in the pocket

EnglishEdit

Prepositional phraseEdit

in the pocket

  1. Used other than figuratively or idiomatically: see in,‎ pocket.
    • 2001 Sept. 3, Brian Billick, quoted in "Run or Gun?", ESPN the Magazine, Vol. IV, No. 18:
      The allure of all this athleticism at quarterback is very strong right now, but when push comes to shove, most of the people I talk to would go with the guy in the pocket. The scrambling quarterback is like a beautiful woman -- awfully enticing, but in the end she'll break your heart.
  2. (music slang) Alternative form of in the zone, playing perfectly in time, perfectly in sync with others, or with a perfect groove.
    • 2010, Will Friedwald, "Dakota Staton" in A Biographical Guide to the Great Jazz and Pop Singers, p. 448:
      Throughout The Late, Late Show, Staton is right on the money (or right in the pocket, as musicians say)...
    • 2013, Loren Weisman, The Artist's Guide to Success in the Music Business, p. 229:
      I've never thought that the groove was the beat; I always saw it as the space between the beats. I believe that's where the phrase "in the pocket" originated.
    • 2016, Bobby Owsinski, The Music Producer's Handbook, 2nd ed.:
      Musicians who play funk and Latin tunes refer to the groove as the sense of being "in the pocket," while jazz players refer to the groove as the sense that a song is really "cooking" or "swinging"... Historically speaking, the term pocket originated in the middle of the previous century, when a strong backbeat (the snare drum striking on beats 2 and 4) became predominant in popular music... Many people feel that the question is not so much what the pocket is as much as how you know when you're in it; I guarantee that you'll know it when you feel it, because the music feels as though it's playing itself. It feels as though everything has merged together, with all the rhythmic parts being played by one instrument.
    • 2019, Joseph Church, Rock in the Musical Theatre, p. 173:
      Use his approach for both songs to keep your rhythms in the pocket. You needn't be rigid; some stretching of the phrase is absolutely allowable for the sake of meaning. For the most part, however, ride the driving pulsations of the accompaniment with an equally grooving vocal approach.
    • 2020, Paul Thberge, "Click/Beat/Body: Thoughts on the Materiality of Time and Tempo" in The Auditory Culture Reader, p. 344:
      ...Iyer argues that the backbeat in much postwar African-American popular music is seldom precisely on the beat: it is slightly delayed, lending it a more 'laid back' feel. Again, as with swing, playing the backbeat 'in the pocket'—just slightly behind the beat—does not disrupt the regularity of the beat so much as demand that we hear (and feel) the rhythm in a more subtle and integrated way...
    • 2021, Michael Zager, Music Production, p. 97:
      Most musicians who play classical music usually play too "stiff" (rigidly) to perform on popular music recordings. All forms of popular music require musicians to feel the groove and to play in the pocket (playing within the feel of the rhythm section).
    Hell yes, use that take. She was in the pocket.
  3. (colloquial, derogatory) Alternative form of in one's pocket.
    No, you can't count on him for the environmental bill. He's in the pocket of Big Oil.