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Thread: Timing Problems

  1. #1
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    Lightbulb Timing Problems

    Hi!!
    I have great timing Problems.. Few months back, I was told to Practice with the Metronome, and I did... Now, I can play Perfectly with the Metronome.. I thought my timing problem was Solved..
    But, yesterday, I tried playing with a backing track & recorded myself.. There was the same timing problem... I've also tried 1note per measure(whole note) with that track.. But, after perfectly playing some measures.. I just loose the Rhythm...
    I've also tried tapping my foot... But, prob with that is, after sometime I unknowingly start to tap it faster..

    So, any Suggestions?? Please Help me out of this mess...

  2. #2
    Registered User Malcolm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rock66 View Post
    Hi!!
    I have great timing Problems.. Few months back, I was told to Practice with the Metronome, and I did... Now, I can play Perfectly with the Metronome.. I thought my timing problem was Solved..
    But, yesterday, I tried playing with a backing track & recorded myself.. There was the same timing problem... I've also tried 1note per measure(whole note) with that track.. But, after perfectly playing some measures.. I just loose the Rhythm...
    I've also tried tapping my foot... But, prob with that is, after sometime I unknowingly start to tap it faster..

    So, any Suggestions?? Please Help me out of this mess...
    The normal tendency is to get faster as the song goes along. Vocalists do this also, it's a common problem.

    Click track ear bud? If the vocalist has the tendency of speeding up and you have been keeping time with a steady beat -- it may be the vocalist that is the problem.........

    Ole time Rock and Roll - Country, etc. keep time with the vocalist, i.e. the vocalist is the metronome, one note per lyric word. Something each band has to work out.

    Go to http://www.talkbass.com/forum/f22/ and ask this question there.
    Last edited by Malcolm; 06-23-2012 at 09:43 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Malcolm View Post
    The normal tendency is to get faster as the song goes along. Vocalists do this also, it's a common problem.

    Click track ear bud? If the vocalist has the tendency of speeding up and you have been keeping time with a steady beat -- it may be the vocalist that is the problem.........

    Ole time Rock and Roll - Country, etc. keep time with the vocalist, i.e. the vocalist is the metronome, one note per lyric word. Something each band has to work out.

    Go to http://www.talkbass.com/forum/f22/ and ask this question there.

    Thanx for the reply..
    I don't play in a band anymore.. So, no vocalist issues... I was talking about my personal practice..I think, The problem occurs when a lot of instruments are playing (like in the Backing track)..

  4. #4
    Registered User Malcolm's Avatar
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    Even Sir Paul uses a click track. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=obFcsEtFIKA

    Remember he is left handed.........

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    Quote Originally Posted by rock66 View Post
    Thanx for the reply..
    I don't play in a band anymore.. So, no vocalist issues... I was talking about my personal practice..I think, The problem occurs when a lot of instruments are playing (like in the Backing track)..
    Maybe you're listening to the wrong instruments! Try listening to nothing but the drums.

    To improve your own sense of time, work with a metronome set to half speed. IOW, if you want to practice something at 120 set the metronome to 60 - while you play at 120. This forces you to get those in-between beats in the right place.
    The typical problem is to speed up - to play the beats early. That's because you havem't internalised a system of subdividing beats in your head: hearing all those 8ths and 16ths even when they're not being played. That's the skill the slow metronome encourages you to develop.

    Check this out, for some ideas (but beyond 5:30 or so it gets unnecessarily complicated! - you need plenty of exercise with the simpler strategies before you try that.)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9X1fhVLVF_4

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    Our drummer has a timing problem too, and He was hard to get along with us, mostly when it comes in fast beat but finally after two months of practice with a metronome, he is also overcome it.

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    Last edited by Clevshred; 07-14-2012 at 07:00 AM.

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    John is right...I would sugest something more drastic.
    Start with the metronome unconfortably slow and increase the pace from there. A good technique is to start really slow and after 1 minute increase it 2 bpm at a time.

  8. #8
    Registered User JonR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clevshred View Post
    Our drummer has a timing problem too, and He was hard to get along with us, mostly when it comes in fast beat but finally after two months of practice with a metronome, he is also overcome it.
    Q: How do you know there's a drummer at your door?
    A: The knocking speeds up.

  9. #9
    You need a balance between exact timing and keeping the warmth of your rhythms and the "human touch"
    Even professionals don't play each beat or bar in exactly the same way. When programmers try to achieve the same effect in software they may need to introduce little variations in the timing from one bar to the next to try to give it a bit of human like variety. That's part of what gives a real time performance its charm perhaps, and why sometimes even the most amateur playing, even with all its raggedness, may yet still be so heartening and charming and enjoyable and full of life and spirit.

  10. #10
    Registered User Malcolm's Avatar
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    Just thought of something I used when I was first starting out. Our vocalist also accompanies his vocals playing rhythm guitar at the same time as he is singing. I know you do not have a vocalist - but, periodically I would watch the vocalist's strumming hand and see if we both were strumming the same rhythm. So.......

    ..... Yes to locking in on someone or some instrument. Someone is responsible for the beat, you just need to find who that is. I also play bass, we bassists lock in on the kick drum, or the high hat, I go with the kick drum.
    No drums, if not we (the bass) are responsible for the beat.

    On your backing tracks listen for the kick drum it normally cuts through, unless you are used to listening for the bass, you may have problems picking out the bass.

    And yes - no one I play with keeps exact time, but, we stay together. Flow with what is happening, relax and enjoy the groove.
    Last edited by Malcolm; 11-14-2012 at 04:39 PM.

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    Have a look at this page for exercises to improve timekeeping

    http://www.rhythmcoa.ch/time-keeping/

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    focus on hearing the next beat in advance as you play. this will get you to anticipate the music in advance and get your playing to be in time.

  13. #13

    Timing problem

    i think it's a common problem, which will be solved by practice.
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  14. #14
    Registered User Color of Music's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Isabelle View Post
    i think it's a common problem, which will be solved by practice.
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    Just something to add, but not to invalidate any of the above posts (specifically Jon and Malcolm's), but not everybody in the rhythm section (Bass, Drums, Guitar, Piano or percussion (orchestra and non-orchestra related), is on beat.

    A perfect genre would be Latin music (Bossa Nova, Samba, Salsa, etc.) where the drums, bass or both might be on beat while everyone else is slightly off. However, most often, except Bossa Nova (although such anticipation may also occur) you get "Syncopation by Anticipation and/or Duration" which basslines and/or likewise comping instruments (piano, guitar) evoke.

    As others have said, focus on the drums, but not every tune has/needs them and everybody else is evoking various strengths of syncopation (which glues everyone together, well).

    Syncopation by Anticipation and/or Duration is a deliberate means to play off-the-beat, but close to it. (ie: Chords/Chord Roots in basslines, may be at least a sixteenth of beat.) I've arranged a tune where the harmony/basslines are a combination consisting of being off by a sixteenth, eighth, and dotted eighth while the drums/percussion are deliberately on beat.

    Of course, other genres utilize such kind of syncopation (common): Funk (Blues) Rock (those crazy drum and/or bass and guitar solos), Dance (and all it encompasses, until the drums come in.) Jazz (Common Time and/or Waltz swing) just to name a few.

    So, the "timing" while and issue as you've explained it exists, it may really not be one at all. Of course, to play off-beat, one needs to get a sense of the "strict" beat first. Practicing playing on beat and off is a good way to hone in on rhythmic sense and give off variety which keeps interest. Of course, you can continue to play strictly on beat, but then it's up to the other members to do different things rhythmically to display variety in order to keep interest. Hopefully, you'd do the same if the roles were/are reversed

    This then gets into composing/arranging, not just performing; however, jam sessions (performance) are indeed an application to grasp these subjects Some think composition and performance are to totally distinct items. They are, but they do go hand and hand.

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    When I get my metronome the thing I will learn is that when the metronome is slow say 40 bpm not to play slow along with it thats stuff.

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