timing

Post drum lessons here! Share your talents, give some tips, or get new tips and learn to play new stuff!

Moderator: Moderators

User avatar
TheLoneGunman
drumming adept
drumming adept
Posts: 444
Joined: Sun Dec 31, 2006 2:32 pm
Location: Kansas City

Post Wed Apr 02, 2008 7:36 am

so I'm practicing with my metronome and I've been sucking pretty bad. I'm working at 40, 50 and 85 bpm. And I'm all over the place right now. I'm hoping that I just keep at it, I'll get better. This is usually the case, yes?

I was talking to a few musicians that I work with, who all happen to be guitar players, and they were talking about keeping time. I said, "Seriously can any one of you say you actually count while you play?" Not a one of them did. I find this to be fairly typical, so that got me thinking about all the time I need to put into keeping good time, because no one else does.

I think that I've found that listening to recorded songs are poor for keeping time, because you listen to the bass player to keep you straight, but in a live situation, that bass player will probably be all over the place and throw you off.

much love
My Gear:

Shine Defenition Series Drum Set
Shine Mike Johnston Signature Snare
Saluda Cymbals

http://www.myspace.com/xthelonegunmanx == friend me and say hi

Drumming is Fun!
User avatar
Rob Crisp
groove master
groove master
Posts: 2185
Joined: Wed Sep 20, 2006 2:19 am

Post Wed Apr 02, 2008 7:48 am

That's our job, the very basis of the instrument. Keep solid time.

Do you practice as a band with a metronome? It may be worth considering. Think of it like this, when playing with other musicians, if you're on a click, so are they. You're all being conditioned and that means at a live show, the chances of you all keeping good time as a unit will be improved.
OllyDrummer
drumming adept
drumming adept
Posts: 97
Joined: Tue Apr 01, 2008 1:45 am

Post Wed Apr 02, 2008 11:25 am

It will help playing with a band, and maybe you should just start off slow and build up, maybe the gap between 50 and 85 is a teeny bit too much. And yes, practice does makes perfect :lol: ! PMP :D !
Hi I'm Ollie. I use CB, Paiste, Pearl, Remo, Stagg, Tama, Vic Firth and Zildjian.
SGarrett
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 5166
Joined: Fri Jul 13, 2007 3:59 am

Post Wed Apr 02, 2008 2:04 pm

I seldom count when I'm playing actual music, but I count like a mofo when I'm practicing. I also make sure I'm counting out loud, not just thinking it or moving my lips.

What are you playing when you practice?

Playing to today's sterile and metronomically perfect music actually is a good addition to working with a click. Don't play to to the music, play within the music. It's the same with the click. Don't fight it or play to it, play with it. Have fun, own it, make it yours.
"If the goal is for me to give up my reality for your reality, then the goal is for me to give up my self for your self--a goal I have to reject."
User avatar
Alan_
groove master
groove master
Posts: 4204
Joined: Sun Dec 30, 2007 10:47 am
Location: austin, tx

Post Wed Apr 02, 2008 2:39 pm

SGarrett wrote:Playing to today's sterile and metronomically perfect music actually is a good addition to working with a click. Don't play to to the music, play within the music. It's the same with the click. Don't fight it or play to it, play with it. Have fun, own it, make it yours.


don't think, feeeeeel.

I got a huge dose of this in one band I played in years back. We had a roland groovebox that we used for electronic percussion and synth, and I played with it...well more like in, around and through the groove. it really sounded good to have the acoustic drums and the electronics together.
User avatar
Homki890
session drummer
session drummer
Posts: 571
Joined: Sun Oct 15, 2006 10:40 am
Location: Mo'town

Post Wed Apr 02, 2008 7:29 pm

Let me lay down some drumming wisdom onto your souls.

We, as drummers, Are the Traffic Cops of the band. That's what we do. We are there for the guided direction of the sound and song. Just a traffic cop keeps the flow of cars smooth, and without hiccups, so do we. The guitar player is taking an extended solo, and he has no idea where the time center is, but he's too "into the music" to even know what kind of notes he's playing, and he's starting to take off, like the aggressive car that's late for the most insignificant thing the world has ever seen, and you have to blow your little Traffic Cop whistle, and lay it back, firmly telling the guitar player that, dude, you're rushing away, and you need to stop. Or, your bass player is laying down the groove, but starts to drag, kind of like the little old lady who can barely see above the steering wheel and doesn't believe in going over 27 MPH, and you have to wave your Traffic Cop Hand and be like, "Speed that bitch up, you're dragging the song down, and we will have none of that man."

Sure, it's a cheesy analogy, but it works wonders when you view yourself as it. Like, I used to think of drummers as like clocks, or Big Ben, and we are the time, and we are right and you are wrong and if you stray from the tempo I will shoot you in your balls, and stuff like that. But, when you get down to it, we are much, much more than a metronome. The have those for sale in little boxes, and we don't fit in them. So, we don't need to be Metronomes. However, we are the instrument that has the most profound marker of tempo, as in playing a beat has a solid pattern that people can lock into. The bass does this as well. So, time keeping is mainly split between bassist and drummer. Therefore, those two better be in sync all the time when playing, otherwise things will unravel, there'll be a 15 car pileup in the middle of the intersection because the Traffic Cop wasn't listening to the sounds and wasn't looking and was just waving his hands around aimlessly thinking that he was one bad-ass mother fucker, and everything goes to pot because of it.

Another thing, practicing at like 50 is a REALLY REALLY SLOW tempo. That's like a construction zone on a 4 lane highway, and there's one open. That stuff crawls, and it's extremely hard to play anything at that speed. I attribute this because, we can hear the beat in our head, even if it's something new, but we hear it at a much faster tempo, our Zen Tempo, where everything is comfortable. So, when we practice it slowly, it doesn't make sense to our mind as to why this is so slow, and things don't line up because our mind is having to piece together much larger durations of subdivisions, when those subdivision are usually very short. This, I believe, is why practicing slowly is hard as hell. However, it is probably the most effective way to practice something, because once it makes sense at a slow tempo, you can play it at any tempo,within your own abilities. Like, I got some wicked independence groove that I can play slowly, but can't play them for shit, simply because I can't play that fast with what is being asked for. If I could, I could. I understand the finer aspects of the groove, I know where everything lines up.

So, Go through your songs with the Comb of Fine Thinning And Leaves Nothing Behind. Make sure you know where sections line up with which groove. Be the Traffic Cop. Think, Know, feel, even touch the center of the beat, and make sure you are rock solid on your position within the context of the groove. Like, the Lamb Of God song "Blood of the Scribe," The section in between the first and second chorus's, There is a lot going on. The singer is switching from singing on the beat, to quarter note triplets, to a more rubato singing, and every combination thereof. Drums, it's a groove fantasmic! As the Guitar in plays the beat on top like a click, the drums play this intricately timed beat in 12/8 with the guitar playing the dotted quarter note and the Hi-Hat playing regular quarter note, which results in a 6:4 feel for two measures, then the guitar keeps playing the dotted note, but the drums switch with a cymbal crash, and then lays down triplets in the double bass, with a 4:3 feel between snare and ride bell, with the beat being mimicked by the snare drum.

ALL THE WHILE, the drummer is still giving direction to how the sound is. Alder knows when to make accents and how to bring out certain sections to fit the context, and help direct the sound and pocket.

Hope any of this made sense.

Homki890
<a href="http://www.drumroadtrip.com"><img src="http://www.unitedgrooveworkers.com/images/banners/drtbanner.gif" alt="Drum Road Trip Website"></a>
User avatar
TheLoneGunman
drumming adept
drumming adept
Posts: 444
Joined: Sun Dec 31, 2006 2:32 pm
Location: Kansas City

Post Wed Apr 02, 2008 9:07 pm

Rob Crisp wrote:Do you practice as a band with a metronome?


Right now I'm not in a band, I'm just doing this for personal study and to prepare for the next time I get a job.

SGarrett wrote:I seldom count when I'm playing actual music, but I count like a mofo when I'm practicing. I also make sure I'm counting out loud, not just thinking it or moving my lips.

What are you playing when you practice?

Playing to today's sterile and metronomically perfect music actually is a good addition to working with a click. Don't play to to the music, play within the music. It's the same with the click. Don't fight it or play to it, play with it. Have fun, own it, make it yours.


If find it interesting that you don't count when you're playing the music. I don't either but I always thought it was because I was lazy and I should be counting. Maybe I'm wrong?

Right now when I practice I'm not playing the music. I'm working on the good old American 26 a lot. I'm working on hand and foot technique so I do a lot of playing particular limbs to the click without really making music. I also tend to do some grooves and solo stuff, which is a formal way of saying I just goof off on my kit. But, I listen to music between 5 and 6 hours a day at my job. So I kind of visualize the drum parts while I'm listening.

I've also thought today that I shouldn't exclude any practice technique, that's quite short sited. I won't stop playing to recorded music.

Homki890 wrote:Let me lay down some drumming wisdom onto your souls.


I think I just got laid, pass me a smoke.


My goal right now is to be the kind of drummer that keeps good time. I spent 7 years playing punk rock as fast as I could, so maybe I'm over exagerating practicing slow. Most of the time when playing with a band, the only time people have commented poorly on my play is during a really slow song. Comfortably Numb, True Love by Pat Benetar, and Black the Sky by Kings X. They just want me to slow down a bit. But I will say that quarter notes at 40 is really really slow but 32nds at 40 isn't so bad and I'm doing lots of combinations of patterns within that 40 bpm. And today with my practicing I did a lot better with the click.

Time to go play some more, fun fun fun!
My Gear:

Shine Defenition Series Drum Set
Shine Mike Johnston Signature Snare
Saluda Cymbals

http://www.myspace.com/xthelonegunmanx == friend me and say hi

Drumming is Fun!
SGarrett
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 5166
Joined: Fri Jul 13, 2007 3:59 am

Post Wed Apr 02, 2008 9:28 pm

TheLoneGunman wrote:
SGarrett wrote:I seldom count when I'm playing actual music, but I count like a mofo when I'm practicing. I also make sure I'm counting out loud, not just thinking it or moving my lips.

What are you playing when you practice?

Playing to today's sterile and metronomically perfect music actually is a good addition to working with a click. Don't play to to the music, play within the music. It's the same with the click. Don't fight it or play to it, play with it. Have fun, own it, make it yours.


If find it interesting that you don't count when you're playing the music. I don't either but I always thought it was because I was lazy and I should be counting. Maybe I'm wrong?

Right now when I practice I'm not playing the music. I'm working on the good old American 26 a lot. I'm working on hand and foot technique so I do a lot of playing particular limbs to the click without really making music. I also tend to do some grooves and solo stuff, which is a formal way of saying I just goof off on my kit. But, I listen to music between 5 and 6 hours a day at my job. So I kind of visualize the drum parts while I'm listening.

I've also thought today that I shouldn't exclude any practice technique, that's quite short sited. I won't stop playing to recorded music.


A shorter version of what Homki said is this. When you practice at slow tempos you really get a feel for the amount of space between the notes, the silent intention to the storm's fury. If you aren't lining up with the subdivisions it's going to be really obvious.

When you count out loud while you're practicing, at a slow tempo, you internalize those subdivisions because the vocalization gives them power. Once you've done this long enough you develop your internal clock. That's the point where you can let go and just play the music because you subconsciously know where 1 is...for any time signature you've practiced. If I'm counting I'm thinking and if I'm thinking I'm not feeling the music, which makes me play to it instead of with it.
"If the goal is for me to give up my reality for your reality, then the goal is for me to give up my self for your self--a goal I have to reject."
Nehe555
drumming adept
drumming adept
Posts: 64
Joined: Sun Mar 16, 2008 3:11 pm
Location: San Francisco, CA

Post Sat Apr 05, 2008 9:46 pm

SGarrett wrote:When you count out loud while you're practicing, at a slow tempo, you internalize those subdivisions because the vocalization gives them power. Once you've done this long enough you develop your internal clock. That's the point where you can let go and just play the music because you subconsciously know where 1 is...for any time signature you've practiced. If I'm counting I'm thinking and if I'm thinking I'm not feeling the music, which makes me play to it instead of with it.


according to this principle, should i be counting slow tempos (ie. 40bpm) without subdividing the bars? i mean, i could just count 1---2---3---4 super slowly, or i could count 1-e-&-a-2-e-&... thereby subdividing.
User avatar
drumur
session drummer
session drummer
Posts: 907
Joined: Fri Jan 12, 2007 11:41 pm
Location: New Jersey(Suburbs of Philadelphia)

Post Sun Apr 06, 2008 5:11 am

The subdivisions are always there, whether you play them or not.
It's the understood increments of space between the notes you play or hear.

Try tapping your foot in 1/8 notes... 1&2&
Each down stroke and up-stroke of your foot is a 1/16 note.
In other words, each up-stroke is the "e" and "ah" of the four 1/16 notes.

Depending on the type of Metronome you have, you can usually set it for 1/8 or 1/16s.
that helps too.
SGarrett
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 5166
Joined: Fri Jul 13, 2007 3:59 am

Post Sun Apr 06, 2008 7:59 am

Peter Erskine recommends always counting in 16ths. Unless I'm working on triplets or other odd groups, I always have my metronome set to 16ths. Oddly enough, I have an 8th note groove.
"If the goal is for me to give up my reality for your reality, then the goal is for me to give up my self for your self--a goal I have to reject."