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Tambourine and other misc instruments.
16 May 2018
5.27pm
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ewe2
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I was thinking about tambourines (as you do), and a link on wikipedia sent me to something related to the Fabs: The Beatles And The Art of The Tambourine, an essay you can read here for free, thankfully. It's a great little read, because tambourine and other percussion are major culprits for a lack of information about who played what when in the Beatles recording canon. Of course, I want to know what kind of tambourines were played, outside of movies that don't even care about matching the recordings *cough* Help ! *cough*. We know Ringo used them, a couple of different sizes and types, what we don't know is who played them on definitive tracks like Tomorrow Never Knows . And it's the same for other instruments like the mystery of who played the cowbell on Everybody's Got Something To Hide Except For Me And My Monkey.

So post your theories on who played what percussion on what when, your favourite bits of percussion, and opinions on types of percussion - are the tambourines large, small, double-rowed, brass or nickel? Conga or packing case, you decide! For instance it seems to me that the wacky Taxman tambourine is probably a double-rower brass one, and possibly a 10" or larger, because its quite jingly and full. Are there actually two tambourines on And Your Bird Can Sing ? On the stereo version there's the one on the extreme right but there also seems to be another on the left mixed in with the drums or possibly an early use of tambourine on the hihat. The one on the left seems to be lighter than the right one to me. These issues and more at your leisure!

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16 May 2018
5.45pm
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Beatlebug
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I thought I remember reading somewhere that it was Paul who played the cowbell on Everybody's Got Something To Hide Except Me And My Monkey . No idea about the accuracy of the source, just a thought.

Maybe it was @WeepingAtlasCedars...! a-hard-days-night-paul-4

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16 May 2018
7.29pm
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WeepingAtlasCedars
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a-hard-days-night-ringo-8 No, unfortunately, it wasn't me. I'm a barely passable cowbell player, let alone great enough to play on a Beatles record.ahdn_paul_01

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17 May 2018
12.00am
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Interesting and informative post from ewe2. I think generally speaking the tambourine is an under-appreciated percussion instrument. I didn't know there were distinctively different types of tambourine.

To Beatlebug, I think there was a thread about this long ago, where I thought there was no cowbell in Everybody's Got Something To Hide Except Me And My Monkey, but rather that it's a fire-bell (I think Joe's article on it says that) effectively with a clapper inside like a church bell -- which makes that song even cooler than it already is!

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17 May 2018
12.05am
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P.S.: I've been playing cowbell for years and years, mostly to Latin jazz & rock. I remember practicing over and over again trying to emulate the 5 beats of the cowbell that come in right near the start of Santana's song "Oye Como Va". Now if you hit those beats with two drumsticks, that's cheating. I suspected that the timbale player, Chepito, was doing it with one hand/one drumstick so that's what I wanted to do, but I never could quite get it right, because the 5 beats are so rapid. (I later verified that when I saw Santana live.) It's a subtle thing, but when you hit the beats with one drumstick as opposed to two, the resulting pattern of 5 beats sounds perfectly even, but when you do it with two drumsticks, you tend to favor one hand over the other and so some of the beats sound subtly louder than others.

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17 May 2018
2.04am
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The Hole Got Fixed
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"Are there actually two tambourines on And Your Bird Can Sing ? On the stereo version there's the one on the extreme right but there also seems to be another on the left mixed in with the drums or possibly an early use of tambourine on the hihat."

No. Not according to the ever trusty rock band stems 😉 

From what I find on the rock band stems (I'm pretending I'm at Abbey Road and using original tracks not the rock band numbering), track 1 we find rhythm guitar and drums. The only high frequencies I can find are the kit's hi-hat, the snare, and an occasional squeak from the kick pedal. Track 2 is bass guitar, the overdubbed hi-hat (plus occasional cymbal), handclaps, and 1 tambourine part (from what I hear). Track 3 is lead guitar, and track 4 is vocals. 

From that, I can't hear a second isolated tambourine, however if I go back to the song, it kinda sounds like there may be one in track 1. Upon closer inspection, it looks like tape damage that is causing a wobbly hi-hat sound.

If you listen to that comparison, hopefully my above essay makes sense (I've got the first 2 bars of Track 1, then the first 2 bars of the left channel of the stereo mix of the 2009 remaster).

 

All of that for a tambourine part... and that was only one of the questions posed!!

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Oh, by the way, this post was made by The Hole Got Fixed!

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17 May 2018
6.53am
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Billy Rhythm
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The Canadian 'Beatlemania - With The Beatles ' album had extensive liner notes on both sides of its sleeve...  On the back there's a track by track description where they list "who played what" in the percussion department...  I remember particularly with 'Don't Bother Me ' there being multiple "exotic" instruments being used...  Apologies for I no longer am in possession of my copy so I can't reference the notes with accuracy...  I do remember something being said about Ringo playing a "loose skinned Arabian Bongo"...  It may even have been Tony Barrow who authored the text, a credible source...:-)

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17 May 2018
12.37pm
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ewe2
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The Hole Got Fixed said

If you listen to that comparison, hopefully my above essay makes sense (I've got the first 2 bars of Track 1, then the first 2 bars of the left channel of the stereo mix of the 2009 remaster).

I hadn't considered the moggs, so well done on checking that out! apple01 I'm still 50/50 on it though, particularly as you have to rely on two stereo tracks that are mixed between each other: there is obviously a clear track for the harmonising guitars besides the rhythm guitar which is probably the one mixed with the rhythm section. This makes it harder to be certain, we don't know for sure it's not there or if it's an artifact. And we still don't know who played it, but it's interesting how wobbly the timing of it is in parts. I am sure that's a double-rower tambourine though, that's clear enough.

Hmm let's have a listen to the bass track...hang on! There's a tambourine! And a shakerbeatlemaniacs_02_gif And it looks like the tambourine is deliberately following the hihat in parts (which would explain the sound of the mono master at least). If you A/B the bass part and the percussion track in the quiet bits you can hear that they seem to be playing a separate hihat/crash track with the percussion (most clearly in the "middle 8"), and this could account for "hearing" a second tambourine.

Billy Rhythm said
The Canadian 'Beatlemania - With The Beatles ' album had extensive liner notes on both sides of its sleeve...  On the back there's a track by track description where they list "who played what" in the percussion department...  I remember particularly with 'Don't Bother Me ' there being multiple "exotic" instruments being used...  Apologies for I no longer am in possession of my copy so I can't reference the notes with accuracy...  I do remember something being said about Ringo playing a "loose skinned Arabian Bongo"...  It may even have been Tony Barrow who authored the text, a credible source...:-)

One of the oddities of Beatles For Sale are the very complete liner notes for percussion on that album too, what we would now call a "value-add" for an album uncertain of its status.

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I'm like Necko only I'm a bassist ukulele guitar synthesizer kazoo penguin and also everyone. Or is everyone me? Now I'm a confused bassist ukulele guitar synthesizer kazoo penguin everyone who is definitely not @Joe.  This has been true for 2016 & 2017 Sig-Badge.png but I may have to get more specific in the future.

17 May 2018
4.22pm
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The Hole Got Fixed
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ewe2 said
Hmm let's have a listen to the bass track...hang on! There's a tambourine! And a shakerbeatlemaniacs_02_gif And it looks like the tambourine is deliberately following the hihat in parts (which would explain the sound of the mono master at least). If you A/B the bass part and the percussion track in the quiet bits you can hear that they seem to be playing a separate hihat/crash track with the percussion (most clearly in the "middle 8"), and this could account for "hearing" a second tambourine.

If I solo the bass track, yes, there's something that sounds like a shaker, but upon closer inspection, Harmonix has reduced higher frequencies on the bass track, then increased higher frequencies on the same track, and put that in the 'precussion' track, so when I play the bass and percussion track at the same time, the shaker turns out to be the tambourine, but EQd. 

Oh, by the way, this post was made by The Hole Got Fixed!

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17 May 2018
4.34pm
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ewe2
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Rishikesh
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The Hole Got Fixed said 

If I solo the bass track, yes, there's something that sounds like a shaker, but upon closer inspection, Harmonix has reduced higher frequencies on the bass track, then increased higher frequencies on the same track, and put that in the 'precussion' track, so when I play the bass and percussion track at the same time, the shaker turns out to be the tambourine, but EQd.   

Sounds to me like hihat, tambourine played on the hihat beat and a shaker or a second tambourine swishing, and the reason I'm hearing it that way is the tambourine double-hits are inconsistent and I can hear a swish between those double-hits. I'm A/B'ing alternate sides of the bass and precussion tracks and still hearing it. We'll never be sure without the real multitracks, let's at least agree on that.

I'm like Necko only I'm a bassist ukulele guitar synthesizer kazoo penguin and also everyone. Or is everyone me? Now I'm a confused bassist ukulele guitar synthesizer kazoo penguin everyone who is definitely not @Joe.  This has been true for 2016 & 2017 Sig-Badge.png but I may have to get more specific in the future.

17 May 2018
6.18pm
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The Hole Got Fixed
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Ah yes, I think I see what you mean now.

I'll definitely agree that last sentence. These multitracks are pretty cool, but they're by no means something I'd write a thesis on 😉

I've Got A Feeling that I'll be spending quite a lot of time tonight with the multitracks, sifting through for interesting percussion momentsa-hard-days-night-john-3beatlemaniacs_02_gif

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