what does "in the pocket" mean?

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Thread: what does "in the pocket" mean?

  1. #1

    Join Date: Mar 2012
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    what does "in the pocket" mean?

    I've watched a few episodes of the Voice and I've heard them say:

    - this song is in the pocket

    - you're in the pocket

    - you need to find the pocket

    Is this just something they made up like when Randy Jackson used to say "you can blow" to mean "you are a good singer" or is "in the pocket" a real musical term?

  2. #2

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    I've heard the term before in a variety of ways. One of which being playing in one position and another being playing only chord notes when harmonizing.

    It's definitely not a classical music term or anything.

  3. #3

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    What I think it means is how well you are meshed with the rhythm and feel of the beat. Generally as a bass player you want to be landing on the strong notes of the drums and firmly in line with what the drummer is playing. Funk music is a good illustration of being in the pocket as it relates to rhythm.

  4. #4

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    Playing in the pocket has to do with correctly playing in rhythm and with the right rhythmic feel, especially in the context of the rhythm section of the band (bass and drums). Imagine what playing "in tune" means in the context of pitch, and that's what playing "in the pocket" means for rhythm.

    At a basically level it means playing rhythmically accurate and not dragging or rushing. But it gets more complicated because sometimes playing in the pocket can mean playing slightly behind or ahead. For example, someone like ?uestlove will usually play his high-hats slightly swung, even in a straight song, and his snare will usually be slightly behind. This is playing in the pocket in the context of that song.

  5. #5

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    So in this context it would refer to having the correct rhythm when you sing?

  6. #6

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    Right. Have the correct and appropriate rhythm, both in regards to how the vocal was intended to be performed and in regards to locking with the accompaniment.

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    Wirelessly posted

    Playin in the pocket is when a girl gives you a handjob through your pants pocket.

  8. #8

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    Sean is wise.

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