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  • How do you work on...

    improving your timing?

    I've been through the exercises outlined by Jasco (wish I could find that post) where the hand pat or clap hides the metronome.


    I've been through the set the metronome for 2 and 4, as well as excercises described by Dean Brown in July 2010 of Guitar Player magazine.

    Lately I've been working through the exercises found on the Somuchsound blog.


    What do you guys do that helps/helped?

  • #2

    You mean sense of rhythm or note precision? People think you just turn on the clock and play along. Two and four is ok for swing feel and xxxx but you may lose or worse never develop an accurate sense of "one" or the downs. As important as feel is the placement of attacks. If these don't sit right, forget success in a band or studio. The more people on the same groove, the more critical.

    I've been at drums for centuries and from that I can tell you the problems beyond the noobity are all of instrumental technique. The tip of the stick has to impact the instrument to start the note. Simply swatting at a drum with an anguished face seldom does the trick. No way around it. You can trip to the Mahavishnu Orchestra without counting? Doesnt mean squat if you can't place a note the instant it is supposed to occur.

    So obviously I work on stick control. Not so much the ratatouie of the method but actual control of sticks from a science and engineering aspect; the inertia, the harmonic motion, and the logistics (crucial) of moving from object to object.

    With guitar, besides the added musical requirements, the only difference is the pick. Assuming most already work on feel and sense, a good pick drill would be to play whole notes with the clock. The main criteria being of course nailing one.  Think drag racing. Stage, nail light. rinse. repeat.

    Nuther thing that heps me is vocalising. Scatting horn parts or guitar licks as close as possible. For me smooth jazz is perfect. Elevator precision is the gold. You start to develop a feel for how different consonants and vowels sit around the metric attack. Lot more fun than a metronome too.


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    • #3
      Nothing really specific, other than total awareness of being in some sort of pocket at ALL times. I do a lot of recording stuff (which exposes any time wobbles quickly) and generally am always playing along to something (gig, jam etc)... So timing is kind of a constant.

      Honestly you want to improve your time? Play the drums. Learn to dance - get the whole body engaged in the process. Time should be a deep down thing not just the tick tick tick of a metronome.
      Blog: sixstringobsession
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      • Yer Dad
        Yer Dad commented
        Editing a comment

        "Time should be a deep down thing not just the tick tick tick of a metronome."


        Well, of course. Ever see those Victor Wooten videos about working with a metronome? The tick tick tick of the metronome is a doorway to everything else. I've been at this for YEARS, and it makes it possible for me to get on the bandstand and get it happening with the drummer and the Almighty Pocket.

    • #4

      "You mean sense of rhythm or note precision?"




      • 1001gear
        1001gear commented
        Editing a comment

        Yer Dad wrote:

        "You mean sense of rhythm or note precision?"



        On sense, I suppose science can nowadays be methodical about the mysteries of learning but I'm an osmosis or nuthin' type. Exposed myself to a lotta recorded stuff in the 60s thru 80s. Swing drummers, jazz in general, rock of course, Classical music Baroque to 20th Century, Lots and lots of foot tapping, and counting; I haven't thunk about explaining that mini epiphany you get when syncopation doesn't throw you but that. Solo drumming without losing the time signature or form. Generally paying undivided attention to the music I was into and delving deeply into my own creativity.