Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 55

Thread: What is Groove?

  1. #1

    Default What is Groove?

    How do you define groove? The more I look at it the less I can come up with a clear definition. It seems like one of those I know it when I hear it situations but it seems like there should be a way to define or at least describe it.

  2. #2
    The Amateur Mandolinist Mark Gunter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Palmer, Texas
    Posts
    3,343

    Default Re: What is Groove?

    The groove is that part of the record that the needle rides in.

    Being "in the pocket" is playing right in time. Being "in the groove" is similar ... to me it has to do with timing but supplemented by dynamics and rhythm. Mostly timing, but more than that. I'm like you, don't have a real clear definition. Interested in reading what else pops up here on this.
    Technique, theory and fun, fun, fun. I love playing, studying and sharing MUSIC.
    "Life is short. Play hard." - AlanN
    ------------------------
    HEY! The Cafe has Social Groups, check 'em out. I'm in these groups:
    Newbies Social Group | The Song-A-Week Social
    The Woodshed Study Group | Collings Mandolins | MandoCymru
    - Advice For Mandolin Beginners
    - YouTube Stuff

  3. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Mark Gunter For This Useful Post:


  4. #3
    Registered User Ivan Kelsall's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Manchester - Lancashire - NW England
    Posts
    14,187

    Default Re: What is Groove?

    ''Groove'' is a bit like Bluegrass music. You may not be able to 'define it',but you know it when you're in it !!. For me it's being totally immersed in what you're doing (playing music), & playing smoothly & efficiently & having the ability to improvise freely. We've all seen really good musicians do this at times, & it's pretty awesome to watch,
    Ivan
    Weber F-5 'Fern'.
    Lebeda F-5 "Special".
    Stelling Bellflower BANJO
    Tokai - 'Tele-alike'.
    Ellis DeLuxe "A" style.

  5. The Following 5 Users Say Thank You to Ivan Kelsall For This Useful Post:


  6. #4
    but that's just me Bertram Henze's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    0.8 mpc from NGC224, upstairs
    Posts
    9,825

    Default Re: What is Groove?

    Groove is a contagious feeling of being in sync, brought on by playing, dancing or other activities done in time with others
    the world is better off without bad ideas, good ideas are better off without the world

  7. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Bertram Henze For This Useful Post:


  8. #5
    Registered User John Kelly's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Ardnadam, Argyll, Scotland
    Posts
    1,501

    Default Re: What is Groove?

    Is there a danger that groove, if pursued too heavily, can deepen into rut? I know I can often find myself firmly in a rut in my playing.
    I'm playing all the right notes, but not necessarily in the right order. - Eric Morecambe

    http://www.youtube.com/user/TheOldBores

  9. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to John Kelly For This Useful Post:


  10. #6
    Oval holes are cool David Lewis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Sydney, Australia
    Posts
    1,129

    Default Re: What is Groove?

    Without groove, you’ve got nothing. True for Bach, bluegrass, funk, punk, rock and country. And everything else. It’s the interlocked rhythms of the instruments.
    JBovier ELS; Epiphone MM-50 VN; Epiphone MM-40L; Gretsch New Yorker G9310; Washburn M1SDLB;

    Fender Nashville Deluxe Telecaster; Squier Modified Vintage Cabronita Telecaster; Gretsch 5420T; Fender Tim Armstrong Hellcat: Washburn Banjo B9; Ibanez RB 5string; Ibanez RB 4 string bass

    Pedalboard for ELS: Morley Cry baby Miniwah - Tuner - EHX Soul Food Overdrive - EHX Memory Toy analog Delay
    Fender Blues Jr Tweed; Fender Greta;

  11. The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to David Lewis For This Useful Post:


  12. #7
    Gibson F5L Gibson A5L
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    2,201
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default Re: What is Groove?

    To me it is the flow of the piece. Tempo , dynamics, syncopation join in shared expression. R/
    I love hanging out with mandolin nerds . . . . . Thanks peeps ...

  13. The Following 5 Users Say Thank You to UsuallyPickin For This Useful Post:


  14. #8
    mandolin slinger Steve Ostrander's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Capitol of MI
    Posts
    2,704

    Default Re: What is Groove?

    To me it's more related to playing ensemble, when everybody is in the groove. I guess it can relate to playing solo, but I play in a trio so for me it's apparent when everybody is relaxed, comfortable, familiar, and playing in the moment.
    Never say "bouzouki" to a TSA agent...

  15. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Steve Ostrander For This Useful Post:


  16. #9

  17. The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to catmandu2 For This Useful Post:


  18. #10
    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Upstate New York
    Posts
    23,151
    Blog Entries
    52

    Default Re: What is Groove?

    Think of a groove in a record. If you are exactly in the center of the groove you are playing exactly in time on the beat. In time, yes, but right on the beat.

    But for expressive reasons one might play a little bit behind the beat. You are not slowing down, you are on the back side of the groove. Still in the groove, still in time, but playing a little behind the beat.

    Or similarly, one might play a bit ahead, on the other side of the groove. Not speeding up, but just a tiny bit ahead of each beat.

    These techniques really add to the lift and lilt and swing of the music. You don't lose or gain tempo because you are in the groove, but you are able to slip and slide a little, staying in the groove.


    That is my understanding anyway.
    Indulge responsibly!

    The entire staff
    funny....

  19. The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to JeffD For This Useful Post:


  20. #11

    Default Re: What is Groove?

    Thanks. These are the kinds of things I was looking for. Where it came up was with an autoharp player and singer I am working with and she asked what we can do to get better in the groove or in the pocket for a show in a couple weeks, particularly with a bass player and a guitar player also. And I thought about it some and could not even really say what the groove is beyond the obvious things of making sure our timing and rhythm are together. I have come up with some other ideas but would really like to see what other people think on the subject.

    Please continue to add any ideas you may have on the subject.

  21. #12
    Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Helena, Montana
    Posts
    2,872

    Default Re: What is Groove?

    I was groovy back in the 60's. Does that count?

  22. The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to George R. Lane For This Useful Post:


  23. #13

    Default Re: What is Groove?

    To me, "groove" describes the repetitious rhythmic part of the music. Since it is slang, it is also used in other ways. "In the pocket" is used (especially by drummers) to mean playing in time, but just behind the beat. This is as opposed to playing just ahead of, or right on, the beat. This doe NOT mean that you are rushing or dragging, just that you are consistently just ahead or behind the beat. This can really affect the feel of the beat without changing the actual tempo.

  24. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to David L For This Useful Post:


  25. #14
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Va
    Posts
    2,452

    Default Re: What is Groove?

    CarlM to answer your question how your group can improve play together as often as you can. This can't be done in a week by you or professionals. I hear these pros do a recording using all these super pickers and they ain't in the grove. I'd rather hear a band that plays together enough to really know each other musically than all these super pickers that ain't even recording in the same city, even though they may be "better" musician. It's very seldom I buy any modern recording of pro bands for this very reason. The local, lesser known bands are often more " in the grove " because they "know" each and play together regularly.

  26. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Mandoplumb For This Useful Post:


  27. #15
    two t's and one hyphen fatt-dad's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Richmond, Virginia
    Posts
    7,282

    Default Re: What is Groove?

    Groove is in the heart!

    f-d
    ˇpapá gordo ain’t no madre flaca!

    '20 A3, '30 L-1, '97 914, 2012 Cohen A5, 2012 Muth A5, '14 OM28A

  28. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to fatt-dad For This Useful Post:


  29. #16
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Boulder, CO & Chesterfield, MO
    Posts
    2,564

    Default Re: What is Groove?

    Check this out from the Dawg:

  30. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to colorado_al For This Useful Post:


  31. #17
    Registered User Frankdolin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    near Boston, MA
    Posts
    313

    Default Re: What is Groove?

    You'll know it when you feel it.

  32. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Frankdolin For This Useful Post:


  33. #18
    Registered Muser dang's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Omaha, NE
    Posts
    1,045

    Default Re: What is Groove?

    There is a song on a Victor Wooten album that starts off with someone saying:
    “You can’t hold no groove, if you aint got no pocket!”
    Then they play this song...
    I should be pickin' rather than postin'

  34. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to dang For This Useful Post:

    CarlMJL277zRanald 

  35. #19

    Default Re: What is Groove?

    Groove and pocket are nice notions, but you're either playing in time or you're not.

    Skip over simple boom-chuck at your own peril.

  36. The following members say thank you to farmerjones for this post:

    CarlM 

  37. #20
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    171

    Default Re: What is Groove?

    It seems that there are several definitions of what the "groove" is so I would like to add mine. Each song has a natural feel to it based on tempo, type of rhythm, and emotion. If you pay attention to the lyrics and get an understanding of what the writer was trying to say and how they are trying to express it, you come to understand what the feel of that song should be. When you can get to that point and make what you are playing express that same emotion and feeling, that is what I believe is the groove. It feels so fluid-like that the notes just roll off of your fingers and sometimes you don't even really know what you just played. I have felt that many times and had to get a copy of the song just to go back and try to learn what I played during that session. Sorry to say that at times, I was not in the groove and you could tell on the playback that I just wasn't feeling it that night. I had to go back and redo it at a later time.
    Last edited by ManjoMan; Sep-18-2018 at 8:35am.
    ManjoMan

  38. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to ManjoMan For This Useful Post:


  39. #21
    I may be old but I'm ugly billhay4's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    University Place, WA (with no university and very little place)
    Posts
    4,074

    Default Re: What is Groove?

    Groove is not, in my view, the same as time. Time is the basic form of the song. 4/4, 3/4, etc. The groove is the rhythm and tempo that is played over this basic form. If you listen carefully to a song, the groove takes a life of its own. You can count 1-2-3-4 over and over, but another pattern will express itself over this in the words and notes of the song. And that pattern will be the real form of the song. To really express what the song is saying, to really play it, you must find the groove. Otherwise, you're just making notes in a certain time signature.
    Bill
    IM(NS)HO

  40. The Following 5 Users Say Thank You to billhay4 For This Useful Post:


  41. #22

    Default Re: What is Groove?

    Quote Originally Posted by billhay4 View Post
    Groove is not, in my view, the same as time. Time is the basic form of the song. 4/4, 3/4, etc. The groove is the rhythm and tempo that is played over this basic form. If you listen carefully to a song, the groove takes a life of its own. You can count 1-2-3-4 over and over, but another pattern will express itself over this in the words and notes of the song. And that pattern will be the real form of the song. To really express what the song is saying, to really play it, you must find the groove. Otherwise, you're just making notes in a certain time signature.
    Bill
    Said another way, "groove" is the well deployment of time (= good time).

    *rhythm, tempo, syncopation...all just aspects of time/timing.

  42. The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to catmandu2 For This Useful Post:


  43. #23
    Registered User T.D.Nydn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Upstate N.Y.
    Posts
    1,217

    Default Re: What is Groove?

    I don't think groove is really timing,it's two different things,it involves timing,but "finding the groove" is deeper,like when your whole body and soul is one with the tune..

  44. The Following 5 Users Say Thank You to T.D.Nydn For This Useful Post:


  45. #24

    Default Re: What is Groove?

    Quote Originally Posted by T.D.Nydn View Post
    I don't think groove is really timing,it's two different things,it involves timing,but "finding the groove" is deeper,like when your whole body and soul is one with the tune..
    This is our reaction/response or projection of time (good time, in this case); again, functions of time/timing.

    Sure, there are many ways we can describe these processes (our experiences of sight, sound, etc, when they feel good, how they resonate in us, etc) - ecstasy, oneness, etc. But simply, the temporal aspects of music are just that.

    This is in no way to minimize it, however. Time is my most fun plaything in music.

  46. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to catmandu2 For This Useful Post:


  47. #25
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Kernersville, NC
    Posts
    2,547
    Blog Entries
    3

    Default Re: What is Groove?

    Quote Originally Posted by T.D.Nydn View Post
    I don't think groove is really timing,it's two different things,it involves timing,but "finding the groove" is deeper,like when your whole body and soul is one with the tune..
    Yes. IMO, finding a groove involves all players listening and wanting to find a groove. It easier to find with folks you play with a lot if everyone wants to groove. One player, playing straight, in perfect time, but not listening or responding can prevent a groove. Groove is harder to achieve in a large group.

    I used to feel that a good groove required some minimum speed but I've come to realize a good groove can be found almost at any speed. A good grooving tune is contagious. We groove Angeline the Baker in our group to the extreme. Played it at a jam the other week and I had to relearn the tune as it went around. My phrasing was out of sync with straight.

  48. The Following 5 Users Say Thank You to Mark Wilson For This Useful Post:


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •