Exactly.

I once heard that they wrote black dog with the intention of it being undanceable.

Edited by Aleister

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Hi all,

How does it sound? :rolleyes:

JPJ wanted to know how a riff could roll back on itself,JHB,told him.

KB (watch your honey drip,can't keep away)

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Out of all the Zeppelin songs, it is said to be the most complex and intricate song, musically speaking of course.

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Exactly.

I once heard that they wrote black dog with the intention of it being undanceable.

Yes, that was John Paul Jones's aim, I believe. Maybe this discussion also belongs in that thread about the humor in Zeppelin songs? "Hey guys, let's watch people try and dance to THIS!" :)

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Hi all,

Yes, that was John Paul Jones's aim, I believe. Maybe this discussion also belongs in that thread about the humor in Zeppelin songs? "Hey guys, let's watch people try and dance to THIS!" :)

Wasn't that 'The Crunge' :unsure:

KB

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the section with jimmy's guitar part and bonham's drumming, has a sort of doublejointed effect, thats what makes is so cool. but, when page, jpj and bonham are all playing the jpj riff, it doesnt get any heavier.

back to the original post, have read things about bonham's drumming and time signatures in this song, can't remember the details though.

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There was an interview with Plant one time, I wish I could remember which one,

where Plant mentioned his daughter's boyfriend told him that the timing in Black Dog was wrong.

Plant's response was something like

"I know it's wrong...that's what we were good at..."

Edited by The Pagemeister

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