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 Post subject: Keeping Time
PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 11:40 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 20, 2006 10:19 am
Posts: 5171
(To the MODs, I put this thread here instead of in the Tutorials section because that section wouldn't let me add the pictures)

It's not hard to 'get in the groove' and follow the drummer, right?

I've always felt I had a pretty good sense of rhythm. When I hear music - even classical without any drums - I can easily find the beat - pulse - of the music. I can also dance fairly well because it's easy to internalize the rhythm of whatever song is on...

Okay, so now I'm really obsessing over learning the bass and wanting to be able to play funky grooves. So I picked up a book by Ed Friedland called Bass Grooves. Ed begins the book by recommending the purchase of a drum machine. I've got an old version of Fruit Loops on my laptop, so I'm all set.

Then I come along to the first example which is saying Da & Ba to each 8th note in the bar at 72 bpm - simple. Example 2 (1st picture) has me replace the 'Da' of beats 2, 3 & 4 with a 'ch' representing a rest - again, simple. I open up the software and put a high-hat cymbal on the 'and' of beats 2, 3 & 4 and say 'ch' on the beat (one and two and three and, etc becomes one and ch and ch and ch and). So far so good. I knew I had a good sense of rhythm.

So Example 3 (picture 2) has me play a note on the one and (Da Ba), then on the 'Ba' of the next three beats - simple, huh? No, it's not. When I play along, I keep playing on the 'ch' because I hear the high-hat and my brain counts that as the beat. When I add a snare drum in the software where the notes are supposed to go, I can do it fine - my ear picks up the snare and my brain knows to play a note there. I groove fine.

Keeping the rhythm going, I delete the snare hits and I loose the groove as I start to play on the 'ch' with the high hats again signalling my brain as where the beats are... it is taking a lot of concentration to 'feel' the groove! Trying it with just a metronome is also tricky because my brain wants to play on the beat, not just after it.

Anyway, I just wanted to challenge you all to try this with your guitars... it's really quite amazing how we can think we are really good at something only to prove to ourselves that we need work. So next time you think your practice time has reached a plateau, try this and work on your timing.


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