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#2445466 - 10/15/12 07:12 AM Developing perfect time
Eric Iverson Offline
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Registered: 08/03/05
Posts: 4795
Loc: Jackson Heights, NY
As a spinoff of a comment by our infamous soundman Scott Fraser, regarding Zakir Hussain's ability to tell the difference between 92 and 92 1/2 bpm a day later: "some people have perfect time."
I DON'T, LOL. I was one of the world's worst rhythm guitarists, but with naturally nimble fingers for lead, when I first started. Over all the years, I learned to play steady rhythm because I HAD to, playing in bands, to avoid getting LYNCHED!
Anyway, do you guys work with a metronome to get more solid with time?
Or do you have other methods?
I have a great video on metronome use by John McGann at home, where he discusses using it for additional purposes such as learning to play slightly ahead or behind the beat once you've mastered ON; and keeping the same tempo when you switch from lead to rhythm and back again, well worth checking out at johnmcgann.com. He's a guitarist/mandolinist but it's for all instruments.
One time I was at a clinic given by Allan Holdsworth and he called on me. I said, "Allan, you seem to have impeccable time..." to which he replied "I think my time sucks!" His drummer later commented, "Allan does have impeccable time; I can do my 5s and 7s and it doesn't throw him."
I don't do a lot of "5s and 7s" but it is fun to work with people that you can syncopate things without throwing them for a loop, LOL!

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#2445479 - 10/15/12 07:41 AM Re: Developing perfect time [Re: Eric Iverson]
Winston Psmith Offline
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Registered: 02/15/10
Posts: 1861
Loc: Inside the Beltway
No metronome, but I sometimes use a drum machine - less boring, and you can program odd time signatures, with some work. Also, working with sequencers & arpeggiators locks you into their timing, and again, it's more fun than listening to that click.
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#2445491 - 10/15/12 08:02 AM Re: Developing perfect time [Re: Winston Psmith]
SEHpicker Offline
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Registered: 05/16/02
Posts: 982
Loc: Inverness, Florida
I practice with a wide variety of backing tracks all of which are recorded with precise tempo. Hundreds of hours and many years later I think I've developed reasonably good sense of time. The caveat to this is that I've become a tyrant about others in the band with drifting meters - especially our drummer.
Drives me nuts when the time signature shifts when we go into a chorus or bridge or when a lead break kicks in... I'm coming to the sad conclusion that drummers with a good meter don't grow in my neck o' the woods.
frown rimshot eek
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#2445494 - 10/15/12 08:05 AM Re: Developing perfect time [Re: Winston Psmith]
whitefang Offline
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Registered: 05/13/02
Posts: 5710
Loc: Lincoln Park, MI, UNITED STATE...
I never seemed to have any trouble keeping time. No brag, it just didn't ever seem to be a problem. I also never had trouble being able to harmonize vocally. One guy in the band would sing the main melody, and I found it easy to naturally come up with a fitting harmony.

What I CAN'T do, is recognize BPMs and I don't know how my time keeping works in 5's and 7's, or any OTHER odd time signatures.
Whitefang
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#2445495 - 10/15/12 08:06 AM Re: Developing perfect time [Re: SEHpicker]
6StringStrength Offline
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Registered: 10/15/12
Posts: 3
Struggling with "jazz" time myself - setting the metronome on only 2 & 4...

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#2445527 - 10/15/12 09:49 AM Re: Developing perfect time [Re: 6StringStrength]
pinkjimiphoton Offline
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Registered: 06/28/10
Posts: 2413
Loc: new england, usa
time is too elastic in it's nature to "practice" in my opinion.
while metronomes/drum machines can help, you need to be able to play AROUND them and make them groove to actually master time. and that doesn't mean playing with them, i mean quite literally "around" them.
time, like music, must breathe.
one of the better recomendations i've seen is to think of it as a circle, and use different sized circles while picking to control your time...was in gp a couple years ago, an esteemed female colleague on her jazz guitar approaches. it made sense.
don't try to struggle with time...embrace it. use your own biorhythms to find it. you'll most likely find the only time time becomes a problem is when you try to force yourself to a grid...then it becomes tedious, impossible, and a chore.
you gotta let that shit flow...the ability to accelerate/decelerate can often be far more useful than trying to remain on the ictus of the beat, and will lead to more musical playing, time wise...just my experience, ymmv. psychoactives of the hallucinogen category can make a huge dif in your time, and it's elasticity.
the fact that time is elastic is why some guys can seem to play impossible flurrys of notes.. they usually aren't trying to do it "in time", they are just letting it flow.

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#2445560 - 10/15/12 10:51 AM Re: Developing perfect time [Re: pinkjimiphoton]
SEHpicker Offline
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Registered: 05/16/02
Posts: 982
Loc: Inverness, Florida
Originally Posted By: pinkjimiphoton
time is too elastic in it's nature to "practice" in my opinion.
while metronomes/drum machines can help, you need to be able to play AROUND them and make them groove to actually master time. and that doesn't mean playing with them, i mean quite literally "around" them.
time, like music, must breathe.
one of the better recomendations i've seen is to think of it as a circle, and use different sized circles while picking to control your time...was in gp a couple years ago, an esteemed female colleague on her jazz guitar approaches. it made sense.
don't try to struggle with time...embrace it. use your own biorhythms to find it. you'll most likely find the only time time becomes a problem is when you try to force yourself to a grid...then it becomes tedious, impossible, and a chore.
you gotta let that shit flow...the ability to accelerate/decelerate can often be far more useful than trying to remain on the ictus of the beat, and will lead to more musical playing, time wise...just my experience, ymmv. psychoactives of the hallucinogen category can make a huge dif in your time, and it's elasticity.
the fact that time is elastic is why some guys can seem to play impossible flurrys of notes.. they usually aren't trying to do it "in time", they are just letting it flow.


Yeah Jimi - I agree in theory to some extent - but when you refer to "letting it breathe" we are talking mili-seconds - not bpms. I use to play with a guy that was always drifting out of time by several bpm, and that just don't get it - his excuse was always "I'm letting the song breathe".
So, IMHO, it's a matter of degree. Few commercially recorded songs drift out of time, if they do it is miniscule or the change in tempo was written into the song by the composer. The difference between the song "breathing" and being out of time is subtle but very significant.
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#2445562 - 10/15/12 10:56 AM Re: Developing perfect time [Re: pinkjimiphoton]
Larryz Offline
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Registered: 06/23/08
Posts: 5304
Loc: Hwy 49, California
Playing solo gives me the freedom to slow down or speed up if I start the song and don't like the tempo for some reason. Acoustic/electric solo singer/players need to have a good sense of timing as they set the beat. When jamming with drums and bass players you'll get stuck in what ever time lock you started with. If you have a tight band you can use signals to get things moving or to slow things down a bit. I can play with or without drums and bass and have a natural sense of time. I like live taping without click tracks and overdubs so the BPM's are not that important to me. I do have to admit that I want to list the BPM's in the future and practice intro speeds with my looper to fine tune the speed I want the songs to start out with. I know the audience likes a steady groove but sometimes that groove can build speed and/or undulate depending on the song and the feel (+1 on being "elastic" P-Jimi-P)...

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#2445579 - 10/15/12 11:45 AM Re: Developing perfect time [Re: Larryz]
Eric Iverson Offline
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Registered: 08/03/05
Posts: 4795
Loc: Jackson Heights, NY
Reminding me of a comment by a classical guitarist in the pages of GP years ago who said that so-and-so "had really good time, which is unusual for classical guitarists" or something like that.
Because there IS a lot of rhythmic latitude if you're playing solo!
And guys who never play with others can get pretty "loose" so to speak without it being noticeable, if other factors are good.
But nowadays there's more push for classical guitarists to get ensemble experience.
There was this one kid I played with for a while. He sounded fine by himself, but I could NOT play with him and have it jell rhythmically, and so I bowed out. I don't think it was me, since usually I can play with just about anyone.
It's funny that some of your solo singer/guitarists, even well-known ones, are very hard to play with; and it's never THEIR fault, somehow... and singers who don't play at all are notorious for 'adding a beat here and there'.. yes, you can watch them like a hawk and tell by body language when they're going to come in, I guess..... (not trying to start a thread badmouthing singers, LOL)
One thing about Billie Holiday, said by musicians that knew her, was: "you can set a metronome by her." Sure helps if you can do that!

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#2445592 - 10/15/12 12:19 PM Re: Developing perfect time [Re: pinkjimiphoton]
Caevan O'Shite Online   content
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I've got a lot of miles outta playing with delays, whether slapbacks, longer echoes, or "multi-tap" style rhythmic 'poly-echoes', and playing against them rhythmically. Or, letting a repeat continue in a loop or, as they used to say, "sample and hold", like a metronome. These have sharpened my sense of time and timing over the years, and it's a lot more fun than a regular metronome or click! grin

Also, if you can't hum, sing, or otherwise recite a given passage before playing it on an instrument, IN TIME, you cannot know and therefore will not be able to play that passage.

Originally Posted By: pinkjimiphoton
time is too elastic in it's nature to "practice" in my opinion.
while metronomes/drum machines can help, you need to be able to play AROUND them and make them groove to actually master time. and that doesn't mean playing with them, i mean quite literally "around" them.


But that IS playing in time and IS playing with them; and it MUST be practiced. What, when, where, and how you play IN RELATION TO the underlying tempos and beats- on top of, ahead of, behind, and to what degree- is what it's all about. A metronome or whatever one uses as such is a point of reference, not a dictatorly grip on the shoulder.

Playing around, in-between, on top of, ahead of, or behind the beat in good time is musical; merely letting a flurry go over it, playing at the same time but not in time is mere slop AND IT SUCKS.
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#2445746 - 10/15/12 11:13 PM Re: Developing perfect time [Re: Caevan O'Shite]
skipclone 1 Offline
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Registered: 08/21/03
Posts: 6843
Loc: Japan
Ah, the infamous rubato
In the past I was in bands where say, a keyboard player who had spent a lot of time in piano bars joined in, couldn`t get the pocket and possibly wasn`t aware that they were supposed to. Hey this ain`t piano jazz chief...
I don`t have a problem with timing live, but playing in a small closed room in a studio does give me headaches sometimes. It not the timing, it`s the levels. My theory is, if you spend time listeing to ambient sound sources like radio, or live shows, then you get in a studio and you have focused sources like amps or headphones, it`s harder to find a spot where you are sitting comfortably in the mix. Sometimes either my playing is drowning out the mix and I can`t hear the rhythm, or the mix is too loud and I can`t hear my playing. I mean, I can hear it but I can`t feel it, know what I mean? the mix drowns out some of the subtleties. I don`t know if it`s just me but it doesn`t seem to happen nearly as much live.


Edited by skipclone 1 (10/15/12 11:14 PM)
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#2445822 - 10/16/12 08:08 AM Re: Developing perfect time [Re: skipclone 1]
Scott Fraser Offline
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Registered: 03/20/05
Posts: 3903
Loc: Los Angeles
Originally Posted By: skipclone 1
I don`t have a problem with timing live, but playing in a small closed room in a studio does give me headaches sometimes. It not the timing, it`s the levels. My theory is, if you spend time listeing to ambient sound sources like radio, or live shows, then you get in a studio and you have focused sources like amps or headphones, it`s harder to find a spot where you are sitting comfortably in the mix. Sometimes either my playing is drowning out the mix and I can`t hear the rhythm, or the mix is too loud and I can`t hear my playing. I mean, I can hear it but I can`t feel it, know what I mean? the mix drowns out some of the subtleties. I don`t know if it`s just me but it doesn`t seem to happen nearly as much live.


A little tip from the studio world: In my studio everybody has his own headphone mixer. After the session I'll occasionally check out peoples' mixes, to hear what they were hearing. The guys who were really happening usually have the drums up & everything else down a bit. And nothing too loud. The guys that weren't happening usually have themselves up, & overall everything too loud. Something to be aware of in the studio.
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#2445823 - 10/16/12 08:10 AM Re: Developing perfect time [Re: skipclone 1]
Eric Iverson Offline
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Registered: 08/03/05
Posts: 4795
Loc: Jackson Heights, NY
So next time I drag or rush, it's gonna be - "it's rubato, man! Don't you know your classical music?"
Seriously, I've heard pianists say that some of their crowd really overdo the rubato in Chopin. I guess because audiences love it. But to some ears it sounds schmaltzy!

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#2445849 - 10/16/12 09:17 AM Re: Developing perfect time [Re: Eric Iverson]
Larryz Offline
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Registered: 06/23/08
Posts: 5304
Loc: Hwy 49, California
Elastic, Undulating, or Schmaltzy Rubato? "It's Rubato man!" I dig it...it's Rubato from now on. thu

Nice thing about recording and playback is you can go back and do it again until you get it right. Live, you have to get it right the 1st time. For demos, I think a live recording may give the people hiring you, the best idea of what they are going to get vs a perfected studio version...

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#2445884 - 10/16/12 10:18 AM Re: Developing perfect time [Re: Caevan O'Shite]
picker Offline
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I'm a reflexive player when it comes to time/meter/tempo. I tend to go with what's happening around me. I CAN tell when the tempo is speeding up and slowing down enough to be troublesome, but I kinda go along with something I read from Charlie Watts. He was pointing out places in a song where time was supposed to stretch or contract to sound even. He said it would sound wrong if it didn't. That was an eye opener for me.
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#2445919 - 10/16/12 12:29 PM Re: Developing perfect time [Re: Caevan O'Shite]
pinkjimiphoton Offline
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Registered: 06/28/10
Posts: 2413
Loc: new england, usa
Originally Posted By: Caevan O'Shite


Playing around, in-between, on top of, ahead of, or behind the beat in good time is musical; merely letting a flurry go over it, playing at the same time but not in time is mere slop AND IT SUCKS.


you saying zappa playing hemiolas and compound time signatures suck caev?

there's a time and a place for everything in a musical context; time is more feel than grid. if it's grid, it's bullshit. playing ahead of/on top of/behind the beat is what changes RHYTHM into GROOVE.

there is a difference between "time" and a "clock". metronomes/drum machines etc are clocks, not time. someone with good time can play around those and make it work..make it groove. robotic rhythm playing is robotic rhythm playing. actual time itself is elastic. groove is elastic. there is a world of difference between a robotic performance and one with feel. jmo. i found metronome practice to be extremely stiff, drum machines "feel" better, usually when they have a certain amount of "swing" on.
i guess it depends on the player.

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#2445920 - 10/16/12 12:30 PM Re: Developing perfect time [Re: pinkjimiphoton]
pinkjimiphoton Offline
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Registered: 06/28/10
Posts: 2413
Loc: new england, usa
wanna hear some bad time that is excellent?

listen to pink floyd in the movie "the wall"...you can hear their time go all over the place. wink

and it STILL sounds good.

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#2445953 - 10/16/12 01:50 PM Re: Developing perfect time [Re: pinkjimiphoton]
duff beer Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 07/23/06
Posts: 386
Loc: Winnipeg
Originally Posted By: pinkjimiphoton
there's a time and a place for everything in a musical context; time is more feel than grid. if it's grid, it's bullshit. playing ahead of/on top of/behind the beat is what changes RHYTHM into GROOVE.

To be able to play ahead of/on top of/behind the beat in such a manner to make it groove, one must first know where the beat is, and that requires good timing.


Edited by duff beer (10/16/12 01:53 PM)

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#2445981 - 10/16/12 03:49 PM Re: Developing perfect time [Re: pinkjimiphoton]
Caevan O'Shite Online   content
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Originally Posted By: pinkjimiphoton
Originally Posted By: Caevan O'Shite


Playing around, in-between, on top of, ahead of, or behind the beat in good time is musical; merely letting a flurry go over it, playing at the same time but not in time is mere slop AND IT SUCKS.


you saying zappa playing hemiolas and compound time signatures suck caev?


No, I'm not; I typed, "Playing around, in-between, on top of, ahead of, or behind the beat in good time is musical; merely letting a flurry go over it, playing at the same time but not in time is mere slop AND IT SUCKS."

You and I have said a lot of the same thing, if not entirely, worded differently, in our previous posts on this thread; I wanted to clarify things, rather than have some people read and defend sloppy bad playing with sorry-ass timing with some kind of bullshit excuse. We need to light candles, not facilitate and enable further dumbing-down and half-assedness, which seems to be a huge trend. I should have worded things differently, so as to have come off less as a personal attack- I apologize for any negative feelings, OK? smile

Originally Posted By: pinkjimiphoton
there's a time and a place for everything in a musical context; time is more feel than grid. if it's grid, it's bullshit. playing ahead of/on top of/behind the beat is what changes RHYTHM into GROOVE.

there is a difference between "time" and a "clock". metronomes/drum machines etc are clocks, not time. someone with good time can play around those and make it work..make it groove. robotic rhythm playing is robotic rhythm playing. actual time itself is elastic. groove is elastic. there is a world of difference between a robotic performance and one with feel. jmo. i found metronome practice to be extremely stiff, drum machines "feel" better, usually when they have a certain amount of "swing" on.
i guess it depends on the player.


The "swing" is in what the player (of any given instrument) brings, NOT in the underlying tempo and beat being referenced. (The beat may be swingin', etc., but we're talking about being a player working with, bouncing off of, the tempo and beat, right?) If the tempo speeds up or slows down, or the beat or time-signature changes, the player needs to play in reference to, in relation to, those changes.

A player should be able to work with a metronome, a drum loop or machine, a delay-repeat, etc., whether on, ahead of, behind, or in-between the marked time equally well.

Of course, some of these are more fun than others! grin

And, I have played with mechanical metronomes (as well as real-live musicians!) that felt just-plain 'off'... ! freak grin
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#2446004 - 10/16/12 06:03 PM Re: Developing perfect time [Re: Scott Fraser]
skipclone 1 Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 08/21/03
Posts: 6843
Loc: Japan
Originally Posted By: Scott Fraser
Originally Posted By: skipclone 1
I don`t have a problem with timing live, but playing in a small closed room in a studio does give me headaches sometimes. It not the timing, it`s the levels. My theory is, if you spend time listeing to ambient sound sources like radio, or live shows, then you get in a studio and you have focused sources like amps or headphones, it`s harder to find a spot where you are sitting comfortably in the mix. Sometimes either my playing is drowning out the mix and I can`t hear the rhythm, or the mix is too loud and I can`t hear my playing. I mean, I can hear it but I can`t feel it, know what I mean? the mix drowns out some of the subtleties. I don`t know if it`s just me but it doesn`t seem to happen nearly as much live.


A little tip from the studio world: In my studio everybody has his own headphone mixer. After the session I'll occasionally check out peoples' mixes, to hear what they were hearing. The guys who were really happening usually have the drums up & everything else down a bit. And nothing too loud. The guys that weren't happening usually have themselves up, & overall everything too loud. Something to be aware of in the studio.


That would intuitively seem like a really good idea, gonna try it next time thu
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#2446103 - 10/17/12 07:42 AM Re: Developing perfect time [Re: skipclone 1]
Eric Iverson Offline
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Registered: 08/03/05
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Loc: Jackson Heights, NY
I've only done studio work a few times, mostly vanity projects through friends of friends. It was fun, and I got to work with professionals.
My first session was for this crappy singer with delusions of grandeur, who had never sung in public, but actually asked me, in all seriousness, "would you be available to go with me on a WORLD TOUR?" He had a couple songs that he hired music students to write out charts for, and he hired a band to rehearse the material.
Anyway, I could hear everything fine in my mix, and the click track was pretty loud. We didn't have any trouble locking into a groove together when recording the backing track. There were OTHER issues, intonation of the fretless bass solo, stuff like that.
The poor singer had not practiced with us at the rehearsals, or even with the track at home, and he COULD NOT get in synch rhythmically with the track! He came back later and got it, but there were still intonation issues, etc. Poor guy!
Back to the topic, do singers work with metronomes, since so many of them have timing issues? I know a lot of them practice, and even perform with backing tracks!

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#2446117 - 10/17/12 09:27 AM Re: Developing perfect time [Re: Eric Iverson]
Caevan O'Shite Online   content
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Loc: The Great Spirit's Handprint o...
Originally Posted By: Eric Iverson
Back to the topic, do singers work with metronomes, since so many of them have timing issues? I know a lot of them practice, and even perform with backing tracks!


They sure should! I recently worked with a would-be singer, to the point of having the singer come to my place (sans other band members) a few times to work on, among other more usual things, timing, phrasing, and pitch. I wound up playing vocal-lines on my guitar while tapping my right-foot loudly and moving my head and the guitar-neck somewhat like a conductor might use a baton for various emphasis; it was a little tedious, but it worked!
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#2446127 - 10/17/12 09:58 AM Re: Developing perfect time [Re: Caevan O'Shite]
Eric Iverson Offline
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Registered: 08/03/05
Posts: 4795
Loc: Jackson Heights, NY
Whatever WORKS, I always say! That was nice of you, Caevan! At least the singer was willing to learn from you.
I'm glad to help people willing to learn; not sure if I have the patience anymore with those who DON'T! Especially singers....

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#2446137 - 10/17/12 10:28 AM Re: Developing perfect time [Re: Caevan O'Shite]
SEHpicker Offline
Gold Member

Registered: 05/16/02
Posts: 982
Loc: Inverness, Florida
Originally Posted By: Caevan O'Shite

I wanted to clarify things, rather than have some people read and defend sloppy bad playing with sorry-ass timing with some kind of bullshit excuse. We need to light candles, not facilitate and enable further dumbing-down and half-assedness, which seems to be a huge trend.


As usual Caev you are right on the money. thu
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#2446139 - 10/17/12 10:33 AM Re: Developing perfect time [Re: Eric Iverson]
Lokair Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 04/12/08
Posts: 472
Loc: Braeburn PA
If you want that perfect timing you have to practice till it not only sounds dead on, but to the point you can play it wrong and then right.

A trick I learned for in studio on bass was to play certain lick in the time of the song you are doing, on bass it was a jazzy little movement that I can play at 30 beats a minute to like 260 beats a minute with out error. Then When I play the song I usually just do it right the first time.

Also the the basis of using a metronome is the its blandness compared to the drum machine, it makes you the player keep track as opposed to the little boost on the 1 from almost all drum machines. If you cant count you cant do true time, feel will only get you so far. Then when you step up to true time you will be able to feel even the most intricate timing. I am in no way saying I am perfect, but playing bass or guitar with a metronome will help alot. Then playing with good drummer will help even more.

Lok
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#2446162 - 10/17/12 12:37 PM Re: Developing perfect time [Re: Lokair]
Eric Iverson Offline
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Registered: 08/03/05
Posts: 4795
Loc: Jackson Heights, NY
Good drummers are a godsend!

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#2446166 - 10/17/12 01:24 PM Re: Developing perfect time [Re: Eric Iverson]
Caevan O'Shite Online   content
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Scott Fraser and Lokair- EXCELLENT ideas.

Originally Posted By: Eric Iverson
Good drummers are a godsend!


YES THEY ARE!! AS ARE GOOD BASSISTS.

Not to leave keyboardists, singers, horns, and anyone and everyone else out- but the drums and bass really drive and steer everything right along and make ya wanna play (or dance)!

Originally Posted By: Eric Iverson
Whatever WORKS, I always say! That was nice of you, Caevan! At least the singer was willing to learn from you.
I'm glad to help people willing to learn; not sure if I have the patience anymore with those who DON'T! Especially singers....


It was a two-way street, I needed to find what keys might need to be changed, kept the same, and just work on our mutual timing and feel, particularly on songs that depended heavily on the vocals being right up-front and leading; and we BOTH needed to be in sync and "in the pocket". And, to be fair, I have frets and freshly tuned guitar and bass strings to guide me- a singer is a little more hung out in the wind, if you will, and not necessarily always able to hear everything clearly.
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_ ___ _ Leprechaun, Esquire _ ___ _

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#2446187 - 10/17/12 04:20 PM Re: Developing perfect time [Re: Caevan O'Shite]
pinkjimiphoton Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 06/28/10
Posts: 2413
Loc: new england, usa
caev, all good man, ike turner still love you baby!! give ike another chance!!
grin

lol

i agree more than i disagree..

that said. man. worst cat in the world last nite came to sit in on a triple threat..guitar, keys, and bass. it was pretty ugly.
no time, no chops, and a berkley school of music graduate, at that. it was painful. really.

life is too short to play with bad musicians...we all wanna help aspiring brothers and sisters, but man, when you're 50 years old, and can't play "feelin' alright" either in time, or even keep track of which of the two chords goes where, well, hate to say it ...hang it up son...lol

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#2446232 - 10/18/12 12:32 AM Re: Developing perfect time [Re: pinkjimiphoton]
Perkunas Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 02/28/12
Posts: 75
Jimi, my heart goes out there for you, especially, "no time, no chops and a berkley school of music graduate,"

Some years ago I was at a Jazz workshop. (It was being run by my reading teacher.) Two of us accidentally walked into the wrong room and were about to leave when the lecturer indicated we should stay. He wanted us to witness something.

The room was filled with violinists and cellists from the local conservatorium. He had written a basic arpeggio on the board. (I,I, III, V, VI, bVII. 1 and 2 and 3 and, all in 8th notes.)

He played it on his flute with a swing feel.( dotted 8, triplet feel, call it what you like, just think jazz.)

He played, DAH da Dah da DAh da. They replied with Da da da da da da. Square as a politician's brain waves.

He was frustrated. He got them to vocalise it. They got it. Then he got them to do it on their instruments and they DIDN'T get it. He looked at us with sadness in his eyes and I could feel Django and Stephane sobbing in the corner.

He let the two of us go after 5 minutes.

I learned a lot about classicical music training in that 5 minutes and the fact that controlling time in music is perhaps the ultimate skill for a musician.

Cheers

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#2446235 - 10/18/12 01:17 AM Re: Developing perfect time [Re: Perkunas]
Dannyalcatraz Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 07/28/04
Posts: 3095
Loc: Dallas/FW Metroplex, Texas
OTOH, I know of a choir director/pianist who had great taste and skill...but almost no feel.

You know how- in any genre, but most often in those with a soloist- you may be called upon to vary tempo or hold a note longer or shorter than the passage is written in order to accentuate its emotive strength?

He, Could. Not. Do. That.

Every piece I ever heard him play was note perfect, played as written.

Ordinarily, that might not be a big problem...but this was a choir director. Sometimes, the composers didn't give enough time for the singers to draw proper breath, which makes for a challenging piece. Some of the choir's performances were a tad...breathy. As he galloped along to the song's tempo as written, the choir occasionally struggled to keep up.
_________________________
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap”.

My FLMS- Murphy's Music in Irving, Tx

http://murphysmusictx.com/

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